Tuesday, May 11, 2021

Winter Park

Had the day off on Friday, and I got in a good two hour run in Red Rock Canyon before leaving for Winter Park.  Solo trip for me as $100 got stuck with some work crap.

Good day up in WP.  The last training class for the alpine climbing school.  Some more self arrest practice and lots of snow anchor building.  Good stuff.  Two more trips for ACS.  A couloir climb set for May 22, and then a lesser known route up Longs Peak in June.  The two day trek will include snow, ice, and rock climbing.  

After the field day I headed over to Lyons to meet up with the annual brewery bike trip.  Long drive back home on Sunday afternoon as I visited Rocky Mountain National Park and quite a few breweries.  

Mon - more winter weather.  Which meant no incline reservation needed as the parks department wouldn't be leaving their fancy office.  So I got in all 2700+ steps straight up and straight down.

Tues - an inch of snow in the front yard this morning.  Bike commute 36 on the fatty.

Wednesday, May 05, 2021

trouser snake

 Forgot to post this guy, whom I saw on my long run on Sunday.  Snake season is here again.  Yay.

Mon - it rained pretty much 24 hours straight, very rare for us here in CO.  First time I bailed on an early morning dog hike for weather in a long time.  Got the pooch out later, and in the evening I ran an easy ten miler on the Garden roads.  Little bit of snow up high.

Tues - bike commute 34.  Eleven miles to work, four back home.  Had the last of the video lectures for my alpine climbing school.  This weekend I'll be in Winter Park practicing some snow movement.  We have two trips left with the class: a couloir climb, and the high peak grad climb.  The grad climb looks like it will be a two day difficult route up Longs.

Wed - run commute 30.  6.5 miles there in an hour.  6.3 miles back home through Sondermann, including 12 hill repeats.

Monday, May 03, 2021

clear creek canyon

                     

Early drive on Saturday to join my CMC ACS peeps for a crag day at the East Colfax area of Clear Creek Canyon, about 15 miles west of Golden.  Great place and loved climbing all day.  I'm getting much more comfortable on the rock, learning to trust the equipment and not freaking out about heights quite so much.  Not getting ahead of myself in thinking I'm an outdoor badass though, there were guys highlining the canyon while we were climbing.  Might have been 700+ feet above us.


Some other pics from the day:





Cannonball Creek Brewing for the apres.  Also hit Mountain Toad Brewing before heading back to the Springs.

                            

Good three hour long run on Sunday.  Red Rock Canyon, Section 16, Stephanie's, and back through RRC.  Just over 15 miles.  $100, James, Melissa, and I went back to RRC at noon to try to get some more climbing in, but it started pouring before we could get going.  So we bailed to Fossil instead.

For the week:

run - 47 miles/9 hours

ride - 78 miles/7.5 hours

hike - 18.5 miles/8 hours

Thursday, April 29, 2021

castlewood

Sat/Sun - Castlewood Canyon State Park for the rock climbing portion of alpine climbing school.  More rapelling than climbing with lots of anchor building thrown in.  Great weekend, learned a ton.  


Mon - two hour ride in the AM.  Then in the evening I headed up the Incline to Rocky Mountain, my first summit of that hill in a while.  Back down Barr Trail.  8.3 miles in 2:17.  High Ground IPA at Manitou Brewing afterwards.

Tues - bike commute 32.  10.8 miles there.  Did the longer loop home, and got chased by a thunderstorm.  I took shelter at Marc and Amanda's (more importantly, Moose and Millie's) and after two minutes the sun was out.  18.4 miles in 100 minutes.  CityRock 48 at lunch.

Wed - run commute 28.  6.5 miles in an hour there, six flat in 67 minutes home, including eight hill repeats in Sondermann.

Thurs - run commute 29.  6.6 miles in an hour there.  Four miles easy back home.  Good gym climb at lunch.

Friday, April 23, 2021

bike commute 31

Wed - run commute 26.  5.2 there in 49:33.  Had to do some 15 second hill repeats on the way home, and there is a perfect hill for it in Sondermann.  Eight of them.  Can't remember the last time I did hill repeats.  6.2 miles in 68 minutes.  CityRock at lunch, I think I've now done enough of them to say I'm a legit 5.9 indoor climber.  Which would make me a legit 5.5 climber outdoors.

Thurs - Bit longer to work.  Eight miles in 75 minutes.  CityRock 46 at lunch.  Easy four miles back home so I could have some time to play guitar before my weekly lesson.

Fri - bike commute 31.  10.7 miles to work on the COVID loop.  Finally some decent weather.  Saw a pack of coyotes over at the new retention pond at the Garden.  Good bouldering session at lunch.

Spending the weekend at Castlewood Canyon, a state park located between COS and Denver.  Doing some climbing and working on anchors with the CMC.  More good weather on the way, I'm pretty psyched to get on some outdoor rock again.

Wednesday, April 21, 2021

canon/incline

Sunday - I had not run over in Cheyenne Canon in a long time.  I needed to find a hill that would take me 45 minutes to climb, and even with the recent snow I figured the Canon road climb to the top of High Drive would do the trick.  One mile warm up, then ran as hard as I could up the hill.  Struggled and suffered, but got to the top in 43:14.  4.2 miles and just over 1500 feet of elevation gain.  I used to break 40 for this run, but I also used to be a lot younger.  This was a heart rate test, and I averaged 158 beats per minute.  

Mon - an early work day messed up my schedule, but I got in bike commute 30.  3.7 miles there, eleven back home.  Manitou in the evening and I was planning on running up Barr to the top of the W's.  But when I got to the base of the Incline it was raining pretty good, and I knew the parks department employee wouldn't dare come out of his office in such weather.  So I did the Incline instead.  35 minutes up.  Straight up and straight down, followed by some High Ground IPA at Manitou Brewing.  I might start doing this on Monday evenings as there is a bail trail near the base that can get you around needing a stupid reservation.

Tues - I knew when I went to bed on Monday that I might need a rest day as it had been a while since my last incline.  Which made bailing when the temp was 18F on Tuesday very easy.  Short hike with the dog and then I jumped on the bus.  Did get in a good session at CityRock for lunch.

Sunday, April 18, 2021

the week that was...

Still got out there even though the reappearance of winter sapped some motivation.  Good two hour/13.7 mile run on my COVID loop on Saturday to end the week.  

20 weeks until The Rut, going to start looking to get in shape for that.  I actually bought a plan from the guys at Uphill Athlete last year and never used it after the race was cancelled, but I’ll look to put some of those workouts into my week. 

Chilled around the house this weekend.  I think it’s the last weekend until June that I’ll be here.  Between the CMC class and a trip to The Villages to see the in-laws, lots of travel on the docket.  We are debating between Taos and Fruita for Memorial Day weekend.

For the week:

run - 37 miles/6.5 hours

ride - 55 miles/5.5 hours

hike - 22.7 miles/8.5 hours

Friday, April 16, 2021

ice ice baby

Mon - bike commute 28.  3.7 miles to work (had to work early), then twelve miles back home.  4.2 mile run on the Garden roads in the afternoon before heading to Fossil for the new year of mug club.

Tues - day off from work, got in a 17 mile ride.

Wed - run commute 24.  5.2 there in 49 minutes, shitty run home through Sondermann.  CityRock 42 at lunch.

Thurs - run commute 25.  5.4 miles there, 3.5 miles back.  My climbing partner Amber did the R2R2R over the weekend, so instead of CityRock we hit up the Skirted Heifer for burgers so I could hear about her run.  My weekly guitar lesson was moved to Thursday, luckily the bartender at Benny's works Wed and Thurs.  Currently working on Hide Your Love Away by the Beatles.  Lots of C and F chords.  Struggling, but I never thought I'd even try a song with those chords, so progress is being made.

Fri - bike commute 29.  The bike trails I take were a shitshow after our latest snowstorm.  Got about three inches in my yard, with zero on the streets/sidewalks, so I assumed the bike path would be fine.  I was wrong and I had to walk my bike about three of the ten miles this morning.

Not much going on this weekend.  I haven't spent a weekend at home in a while, and I won't again for a while, so I'll just be chilling around the house.  Probably have to do a long run on the COVID loop as the trails will be messy.  More snow scheduled for Monday.  Yay.

Monday, April 12, 2021

North Star

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

bike commute 27

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

St Mary's

Fantastic weekend up north.

We left Friday afternoon for St. Mary's Glacier.  We checked out Guanella Pass Brewing first, then headed up to the parking lot for the glacier.  Great spot to park the van overnight.  


Also hit Cabin Creek Brewing up.  No shit, this chick tried to sit next to me with that garbage hat on.  I made her move.

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

Red Canyon Park

On Saturday I got in a good 17 miler, just over 2.5 hours, before we decided to head down to Canon City for the night.  Tried out Red Canyon Park, which we hadn't been in a while, and we had a great, lazy evening.


For the week:

run - 46.7 miles/8 hours
ride - 17 miles/2 hours
hike - 22.7 miles/9 hours

I think (hope) we're in the final stages of cold winter weather, so I'll start picking up the bike miles soon.

Made a quick run up to Rails End Brewing on Sunday afternoon to hang out with some old folks.  Shad, Donnie, and GZ.  Always a good time seeing those guys and it needs to happen more often.

Not much going on this week.  Had some bitterly cold mornings.  On Tuesday I swore I was going to lose some fingers and toes on the ride to the office.  It's been freezing in the morning, but super warm in the afternoon.  

We are leaving Friday for St. Mary's Glacier.  My snow travel class is Saturday, the rest of the time we'll just be hanging out.  $100 is going to do some fishing, the dog is going to do some hiking and napping.  Weather is looking fantastic and I'm psyched to get out there.

Marc's annual drunken hobo bike pub crawl is a go for April 16-18.  Colorado Springs to Lyons.  Up to Living The Dream, over to Golden, up to Boulder, then out to Lyons.  Hopefully some of you northern peeps will come out and say hello.

Wednesday, March 24, 2021

new guitar day!

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.