A Journey in Sketches

I recently returned from a week-long stay in Keystone, Colorado. I documented my journey in daily sketches created in a Moleskine Japanese album (small size). My tools were Pigma Micron ink pens, Faber Castell Pitt Artist pen, Kuretake Clean Color Real Brush markers, Derwent watercolour pencils, Sakura Koi field sketch watercolor set, and Kuretake waterbrushes. First, the SFO airport. There was an exhibit on Art Deco and I loved the patterns, colors, and shapes in it. Since I had a couple of hours to wait for my delayed flight, I started sketching and painting.DSC06899DSC06900I went back to photograph the original pieces that had inspired my memory.

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Then I looked over my shoulder to see that a large watercolor mural had been placed high up, near the ceiling. I copied the quote on the painting and general feeling of it.


Then I noticed the number of billboards in this terminal devoted to issues of network security and cyber attacks. I captured this by placing three of the ones I remembered together.DSC06902

On my flight I read two magazines I never usually read. One had Amy Poehler on the cover as one of the "100 Most Creative People In Business". The other had a headline and article I will never forget (much as I would like to), entitled, "Why Die?". It describes the efforts of PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel's multi-billion-dollar venture fund's investments in biotech. He is focused on "eradicating death" from human experience, envisioning a future in which this "disturbing inconvenience" is made obsolete.DSC06903

I road Colorado Mountain Express shuttle from the Denver airport to Keystone. I captured a few quick sketches of what that ride is like. Flat flat flat, then you're in the Front Range, with walls on either side and endless ranges unfolding in front of you.

I-70 from Denver Airport to the Front Range I-70 on the way to Keystone from Denver I-70 Eisenhower Tunnel from Denver to Silverthorne Colorado

My driver was a Keystone local, and he recommended the Mexican restaurant directly across the street from my airbnb condo - Dos Locos. I hadn't rented a car, so this seemed like a perfect dinner option on my first night. Ended up being the best pork chile verde I've ever had! Plus some great conversations with locals.

dos locos mexican cantina in Keystone

The altitude was noticeable right away, and I was glad I came equipped with plenty of water, hydration mix, energy bars, and herbal tea. essentials for high altitude travel - yogi tea vapur element bottle kind bar and scratch hydration mix

I had plenty of room to stretch out in my studio rental from airbnb.

my studio airbnb rental

I woke up early and took a walk, noticing the wildflowers along the Snake River. I also almost walked right into a mama moose and her twin calves, standing in the road and munching on some leaves. They looked like horses until they turned their heads and I could see the shape of their snouts. Their legs were also extra lanky.mama moose and her twin calves at Keystone

morning wildflowers Keystone Colorado July 2015 field of wildflowers Keystone Colorado July 2015

Colorado wildflower sketchesColorado wildflower sketchesWhen eight o'clock rolled around, I was first in line for a bike rental at Mountain View Sports, next door to Dos Locos. I took a quick ride of about 10 miles round trip, not sure how the elevation would affect me. The first glimpse of Lake Dillon gave me motivation for the next morning's ride.Biking from Keystone to Dillon Reservoir sketch

Lake Dillon Morning July 2015 Colorado

I was ambitious and determined to find the Natural Grocers store I had researched in Dillon. I had no idea whether I would be cooking my own meals for the week, so this was part of my self-care plan: find the local organic grocery store. One very steep hill climb nearly shredded my lungs, but I made it. Awesome staff, beautiful food, and a great thing to find while traveling.DSC06916

Dillon Natural Grocers Store Colorado

It was raining by the time I got to the store, so the helpful ladies showed me the schedule for Summit Stage, the Summit County free bus system. I could have gone to Vail, Breckenridge, or any of the neighboring towns all for free on this system! Instead, I put my bike on the rack in front, and took the ride back to Keystone, where the sun was shining and my five-minute ride back to the condo was easy. DSC06913

The next day I rode in the opposite direction, up Montezuma Road. Montezuma is a ghost town, and Montezuma Road hugs the banks of the Snake River heading east out of Keystone. I only got about a third of the way from Keystone to Montezuma, but I was rewarded with a lovely view of the canyon and riverbed. Montezuma Road Snake River Morning Colorado July 2015

Montezuma Road Snake River morning Colorado July 2015

I also took a moment to create my "ode to aspen trees". Aspens are everywhere in this part of Colorado, and when the wind blows, their leaves do a dance that looks like "jazz hands" to me.DSC06915Later in the afternoon, I had about an hour to sit by the lake and do some reflection. The theme of that day was fear and courage. I was thinking a lot about how fear turns into courage, and how we can facilitate that transformation in ourselves.DSC06919 DSC06920 DSC06921The next ride I did was Swan Mountain Road Trail, which leads from Keystone to Breckenridge, which requires climbing a big hill. I started out early, and didn't know how far I would go. The light was gorgeous, and the wildflowers were everywhere on this paved trail. I kept thinking I would turn around but every turn brought new wonders! I finally reached the summit and the reward was a jackpot view of Dillon Reservoir.Swan Mountain Road bike trail Keystone Dillon Breckenridge Colorado

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Saturday I did not take a big ride, but simply captured this feeling from all the love I experienced during the conference.


Did I mention my reason for being in Keystone? IMG_1037Through what I can only call cosmic alignment, I was invited to be part of the Let My Doctor Practice Summit. This was both a virtual and live gathering of physicians committed to restoring their voices to the practice of medicine in America. I had spent the week taking notes during the webcast portion of the summit, and then on Saturday I captured as many of the back-to-back live talks as I could, going through almost three complete pads of easel paper! Now that I am home, my next project is to go through all the drawings, check for accuracy, and assemble the individual images into a book. Here are some examples of the drawings and the live proceedings of the Summit:

Sunday morning I took the 9am transport from Mountain View Sports to Vail Pass. I road 26 miles back through Copper Mountain, Ten Mile Canyon, Frisco, Dillon (the perimeter ride of Lake Dillon is GORGEOUS!), and back to Keystone to feed the ducks and geese in the pond. I also bought some local jerky, local honey, local organic stone fruit, local corn, and a locally baked gluten-free lemon-lavender muffin.

DSC06926 DSC06927Vail Pass Bike Trail Ten Mile Creek along Vail Pass bike trail Farm Stand near Frisco

As I sipped a chai in Frisco and reflected on the themes I had just witnessed during the Summit, an article in the local paper announced that the CEO of Vail Resorts had donated one million dollars to his alma mater, the Wharton School, to fund research on Leadership and Emotional Intelligence. These three words popped into my mind as not only the keys to leadership in business, but leadership in any arena in today's evolving world:

passion participation trust - leadership qualities for the new era