They call me Smudge. I live in Estes Park, Colorado with my beautiful wife Jamie, our daughters Elaina and Daphne, and our pup Clover. I grew up in Texas and still consider it home, but love getting out and exploring Rocky Mountain National Park and the mountains of Colorado. My true outdoor love is trail running, but really just enjoy being outside in the hills. I’ve owned and managed McGregor Mountain Lodge since 2003 (and been there since 2001) and if I’m not home with my girls or playing in the mountains I’m probably there doing things like giving our awesome staff a hard time or loafing. I love college football and sure miss those Aggie games in College Station. I used to play football, power lift, and run track, then I got fat in college after a few back surgeries (cyst on my spine), then moved to Estes, bought McGregor with my business pard, and fell in love with these hills… so now I play in them and am not as fat.
I used to do a bit more ‘peak bagging’ and it’s still probably my favorite mountain thing to do, and I got into climbing for a spell, but have since lost any and all nerve to be tied to a rope. I started running simply to get in better shape so I could move through demanding landscapes with a bit more ease, but I quickly learned that I loved just about everything about it. I got into running ‘ultras’ in 2007 with Leadville. I soon realized that those kind of races are really dumb but freakin awesome. So I keep trying to do them. I’m not very good at it because I really like running alone and the pomp and circumstance surrounding races always throws me off my game. I had enough hype surrounding my physical exploits playing football and the mountains are definitely the antithesis, for me anyway, to that scene. So races have always been a challenge to me. I have learned, though, that putting the headphones in about 30 minutes before the start, and letting Willie Nelson’s sweet sweet voice calm me down, makes a big difference… Willie saves.
Moving forward, there will probably be more posts including my family as I try to teach my daughters to love our natural surroundings, wherever we may be, as much as I do. I want them to love the earth beneath their feet, moving over the terrain, feeling the wind, rain, sun, cold, and heat on their faces, and pushing themselves mentally and physically so they know and can be confident that they can do hard things and that it’s okay to be scared.
This blog is mainly a way for family and friends back home to keep up with what’s going on in my life, but I hope anyone who comes across it will enjoy!