Friday, April 16, 2021
Monday, April 12, 2021
Fantastic time over the weekend with the CMC alpine climbing school folks.
A few beers at Fossil on Friday, dog park and a run up to No Name Creek early Saturday, then I made a solo trip in the van up to Hoosier Pass.
Set off to hike North Star Mountain at 6AM on Sunday. Awesome hike. Not something I'd normally do this time of year, as there was still a lot of snow, but the day went well. Straight there on the way out, then on the way back we took a detour to do some legit (for me) snow climbing. We weren't roped up and there were a few points where a fall would have been fatal, but the snow was solid and I didn't find myself fighting off panic like I often do while rock climbing. Great mountain views and travel all day long. Eight miles on the day. I'll definitely return here in the summer to run/scramble this route.
South Park Saloon for the apres. Love that place.
Some random pics of the day, mostly stolen from some classmates:
Friday, April 09, 2021
Mon - early morning run through Red Rock Canyon, ride on the COVID loop at lunch, Red and Iron Mountains in the PM. Going to start adding Iron to the run on Monday evenings now that spring is kinda somewhat here.
Tues - bike commute 26. Ten there, eleven back. CityRock at lunch.
Wed - the rare zero day. No pack to hike the dog, no running or riding or climbing. Could tell my body was trying to fight off some minor non-COVID crud thing, so I rested as much as possible.
Thurs - run commute 23. 5.2 there in 47 minutes, 5.5 back through Sondermann in 55 flat.
Fri - bike commute 27. Miserable ten miles to work. Looked nice outside, and I dressed for that, but it was cold and windy. Ugh. Decent CityRock session at lunch.
Heading back out in the van this weekend, up to Hoosier Pass. Doing my CMC snow ridge climb on Sunday. North Star Mountain. At 13,614 feet above sea level she is the 187th tallest peak in the state. Still significant snow up high, though it is melting quickly and this is a peak that minimizes the kind of dangers you can deal with on winter climbs. Pretty excited for this.
Tuesday, April 06, 2021
Fantastic weekend up north.
Up early on Saturday to meet the CMC peeps. Had a big training day - snow travel, self arrest, snow climbing. All new stuff to me and I had a lot of fun.
We do our first trip this weekend and I'm looking forward to it. North Star Peak, a low 13er near Hoosier Pass still covered in snow.
After the training we headed to Idaho Springs for beers and burgers at Westbound & Down. Solid IPA. Then we headed up the Mt. Evans road, spending the night at a lot across the street from the Echo Lake Lodge. Two nights in a row sleeping above 10k feet.
On Sunday we headed back to Idaho Springs, allowing $100 a few hours to fish Clear Creek while the dog and I explored town. Then we decided to drive back the long way, heading over to Broken Compass Brewing in Breck.
Thursday, April 01, 2021
Wednesday, March 24, 2021
In another week I will have officially been playing guitar for one year.
I have always been a huge fan of the instrument, chasing the sound at live shows ever since high school. I always thought it would be cool to play. But that was always followed by "I wish I had started playing in high school." Or college. Or when I moved to Austin, the live music capital of the world. Always sometime long ago.
As COVID hit and I slowly realized things were going to change for a bit, I thought it might be a good time to pick up a new habit rather than just increase my booze intake.
The goal had always been to play a Fender Strat. I had a crappy $30 Suzuki left over from who knows where in the basement, and I made a deal with $100 - if I could play 30 minutes a day, five days a week, for a year, I'd get the green light to buy a cheap-ish electric guitar setup.
I kept that schedule, playing for half an hour in the morning after the dog walk. Super basic stuff from the Fender Play app. Struggling with cord changes. Kinda sorta playing Louie Louie and Bad Moon Rising. Quite often I'd get in another practice session at night before bed. After a month of this I walked in to Moondog Music, located in the same building as Benny's, and signed up for weekly lessons.
Through some creative loopholes, the wife allowed me to upgrade the acoustic guitar long before the year mark. I was the proud owner of a beautiful Seagull Entourage. A fantastic guitar that I have loved playing these past few months, though at $550 it's way more expensive than I deserve at this point.
About a month ago it became clear that, for better or for worse, this wasn't a habit that was going to go away anytime soon. So I started talking to a few guitar playing friends and searching around the interwebs. I wanted to keep the total price for guitar and amp below $1500, which is a bit much for a rookie in his mid-40s but is still fairly affordable once you go down the guitar prices rabbit hole.
And boom, there she was. Exactly what I wanted, but used. Same with the amp. A Fender Player Stratocaster and a Fender Champion 50XL amp. $806 after taxes and shipping to the local guitar center.
So I'm pretty excited to tear into this thing. I can even kinda/sorta play a Hendrix tune - Hey Joe, though my solo would be a bit less than Jimi would offer up.
Tuesday, March 23, 2021
Completed the CMC land nav course on Saturday. I used to be good at using a map and compass, I helped guide General Washington across the Delaware River back in my Army days, but I hadn't really done any of that stuff since then. It's just too easy to pull out your phone nowadays. But it was good to get out there for a little refresher. Buff Creek had a ton of snow, and I assume they got a ton more since I was there. Up next in the CMC alpine climbing school is snow travel, including a trip to St. Mary's Glacier in a few weeks.
We had planned on staying the night up there, but the place was just a mess of snow and mud, and with freezing temps on the way we were afraid we'd get the van stuck. So we bolted back home and hit Fossil Brewing.
Decent run on Sunday around my COVID loop. 13.7 miles in 2:09, coming right after a 90 minute loaded dog hike. Warm and sunny for the run but you could see the weather moving in.
Monday morning was devoted to snow removal. Probably had seven to eight inches in the yard. Did get up Red Mountain in the evening, followed by Manitou Brewing.
Tues - bike commute 22. My biking is pretty much dead right now due to the sloppy conditions on the trails. But hopefully soon I'll be taking Cheyenne Canon or Red Rock Canyon on the return home commute.
Haven't posted a pic of my dog in a while, so here you go:
Friday, March 19, 2021
I did get in a good run on Saturday in lieu of the Salida marathon, but since then I haven't done much. Ice and snow, shitty weather, some stuff for the CMC alpine climbing class I'm taking, and, of course, just being fairly lazy has made this a pretty low mileage week.
Good dog hike on Monday in Salida, and another good walk in Florence on the way home.
Tues - bike commute 19. Through Sondermann there, straight back home. CityRock 31 at lunch. Renewed my annual pass at the climbing gym today. I was still feeling a slight hangover when I went to bed.
Wed - run commute 19. Not too bad there, as I hit miles two, three, and four in 7:11, 7:02, and 7:55, despite having a fairly heavy pack on. Five miles there, 5.6 back through Sondermann.
Thurs - another quick bike commute and CityRock day.
Fri - bike commute 21 and a decent climb at lunch.
We are headed up to the Buffalo Creek area this weekend. I'll finish up the land nav portion of my current CMC class while $100 and the dog hang out. We'll have to get back early on Sunday as we are expecting another significant snowfall.
Tuesday, March 16, 2021
Bummed to miss the race but we still had a great weekend down in Salida. I got a good 90 minute run in on Saturday morning, and lots of good dog hikes in, but the bulk of the weekend was spent either at Tres Litros or Benson's, with a little Moonlight and Wood's thrown in for good measure. It's going to take my liver a few days to dry out. The hazy IPA at 3L is dangerously good.
The weather in Salida was fine until Saturday evening, though lots of other parts of Colorado were getting some major snow. More snow coming this evening, and possibly some heavier stuff early next week. I'm ready for Spring.