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Brian Cray - Hitchhikin', Trainhoppin', and Wanderin'

Wanderin' the world, at will, by any means

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winter

Sally Barbara Terrain Park

Sally Barbara

Sally Barbara

I’ve upped the stakes over the past few weeks and finally overcame my fear of being inverted and spinning. We got a crew together from work and parked in the Sally Barbara lot then hiked about twenty minutes until we reached a bowl to the left of the cross country skiing path.  We used the roadway to create a jump and launch off into the powder. I hit a back flip for the first time and landed a 360. James learned a 360 and Alex was hitting 720s. The spot was perfect to learn tricks with minimal risk of getting injured.  I landed one back flip and fell on three hitting my tips and over rotating. Once I get enough practice and learn the rotation for spins and back flips my goal is to huck off cliffs and land them. I want to be able to scope out a line and just go off a cliff into a double back flip doing true free ride skiing.  We hit up the lot a few days later and launched off the biggest jump I’ve ever hit in my life. This man made jump was like 10 feet tall and launched us 20 to 30 feet in the air and 40 feet out.

I finally achieved some of my goals this season of attempting tricks. Now I just need to perfect them for Jackson Hole next winter.

Man made street jump

Park Jumps

Making some park jumps at Sally Barbara in the Back Country at French Creek Gulch.

Hiking Frisco Peaks Trail

Hiking Frisco Peaks Trail

Hiking Frisco Peaks Trail

Hiking along the bicycle path that goes between Breckenridge and Silverthorne, CO

I ended up hiking for about three or four miles today through National Forest finishing up in Frisco near the hospital.  The perfect day for hiking.  I changed out of my cold gear and trekked up the side of the mountain in sweat pants, minimalist shoes and a techwick t-shirt.  The breeze felt nice and I remained fairly warm for most of the hike until I stepped on snow and into soggy puddles of mud and goo beneath the white frosted brush.  For part of the trail I connected on roadways that looped around past Summit High School, but for the most part I just followed the noise of vehicles echoing from the highway and knew I would eventually end up in Frisco if I continued hiking in that direction.  I hiked through the forest, branches fallen over every few feet rotting on the ground, perched in between the dead trees that stuck out of the ground before me.  I followed the barbed wire fence that ran parallel to the road until reaching the Frisco Bike Rec Path.  I ended up hiking that for about a half mile until reaching Frisco where I took the bus back to Summit High School and wandered home.

Hiking Frisco Peaks Trail

Hiking down dirt roads to nowhere!

Hiking Frisco Peaks Trail

I stumbled upon some wildlife tracks either elk or deer!

While hiking, I saw two buck, bear tracks and a variety of elk tracks along the way pressed deep into the muddy trail.  I let my landlords know of my find so they can possibly scope out the places I hiked for potential hunting spots.  I took a bunch of pictures with my GoPRO…some great views of the forest and Dillon Lake are below.  Enjoy!

Hiking, backpacking, peaks trail, mountains, colorado

Peaks Trail

Peaks Trail

I woke up today and spent most of the morning fixing my phone.  The GPS stopped working after I flashed the custom PacMan ROM to my HTC One.  I will have to look into this later, but it caused me to start my hike a bit later than I wanted.

I looked outside and noticed we got dumped with 2 to 3 inches of snow from the night earlier.  At first I almost backed out from backpacking the 8-mile trek from Farmers Corner to Breckenridge through the back country trails in the mountains, but I figured this would wear me out enough to finally get some rest at a decent hour.  I changed into my warm gear leaving my snow pants and fleece behind and set out up Lake View Circle West after the red flags in the snow until reaching the ridge.  Once I reached the ridge I continued backpacking along after the blue diamond markings on the pine trees, snow collapsing some of the branches, as I walked past.  My Goretex boots held up fairly well with all the snow.  As I proceeded to trek up the mountain the snow became deeper nearing 4 to 6 inches.  I didn’t mind.  No one else would be out today because of the weather and the powder made the hike a bit tougher, but the views, simply breathtaking.  I stopped on multiple occasions to snap panoramas and photos of the scenery surrounding me.

Silo Climbing Peaks Trail Breck

The view from the top of the silo on Peaks Trail!

Silo Climbing

Another angle from the top of the snowy silo.

For a while I did not know where the trail took me.  I followed directions from my landlord, Kate, and continued backpacking along the route, but did not take a map and my GPS still thought I sat at 149 Lake View Circle West so I just went on instinct.

After about five miles of backpacking and following the ridge, the blue diamonds nailed to the evergreens and the spill way, I finally reached a sign indicating I hiked Peak’s Trail.  Not far after I met another sign, the arrow pointing left, Breckenridge 3 miles.

“Sweet, I should get there before dusk then…,” I thought.

Place Hacking - Peak's Trail

Place Hacking – Peak’s Trail

I continued on, backpacking up and down the steep slopes of the trail until I spotted a 30 foot tall, green, water silo.  I almost passed it, my legs hurt from the long bike ride the other day and hiking up the mountain, but I ran down the hill looking up at it.

A gate and lock covered the entrance to the ladder, which was only 8 feet off the ground, that didn’t stop me though.

I read the sign, which simply said, “DO NOT TAMPER WITH THE WATER SILO!”

I didn’t tamper with it.  I didn’t break the lock or cut the fencing around the ladder.  A small triangular opening already existed on the left side of the ladder.  I hopped on the manhole that stuck 3 feet out of the ground and grabbed on the fencing of the ladder.  I swung until my left leg wrapped around the side of the ladder and pulled myself up using my left foot as a base.  I dropped my bag and that extra room allowed me to squeeze my body inside of the fencing.

I stood on top of the locked gate and climbed up the ladder, 30 feet or so, reaching the top.

The view, completely beautiful, allowed me to see over the treeline…nothing but mountains.  I grabbed some pics and a video and continued backpacking.

I did not want to end up in the woods once the sun set.  It’s hard enough seeing at the moment without glasses or contacts.  I would have ended up making an igloo and sleeping in the woods.

I wound up finishing the hike, which I think was 7 to 9 miles, and took the Free Ride bus to Breckenridge, where I grabbed some post cards.

I have adapted to the bus schedule and took another ride back to Summit High School.

Once I arrived at home I packed up my gear and decided to make a sign for tomorrow to hitch a ride to A Basin.  We shall see how it goes.  I’m meeting up with Kelton so we will have a fun time.

Peaks Trail

The snowy view while hiking Peaks Trail from Frisco to Breckenridge.

Silo Climbing Peaks Trail

City Market

City Market

Kate, my landlord, showed me a topographic map of the area between Frisco and Breckenridge.  Apparently boat loads of trails exist all around the area.  Most have loops, but the ones that don’t send you off towards Frisco or Breckenridge by bus stops so you can hop on the public transportation.  I wanted to go for a hike today, but by the time I found out it was already too late, 1 PM.  I want to hike Peaks Path tomorrow and get in a good 8-mile hike.  Hopefully nab some great pictures to post on here.

I did not do much today, but finished writing more of my book.  I really hope people enjoy it.  Regardless of whether many read it I’d just like to know that it gives some people a different outlook on life and make them realize not everything is black and white.  I really don’t have much of anything at the moment, but a bicycle, backpack and the clothes on my back.  The money I have saved up is not enough to retire on by any means and probably won’t last me that long, but still I traveled into the unknown and it all worked out in the end.  I am going to continue this lifestyle.  I made up my mind a while ago, but today reconfirmed it on my ride to the grocery store.

I don’t really even enjoy biking all that much.  I mean it’s a workout and gets you from point A to point B quicker than being a leather tramp and walking it, but just something about the scenery around me that puts me at peace.  For the first time in my life I found love without it being a human relation, which if you’ve ever read, “Into the Wild” he describes the same feeling.

I strapped one pannier up to my bike and went on the 12-mile ride down and back on the Bike Rec Trail.  The scenery, phenomenal, and in that moment I felt alive again like biking cross-country.  I want to continue biking for as long as possible, whether solo or with a friend.  I laughed while checking out at the cashier’s register.  He asked if I could swipe my grocery card.  I accidentally left it at home and don’t have keys because I don’t have a car or a front door to the house at the moment so he suggested I just add the small one to a key chain.

The Story of Biking Cross Country DE to CO

I explained to him that I don’t have a car or keys.

“Do you live under a bridge or something?”

“Well actually, for two months before finding a place to live in Breckenridge, CO, I did live under a bridge for several nights while I toured across the country on my bicycle.”

The guys head turned and he walked away. 

Haha, I think I freaked him out.  Speechless, he did not know what to say after my response so I just packed up my groceries and left.

I don’t understand how some people can be so close minded and this guy, easily in his 80’s, should be a bit wiser in my opinion.

Breckenridge Job Search

Breckenridge Job Search

Breckenridge Job Search

Yesterday I woke up rather late about 9:30 AM. My body is still adjusting to the altitude change, but for the most part I can still function. My original plan entailed checking out the outlets in Silver Thorne and going to Frisco for some sight seeing, but I ended up missing the bus and heading towards Columbine Cafe. I ordered their Courtyard special, which consisted of three fluffy pancakes, smoked, crispy bacon, hash-browns, and whipped scrambled eggs. I spoke to the bartender who gave me the paper and told me a few places to check out that normally hire. He suggested I drop an application off at Bubba Gump’s restaurant…they are always looking for help.

Breckenridge Job Search

Passing beautiful streams on my Breckenridge Job Search

I scarfed down my food and headed to Bubba Gump’s where I spoke with Johnny. I told him about the tour and how I got to Colorado. They appeared to be interested, but leaned more towards staff with restaurant experience, particularly in serving and hosting. He told me if a dish washing or bus boy position opened up they would give me a ring. I looked at the paper again, briefly scanning cool places to work and stumbled upon Blue River Sports. I walked in and spoke with Andy who handed me an application. He told me to fill it out and attach my resume to it. I told him I came a long way and did not have access to a printer. He gave me directions to the local library near City Market, a mile down the road, and told me to bring it back when I got the chance.

I hustled down the road, walking at a fast pace and wound up grabbing some Goretex boots, 50% off, at a local ski/board shop. They only cost $75.00 and I figured I would definitely need them to keep my feet warm since the minimalist shoes are only good in spring or summer seasons. I continued on and wound up stopping at the UPS store, where two computers were available in 15 minute increments for a few dollars. I spent about $4.00 to use the computer and print off ten copies of my resume. On the way back to Blue River Sports I dropped a resume off at a local bike repair shop and did not really see any other stores on the way that caught my eye.

Breckenridge Job Search

Once I made it to Blue River Sports I handed Andy my application and resume and he told me to stop by Tuesday morning at 10 AM for an interview. I thanked him and a huge smile went across my face.

Breckenridge Job Search

Grabbed some boots 50% off during my Breckenridge Job Search

I walked back to the Fireside Inn where I met up with some older women who were in town on a firefighter conference. They all retired from the force and some lived in CO, MD and France. They introduced themselves as Sylvia, Suzie, and Katherine. We drank some TommyKnocker Ales, Pumpkin Blue Moons, chatted and played this game called Mexican Train with dominoes. I never played it before, but enjoyed it. We played until about 10 PM and me being exhausted decided to hit the sack and call it a night.

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