Thursday, March 22, 2007


My Morning Jacket still ROCKS.

Just thought I'd let you know....

7 days until I lave Clark, Colorado to head east for a month of craziness.
WFR recert, AEE conference, Merlefest, Backpacking in Pisgah (or the Smokies), then off to North Carolina!! OW OW!!!!

Miss you all,


Fishing in the Trail River with my buddy Sam, Kenai Peninsula.
p.s. 1st Lieutenant Samuel Cain Chamberlain is home on leave from Iraq for two weeks!

Monday, March 19, 2007

My summer schedule

Family, Friends,

With the help of a guy I know... let's just call him... DD for now, (Okay it's Dave Denny- you found me out! you got me!) I figured out how to upload calendars as images. Not that it is exactly rocket science to change a word document to PDF to jpeg... but it was he who suggested it. But I digress...

Below is my entire summer schedule, which is of course entirely subject to change...
Please, click each month to enlarge the calendar in another window.

Saturday, March 17, 2007

My Morning Jacket...


So, last night, I go to our local watering hole "The White Bison Pub" with some of the cook staff from the ranch... One of the Chefs, who does a lot of our baking, "Pastry Chef" if you will, requests for Phil, one of the Bison owners, to play his (Paul's) DVD of a My Morning Jacket live concert.


Man... I mean, these guys... ARE AWESOME.

Now, many of you who know me hopefully know that, although we are all slaves to trends and fashions, etc. ... I really don't feel too much pressure from "the industry," or, from some external source to take on the current/latest fad...

I guess the only reason I really mention this is because My Morning Jacket seems kind of passe...Well, not passe, but, they got all of the radio play about two years ago.... they kind of burst on to the scene from nowhere... Their initial flare has not died off, I guess I am just trying to say I felt no pressure to run out and buy their album before- when it was the newest, hottest, must have thing.

BUT- WOW. After watching that DVD? Those guys OWN the stage. They are in control of what you experience...and I'd like to think that is art, or at least a certain approach to the arts. To have that mastery of one's tools is truly.... "proficient"!

Anyway- one of my chef friends just told me that I am "opinionated". I think he's right, but I certainly don't want that to offend anyone. I think, if we carry the thought process out enough, especially in a reflective way, we are all opinionated... I mean, critical thinking requires weighing A against B, testing the differences, etc. and drawing conclusions as a result.

I guess knowing when to conclude those results is key- some people aren't interested in YOUR conclusions? I dunno....

But really, the only thing I can seem to conclude for this entry is that My Morning Jacket rocks.
I wish I had jumped on the band wagon earlier- maybe I would have enjoyed my MMJ experience earlier on? I don't mind being a listener in their controlled environment...


2 weeks until I load up my life in the big green 4Runner and head east.... Climb on!


Wednesday, March 14, 2007

An ode to Steamboat: Mt. Werner, Part Duex aka "How I learned to love the 80's gor-tex fully body ski suit..."

****DISCLAIMER: The following blog post is laden with sarcasm. This is probably the most sarcastic blog I will ever write. Be assured, the sarcasm is only temporary, necessary, and pretty intense...You have been warned.****


Let me ask you a riddle: What do Colorado, full-body 80's gor-tex ski suits, texas, Steamboat Springs, Mt. Werner Ski hill, Me, tele skiing, human zoos, idiot lift operators, and my buddy Tercel all have in common?

Having trouble? I'll give you a hint: My second time at Mt. Werner, which was today.

COME ON!!!!!!!!!!! I am not talking about normal ski suits people! I am talking neon turquoise, purple, yellow, red, (with a floral design on the shoulders for the ladies) full up suits filled by people who are SOOOOO observant that they ski right on top of you!!!

Whew... I feel (a little) better... Had to get that out there.

I am sorry, allow me to explain my background and situation. I also fully admit my unabashed ignorance for this one blog. Normally, I am a really nice, affirming, positive guy. Today? I use just one little blog to discuss some culture shock I face when at ski resorts...but I digress.... back to my background...

See, I downhill skied, like, three times as a kid... at resorts yes, but since then? I have only experienced backcountry beauty. I am talking fresh turns in chest deep powder, no lifts, free (except for federal taxes for nat. Forest Land), quiet, pristine nature, on my own, quiet, on my own, quiet, on my own, and QUIET!

I am used to having a total "flow" experience (Dr. C would be so proud!), in the out-of-doors of North Routt County, Colorado. Today was my second time at Mt. Werner, the most prominent, popular, and over-populated ski hill outside of Steamboat, Colorado. Please, keep in mind I fully understand that I contribute to that "over-population"...anyway....

So, honestly? The whole full body ski suit thing? I think it's passe, but I really don't mind it. Shoot. In so many ways? I am passe... What DOES ABSOLUTELY AMAZE ME is how other people are unaware of their surroundings, or at leas,t their total disregard for shared space? Is that the way to put it?

What I mean, and here is where total ignorance comes in... I promise- the one time I will ever really vent in an ignorant, blanket-statemented way... is the people who yell across a mountain-top restaruant at the ski hill "HEEEEYYY BILL!!!!!! HEYYYYYYYYYYY BILL!!!!!!!!!
HAVE YA SEEN KENNY?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!" People who think that they are the only ones existing on the mountain. TOO MANY PEOPLE!!!!

Sorry, I am going off on a slight tangent here- not that I am well known for my tangents or anything....

So... I find there are a lot of Texans here. Totally cool... no worries there- but some of them, not all, like to shout in the thickest of accents from one ski lift to another- or from the top of one run all the way down to the base..... ANNOYING!!!!!! They basically have personalities as big as their home state- which is beautiful in a way...

But... still, this pales in comparison, as I said, I am a pretty understanding, patient, (dare I say compassionate) guy. BUTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTTT

Is when people are so oblivious to anyone else's presence but their own that they will snowboard right over you, ski into you, or stop right in the middle of the run, 15 feet in front of you!!!!!!!!! AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I grew up outside of Washington, D.C. Therefore, I naturally am a defensive driver. I am always looking out for the one who will accidently- "oops so sorry!" side swipe you, t-bone you at a red light, swirve and knock YOU into oncoming traffic. I am a pretty good driver. I must say- I can drive in what I call "the school of fish effect." Rush Hour- I-95? I think you get my point.

ON SKIS?!?!??! None of that matters. You ARE at the mercy of others. Your safety DOES depend on the lack of responsibility of a beginning skier with their head in the clouds.

"OH!!! He is bashing beginners!!! BOOOOO!!!!" Wrong.
I am a beginner. I stink. I couldn't catch the edge of my ski if it were a spring guppy bitin' on bologna!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am NOT GOOD at downhill skiing- there, i said it! I admit it....

But- I am very conscious. I take care when around others. I respect peoples' space. It drives me NUTS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! When people do not possess the capacity to do the same.

"Waiter, back country please?"
"oh, all out? Only rat race ski slopes for the next 5 hours?"

"well, thanks anyway, I think I'll check across the street at that other new restaraunt? You know, the one called 'Chez not-this-skiresort'?"
GEEZE!!!!!! O' CRIMENY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I have almost been anihilated many times at the mercy of somebody sailing at least 75 mph in my direction. ..... Whew......

Wow- this is getting long.
I have one last complaint...and I promise- the disclaimer from the beginning will be null and void :)SO!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT THE HELL!!!!!!!!?!?!?!?!?!??!

I am getting on a charlift today, and the operator gives it a hard shove on purpose, right into my bum....... I could tell by his smirk and the three groups of people that he did it to ahead of me.

You know what happened as a result?!

My poles got stuck on the "wait here to load" rubber sign in the ground, I lost grip, they flicked out in between my skis, I caught not one but TWO edges sideways and almost fell off the lift.... BUT I DIDN'T!

You know what I got to show for it though?!
A nice HUGE GOUGE right into the base of my brand new Black Diamond Havocs with O2 Tele bindings!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WHAT A FRIGGIN' JERKFACE!!!!!!!
he didn't have to do that- but he did anyway, and then his only response?!
"Oh...hey are your poles, I'll send 'em up with the next guy....."

So, my biggest PET PEEVE???????????!!!!!!!! it is when I perceive people as being TOTALLY UNREASONABLE.
Why would you EVER push a chairlift into someone just to joke around?!
Why would you NEVER claim responsibility for damaging someone's skis?
Why would I ever want to go back?!?!?!

Now... I am not bashing Mount Werner.... but there is one guy who needs a professionalism check. All those evil-kanevil speed skiers without a clue need a responsibility check.
Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, I need to relax.
Okay. I feel better.

I am sure, in their own minds, they have a perfectly good explanation for their actions that I am failing to understand. (This is me cooled off.... chilling out and getting over it.)
So I apologize for teasing about loud Texans who take the Colorado ski resorts (and highway systems) by storm, they are actually a big-hearted fun-loving bunch of folks.
I was also just teasing about full-body 80's gor-tex ski suits. I mean, if I owned one in tiger stripes with rhinestone sequenz on it? I would probably rock the HECK out of that thing, but I don't :(

And, yes, I lost my tempter about oblivious speed-demon "ski patrol training sessions waiting to happen"skiers who fail to use safe skiing practices. Sorry.
I almost feel bad about bashing the ski lift operator, if my skis weren't so expensive.... but hey- I can always fix skis... I can't really afford to fix me right now if something REALLY BAD happened... So it could be worse...

ANYWAY- I just wanted to put it all out there that when people don't exercise saftey-conciousness, or at least people who are unble to widen their lense to view "community" to mean others around them, even if on skis...... it ticks me off- because in my opinion, that is unreasonable. Am I being unreasonable? Maybe a little flippant- but then again, you were fairly warned :) (Woulda been nice for senor lifty to warn me before swiping a lift into my gluteus at a high impact speed).
BUT- There is a silver lining!! (as always) :)

In the beginning, I mentioned my buddy Tercel. He is an amazing chef here at the ranch. He is also an awesome surfer (resume includes shredding in Oahu, Australia, and growing up on the Oregon shore), his parents are the former creators of NOLS AFRICA, and he can hold his own on skis...
Well, we are both aspiring Tele-skiers. he skis Black Diamonds. Kevie skis Blue Broomers.
Today, Tercel says in his Hawaiian influenced slang "Hey Kev brah, les' go 'dere to dat backside and ski bumps-yeah?" I said..... "uh..........(oh shoot he means black diamond runs!).....okay :)"
So... we took the secluded lift up to the top of the south face of Mt. Werner (after we skied major bumps down into a bowl to access the lift)... and I thought "okay- not so bad..." until the last 90 vertical feet- VERTICAL FEET...90 of 'em!
I mean, it was like, a 39 degree slope or more, but no way 45, and then I thought "OHHH MAN! Black Diamond time!"

So... I flailed down, fell a bunch, an smiles snow for the next 3 minutes :)
Then it was time to skidaddle, (no pun intended), so we went home, and I wrote this. :)

Yes... again, I commited the e-sin of rambling on blog.... but I had to vent- and I know many of you out there love me, and care :)
Uh.....okay..... so..... I am gonna go, and try and make the next blog shorter, and more creative :)
2.5 weeks....


Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.......... the sound of relaxation

Cows.Tires.Cajun food.Long afternoon runs. These are the topics of today folks. These are good topics.

I slept in today, enjoying my time off from the ranch.

Upon my waking, I drove to town (Stemboat Springs) to Bob's Conoco- they repaired my tire and checked the others. NO LEAKS :) Conoco- that who USA has a beef with right now? The whole Venezuela thing? I dunno... but they fixed my tires! Maybe they're an independent franchise... let's just pretend... My friend Steve Cole suggested I go there- he worked there about 15 years ago, and swears by them. If this angers you... you can beat him up :) ...


During the tire repair, I mosied on to a New Orleans style Bistro- Sun Pies. Sun Pies is located on Yampa Avenue. My buddy Zach, a chef here at the ranch is from Lafayette, Louisiana and he highly recommended the place. It was GREAT! If you are ever in Steamboat Springs, and this place is still around, GO. I had a great po-boy which really necesitated an afternoon workout...


Back in Clark, repaired tire, all others good to go. I am now switched in to "running mode": shorts, hat, all that- I go for a nice cruise... only about 2.5 to 3 miles, but for a "flat lander" starting my running routine back up after a few months, 2.5 is a good clip for me. I love where I run right now, and I wish you could be here. Country roads, dirt, ranches everywhere...

When I run, I pass our local watering hole, past the firehouse, past the Home Ranch, hang a right at the Clark Store (the only gas station in 15 miles/general store), past the local Charter School (more on that later), and all the way to past the Stranahan's house to the Gravel Pit.
The Stranahans own the Home Ranch, and 98% of Clark, thought knowing that would help...

The coolest part of my whole run is the cows and horses lining both sides of the road. Some of them look at me in awe, some in apprehension, some are not sure if they should join me or not...

I talk to them. Mostly just like you would talk to a puppy: "Hi!...c'mon, let's run!" stuff like that. Does that sound weird? I don't think so... I mean they are actually pretty cute, baby cows, families of horses are trying to comprehend just what this running object is, and why it is doing that.

So, needless to say, it was another good day in Clark. I leave soon. I'll miss this enchanted land, but am excited to return home, start the next chapter, and cruise on..... More Adventure around the corner!!

One love,


p.s. hope this story was less "rambly," I could have put in a lot more vivid succulent detail, but I am tired from my run :)

Sunday, March 11, 2007

"Spring Ahead": AKA Daylight Cravings Time....

The sun is out here in beautiful Clark, Colorado. With partly cloudy skies, I had a quick ski lesson with some folks today, went for an afternoon snowshoe with a couple, and then went home! All of our guests showed up an hour late to breakfast because they didn't realize the time change....

I only have 11 days of work left, spread over three weeks. It is still light out at 6:30 p.m.- so awesome. That's all for now... Not too exciting... Hence, the darkside of the blog: RAMBLING...

More next time,


First night with a buzzed haircut-
I have balanced out the tan since, no worries...

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Enter music: "Shaking the Tree" by Peter Gabriel....

Those of you that know me, know that I totally love this song, and serves as a partial inspiration for this quick daylight-savings entry...

So, the last entry was dedicated to the wonderful Chamberlains- the Alaska chapter.
Well, this entry is dedicated to a good friend of mine, currently residing in Israel- the Holy Land.
Zachary Christopher Mauss is one of my best buds. He was keen enough to write me a message the other day, so I decided: "Zachy, this one goes out to you bud!"

He is actually the photographer behind the magic of my stream crossing photo above, thus creating the background picture for my blog - DUH!

Well, anyway... He is a great partner in crime when it comes to Adventure, as are many of you- He suggested that when I return to Morgantown I should eat some Black Bear and have a few rogues, in his honor, naturally, and frankly, it's the least I can do. Always trying to be the overdoer when it comes to fulfilling obligations, I mean, I would basically be a bad friend if I didn't follow through.....

Speaking of Adventure, I have a fateful tale for you that happened this night. My 4Runner, shall we call it, GUS? Gus- the big green 4Runner, kind of like Clifford the big red dog, only not as fluffy. Anyway...

Randomly, for the past few weeks, my left front tire has been randomly and unusually low on tire pressure. Well, tonight, I was in charge of hosting dinner at the ranch. This means I dress up ever so slightly, make sure the kitchen runs smoothly, attend to the guests needs, etc. etc.

How does this involve tire pressure? I will answer - have no fear...

Sooooooooooo, I show up to the ranch about 20 minutes early, as I am going to pull my 4Runner into the garage and use our air compressor to fill up my tire. Great. So- I do... uneventful enough- I accidentally fill the tire to 40 lbs. of pressure, I only need 35 lbs. So, I take the nozzle to the compressor and stick it back onto the stem of the tire to release 5 lbs. of pressure. The nozzle gets stuck. Cro-magnon Kevin tugs in the nozzle... nozzle pulls out the entire dry-rotted stem of my tire and before my eyes, I watch in horror as my front left tire breathes it last breaths for the evening...


5 minutes to be hosting dinner and I am standing with a tire stem in my left hand, eyes wide, and in utter shock as my truck sits there. Dead. Lifeless; unable to go anywhere!!!

Screw it.

I walk into the kitchen stressed out as all get out, and the chef;s think it is because this is my first night hosting..... NO NO NO- I explain the situation, they try to calm me down.... no good.....

time passes, I collect my nerves.... eat dinner, entertain.... have a grand time, and then go head to head with the metal beast that is my beloved, stubborn, road-tripping monster: GUS.

It takes me a good 30 minutes to locate all of the correct tools to change my flat and put on my spare. Sheesh. My this time it is easily 10:30 pm, GMT.

Well well well.... so our tire iron in the shop is bent to the left, our hydraulic jack is broken. GREAT! So... if the night couldn't get any better, I decide I should close the garage door. it is only 38 outside (a warm Spring evening), but I get al lil' paranoid in Mountain Lion country, not that they would really mess with me, but why take the risk- plu the door open was distracting me. We all know I am pretty buff and could easily kill an assailing Mtn. Lion with the tooth pick from a boyscout Swiss army knife- but let's not go there, after all, I'm a uniter, not a divider....

But I digress.......

Long story short, I am done, after finding tools, using brute strength to loosen airgun-tight lug nuts, and putting all said tools back in their respective "homes."


Well, the event is so ,well.... "eventful" that I wanted to share it. There ya go- typical Kev story, no real point.... just sharing for what it's worth...

All I wanted to do was go home and relax tonight and I had to punish my biceps with car work!!!! But all is good. I checked my e-mail late night, saw a message from Zach, from LEAF, from Amo, and I was excited to share with you my little story. Oh- I had a message from Lindsay too!


I love Clark, but when you know you are returning east for an amazing job, good friends, world-class climbing, and good time, it is sometimes easy to say "sianora" to rural, small-town Clark, Colorado. I love it here, my heart home is among the hills. My heart is in the highlands.
I will miss the "champagne powder" as they have coined the term in this neck of the woods... but that Conquenessing Sandstone calls my name "Kevin... pull hard holmes..."

So, I aim to return east, meet back up with lots of you, climb, conference, recert WFR, and move to Norte-Cakalaka! Which, is Spanish for, North-Cakalaka... in case you were wondering.

Anyway... I leave you with an image of the old beast that is hopefully getting me back to the right-most-coast.

Miss you all, Set those clocks back and enjoy the sunshine!



My "mighty steed of steel" and my Cabin. Word.

Friday, March 9, 2007

So... This post is for my good friends Sam and Gretchen. Sam is currently defending our country. Hands down, He is one of my best friends, and his lovely wife- Gretchen has been a good friend for several years now...

Yesterday, working at the ranch, I dropped some guests off at a dogsledding venue. There, they had little puppies- 11 day olds running around in the waiting area-shack thing. The lil' ankle biters were rampant! Chewing on peoples' shoe laces, etc., sleeping one second then puppy-growling the next.

This got me thinking, and so really, I just want to show the cuteness of the Chamberlian's pup- Jasper. He is a Malamud little boy. He is guaranteed to be so much larger than this photo depicts- it was taken in September when I visited Anchorage, Alaska- my second trip to the beautiful land of the last frontier. I guess I could be called "uncle Kev" because I love this little guy as though he were my own- only I don't have to water him, walk him, clean up after him, or anything- I pretty much just get him all riled up and then turn him over to his loving owners- like any good uncle would :)

So anyway... with Spring-like weather here in Clark, I count down my return to Appalachia, family, and more adventures. AEE is coming up in mid-April. I am presenting my first workshop at the regional level and I hope all goes well... I am kind of nervous, but am sure it will all work out in the end. I can't wait for great climbing, homecomings, and NCOBS.

I also recertify my WFR in Burlington, VT in late April- which should be a blast. I am still considering Merlefest.... so.... any takers- let me know!

I miss all of you, and I hope life is good!

Don't forget to smile.....


Jasper and Me in the C's backyard, Sept. 2006.

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Madness, Sunshine and the roof of my 4Runner


Today I grew a little frustrated because I work a lot and am unable to get much time off. I stuck up for myself and actually will have more than 2 days off this month!!! WOOHOO! I was kind of harboring angst towards the guy who does my schedule, mostly because the month of march is the first time all season he has made one for me :) ... with three weeks of the season to spare.
<----The office

And then...

Today was BEAUTIFUL in North Routt County. A high of 45, sunny, clear skies- totally KAVU. When I left work this afternoon I pulled out the book I am currently reading: Exploring the Power of Solo, Silence, and Solitude, pulled out the Crazy Creek, and hopped up on the roof of my 4Runner and read for about an hour and a half.... ahhhh... just what I needed.

That's right- on the roof of my 4Runner... what a totally sweet place to read a book! Don't tell me you've never seen the world perspective from arriba su auto! It is a neat place to relax, chill, or chillax even. So I hope this blog posting finds you well... and that will be all for now!

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Exodus: T-minus three... two...

With three weeks left in Clark, I begin to project how my travels east will be. Will the weather hold out? Will my travels be safe and sound? How will this first major adventure pan out? These questions are raised constantly in my mind.

Savoring every last turn that I am afforded to carve and "dropping a knee" as much as I am able, my escapes to the backcountry offer peace, silence and solitude. Life is good.

I drive away from Clark on April 1st, and will mosey back to West Virginia where I will spend a few days with some of the latest candidates for the Adventure West Virginia leadership crew. I am excited to get back to my Alma Mater, for the (hopefully) warm weather, good climbing, and stellar friends back in the hills.

After attending the co-regional Northeast/Mid-Atlantic AEE conference, I will head to Vermont to recertify my WFR then it is down to North Carolina! NOCBS training starts in May, ends in June, and two days after I lead my first three-week expedition.

I hope NCOBS and me will be a good fit, thus far, it should be considered my dream job.
Although a short entry, this is it for now-- I will post more when I get a minute, as things are hectic, crazy, and a turbulent mix of emotions as the light draws near at the end of the first tunnel of this life called Adventure.

Thus far, these are the Adventures of Kev

KMS - out.

On the job, guiding at the ranch...