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.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Hike #15. Looking into the future.

Date: May 19th, 2020
Hike Distance: 8.7 Miles
Location: Boulder, Colorado. Flatirons Vista, Doudy Draw
Hike Start Time: 5:50AM
Condition: Warm, Sunny
Total Miles: 77.7 Miles

Have you ever been somewhere and merely looking around you're surrounded by the idea of future possibilities?  This trail did that for me.  I've done some trails just north of this area and was able to look up at the flatirons and be hopeful for the days that I feel like I'm in shape enough to climb to the top.  South Boulder Peak and Bear peak are on my list of trails to hike, and I've known they were overlooking those areas.  While on this trail, I was able to get a spectacular view of Shadow Canyon, which is where the trails and switchbacks to the top of these peaks are.  It was calling to me and motivated me to get ready for more elevation gain and difficulty in my Hikes.

Sunday, May 17, 2020

Hike #14: The sweet taste of (controlled) Freedom! Bear Creek Lake Park

Date: May 16th, 2020
Hike Distance: 7.2 Miles
Location: Lakewood, Colorado. Bear Creek Lake Park. Mt. Carbon Loop
Hike Start Time: 1:30 PM
Condition: Warm, Sunny
Total Miles: 69.0

As the world changes around us, and we all start to adjust and figure out what the new normal is going to be, it's important to find a way to experience the things you love, while being safe with the people you love.  The weather's getting warmer, and we live in one of the most beautiful places in the world, and we decided to do a little research about how we could get outside today.

Saturday, May 16, 2020

Hike #13: Full Moon Hike at Chautaqua.

Date: April 7th, 2020
Hike Distance: 2.2 Miles
Location: Boulder, Colorado. Chautaqua Park
Hike Start Time: 9:01 PM
Condition: Cool, Clear, Mild Wind
Total Miles: 61.78

What a crazy Couple of Months.  The irony that my activity that I used to get away from people, became an activity that I couldn't do.......because I had to keep away from people was not lost on me.  I hope everyone's feeling good, and is taking care of their family and being safe in whatever things they are doing. 

Monday, March 16, 2020

Hike #12; Social distancing at it's best. Betasso Preserve

Date: March 14th, 2020
Hike Distance: 7.8 Miles
Location: Boulder, Colorado. Betasso Preserve
Hike Start Time: 8:30 AM
Condition: Cool, Foggy
Total Miles: 59.58

Earworms of the Day
Oddly, None that I can remember

The world is getting crazy right now.  There might be a time very soon where we're not allowed to go outside, so I knew I needed to get outdoors and enjoy a hike while I still could.  I decided to invite people with me on this one, because of all the stress and anxiety people have been experiencing.  I chose Betasso Preserve for a few reasons.  In the summer, this trail is super busy, and is a very popular mountain Biking trail.  I figured by getting out here early in the season I could avoid crowds, which is super important right now.  Also, Saturday Mornings are closed to Mountain bikes, so I wouldn't have that to contend with.

A couple friends that wanted to come with me, convinced me to start the hike a little later, and we were good to go.  On the way up Boulder Canyon the weather kept getting a little snowier and foggier.  It wasn't too cold though, so I was getting excited.

Sunday, March 8, 2020

Hike #11: Foxes, and Turkeys, and Deer. Oh My! Heil Valley Ranch

Date: March 7th, 2020
Hike Distance: 10.0 Miles
Location: Boulder, Colorado. Heil Valley Ranch Park
Hike Start Time: 7:00 AM
Condition: Warm, Cloudy, NICE!
Total Miles: 51.78

Earworms of the Day
Black Dog-Led Zepplin
Proud Mary- CCR
Seasons of Love- Rent Soundtrack

I've been working hard at hiking every weekend, and my distances have been slowly ramping up, so I decided that I was going to find a longer distance one to tackle this weekend.  The weather said it was going to be almost 70 degrees out and I had nothing planned until the afternoon, so I started to research longer hikes around Boulder.

There are a ton of really good 3-5 mile hikes and I could probably have strung them together to make a longer hike, but I was really looking for a bigger out and back or loop to do in one go.  As I have a bunch of people joining me sometimes, it's good to have a bunch of smaller hikes ready to go.  Also, it allows those for occasions that I don't have as much time to hike.  So I looked for longer treks.  There were a lot of them, but considering how early in the season I'm getting out, most of them were closed because of mud conditions, or they had a bunch of ice and I haven't gotten around to getting any spikes yet.

Monday, March 2, 2020

Hike #10: Ice Ice Baby, Mesa Trail, upper Bluestem, Towhee Trails

Date: March 1st, 2020
Hike Distance: 4.8 Miles
Location: Boulder, Colorado. Mesa, Upper Bluestem, Towhee Trails
Hike Start Time: 6:50 AM
Condition: Cold, Overcast, light wind.
Total Miles: 41.78

"To appreciate the beauty of a snowflake it is necessary to stand out in the cold."
- Aristotle

I stayed up WAY too late the night before this hike.  I had a lot of my projects that I usually do in the evenings that I procrastinated and so I was up pretty late.  To compound that, I had my Dungeons & Dragons group coming over at 10:00AM to play.  Part of my late night cram session was preparing the next section of their adventure for them.  Coincidentally, they were storming a Frost Giant Lair.

We have had some snow in the last couple weeks and the temperatures hadn't really warmed up afterwards so I knew I couldn't do anything too steep or anything up in the mountains, so I settled upon some of the trails that hug the front of the flatirons in Boulder.  My alarm didn't go off, so luckily my wife woke me up and asked if I was still going.  I got dressed super quick, filled a bottle with some apple juice and grabbed a couple donuts to eat on the way to the Trail

Sunday, March 1, 2020

HIke #9 with an asterisk. When does a walk become a hike?: Pella Crossing

Date: February 29th, 2020
Hike Distance: 3.2 Miles
Location: Hygiene, Colorado. Pella Crossing, and Mill Ditch Loop
Hike Start Time:3:00PM
Condition: Cool, Clear
Total Miles: 36.98

" It’s your road, and yours alone. Others may walk it with you, but no one can walk it for you.” – Rumi

I feel a little like I'm deceiving my adoring fans by labeling this entry as a "hike"  It was an enjoyable walk, but I don't think hike can be applied to the excursion.  Hiking is generally defined as gaining in elevation during the journey, and walking stays on a relatively flat surface.  This one was definitely flat.

It was a bonus trip though this week because I got done with my morning obligations earlier than I expected, so I thought I'd get in an extra outdoor hike with the girls.  I got home and convinced them to get out of their pajamas and come with me.  I looked on All Trails and in my book for some places to go.  A lot of the ones I thought would be a good distance for the time of day, were reported to be icy, so My wife found a  location that circled some old quarry lakes and looked to be easy enough to complete before sundown.

Sunday, February 23, 2020

Hike #8: Cove to Lake to Cove, La Quinta and Lake Cahuilla

Date: February 22nd, 2020
Hike Distance: 6.6 Miles
Location: La Quinta, California.  Cove to Lake trail
Hike Start Time: 7:00 AM
Condition: Clear, Sunny, warm
Total Miles: 33.78

I think the American West really attracts me because it's romantic. the desert, the empty space, the drama
-Ang Lee

Once again, this posting will come in a day after the hike occurred.  I'm writing it on the same evening, but I just finished publishing the ladder canyon report after the blogger app debacle, so I"m saving a post for tomorrow night.

I was excited to go hiking for two days in a row.  that never happens with my schedule back in Colorado, but since I was on vacation, I figured I should go for it.  Originally my wife said she would go with me.  The plan was to leave the munchkin at the condo with Grandma and go together.  It became apparent though, that she had no desire to go with me, but was instead concerned about me hiking alone in the desert.  I appreciate the thoughtfulness, but I relieved her of the responsibility.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

hike #7; chutes and ladders. Ladder Canyon, Mecca California

Date: February 21st, 2020
Location: Ladder Canyon, Mecca California
Distance: 4.88 Miles
Condition: Clear, sunny, Warm, Nice Breeze
Total Miles: 27.18

If you say you're going to jump the Grand Canyon, You can't jump a different canyon
-Evel Knievel

 First of all, sorry for the late post.  I've been trying to get my trail postings up the evening that I go, but last night there was a problem.  I didn't bring a laptop on this trip, and last night attempted to write the post using the Blogger app.  I learned the hard way that the app doesn't save your progress as you're writing.  I spent two hours writing using the little keyboard on my phone, and went to push the publish button, and the app crashed.  Everything gone, no save at all besides the title of the post.  I'm going to look on the bright side and assume that it'll be even better the second time I write it, but I am a little salty regardless.  I'm borrowing my SIL's computer to hopefully not have a repeat disaster, so here we go.

Sunday, February 16, 2020

Hike #6: Where the Sidewalk Ends, Snowshoeing Naylor Lake

Date: February 16th,  2020
Hike Distance: ~3.4 Miles
Location: Guanella Pass, Georgetown, Naylor Lake
Start Time:8:00AM
Weather: Overcast and Windy.  Light Snow
Total Miles: 22.3

When life gives you Snow, go Snowshoeing.

For the last couple of years all of the brother and sisters in law in my family have done a gift exchange in one form or another.  We did secret santa for a couple years, and this year decided to do a White Elephant Exchange.  It was supposed to be actually good things and the theme was "Colorado" so everything was supposed to be Colorado based.  I put a pub pass that got free beers at twenty breweries and my present that I got came from my Brother in law and was a snowshoeing or X-country skiing adventure.