The climbfish have now evolved to cover my life in the US - including very exiting life in downtown Baltimore (aka the wire) and ocean research expeditions with NOAA. I don't promise frequent updates but I will try and cover the most and least exiting times here. Enjoy!
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Saturday, January 14, 2012

Wolf Creek full moon & ancient Mesa Verde

I have a serious problem, I am getting comfortable again. 

Full moon at the top of Wolf Creek Ski Area, the lift did not want to start
Wolf Creek night skiing!
It started well - After the great sand dunes I eventually made my way to Wolf Creek ski area. I had a wonderful night sleeping in the car, and to stay warm I put on my skis and hiked to the top of the resort to watch the rising full moon. Really pretty but somewhat lonely. I spent the day after skiing Wolf Creek, there was enough snow to ski everywhere but the terrain and the snow was not good enough to keep me entertained longer then for the day, so I decided to move on.
Wolf Creek well protected ridge line (avalanche control pipe) 
I have learned  by my mistakes, if there is a sign for a lookout
in Colorado you better stop and watch the view
Now this is where the trouble started - I headed toward the little town Durango after finishing my ski day. On the way there I passed Pagoso hot springs and figured I was worth a treat after a night outside at 10000 feet (3000m). I went to the Springs Resort, oh boy, it was so good! I stayed in for 3 hours moving between the many outside hot pools they have right next to the river, always finding new excuses to not get out of the water and keep going on my road trip.
Soaking at Pagosa hot springs
I arrived late to Durango and decided to get a pizza before somewhat reluctantly trying to find a good place to park the car to sleep. Fortunately it turned out that Durango and the people there was of an extra friendly brew. After talking for 3 minutes with another beardy guy at the pizza place he took pity on me and invited me to his Jurta way out in the woods surrounding the little town. A Jurta, what is that? I was picturing a tent of some sort with some yaks outside. As it turned out Mike was a great guy and we had fun hanging out at his friends house even further into the woods, celebrating Mikes upcoming 39 year old birthday. (much) Later on it turned out that Mikes Jurta was a cozy solid construction (aka house), with a fire and two dogs to keep me warm.
Ultra runner Mike and his Jurta in the woods, ready to
go for a 39 mile run to celebrate his 39 year birthday
I had decided to take a break from skiing one day and go for a hike at Mesa Verde National Park that was quite close by. The national parks in the US are really quite great. In the winter this park is free and uncrowded, and I got a free guided tour on the ancient cliff dwellings (there are more then 600 sites in the park) where the Ancestral Pueblo people lived 600-1300 A.D. It was a day well spend and a highly recommended place to visit if you are in the hoods.
View not far away from the four corner state intersection.
The far away mountain on the horizon belongs to Utah 
Mesa Verde National Park, with ancient cliff
dwellers and magnificent sand stone canyons

I upgraded the rental car to get better living space

I have now made my way to Silverton and am staying in the only hostel here. It is really quite great, and I am not sure how likely it will be that I go back to camping out soon again (it is -35 deg C (below 0 deg F) out here at night)... It sure is easier to stay comfortable and warm. I have met lots of nice people and today we did an exiting ski tour in the steep mountains around here. I will tell you more about this place next time I write, It feels kind of like I am home here, the gold mining, the mountains and the skiing, in addition the hostel have pictures of fish everywhere... 

Time to sleep, tomorrow ski with new made friends. 

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