Saturday, February 28, 2009

We're back!

Yeah! Another D+L-style weekend. We've each been sick and injured over the past month or so, so it's been a while since we both got out for a busy fun weekend. (click pic for whole album)

Saturday was great. Our itinerary:
  1. Get lift tickets and rent skis in town
  2. Eat 1 bacon cupcake and 1 regular cupcake
  3. Ski at Eldora all day
  4. Meet Matthias and Tina for dinner
We both did some great skiing. Laurel is comfortable on blues now. I can make it down double diamonds -- it's not pretty but I can do them without falling. Alps, here we come!

If you can stomach it, here's some disturbing Blair Witch--style footage of the easier part of one of those double diamonds:

After exhausting ourselves on the slopes we met Matthias and Tina in Idaho Springs for dinner. They're vacationing at Winter Park. We had some great pizza at Beau Jo's.

Sunday we're going to the Brainard cabin for training.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Boulder is Beautiful

So it was 66 degrees on Tuesday. After work I drove up to Chautauqua and hiked to the First Flatiron. It took me about an hour and half total and it was gorgeous. The winds were gusting pretty high at the top, but being that I was firmly on the ground it didn't bother me at all! Dan was volunteering at the bike shop, so he didn't get to come.

Today it's supposed to be 65 again. How nice!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Flagstaff Mountain

So, Dan's still broken so I went on a little outing. I road my bike to the Gregory Canyon parking lot (4.5 miles click here for map). Then I hiked up Flagstaff Mountain. This is a much smaller mountain with a summit of 6,700 feet. When I got to the top I followed on Range View Trail (pretty views) and then the Tenderfoot Trail loop. It was probably 60 degrees in the sun--just beautiful and I had the whole trail to myself! I was almost starting to get worried it was so warm that they bears would wake up from their little naps. Then I took the Gregory Canyon Trail back to the parking lot for a 6.5 mile hike. I road back home and then saw Coraline with Dan.

Green Mountain

Our adventures of late have been rather low-key. That's because in the middle of January I got sick--ear infection, pink eye, cold, persistent cough--and suffered for almost four weeks. Then Dan got all of my germs and he has been sick for two weeks now. On Tuesday he went to the doctor and on his way back from the pharmacy he fell off his bike and majorly scraped up his knees. Therefore, today we were going to hang out in Golden and see the Mountaineering Museum and just take it easy. However, walking still proves to be problematic for Dan, so we decided to just stay at home.

At around noon, I got cabin fever. It was beautiful, sunny, and nearly 50 degrees so my morning run was not going to cut it for my outdoor activities of the day. So, I hopped in the car and drove to the Gregory Canyon trail head. I hiked to the top of Green Mountain via the Amphitheater Trail, Saddle Rock Trail, and E.M. Greenman Trail. The views of the Indian Peaks and the backs of the Flatirons were gorgeous. I made it to the summit 2,400 feet higher than the parking lot in an hour and a half. On the way make I made a bit of a loop and followed the Ranger Trail down back to Saddle Rock. It was a great little five-mile hike. When I got home we made chili and peanut butter, oatmeal, chocolate chip cookies. Yum!

Monday, February 16, 2009

Skiing at Eldora

I went alpine skiing today to practice for our trip to the Alps next month (to see Donna and JJ and also to ski). I really wish I brought my camera because it was crystal clear and I could see mountains for miles on end. The skiing was also really fun even though it was Presidents' Day and I saw a number of my students on the mountain. Yes, they were all better skiers than me!

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Meyers Homestead Trail

We hiked the Meyers Homestead Trail today. The first part of the trail was covered in hoof prints and scat. It looked like a herd of elk had passed through. Sure enough a few switchbacks later we saw a herd of elk. They spooked easily and took off further away from the trail.

The trail continued uphill for 2.5 miles through a few inches of fluffy snow. Along the way we entered a cloud. Visibility was limited and the trees were coated with rime. We knew we made it to the end of the trail because there was an "END OF TRAIL" sign. Genius. On the way back the clouds broke up a bit and we saw the sun and some blue skies.

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Chasm Lake

Despite our very late start this morning, we did get in a decent snowshoe adventure. At 3:15 we summited the saddle that overlooks Chasm Lake at the base of Longs Peak. See trek in Google Earth or Maps.

When we approached the last half mile or so, we were very weary about the weather. Low clouds were coming in over the area's peaks and snow was in the forecast. However, I convinced Dan that we should just go a little bit further to see the lake and what was visible of the famous Longs Peak Diamond. (Yes, that's right, I was the bad influence today! Usually, that's Dan's job.) Unfortunately, we didn't have enough daylight to make the .7 mile trip to the lake to complete our day's objective, but it was still worthwhile.

We selected the Chasm Lake trail because my brother Adam discovered it on his first full day in Colorado. Dan and I were both working so he took off for a drive, subsequent hike, and successful fishing trip. His pictures were just gorgeous and we always wanted to check it out for ourselves. Unfortunately, the colors were not nearly as vibrant today and the snow drifts slowed us down above the tree line.

All in all we hiked nearly 7 miles and gained 2150 feet in four and a half hours. We were going at a pretty good clip until we got above the trees and kept losing the trail (not that it would have helped). The coolest part of the day was definitely watching the clouds change on Longs and Mount Meeker. A close second, though, was taking the first 3.5 miles of the trail to Longs Peak. This is on the must-do list for this summer--a 15-mile, nearly 5000 ft gain adventure.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Have you heard about the bird?

The weather was amazing today so I went for a bike ride. It was warm enough to ride in a T-shirt and shorts.

Along the way I saw a woman rollerblading. She had a bird on a leash. It looked like a pigeon and was flying about 2 feet in front of her about waist-high.

Tomorrow I'm going to take my goldfish for a walk.

I biked up the big hill to NCAR and from there hiked up to Mallory Cave. A couple of huge ravens flew out of the cave as I approached. Scared the crap outta me -- bats won't start roosting there for another 2 months. I sat by the cave entrance for a while then began the hike & bike back home.

The weather should be back in the 40s this weekend so it'll be back to more typical wintery things.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Old Stage burn hike

We went on a guided hike around the Old Stage burn area today. Click pic to see more.