14. Land of Enchantment
Every Eleven Days

Every Eleven Days

Every eleven days, the closets of Casa Uva spew forth cams, climbing ropes and quick draws; Nalgene bottles of every color are rounded up, cleaned, and filled. Crusty campfire jackets re-emerge from the depths and canvas bags are haphazardly stuffed with non-frigo essentials like spaghetti, pretzels, dried fruit, and bars.

Stéphane parks The Gruffalo out front the day before so we can outfit her with fresh sheets, stock up the TP, stuff the gear and clothes, fill the fridge, and top off the H2O and propane.

Thursday morning – the eleventh day of being home – is a flurry of activity of different kinds. Hugo is out and about with his babysitter, Anna, tromping around on one of the local in-town trails, singing a song at the library or looking at scorpions at the nature center; Stéphane is “closing up” the house and I’ve been up since Five cranking out some work for clients before I shut down for the day and we hit the road.

Eleventh-Day-Thursdays crescendo at noon at which point Stéphane pulls us away from the curb; I kick my feet up on the dash and Hugo’s in the back with Richard Scarry.

Our last two trips were polar opposites: the first a snowy, loud, extrovert extravaganza of a trip north to the San Juan mountains; the second a warm, quiet, adventure south for some climbing at one of our favorite spots.

Part I (snow):

We head north to the Western Slope (CO) to meet up with Tom & Melisa for a weekend of snow, machines, lots of friends, and, unfortunately, three ER visits. Hugo and I make the five-mile snowmobile ride down Little Cimmaron to The Chamberlain Cabin.


A beautiful ride in. Sheep Mountain in the center, and fresh tracks beyond.
Melisa, Tom, Hugo, and myself. A pause on the ride in to make sure the trailers are secure.


About forty minutes later, we make it to the cabin, which is absolutely buried.
The long process of digging out the cabin begins with digging out the shed so we can get to more shovels.
Digging out.
We moved a lot of snow.
Time to play in the snow!
Sledding, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, and snow-mobiling were the activities for the weekend.
Stéphane catching some air on the snow bike.


Snow cave.
The next day the Front-Rangers arrive at the trailhead. Lots of littles, gear, food, clothes, and supplies are shuttled into the cabin.
Hugo enjoyed playing with the other little people.
Long story short, there was some mayhem, some blood, and three of the group ended up at the ER. A broken nose and handful of stitches later, all is well and we have more photos for Tom’s Wall of Pain and some good stories to swap around the campfire.
Family shot in front of the cabin.
I drive the girls and Hugo back out (SLOWLY).
“The Survivors”


Part II (sun):

We just returned from our favorite climbing spot in New Mexico: Red Rock Arroyo. Warm temps, lots of climbing and relaxing and family time.


The short hike to “The Harry Potter Climbs”
Taking a break from climbing for a reading session with the Hug-ster.
I’ve been able to lead a number of climbs here, which is awesome!


Harmonica session in “the cave”.
Baby Swiss on a Triscuit. Hugo making it look like it’s filet mignon.
Stéphane putting up a burly route on the “second tier”
Books at camp.
Dinner prep
Dinner around the campfire.


Goofing off.
Jamb session with daddy.
Stéphane rapping down from “the second tier” climb.
Shot from “the second tier”. Apache Kid Wilderness and beyond.
Hugo surprised us by power hiking / running up the super steep hill near camp – all the way to the top!
Family photo!
Stinky, grubby, and rested. Back to home and work and responsibilities…until The Eleventh Day comes again…

2 thoughts on “Every Eleven Days

    • Author gravatar

      Hey, Heftis!! How great is it that you live in a spot where you can ‘easily’ alternate between hot (well, warmer…) and cold adventures?!?

      A fabulous blog about both trips!! Particularly loved how the snow pix at the cabin all showed shovels in hand — then there’s Sara with nary a shovel, but a BEER!?! I know, SOMEONE had to do the hard work of taking the photos…. Just kiddin’~

      Great family photo w/Hugo in sunglasses too — more memories!

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