Rocky Mountains, CO

"I slipped. I landed on my butt at the top of this hill in the snowy rut, legs out in front of me, hiking pole somehow managing to lose contact with the ground. I started sliding. 'Well,' I said out loud, defeated and irritated as my wet ass gained speed on the damn slope."

Black Canyon, CO

"Black Canyon was unbelievable. The sheer steepness of its painted walls, the finger of the Gunnison River down there at the bottom. From the overlook, all you can hear is the faint roar, and the rush of the wind pushing you back from the edge."