Cabin in Featherville

One of the highlights of our year is an annual get-together with some people we have been friends with for decades now. We consider each other family and even our children are best friends. I have been friends with both guys since high school. They married sisters. We all attended the same university and hung out at every opportunity. These types of friendships are extremely rare and I consider our friendship to be among the greatest blessings in my life. The fact that all of our kids are best friends is icing on the cake.

Not all of us live close together now, so for the past several years we have made it an annual tradition to rent a large home/cabin and spend a few days together all in that same home. We try to select different places in order to mix up the experience, resulting in trips to Island Park, Idaho; Park City, Utah; the Oregon coast; and now: Featherville, Idaho.

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Family Trip - Ouray

One of the last places we stayed on our family trip to Colorado was Ouray (pronounced yoo-ray). I was very excited to check out the town because it has looked so picturesque in the photos I’ve seen of it.

After checking into the hotel I headed up to a trail, hoping to get a photo of the town from up high. I had located a spot on the map that looked promising, so I drove to the trail.

While on the hike I passed by some old, ruined mining buildings that were pretty neat.

Old mining building near Ouray

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Family Trip - San Juan Mountains

The highlight of the trip for me was taking the FJ onto some jeep roads in the San Juan Mountains. I wanted to see the towns of Ophir and Telluride, so we decided to take the Ophir Pass trail down into Ophir and then Telluride, followed by Last Dollar Road and on into Ouray (pronounced yoo-ray).

Here is the FJ along the road to Ophir Pass. FJ headed to Ophir Pass

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Family Trip - Durango

Following the visit to Cortez and Mesa Verde National Park, we headed over to Durango, Colorado for a few days. I was most excited to visit the San Juan Mountains to hike and take the FJ up on the jeep trails, but first we had to take the obligatory train ride from Durango to Silverton. I have to say, I was pretty skeptical of this train ride. It was expensive and going to be long, so I wasn’t too excited. However, I was impressed with the effort they make to keep the late-nineteenth century feel of the train. In addition, the views from the train during the ride are spectacular. Unfortunately, it was raining very hard the day we rode the train, causing a mudslide part of the way between Durango and Silverton, forcing the train to turn around about half-way. The company re-imbursed half our ticket price, which was very kind of them, and the ride was still great. I highly recommend it.

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Family Trip - Mesa Verde NP

After spending a couple of days in Moab, our next stop was Cortez, Colorado so we could spend some time at Mesa Verde National Park. None of us had ever been there and we were very excited to see the Pueblo ruins.

We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express in Cortez, which has a very kid-friendly “fort” in the room, complete with a wall, TV, and two bunk beds. Our kids loved it.

We spent a couple of days visiting Mesa Verde and were unable to see everything. Here are a few photos from the visit.

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Family Trip to Colorado - Day 1

The family and I are taking a much-needed trip to southwestern Colorado to visit Mesa Verde National Park, the San Juan Mountains, and Ouray. We’ll be making a few other stops along the way, but those locations are foremost in our minds as we pack the back of the FJ Cruiser with our stuff and head out to Moab, Utah.

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Twitter Losing Value to Me

I find myself utilizing Twitter less often these days. There is so much noise, no matter how relentlessly I curate my timeline, that it has become unmanageable. There are occasional nuggets found within the torrent of tweets but it is such a chore to sift through the dross to find those nuggets that I find I simply skip to the top of my timeline. Am I alone in doing that?

I still derive great value from the blogs I follow via RSS. Yes, I know it’s supposed to be an antiquated way to “socialize” on the Internet, but it works. I’ve noticed that, along with the rise of social media platforms, the quantity of bloggers has declined while the quality of posts seems to have increased. I think the ease with which people can share via social media platforms has turned us into consumers and creators of digital junk food - Cheetos-like bits and bytes we consume with our smartphones. To be sure, blogs used to be somewhat the same, where people recorded the mundane details of life, but that action has largely migrated to Facebook, Instragram, and Twitter.

It takes more effort to blog and write long-form material. As a result, these days, the quality has improved. Twitter’s quality has definitely declined since I joined years ago and I find I rarely read my timeline anymore. Add to that the recent timeline changes Twitter announced and I wonder if my days on the platform aren’t numbered.

Stick With A Format

I recently worked on a portrait project where, in the course of discussions with the subject, it was decided that I would shoot on both film and digital formats. I will never agree to that again.

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White Rock Bay

I have been itching to get out west of Salt Lake now that the weather is warming up. I love the west desert in the late winter and spring. Life is springing up again, there is green grass, and the weather is perfect.

My daughter and I went to Antelope Island to hike around. We ended up on an overlook of White Rock Bay on the west side of the island. We found a nice rock outcrop shaped like a huge chair and settled in for a snack while we waited for the sun to set and provide some nice lighting. This image was taken near that spot, looking out across White Rock Bay toward Elephant Rock in the distance.

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Node.js Security Training

I’m not being paid to make this recommendation at all (I just happen to know Adam Baldwin), but if you build Node apps at all, you really should consider the new secure development training for Node offered by ^lift. Even if you can’t make one of the training sessions they offer, it is well worth your time to chat with them about the security of your Node app. If security is baked into the app and is part of the development process, the chances of avoiding an embarrassing security vulnerability are drastically reduced.

These guys know their stuff and work with organizations such as GitHub and npm, Inc.

Check it out: ^lift Node Security Training