Forgive the vast number of pictures, and they will keep coming, because I have so many. Did a mini vacation in Colorado, and LOVED it there. We left late thursday afternoon, so we had dinner thursday-lunch Monday. So, we got 3 full days with no air travel. We spent it in Rocky Mt national park and Boulder. I loved Boulder. You cannot really go wrong with a town where many folks move there to do outdoor things. They had the best hike and bike I had ever seen.
The real highlight of the trip was summiting my first peak. We went up Mt Chapin at 12, 454 feet. I am sure my Colorado friends, and friends who have done mountain ultras think it is quite wimpy, but I have never done a mountain race, and I had never “summited” a peak before, where you actually are taking baby steps up loose rocks above tree line. I see the addiction: 360 views are unmatched. And, when to think I got there under the power of my own 2 feet is awesome. Mike wanted to divorce me for a short time on this hike (the description said “for those seeking a true alpine experience, the chance to summit 3 peaks in one hike”). We didn’t make all 3, because even with the camelbak, we did not have enough water, and I am not quite at the point of carrying iodine tablets. We hit the Alpine visitor center afterwards (still at 12000 ft), and felt a strange sense of, dare I say hiking snobbery. Yeah, y’all are enjoy this view you got to in your car, but I just saw a better one, and got there with my own feet (and a very sore butt from taking baby steps up a mountain side). By day 3, we were seeing most the park from a car, as 2 days of non-stop hiking and running meant a driving day with the only walking to scenic vistas sounded great.
anyhow, there is so much to write about, I’ll just summarize some other key points:
-Global warming is very real. The nasty little pine beetle has flourished without a cold winter in the last few years. Their larvae kill the pines, and we went past entire mountains covered in only brown, dead trees. Very sad.
-People are stupid (no revelation really), despite signs everywhere about not feeding the wildlife, and full narrative about human food makes them lose their natural feeding instincts, turning them into nuisances, thus leading to them being put down, I’d be a millionaire if I had a dollar for every time I saw someone feeding a critter a cheeto.
-Estes park kinda sucks. it was touristy and tacky. Luckily our cabin was outside of Estes proper, and it was terrific. Jacuzzis on balconies over rivers are pretty cool.
-I can run at 7000 + feet without problems. Leadville here I come!
-I freakin‘ love the mountains. I LOVED running every am and seeing the sun come up over the mountains. I only did road runs, but the scenery was incredible. I saw elk, a wild turkey family (those babies are cute!), deer, and lots of little chipmunks.
-the wildflowers were out of control. I took a picture every time I saw a different one. there were so many. My favorite turned out to be a Columbine.