Sunday, December 2, 2012


Winter is here.  Although the millions of people just a dozen miles away might disagree as they play golf, go for a climb, or walk in the park with 60 degree temps, up here in Alta, there's snow everywhere, icicles are forming, and I'm skiing every day.  Sure feels like winter.  In reality the shift is much more of a mental one in which I'd rather go for a ski tour, or find a half frozen runnel of water to climb then catch a ride to the valley to try and climb a few pitches in the sun or play a round of disc golf.  I guess my point is, it's winter in the mountains, and that's where I live.  But my intentions aren't just to give you some sort of over generalized weather forecast but to give you all who've been following along a heads up on what this change of seasons, and change of locations means for the Nature of Motion, and what you might expect to find here in the coming months.

Our summer's activities had such a profound and impressive effect on me that I can't help but acknowledge that I've uncovered a deep seated passion.  In combining my loves for climbing, cycling, the mountains, and sustainability, I've discovered something that requires so much from my mind and body, challenges me in so many ways, and is so incredibly rewarding that I cannot imagine not continuing it.  But as we settle back into the routines of winter, I can't help but look back and consider, whats next?  How can we continue to live this passion, to share it with you, and reach out to others as well?  

Saturday, November 24, 2012


Although it's been a while since we've put the garden to bed, I still wanted to take a minute to write about our experiences of growing and maintaining a small garden this summer in Leavenworth.  Winter may be setting in but hopefully this will still remind us of the importance of supporting local and sustainably grown food this coming season.

Food, I love it...I love growing it, cooking it, eating it. I love thinking about food and I even love buying it. I love nourishing myself and loved ones with home cooked goodness made with love.

Friday, November 9, 2012

The Vote.

Election time creates an atmosphere of intense social interaction.  Everyone seems to awaken to the fact that they have a voice, a choice, and an opinion.  The concept that we are able, in part, to choose the direction and character of our future translates to many of us becoming emboldened to share the opinions and ideas that we would otherwise keep silent.  And not only do we share them, but we often insist upon them, creating division and intolerance towards anyone with an opposite view.  Most of this “sharing” or “discussion” is happening on an impersonal basis.  While we still seem to be obeying the old laws of not discussing politics or religion in public, we have realized that the media, meaning all forms of media, from the press to social media, are more of a mouthpiece for opinions then they are a forum for open and understanding discussion.  While this has become commonplace in news media through the skewing of facts and opinions to support a one-sided view, it has also taken hold in social media outlets like Facebook.  I’m sure most of you who are reading this are familiar with the phenomenon I’m talking about, and probably many of you have taken part in it as well.  The silent shouting and badgering, sarcastic mockery and outright hate for not only an individual, but also the entire demographic he stands for.  And yes, the incessant and unrelenting instruction that you VOTE!

Wednesday, November 7, 2012


Although we'd been counting on going to Zion for a while, our plans seemed to be constantly revising, when, how, time, money, these variables were in constant flux as we tried to move our lives from Washington to Utah and maintain some sense of organization.  Although we planned on bicycling from SLC to Zion for a week of climbing, we ended up renting a car due to the constraints of time and weather, but more to the point, due to our overriding passion to spend all of our available time climbing.  This isn't a journal about our stalwart decision to boycott oil, it is about the creativity and flexibility to pursue your passions and goals while making an effort to curb your consumption of carbon.  That said, if you don't own a car, some time's you'll end up renting one.  The Corolla that got us to Zion did over 35 miles a gallon, pretty sweet compared to some of the inefficient cars I've been forced to own over the years.  Although I was a little bummed we didn't get to go on a longer bike tour, the week was awesome and I wouldn't have changed a thing.  Click below if you want to see some great pictures and a bit of a write up about our week.

Monday, October 22, 2012

Becoming lost.

The act of travel, and the art of becoming lost, are at once related and reliant upon each other.  Although travelling, at its essence, is the simple act of moving from one place to another, as we all know, it can also be so much more.   Travelling imparts knowledge, it signifies rank, class, and intelligence, it can humble, embolden, and enlighten.   For all time traveling has been used by humans to expand understanding and cultivate awareness.  To begin to truly understand the nature of the world around us, and ourselves, it is necessary to move around, and experience that world.  Additionally, the means by which you travel have drastically different influences upon our bodies, and minds.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Enchantments Part 3, Little Annapurna and the Knitting Needles

This will be the last installment in a series of posts about our last big hurrah in the Stuart Range.  If you missed out, check out the overview, a report on some adventure-neering up the south side of McClellan Peak, and a pioneering scramble up the south face of Enchantment's Southwest Peak.  This post is from day 6 of our trip, another great day of unknown adventure climbing at its finest.  We topped out on two of the highest Knitting Needles and blazed a line up the South face of Little Annapurna Peak.  Capped off with an amazing sunset this day was one I'll not soon forget.

Sunday, October 7, 2012

Endurance, Recovery, and the Miracle of The Bike

This is a topic I'd been wanting to write about previously, but have only now found the motivation after my recent and unplanned decision to run a marathon.  Now, with my legs as tight as a drum, and my general mobility restricted to the house, I've found the motivation to put together some words on the subject.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

How to take a rest day in the mountains.

Truth be told, the only rest day Liz and I took on our recent 7-night trip in the Enchantments was our first full day in the alpine.  After slogging alongside Snow Creek and the 10-12 miles up to our base camp, a good meal and a nights rest were in order.  When the next day dawned, I was up and ready, taking in the beautiful surroundings and turning over all the endless possibilities that may fill the days ahead.  Although we both felt relatively well for having shouldered some big-ass packs for almost 5,000 vertical feet and 9 hours the day before, we thought it'd be wise to take a day to rest and recuperate, which took the form of a casual stroll up the broad Northeast shoulder of Little Annapurna Peak.  The next day, ready for adventure, we tackled our first adventure, a combination of 5th class climbing and scrambling over the Nightmare Needles and up the convoluted Southern expanse of McClellan Peak.  Check out the wright up here, or just look below, HA!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Nightmares, Neverland, and Big Mac

Lil' Purna from Big Mac

It was our third day camped out in the headwaters of Crystal Creek.  We were as close to the edge of the permit zone of the Enchantment Basin, in the Alpine Lakes Wilderness, as we could get.  Two days ago we had left Leavenworth with 50+ pound packs, loaded with food, fuel, and enough climbing equipment to keep us busy for over a week.  The awkward and oversized packs barely fit in our bicycle trailers and the thought of flat tires was a real threat on my mind.  We reached the trailhead without incident, and began the slog-fest to the high peaks above.  The 10+ mile approach took about 9 hours, and I was happy we made for an early start when around 5 o'clock in the evening we found a suitable spot, hidden, out of the way, and near abundant fresh water.  My ass had suffered, with at least one spot rubbed raw by the oversized expedition pack I was carrying.  Without a scale I'll never know exactly how much my pack weighed, but my earlier excitement with carrying two ropes, 9 days of food, a tent, bag, and daypack had turned into happiness that I hadn't injured myself carrying all this gear that most likely topped out at over 70 lbs, and was, hopefully, the heaviest pack I'll ever carry.

Just a Reminder...

This is a blog.  Simple.  A quick deconstruction of the word reveals its true meaning, a web log.  A diary.  A journal.  But more then that, the format and purpose of today's blogs is to share.  I'm writing for you, even more than for myself.  Writing and photographing for me has become a way of expressing my worldview, sharing my thoughts, feelings, insights, and adventures.  The format and structure of this site and those like it allow for the sharing of ideas and following of readership.  You can comment, subscribe, or share it with your own friends and families.

This is a journal, and I usually treat it as so, my entries flowing mostly from a stream of consciousness that receive little or no editing.  But this is a journal of purpose, and while I often get lost in the web world of climbing, the hopes and dreams of a kid who loves mountains, I'd like to take this moment to remind myself, and you, why I created this space, why I'm still here writing, and the direction I hope to be going.

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

Higher Ground

For the last week Liz and I had a base camp high in the Enchantment Peaks.  With Eastern Washington burning around us, many of the climbers and residents of Leavenworth and nearby towns have run off to seek higher ground and an escape from the smoke.  For those with automobiles, escape means Washington Pass, North Cascades, Smith Rock, or a variety of other destinations.  For Liz and I, not limited but bound to human power, we put our hopes on the high country of the Enchantment Peaks.  With fires blocking access to some of our bigger goals, we had to re-think our plans, and make the best of a world on fire.  We were rewarded with many days of clean air, some days of smoke, and one of the best times anyone could ask for.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Shakaka Unbound

Smoke Storm.

For the past week fires have raged in Eastern Washington.  The "Wenatchee complex" as it is known, is contributing to hazardous and unhealthy air quality in Wenatchee and Leavenworth.  Another fire on Mt. Cashmere in the Icicle canyon has lead to road and trailhead closures.  For Liz and I, this has meant a second look at our objectives and goals for these last few weeks of our stay here in Leavenworth.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Burn it down.

Family and Friends.

Fall is underway here in Leavenworth.  Kids are back in school, the light is softer and the air has a chill.  Liz and I are finished with work for the season and for us this means an opportunity to use the changing of the seasons as a time for personal reflection and growth.  For a lot of climbers this much time off would warrant road trips or weekend visits to nearby destinations, but for Liz and I, this time is a stay-cation. We've been reading, catching up on the missed yoga, enjoying using our oven again, and generally enjoying life.  The cooler temperatures mean we've been able to get back down to the crags and domes that line the canyons, the rubber on our shoes is feeling a little stickier and our palms a little less sweaty.  We've had some visitors this week as well, my brother Taylor managed to make it our for a short visit, getting a quick tour of the area with a hike up to Stuart Lake and a lap up the tireless Castle Rock, sending the six pitches of Catapult and Midway with ease.  Scotty's back with Shakaka and has fallen right into our routine of climbing and laughing, and drinking coffee.

Saturday, September 8, 2012

Salt Lake City and Back

This last week we spent visiting family and friends in Salt Lake City.  For a weeklong vacation, even to drive the 800+ miles from Leavenworth to SLC is a hefty undertaking.  When you don't have a car, things get interesting.  You've got to get creative for these types of across the country get-togethers.  Bicycling isn't really an option for traveling such a long distance in a short amount of time.  When Liz and I started considering our travel options for this trip, a lot of larger questions started to arise.  Would we be compromising any of our beliefs or newfound passion for this lifestyle?  Would there be anything wrong with that?  What are our options and what do they mean for us, our family, and our society?  Compromise is a part of any relationship, and so far the sacrifices have been on our side.  We're not evangelical about what we're doing, but we are serious, and this (life) is all an experiment right?  We're trying to explore the concepts of mobility that so many of us take for granted.  Well let’s go...

How many miles per gallon?

Thursday, August 30, 2012

Dragontail Peak, Serpentine Arete

When we arrived in Leavenworth this spring, it was the first time either Liz or myself had ever seen the town, the Stuart Range, or the Cascades.  A dry ski season had left us with strong legs, weak butts, and a voracious appetite for climbing.  With only our bicycles for transportation our appetite was indeed larger then our ability for those first few weeks.  Slowly we worked our way into the season with short trips up the Tumwater and Icicle canyons, the packs on our backs were heavily laden with gear.  Hobo's Gulch, Clem's Holler, Castle Rock, Pearly Gates, we methodically worked our way up the road, each ride a little farther, each climb a little harder.  After a while we wised up and put some slick tires on our bikes and threw down some dough for a couple of B.O.B. trailers to get the gear off our backs and save our asses some unnecessary pain.  We've come a long way since those first weeks of this human powered season, our cycling has become more efficient, faster, and more pleasurable, and our climbing has improved in the same ways.  Not only the physical nature of our trips has increased though, the mental toughness required to undertake a multi night adventure in this style is demanding.  Should either of us be hurt or otherwise compromised, we're a long walk and ride from town.  The more we've become accustomed to this risk and accepted its many challenges, physical and mental, the more successful, exciting, and purely awesome our trips have become.  On our most recent bicycle-powered excursion into the Stuart Range, we wanted to push the envelope even farther by undertaking a committing alpine climb, from town, all human power, in one day.  We aimed high, and were rewarded with one of the finest climbs, and most rewarding experiences of the summer.

Dragontail Peak's 2000 ft. Serpentine Arete.

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Mountains, Mobility, and The Nature of Motion

Who remembers their first time riding a bike?  Although most of my childhood memories exist as snapshots and short films in my mind, I can pretty well recall my first experiences of two wheeled ecstasy.  While my trike and training wheel days might be lost in the haze, that first time I managed to balance and pedal my way across the front lawn has stuck with me to this day.  The sheer delight of those few moments being pushed between my mother and father, and eventually learning to roam around under my own body's power are powerful memories that I'll be hard pressed to forget.

The bicycle is nothing new, and it's anything but unpopular, everyone from the homeless to the most affluent, the cyclist riding purely for transportation to that of the racer riding for physical achievement, everyone who's ever ridden a bike has experienced this ultimate, and simple, childlike happiness.

Riding a bicycle can give you the sensation you are flying, it is an experience filled with joy.

Yes, slogging up steep mountain roads in blazing heat with no wind can be an unforgiving experience, and riding alongside speeding traffic has lead to many a near-death experience, but the satisfaction of moving under your own power, and the knowledge that at some point you'll be cruising downhill with the wind on your face, trees and scenery whizzing by, is enough to keep you pushing to the top.

Not many people learn to ride a bicycle after they're 10 years old, it's something they learn to do as a kid, and it'll stick with you for life.  I haven't heard of anyone learning to ride a bicycle purely for it's efficiency and mobility, in fact, when I ask most people why they ride their bikes, the most popular answer I get is "for fun".  For many folks, the choice to ride a bicycle for commuting and transportation is less about why you want to ride your bike then about why you don't want to drive a car.  A life choice so seemingly at odds with the ease and independence of the modern world is likely to spark discussion and debate about our many different world views. For myself, as for many others, this choice came about as more of an evolution than a decision.  Today I'm writing to give some insight into what the Nature of Motion is all about, why I no longer want to own a car, and more importantly why I think the bicycle is such a simple solution and amazing means of transportation.  Basically, here are some words about why I'm so happy to forgo the car, ride a bike, and climb mountains.

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

The Mole and The Shrew

Sounds like the beginning to a children's story, but these two peaks help form the quartet of spires that is the Rat Creek Group.  This collection of towers lies just a few short miles from Icicle Road as the crow flies, but a world away when you consider the trail less expanse of bushwhacking and blow downs separating it from would-be climbers.  For our first single day alpine attempt, town to town, human powered, we chose the Mole, the largest in this quartet of spires lying just in view from the bottom of the canyon.

Rat Creek Group.

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Sherpa Peak


Finding an "off the beaten track" adventure in the Stuart Mountains can be a challenging experience.  The popularity and history of this small range have worked to make for an accessible, well known group of mountains.  There are, however, a few areas that receive little attention and fewer people then the well known basins and crags of this classic alpine paradise.  The drainage of the east fork of mountaineer creek, between Argonaut and Sherpa peaks is one of these places.  Combine this with the challenge of a completely human powered approach and you've got yourself a weekend.  Liz and i set out with a few scraps of route info and headed into this lesser known corner of our backyard.

Friday, August 10, 2012


Shadows pass underneath me, move into the distance, and dissolve into darkness.  As I glide along, the street lamps pass above me, replaying this motion over and over.  Riding my bike home from a late night trip to water the garden, this dance played out around me.  I was overcome with appreciation for this simple scene, the part I played, their interconnection, and the consciousness that made it all possible.  These are the moments when the world seems to fall away, all worries, hopes and cares, all thoughts turn into a cloud that is blown away by the breeze of pure awareness.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Prusik Peak

Bike, Hike, Climb.  A short trip report from another human powered adventure into the heart of the Stuart Range.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Mt. Stuart and Ingalls Peak

Our friend Scott was in town this week and that meant a couple of things, we were gonna get gnarly and we were gonna drive around in his big truck.  

Friday, July 27, 2012

Outer Space into Orbit

Last week we wanted to "take it easy", which more often than not means that instead of a big trip we end up having some very long and hard days.  This was no exception.  No car, no problem.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Backbone Ridge

Our fist human powered trip from town to climb an alpine route in the Stuart Range.

After a couple of months of cragging, and only getting our toes wet in the mountains, Liz and I were ready to try what we came here to do, high alpine climbing.

Catching up: May-June

We'll start out by catching up with what we've been up to this spring.

Monday, July 2, 2012

Do! (louder)

We are Liz Rocco and Tim Rogers.  Chances are, if you've made it this far, you already know a bit about us.  If you're finding this on your own, welcome.  I'll be short with introductions, this is a blog about our lives through our actions, and I hope it will speak for who we are and what we care about better than I ever could.  We are mountain people with a passion for life, embracing simplicity and fostering ecological responsibility.

We've made the decision to forgo the culture of cars and experiment maintaining our mobility by bicycle.  Will it still be possible to climb and enjoy the mountains we're so passionate about?  We'll see.  For the summer of 2012 we've moved to Leavenworth, the Bavarian town of Washington.  We're here because of the towns close proximity to endless cragging and alpine wilderness.  We've got no car, but will do the majority of our recreating under 100% human power, bicycling, hiking and climbing in this beautiful area of the Cascades.  

The reasons for our lifestyle choices are numerous and, I believe, obvious.  I'll spare the rant for another time, but suffice it to say, we are two people who don't believe in the current paradigm of fossil fuel, fast food, and waste.  We want to experiment with our mobility, while helping to foster a closer and more balanced relationship with Earth.  Let us know what you think, or just enjoy our words and pictures.

Thursday, June 21, 2012


Welcome to the Nature of Motion.  A journal of mobility, sustainability, and community.  Words and pictures of creative lives in a changing world.