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Little Costilla: A Comeback Tour

AdventuresDusty GilpinComment

Last year at about this time, a few friends and I headed out to Carson National Forest to mountaineer a route up Little Costilla Peak. As mentioned in the blog I wrote, the trip was excellent, but we were unsuccessful in summiting due to inclement weather and exhaustion. Our summit-deficient trip left us with an insistent desire to return again. So we packed up and headed that way for the weekend.

I believe the saying is, "Where the rubber meets the road..."

I believe the saying is, "Where the rubber meets the road..."

Last year, we camped at Black Mesa before hiking into our mountain. We decided to forego the pitstop this year and head straight for base camp in Carson National Forest. Right as we pulled into our campsite, we got a flat tire. Not a huge issue, but not ideal. We changed it out real quick and then I cooked dinner for the posse. I only mention these two chores because I think the hectic few hours before bed led me to my next misadventure...

Cooking in the tailgate to help block the wind!

Cooking in the tailgate to help block the wind!

I haven't spent a ton of time in the mountains, but I thought I'd spent enough to have seen the effects of altitude sickness. I was wrong. Kristen and I settled into our tent and dosed asleep after a mildly exhausting couple hours of chores.

I awoke to Kristen yelling for help and literally shaking me awake! I lunged forward, panicking and ripping off my sleeping bag. My eyes were wide open and dilated but I was unable to see, I gasped for breath and slowly regained my composure, and eyesight.

I'm typically a quiet and light sleeper. Kristen said that in my sleep I started snoring, which is uncommon. She nudged me to be quiet, but I slowly started gasping for air. She then started thumping me in the face with her index finger, but I still wouldn't wake up! That's when she yelled for help and I awoke.

Apparently, without any of our knowledge, one can suffer from Cheyne Stokes breathing and sleep apnoea when acclimating to altitude. It totally freaked us all out. We were unable to do any quick google searches to diagnose the problem because we didn't have cell reception. For the rest of the trip, I cautiously went to bed and only slept on my side. While it was only a singular occurrence, it totally tripped me out, especially since we were only going to be increasing our altitude and isolation for the rest of the trip.

Kristen and I on the hike into our base camp of Valle Vidal.

Kristen and I on the hike into our base camp of Valle Vidal.

Hiking into our base camp.

Hiking into our base camp.

Valle Vidal means Valley of Life in Spanish. It definitely isn't an understatement. Elk, antelope, deer, and animal tracks by the hundreds could be seen on our hike into the valley. Our base camp was a hike about 3 miles into the woods following a stream between two mountains.

Our campsite in the trees just on the edge of Valle Vidal.

Our campsite in the trees just on the edge of Valle Vidal.

Once we made camp, we decided to scout a couple routes up the mountain. Billy had a topographic map of the area and picked out a few routes. Since there is no real trail up the mountain, we did a lot of bushwhacking last year that really exhausted us. This year, we found a few game trails and easier ascent. This made all the difference for our trek the following morning.

(Top Row) Kristen, Hannah, Billy, Anna, Kristen (Bottom Row) Ryan, Aaron, and Chumpy

(Top Row) Kristen, Hannah, Billy, Anna, Kristen (Bottom Row) Ryan, Aaron, and Chumpy

Little Costilla, or Little C-eazy, has 4 ascending peaks. From the angle you hike in, you can't see the following peaks. There are times as you walk where you think, 'Oh! There it is, that's the top. I'm almost there." and then your soul is crushed when you reach the top of that section and see another section looming behind it. At one point, I was leading the walk. Someone radioed ahead to me and asked, "Is that the top?" I didn't even reply because I knew that radioing dissappointment below would be a morale-killer.

Kristen enjoying the view of Wheeler peak just south of us.

Kristen enjoying the view of Wheeler peak just south of us.

Despite the deceiving peaks, altitude, and heavy legs, we made it to the summit! Reaching our goal without a defined trail was really awesome. We were especially glad after not making it last year. The views from the top were wonderful, and there was still a ton of snow.

Our descent down was very steep, but as you lose altitude, you regain strength. We made it back to base camp for dinner, a little whiskey, and a warm fire.

The descent downward was pretty fierce.

The descent downward was pretty fierce.

The next day we made our hike out back to our vehicles. We drove through no man's land and made camp at Black Mesa (Lake Carl Etling Park). The park was packed because of Memorial Day weekend, but we really just wanted to rest, eat, and enjoy one more night under the stars. If you haven't seen a starscape at Black Mesa, you are really missing out!

Hooting and hollering on top of the mesa. The echo is pretty awesome, and I'm a total kid when it comes to that kind of stuff.

Hooting and hollering on top of the mesa. The echo is pretty awesome, and I'm a total kid when it comes to that kind of stuff.

Some of our group had to leave camp early and head back to the city. Ryan, Kristen and I decided that since we don't make it to Black Mesa often, we needed to hike it. We got to the trail at 6am and had a wonderful hike. Elk, turkey, lizards, deer, and antelope were seen and no other hikers had made it out yet. It was a great way to wrap up the trip!

Walking quietly in the woods, gazing at stars, and seeing wildlife all reinvigorates me. We try to get out of town every other month or so, but it never seems like we do it often enough. Trips like this really help me brainstorm new ideas, exhaust me physically, and get me off my phone for a while. I'm super thankful for my friends and wife that encourage me to get out into nature often. Now that we're back into the fast pace of work, hopefully I can apply a few of the sentiments I had while on this trip into my work at the store. We'll see what happens, thanks for trekking along with me! Come by the store and swap stories with us, and know that we always love seeing photos of our gear on your adventures!

How to Screenprint Like a Chump

Dusty GilpinComment

The biggest mission of our store is to be community-minded; we want to be a place where people feel welcome and creatively inspired. We've been brainstorming how to activate certain areas of our shop to be community spaces, and one of our newest additions to the shop is the Community Print Shop. The key intention for our little print station is live printing and classes. After a week's worth of preparing the curriculum,  we're excited to put some of the classes on the schedule!

'How to Screenprint Like a Chump' is a 15 page booklet we prepared for our screenprinting classes.

'How to Screenprint Like a Chump' is a 15 page booklet we prepared for our screenprinting classes.

I didn't want to blindly go into classes without having a well thought out syllabus, so we decided to make a 'zine to go along with our course. With 10 years of printing experience, it was hard to condense my thoughts on screen printing into 15 pages, but we got a lot into this little 'zine. Lambo helped me stage a few photos of the process to help demonstrate our methods of screen preparation and printing. We then actually screen printed the covers of the booklet to show what a halftone looks like, and how waterbased ink looks and feels on paper. There are also two note pages in the back for your annotation pleasure. Each participant of the course will receive a copy of our booklet, but it is also available for purchase in store for $10.

The Classes:

The classes will be approximately 2 hours long. We will walk through the entire screen printing process from computer to t-shirt. We will emulsion screens, expose an image, and then each individual will have the opportunity to print 2 of their own t-shirts! We will also provide refreshing local adult beverages.

We want to keep the classes personal, so we've limited the class size to 6 people. This is to ensure that instruction is catered to each individual and that each person receives sufficient instruction in printing. While there is a curriculum, we greatly encourage questions and comments. We will not withhold any trade secrets and will happily advise you in equipment costs, suppliers, and affordable DIY methods.

Currently there are 4 classes available on our online store, and each class is only $85. If you and a group of friends want to book a session together, we also offer a class where you will print a t-shirt of your own design!

Hope to see you soon!

Lambo Does New Mexico

LamboComment

     If I were to tell you I thought of myself as somewhat of a world traveler, I'd be lying. In all honesty, I am a creature of habit. I eat the same thing for lunch, I wear the same 5 T-shirts, I skate the same spots on the same days, and you know what? I really don't mind it. Once you find a good routine, stick with it. Buuuuuuuut, sometimes it's nice to get away and try new things. Last week I shook up the routine, and headed for New Mexico with my lovely lady to check out all the local hot spots they had to offer. As someone who's never really stopped to smell the roses there, I was pleasantly surprised on how beautiful the state is. 
     First stop, Meow Wolf located in Santa Fe, NM. From my best understanding, Meow Wolf is a collective of young artists who want to offer a more alternative approach to the normal art/music scene. After years of differing exhibits, they set up a permanent art complex and opened up their main exhibit, The House Of Eternal Return. Describing the exhibit is very difficult, and it's best if you just see it for yourself!  

     After coming out of Meow Wolf dazed and confused, we decided to check out Santa Fe's equivalent of the Plaza District. 

     We drove down to Cochiti Lake soon after and called it a night. The one thing we forgot though, was camping supplies...... After an uncomfortable night's sleep in the car, we ventured over to Tent Rock. Tent Rock is the product of a volcanic explosion and millions of years of erosion. It truly is one of the most remarkable things I've seen. 

     A friend of a friend told us about some hot springs up in the Jemez Mountains, which is nearby to Tent Rock, so we put on our swim trunks and headed over! Turns out they should actually be called the " Jemez Lukewarm Springs." Regardless, the area is covered in trees, making for a delightful view.

     With the "hot springs" being a bit of a bust, we decided Albuquerque would be next on our journey. I was surprised to find that ABQ has a pretty poppin' mural scene. If you ever take a stroll down Central Ave. be sure to check out all the walls, hip shops, and delicious restaurants. The ABQ Museum of Art offers an abundance of knowledge regarding the states Native American history, along with some great paintings. The best of both worlds. Oh yeah, we rented this pretty sweet paddle boat and lived it up at Tingley Beach for about an hour. 

     Now you can't go to New Mexico and NOT brush up on your love for aliens. Last on the trip's agenda, Roswell! Roswell doesn't have much to offer, but the few extraterrestrial related things are definitely worth an afternoon outing. We hit up the INTL UFO Museum and Research Center to dive into the so called UFO "hoax" of July, 1947. After visiting the neighboring gift shops, and spending too much money on alien memorabilia, we headed home. Now that's what you call a Chump's vacation. Thanks for reading everyone, and Nanu Nanu!