Thursday, August 15, 2019

trail angel

We had been wanting to supply some trail magic ever since we finished the Colorado Trail last year, and we took the opportunity to do that as well as help out Amanda and Connilee this past weekend.

And we got to introduce Moose to van life.

First stop was the fitness course behind the Leadville campus of the Colorado Mountain College.  A favorite of the dogs.

Then a few of the Leadville staples.

We had to pick up Amanda's vehicle at the Timberline Lake trail head, which was located near mile 87ish of the bike race.  Watched the race for about an hour and was lucky enough to catch a few of the COS locals.  Fun, but it did not light any fires inside me to make me think about doing such a thing again.

Saw a few hikers at this trail head and provided them with beer and snacks.  They were very greatful.

Next we set up camp at Twin Lakes while we waited for A&C to show up.  $100 cooked them a good dinner and we had a few beverages ready for them.

On Sunday morning after those two took off we took the dogs for a hike on the CO trail.  The signs brought back a lot of memories!

Then it was off to Winfield, where we would spend the night.  We set up our trail angel station at this sign.

Saw about a dozen hikers that day.  Lots of beers and soda, lots of candy bars, lots of water fill ups, and even some bacon when the rain allowed us to fire up the stove.  Loved chatting with all the hikers, hearing their trail stories.  Later that evening $100 and found ourselves talking about some of our future goals - the PCT and the AT.

A&C ended up crashing at Winfield due to the shitty weather.  But we all had fun hanging out.  Even the dogs.

On Monday A&C headed out super early to make it to Cottonwood Pass, where we would meet them.  After breaking camp and making the drive to the Pass, I took Moose for a good four mile hike south towards Monarch Pass.  That dog never tires out.

Saw a bunch more hikers and they were all glad for some brews.  Even saw Kircher as he was doing some crazy multi day bike ride that included Cottonwood Pass.

To end things we got in a new brewery on the way home. Funky Town in Florissant.

I was hoping to get in a bit of running over the weekend, but with the dogs and bullshitting with so many hikers that never happened.  Did spend quite a bit of time over 10000 feet, so at least there's that.  For the week:

run - 31 miles
bike - 32 miles
hike - 22 miles
CityRock - four climbs

Friday, August 09, 2019

incline 21

Got after it a bit after work on the incline and was rewarded with a 28:46.  I claim 28:30 as my PR but that was done so long ago that I remember using a timex ironman and I would just eyeball the time at the bottom and top and hope my math was correct, so it's quite possible that this is my fastest time ever.  My previous best for this strava segment, first step to last, was 30:30 back in May of 2017.

bike commute 48

Tues - run commute 49.  4.2 miles to work, 5.6 miles home.  CityRock 89 at lunch.

Wed - had to take the van over to Wayfarer world HQ to get a rooftop fan installed.  Then rode 2.7 miles from there to the office, and 2.7 miles back after work.  Then rode an hour in Red Rock Canyon before dropping by Trails End.  And CityRock 90 at lunch.

Thurs - run commute 50.  4.1 miles to work, 4.2 back home.  When I started the year I set a goal of 50 run and 50 bike commutes, and it looks like I'll get there for both.  CityRock 91 at lunch, and then later that evening $100 and I went back for some more climbing.

Fri - bike commute 48.  4.2 miles to work.  CityRock 92 at lunch.

We are headed over to Chaffee County this weekend to hang around the Colorado Trail.  Some friends are running from Twin Lakes to Cottonwood Pass and we will be tracking them while helping out any other hungry/thirsty hikers.  Should be made even more interesting as we'll have two dogs, or one dog and a Moose.

Wednesday, August 07, 2019

South Boundary

Solid long weekend living out of our van!

We left Thursday after work and headed to Oil Well Flats, making our usual stop at Florence Brewing.

On Friday I got in a good hour run before we headed south towards Taos.  Took the scenic way, passing by Bishop Castle and driving through Colorado City before dropping by Cold Beer, New Mexico.

While at Cold Beer we were chatting with another van lifer and he filled us in on the brewery scene between CB and Taos.  We stopped at Blu Dragonfly in Cimarron, Comanche Creek Brewing in Eagle Nest, and Enchanted Circle in Angel Fire.  Good times!

Saturday was the ride.  40 miles from Angel Fire to Taos.  I didn't think I would have any issues with a 40 mile ride but this route handed me my ass.  The climbing over the first 18 or so miles took a lot out of me, and then the second half descent was a lot more technical than I was expecting and it crushed me.  Finished in 5:33, which isn't a disaster, but as I said it was a lot harder than I was planning on.  I could do better though, and if I go back next year the goal will be to go sub five.

Relive 'South Boundary'

After some post ride brews, we headed out to our campsite.  Took some time at the Rio Grande Gorge bridge first.       

We also checked out the earthship place.  Pretty cool stuff there.

We parked the van at a place called Hotel Luna Mystica.  The joint has a bunch of renovated airstreams available to rent, plus they have a ton of open space to pitch a tent or park a van.  Oh yeah, they are also less than 100 feet from the Taos Mesa Brewing mothership!  Needless to say a good time was had Saturday night.

Up and early Sunday for a nice, easy dog hike before breakfast at the Taos Diner, then it was off to check out the Sand Dunes.  The Dunes are one of the very few dog friendly national parks, and we had a great hike with the pup through the still flowing river at the base of the Dunes.  Then it was off to Alamosa for dinner at San Luis Valley Brewing, followed by desert at Square Peg.

After Alamosa we went back east and got our campsite at Zapata Falls.  Another good hike up to the water and then we retired to the van due to a storm coming in.

On Monday I did a good hour run on the steep stuff above Zapata Falls, and we started the trek home.  Dropping by Soulcraft to break up the drive.  The dog was done.

Awesome trip capping off an awesome week.  The numbers for the week:

run - 30 miles
ride - 87 miles
hike - 16 miles
Two trips to CityRock

Tuesday, July 30, 2019

run commute 47

Thurs - easy day, 75 minute dog hike in the morning and CityRock 86 at lunch.

Fri - 70 minute AM dog hike.  Friday was the first night of Tedeschi Trucks at Red Rocks, and that show friggin' rocked!

Sat - despite the hangover and late night, I somehow managed a really good 8.5 mile run on the Garden trails before heading back up for night two of TTB.  Such a fantastic two night run by those guys!

Low numbers for the week due to life getting in the way.

Run - 23 miles
Bike - 22.5 miles
Hike - 23 miles
Two trips to CityRock

Sun - rode the Mariachi up to Pikes Peak Brewing.  On the way back I saw Amanda out riding and we headed over to Red Leg.  42 miles on that ride, then another five over to Fossil after a few beers.

Mon - run commute 46.  5.3 miles to work, 4.1 miles back home.  CityRock 87 at lunch.

Tues - run commute 47.  Five miles to work with some two on/two off thrown in for good measure.

Thursday, July 25, 2019

Carpenter Peak

Had to head up to Denver for work on Wednesday and on the way home I dropped by Roxborough State Park to run up and down Carpenter Peak.  Ran pretty hard on the way up and broke 32 minutes, by far my fastest ever.  If I lived in the area I'd shoot for sub 30.

Relive 'Carpenter Peak'


Living The Dream on the way home.  They have a tasty hazy IPA, called Aloha from Colorado, on tap right now. 

From the recent Summer Roundup:

Tuesday, July 23, 2019


We had the Wayfarer Van weekend on the docket and we decided to leave Thursday after work.  Stopped in at Florence Brewing before heading over to the Royal Gorge for the night.  Our area was experiencing a pretty decent heatwave and Canon City was not spared.  It was hot that night, and hot again the next day.  I got in an early morning run up Fremont Peak, then hiked the dog on the Gorge trails while $100 went for a bike ride.

Then it was off to Salida.  Lunch at Moonlight, then a stop at Woods, then out to the Hutchinson Ranch halfway between Salida and Poncha Springs.  Early enough to snag a nice shaded spot to spend the weekend. 

Most of the vans were pretty much the same setup.  I think most folks who get the Wayfarer kit do so for the simplicity, and adding anything takes away from that.  But we met a ton of great folks from all over the country, all using their vans for different purposes.

I did get out for a good ride on Saturday.  Rode up 175 out of Salida and returned via Cottonwood, Sweet Dreams, and Chicken Dinner.  Wanted to do more, but I could see weather moving in, and sure enough not five minutes after I ended my ride at Elevation Brewing it started pouring.  Got in just over 29 miles.

Relive 'Salida'

Kieren if you can find me one of these stickers I will pay you back and buy you a beer:

Up fairly early on Sunday so I could hike the dog while $100 rode.  Dog and I did five miles on the Salida singletrack, and she was pretty tired when we ended the hike at Woods.

 Fantastic weekend!  We haven't taken the van out much since we got her, but that will change soon.  

Thursday, July 18, 2019


Wed - had to go to Canon City for work.  Colorado Territorial Prison to be precise.  This facility sits on highway 50, between the heavily trafficked highway and Skyline Drive.  But make no mistake, there are some actual bad hombres housed there.  Murderers, rapists, arsonists.  And yeah, I got to go in there and talk to a bunch of 'em about what to do when they get released.  Good stuff.  Luckily that didn't last the whole day and I got to hit up Section 13 for an 80 minute run in what felt like 500 degree heat.

Wednesday evening $100 and I went to see Camper Van Beethoven and Cracker at the new Lulu's Downstairs.  Great show and I love the new venue.  Hopefully they can stay open and bring some better live music to our village.  Walking distance from the house as well.

Thurs - not much sleep last night so I took the dog out for 80 minutes and bummed around the house drinking coffee.  Rode straight to work, bike commute 46, and had a lackluster CityRock lunch. 

We are heading to Chaffee County this weekend for the Wayfarer Van shindig.  Should be a good time.  Royal Gorge tonight, then Salida tomorrow afternoon.

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

run commute 44

Monday - body was pretty beat up from the weekend so I took an easy day.  Long morning hike with the dog, then bike commute 45, straight to and from work, and CityRock 82 at lunch.  Later that evening $100 and I and a bunch of friends hit up the Rocky Mountain Vibes game.

Tues - run commute 44.  Five miles to work in 41 minutes.  Good session at CityRock over lunch.

Sunday, July 14, 2019

weekend update

Fri - incline number 20 with $100.  Straight up and straight back down.

Sat - drove up to Devils Playground on Pikes with my buddy Austin.  Playground to the top, then down Barr Trail to the two mile sign, then back to the car by the same way we came.  Good couple of hours at altitude.

Relive 'Devils Playground/Two Mile Sign'


After the run $100 and I headed down to Blues Under The Bridge.  Great event.  Of course we were there for  family favorite Tab Benoit, but we caught Selwyn Birchwood and really loved him.  Nikki Hill was no slouch either.  And of course Tab crushed his set.

Somehow I still got up early on Sunday for the Summer Roundup.  Wasn't expecting much and only went because the race is part of the local triple crown.  Not my best race ever and I didn't have much over the second half of the course, but it wasn't the disaster I was expecting and I got in a decent workout.  Rallied over the final 1.5 miles to break two hours.

Relive 'Summer Roundup'


For the runners out there here's a pic of my friend Lauren showing off her gross knee.  Her kid ran into her at the wrong angle and this was the result.

Thursday, July 11, 2019

run commute 43

Wed - 6.2 miles to work through Sondermann with some three minutes on/two minutes off work.  Four miles back home after work.

Our microsoft computers at work always throw up some nice photo when they go to sleep.  It's usually beautiful locations from around the world, rarely the USA.  But on Tuesday it was my back yard.

Thurs - on our morning dog hike we saw another bear!  Right on the path we take to get to the Garden from Rock Ledge Ranch.  We observed from a distance for a bit and when it seemed like he wasn't going to move we decided to take a different route. 

Tuesday, July 09, 2019

run commute 42

Sun - 2.5 hour mountain bike ride in Red Rock Canyon and Section 16.  Very slow.

Mon - super beat up so took it easy today.  Bike commute 43, straight to and from work.  CityRock 79 for some easy climbing.

Tues - run commute 42.  Five miles to work, slowed down by this guy getting in my way:

No trail etiquette whatsoever.  Dude was all like, "You got a problem?  Come at me bro!"  First bear sighting of the year for me.

Monday, July 08, 2019

week in review

Great week.  Had been building consistency without doing much long stuff, this week I got in both a ride and a run that were over six hours with some climbing and high elevation. 

run - 47 miles/11 hours
bike - 54 miles/8.5 hours
hike - 24 miles/9 hours
CityRock - two trips