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.

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

Salida weekend

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.

Wednesday, March 10, 2021

my first Salida DNS!

On Tuesday afternoon I finally felt some aftershocks from shot #2.  Just some lethargy.  Being hungover all the time trained me well, but by the end of work I could only manage to bike the quick way back home, watch a movie, and head to bed for a good nine hours of sleep (I usually get seven).  Woke up feeling fine today (Wednesday) though.

Wed - run commute 17.  Five miles to work in 43 minutes.  They are making big progress on the new bridge to the olympic museum, I should be taking that route soon.

Another thing they are making progress on - the new Weldwerks tap house that will be opening by my house.  Perhaps by the end of summer???

The Salida marathon was postponed today, to next week.  I am out of town, so this will be the first year I miss the race.  Hopefully none of the whiney front range trail runners get their decked out Pathfinders dirty on the drive down.  It was too late in the game to cancel the VRBO so we are gonna head down this weekend anyways.  

Tuesday, March 09, 2021


Thurs - run commute 16.  5.4 there in 51 flat, 5.6 home through Sondermann in 69 minutes.  Good climb at lunch.

Fri - bike commute 17.  10.7 miles there.  After work I met $100 at the new Red Swing Brewery in the old Fieldhouse Brewing building.  Later that evening I had the first zoom call of the Colorado Mountain Club Alpine Climbing School.  Looking forward towards getting that rolling.

Sat - Nielsen Challenge slog.  I can tell it had been A LONG time since I tried to race.  The goal was not aggressive, wanting to go sub 13, but I couldn't even get that.  13:05 officially.  Ugh.  Later that day $100 and I did a fantastic bike pub crawl.  Red Leg, Goat Patch, the new Mash Mechanix, the Triple Nickel, and Smiling Toad.  Good times.

The numbers for the week:

run - 34 miles/six hours
ride - 53 miles/5:15
hike - 21 miles/8.5 hours

Sun - bit hungover, but did get out for a nice 27 mile bike ride, heading south on the Santa Fe trail.  4.8 mile run on the Red Rock Canyon trails, ending at Fossil Brewing for my sixth brewery of the weekend.

Mon - easy ride on the COVID loop, 14 miles in 80 minutes.  

Tues - bike commute 18.  10.75 miles to work.  Great day.  And the weather has been fantastic.  Hard to believe we have major snow coming along this weekend.

I received my second COVID vaccine shot on early Monday morning.

Thursday, March 04, 2021


Bailed after work on Friday for Oil Well Flats.  Nice 4.5 mile family run on those trails on Saturday morning.  Didn't think twice about hitting The Owl for breakfast.  Yes, I ordered three double cheeseburgers at 9AM, van life is the best.

Then it was off to Monte Vista.  I had always heard about the sandhill crane migration and that gave us a good excuse to spend a weekend in the Valley.  It was pretty impressive, there were probably at least 10,000 birds just hanging out there.  

Spent Saturday night at the town park in Del Norte.  They are nice enough to allow one night of vehicle camping in their park right by the river.  Luckily it's also a two minute walk to Three Barrel Brewing.

Back home on Sunday, dropping by Moonlight and Tres Litros.  Can't wait to spend a long weekend there for the marathon.  Florence Brewing ended a great weekend trip.

Monday - track.  I've probably been doing only MAF paced stuff for the last 15 months, thought it was maybe time to up the effort a bit.  Alas, the track was still covered in ice and snow.  Still ground out 6 x 400m with 200m RBI.  Untimed, but slow, luckily I can blame that on the conditions.  Red Mountain in the evening, hitting up Manitou Brewing for their seventh anniversary after that run.

Tues - bike commute 16.  Ten there, eleven back.  Spring weather FTW.  Good climb at lunch, once again tackling some 5.9s.  

Wed - run commute 15.  Five there, four back.  Mediocre bouldering session at lunch.  Guitar practice in the evening, working on Neil Young's Harvest Moon.

Friday, February 26, 2021

bike commute 15

Mon - 5.4 miles on the Garden roads in the AM.  Red Mountain in the PM.

Tues - bike commute 14.  Eleven there, eleven back.  CityRock 23 at lunch.  Another 5.9.  Starting to get that grade fairly consistently.

Wed - run commute 13.  Five there, four back.  Some bouldering at lunch.  While at my guitar lesson it started to snow.

Thurs - run commute 14.  This came after taking all morning to dig out of a pretty big snowstorm for us.  We had eight inches at my house.  Thursday nights are now big at our house as we get pizza from Roman Villa, watch the Tedeschi Trucks show, and Andy Frasco is back with his shitshow.

Fri - bike commute 15.  Eleven to work.  Bike path was still a bit sketchy but not too bad.  Everything should melt out this weekend.

Headed down to Canon City in the van tonight.  Tomorrow it's off to the San Luis Valley for the rest of the weekend.