Vanishing Point

A site about climbing, bikes, and peculiar travels


Posted by Eric T. on April 24, 2012 at 10:35 PM Comments comments (0)

Hoo boy...

It's been quite a while since my last post. What I'm wondering is not why I haven't written in so long, but more; why do I feel compelled to write now?

A few reasons. It's spring, which gets the gears in my head whirring into redline. The time of year when the reasonable part of my mind leans back in his chair with his arms crossed and smiles at the mayhem going on around him, content that he won't have to work again for at least the next 3 months. His input isn't needed. I've also been inspired to write again, thus starting new works, and unearthing old ones. But mostly, my life is a marble that's just begun to roll into the Rube Goldberg machine that is this summer, and I am excited. I recently heard a word that I'd like to start using more. I think it describes my future perfectly: It's going to be kickass.

But first, a quick review. I prefer not to dwell in the past, but I'll reminisce for just a second. Last January, I went into welding school with about 16 other guys. It's safe to say their necks were a little bit red, after all we were in Cortez, Colorado. Now when I say redneck, I'm not talking about the John Deer hat wearing, cheap beer drinking, truck driving adorable rednecks you find here in Durango. I'm talking about people who work hard, casually hate Obama (and not just because he's a n*****), love god, would absolutely die for our country, and who make up the spine of our rural working class. The kind of person that can infuriate a hippy in about 3 minutes flat. I loved it. After learning the fine art of TIG welding, I got a job making titanium bottle cages for bikes. Ron has proven to be the coolest boss I've ever had, and I can safely say, ever will have. A remarkably uneventful summer led to moving in with some good friends in the fall. Winter did a strange dance, coming and going by the week, never leaving much snow, but always much sun. The first half of our snowpack got destroyed by a bizarre warm spell in January, leaving a terrifying layer of hoar for the moisture of Feburary to settle on. Luckily, I was wrapped up in 3 jobs, trying to save money for the cornerstone event of the summer. The one that pushed my little marble onto its winding track, and into those unknown, wild works.

I bought a plane ticket to Peru for June and July. Visions of steep, long alpine ice and snow lines have been swirling around in my head for months. I was terrified of another Durango summer, come and gone with nothing to show for it but some stories of drinking beer and 'epic' bike rides. No, I needed something big. It's time to take those dreams of alpinism and turn them into steel and stone. Real things.

A bathroom wall hanging I found inspiring in the cheeziest way:

The past is history,
the future is a mystery,
and today is a gift

What am I doing?

Posted by Eric T. on February 18, 2011 at 12:12 AM Comments comments (0)

In writing an email to a friend, I realized that it was easier to tell him my thoughts on life at the moment than it is to write a blog. So I'll post a slightly abbreviated version of the email. It's a bit of insight to my life right now.



Good to hear that you're surviving, however. And I'm glad to hear interest in a touring setup. I'm longing for a good bike tour, I'm thinking about disappearing for a month or so in the spring. The Northeast sounds tempting. I've been in SCHOOL if you can believe it. Welding school, so easier to believe I guess. But it's been awesome, I think I'm really going to know what I'm doing with metal after this semester. Fun times, and fun teachers. Also thinking of going for advanced welding up in Fort Collins come next fall time. We'll see. The goal is to get good at stainless steel and work in breweries/wineries/distilleries.


The reason I casually dropped a line about moonshine is that I may or may not have found myself obsessed with home distilling recently. I would never actually do any, since it's very illegal and you know how I feel about the law! but I've been having a ton of fun. There's lots to learn, and I even landed myself an internship/apprenticeship at the Mancos Valley Distillery. I start next week for 2-3 days a week helping the owner distill rum. Depending on how things go, it may lead to a job in the future.


Yeah, having a ton of fun with that, and still working a bunch. Starting to itch pretty badly to travel again. The Europe idea is dangerously alluring. I can only imagine how fun it would be to bike tour/couchsurf/bum around Europe for a summer. While I'm sure it would be harder than it is in the states, I'm convinced that on a bike you could find easy camping most places. Way better than hitching, you can pedal a few miles out of whatever town you're in really easily. Keep me updated on your plans for that.


I've been on the plan-for-something-really-far-out train as well. I decided that I'm done talking about biking the Silk Road. I'm going to do it. Been doing research, got a good guidebook, and the tentative leaving date is February-ish of 2012. I want $8000 for the 4 to 6 month trip. AFTER airfare. Long story short, I'm buckling down and going to make some money this summer. That was part of the inspiration to finally go to school for welding. However, the distilling thing has taken over a lot of interest. Like I said, we'll see.


IDEAL dream timeline at the moment

-Become distilling master during apprenticeship.

-Take 1 month bike tour in spring.

-Get a job around here at a distillery for the summer. Save money.

-Transfer to CSU and take advanced welding courses in fall.

-Work in distillery or brewery in FoCo while going to school. Save money.

-Leave for Eastern Europe in February and bike the Silk Road.

-Meet dying chinaman who tells me the story of his life, and where the treasure is hidden.

-Disappear into the mountains of Tibet, never to be seen again.


Possible variations include welding for the summer instead of distilling. I could make oodles more money. And maybe going to school all next year and leaving in April. But the Silk Road is going to happen, I just need to earn the money. I also might disappear into the mountains of Peru, instead of Tibet.


Share with me any whimsical ideas you have, if you haven't shared them all. Talking about dreams has a dangerous effect on them. They become real.


Glad to hear you're alive, we should talk soon.


If it's not greasy, I won't eat it.

Posted by Eric T. on February 9, 2011 at 8:16 PM Comments comments (0)

I find that I only really write here when I have absolutely nothing to do. I often forget I even have a website, and am usually suprised when I find that it hasn't been shut down from underuse. I put this thing together when I was in Florida, and my feelings on that state alone should allow you to understand how bored and sad I was when it came into being. But now I have it, and I should probably update it more often. I don't have much use for a website except for keeping friends who have scattered far and wide updated on my doings. Unfortunately, I have enough friends here, in the real world, that I don't have the time or really interest in posting pictures and words to a website no one reads anyway. However, in the interest that I may someday really want this site functioning and somewhat updated, I'll cover the basics of the past few months.

I'm in school! I started going to welding school in Janurary, and I've been enjoying it quite a bit. It's a long drive to Cortez, but well worth it I think. I'm really interested in going somewhere with welding. Still working quite a bit, and along with school, I don't have a ton of free time, and at the moment, no full days off. Christmas break was completely ridiculous, lots of work, lots of friends, lots of C2H6O, and lots of madness. Fun, but weakening for the mind and soul.

Pretty regular winter for me. The old standards of work, skiing, and climbing with a dash of school, and of course my new interests to research, pursue, and obsess over. My beard is quite absurdly long, it's beginning to require more shampoo than the top of my head.

Thoughts for spring? Who knows? Keep working and save money for the Silk Road hopefully, but I may simply become a bum again. Maybe a little of both.

A bikey jaunt through the mountains

Posted by Eric T. on November 17, 2010 at 12:27 AM Comments comments (0)

Whoo! It's been a long time since my last post. A lot has happened, and it's difficult to keep this website updated sometimes. Starting with this one, I'll post all the interesting stuff that's happened since August.


I bought a Surly Pugsley with the savings I'd had since last year. Although it was a lot to spend, this bike rocks, so I'm quite happy with it. It's first trip was back in August or September, somewhere around there, from Molas Pass back to Durango. The original plan was to stay on the Colorado Trail the whole way, but due to weather restrictions I took a detour down onto the Hermosa trail on my last day. Overall, a spectacular trip.


The first day which proved to be absolutely beautiful. The loaded pugs ready to rock and roll!


The scenery was almost unreal for so much of the ride. Beautiful.


Day 2. One of the best camp spots I've had. I had a 270° view stretching from the Dolores river valley to the West, all the way to Missionary ridge to the East.




Day 3 proved to be stormy and I had no interest in going over Indian Trail Ridge alone. I backtracked a little to Salt Creek trail and rode(?) 6 miles to get to the Hermosa creek trail. Actually quite a fun little detour.


Salt Creek trail was... bushy.


Great little trip. Hopefully I'll be taking similar overnights this winter on the Pugs! I can't wait to ride the thing around when the snow really falls.


A teaser for next post: the Grand Canyon!

Home, in every sense of the word

Posted by Eric T. on July 27, 2010 at 1:32 AM Comments comments (0)

I got home about 3 weeks ago, to a brisk evening full of delayed Frontier airlines flights. That first breath of fresh air told me I was home, I was back in the mountains.


How to sum up 3 months in Florida? I really have a hard time doing it. It's hard to explain that no. really, my time down there was valuable. I learned more about boats than I could have dreamed, and got to live among some truly gritty people for a time. I liked that. But did I have fun? Well, I wouldn't necessarily call it fun. Good times aren't always fun, but they can still have a certain magic to them. I think what it really comes down to is that Florida and I just don't get along as well as we could. I could learn to enjoy the humidity and twisted people more, and Florida could... well, it'll just keep on doing what it's been doing for thousands of years; make people sweat profusely.


Enough about that. I'm glad I went, and I'm glad I'm back.


Since I've been back I've been hosting a ton of couchsurfers. I'm glad I'm getting a chance to host since I've surfed quite a bit. Meeting tons of cool people. I think I'm getting more responses because of a less cryptic couch description and having added promises of adventure and interesting things. I might have to tone it down.


I've been working a bit, and trying to get over a mysterious illness that befell me several days after getting back. I also sewed up a framebag for the rockhopper and went on an overnight in the mountains(!). I also welded two old bikes together and made a tandem. Both projects were semi-recorded and will show up on the blog soon.