Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Hike #22: Green Mountain In the morning

Date: July 23rd 2020
Hike Distance: 4.1 Miles
Location: Green Mountain, Boulder, CO
Hike Start Time: 6:00AM
Condition: Sunny, Nice.
Total Miles: 121.2 Miles

It's actually been a while since I did a hike by myself.  It makes em really happy that my daughter and wife have been wanting to join me on a lot of trips, but there's something to be said for the solitude that recharges you.  I read an article about the "Boulder Traverse" that spans the five major peaks that overlook Boulder.  Some crazy people do all five of these in one day.  Maybe there will be a time when that's in the cards but for now, I'm setting a goal of climbing all five of them by the end of the year.


The peaks include South Boulder, Bear Peak, Green Mountain, Flagstaff, and Mt. Sanitas.  I've already got Sanitas and South Boulder done, so I thought a mid-week morning would be a perfect opportunity to check another one off.  This hike tends to be a very busy one on the weekends so it seemed like a good idea to tackle it when there were less people around.

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Hike #21: El Dorado Canyon State Park

Date: July 19th 2020
Hike Distance: 4.7 Miles
Location: El Dorado Canyon State Park, Rattlesnake Gulch Trail
Hike Start Time: 6:30AM
Condition: Sunny, Nice.
Total Miles: 118.1 Miles

If I told you that The trail I just hiked used to be driven by Model T Fords up to a hotel, you'd think I was crazy.  I might be crazy, but that's the absolute truth.  At the top of the trail there was a hotel called The Crags that was only around for a few years at the beginning of the 20th century.  People would either take the train (that still runs by today) or a water powered Funicular to get to the luxury resort.  

The other option was to take your car and drive up.  I know it's been over 100 years of plants and things growing on this trail, but it's hard to imagine people driving up "Crags Boulevard".  This was popular enough that the Denver Motor Club even had a garage at the hotel.  Even the road from where people would've got off the train down to the hotel is pretty amazing to think about them driving over.

This picture is provided courtesy of the Carnegie Library for Local History, Boulder.  Check out this article with more history and pictures here. I love this kind of history that I can find along the way.

Saturday, July 11, 2020

Hike #20: Moose Encounters of the First Kind, Blue Lake

Date: July 5th 2020
Hike Distance: 6.0 Miles
Location: Ward, Colorado. Mitchell Lake Trail to Blue Lake
Hike Start Time: 5:45AM
Condition: Sunny, Nice.  Hail as we left park
Total Miles: 113.4

I had been dreading 4th of July weekend.  Not just because my dog is terrified of fireworks and my neighbors seemed to use their entire stimulus check on incendiary bombs, but because I knew that I'd want to go out hiking.  I dreaded it because I knew everyone else in the state was going to have the same idea. Especially since the weather had gotten a lot hotter recently, I knew that people would want to escape the heat and go up to the mountains.

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Hike #19. Mesa Trail, Connecting the Dots

Date: June 28th 2020
Hike Distance: 7.2 Miles
Location: Boulder Colorado. Mesa Trail South to North
Hike Start Time: 7:00AM
Condition: Hot, Sunny
Total Miles: 107.4

I'm not a person that needs to check every tick off on a list by any means. When I started this hiking adventure, I got a map of the Boulder and Nederland area and have been using it, and Alltrails.com as resources for hiking, but never really with the explicit goal of hiking every trail there is.  Especially little things like connectors and side loops if they didn't offer anything.  The exception so far has been the Mesa Trail.

From the very first hike I did on the Stranahan loop, to the Bluestem Loop, and South Boulder peak, I had slowly been encountering small sections of the Mesa trail that goes from El Dorado Canyon up to Chautauqua park.  Even my full Moon hike walked on part of it, but there were all these little gaps in between those hikes that were left undone.

I decided I'd connect all of my flatirons hikes together and do all of the Mesa Trail at once.  It would be cool to visit previous excursions while putting together it's own unique chapter too.  the distance wasn't too crazy, and the elevation gain seemed doable.  What I didn't anticipate was me feeling worse than I've ever felt on a trail before through the duration.

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Hike 18. RMNP, Not a bad place for my 100 Mile hike

Date: June 18th 2020
Hike Distance: 8.8 Miles
Location: Estes Park, Colorado. RMNP Loch Trail
Hike Start Time: 6:15AM
Condition: Cool, Sunny
Total Miles: 100.2 Miles!!!

I knew my 100 Miles total milestone was coming up.  I wasn't planning any certain hike, but I knew I'd want to do a couple cool ones in a row so whatever one it ended up being would be a good one.  We were able to secure a pass to Rocky Mountain National park when they opened it up.  I took the day off of work and invited the mother-in-law to join us.

Looking at the trails I knew I wanted to do something up Glacier Gorge.  I also knew that if I didn't want to use crowded shuttle buses and deal with people we needed to be there super early in the morning.  The park was only letting in half of the normal number of cars, but that still translate to a crowded trailhead and trail if you sleep in.

Tuesday, June 23, 2020

Hike 17: The physical Price of Hubris, South Boulder Peak

Date: June 11th, 2020
Hike Distance: 8.8 Miles
Location: Boulder, Colorado. South Boulder Peak
Hike Start Time: 5:30AM
Condition: Warm, Sunny
Total Miles: 91.6 Miles

I've been feeling great. The distances of my hikes have been steadily increasing and I felt it was time to up the ante and give myself a challenge.  I've mentioned in a bunch of previous posts about how I've been eyeing up South Boulder and Bear peaks.  The last couple of outings have given me a direct look up shadow Canyon and it has been calling to me for a while.

I decided I would go on a Thursday morning and I told the employees at my shop that I would be in a little late.  I am going to try and go one day a week on a longer hike, and the summer actually works out well, because I never have to go and call on clients during this time.  So I told everyone I'd be in at Noon and got excited to hit the trail when It shouldn't be as busy

Sunday, May 31, 2020

Hike 16: Where the Wild(flower) Things are: Fowler Loop

Date: May 30th, 2020
Hike Distance: 5.1 Miles
Location: Boulder, Colorado. Fowler Loop
Hike Start Time: 5:30AM
Condition: Warm, Sunny
Total Miles: 82.8 Miles

This weekend the girls decided to come with me so I picked shorter distance trek.  I decided also to continue in the same area I went in the previous hike.  there was another loop beyond where I went last week that looked nice.  Considering how much I enjoyed the previous weeks journey and that my OCD sense of completion wanted to check off all the trails in one area, this seemed like a good fit.

Sunrise was at 5:30, so we got up at the bright and early time of 4:30.  Luckily, we had planned the night before for this hike, so all of our bags were packed and ready to go ahead of time.  I recommend doing all of this prep the night before whenever getting up for early hikes.  It's really easy to forget things when your sleep-deprived brain is stumbling through your morning routine.  If you take care of as much as possible when you're alert and awake, you'll be much happier once you hit the trail.