Tuesday, September 30, 2008

mountain lions

This was a recent post on the Incline Club message board:

"Trained yesterday (9/15/08) on the Incline about 6:30 a.m. and met up with a Mountain Lion on the steps. Lion was between my two friends (about 30 yards apart) crossing over the incline. Appeared to be a small juvenile that just wanted out of there."

Hell yeah! Manitou mountain lions are the most fit mountain lions in the world!

get the led out!


Think I was still a little soused from the DIM hash last night, but I still managed to keep the streak of biking to work alive. I'm up to seven days now.

DIM hash

Last night's trail rocked! Hashing in the dark when you can't see through a great park you've never been in is quite the experience.

ACL Festival

Sheesh, did it happen this year? I read tons of Austin blogs and still talk to quite a few A-towners, and nobody but Squeezin' has said much about it.

Monday, September 29, 2008

holy fuck!

Haile Gebrselassie just ran a new world record for the marathon, breaking the tape at the Berlin Marathon in 2:03:59!


After years and years of spiritual training and living a life of chastity, my efforts finally paid off with this. As everyone knows, my two favorite things in the entire world are religion and marriage, so glad I'll be able to officiate over both from now on!

Salida hash #1

Good times down at the Salida hash! A group of Kimchi hashers, two hounds from the soon-to-be-a-hash Mountain Goat H3 (Grand Junction) and a bunch from the Chaffee County Running Club showed up for a nice, short mountain trail set by two Hardrock alumni. Next Salida hash will be the last Sunday in October, details TBA soon. Pics from the day can be seen here.

Friday, September 26, 2008

it's the weekend!


Facing down the end of summer and looking at a long, miserable Colorado winter, I decided against heading out to Moab and instead planned assault on a few more 14ers.

The trip called for leaving Grand Junction around noon on Friday and stopping by Mt. of the Holy Cross. 14ers.com had pegged the round trip at 11.5 miles, which I figured I’d be able to do before the sun set. After that, I’d head out to the Mt. Massive trailhead and car-camp for until the next morning for an attempt at Colorado’s second highest mountain.

Stepped off just after 3:30PM from the Half Moon trailhead on Tigiwon Road. Was running the flatter parts and hiking hard when things got steep. Soon I came to Half Moon pass and ran the next mile or so, which dropped about 1,000 feet down to East Cross Creek. The next mile or so to treeline was steep but I continued to push the pace. I was making great time and didn’t even bother to think about the sun going down.

Above treeline, things became a bit more difficult. It was hard class 2 climbing the rest of the way. Very, very slow, but I continued up at a steady pace. Holy Cross is one of those hikes where you’re really working your ass off but the peak doesn’t seem to be getting any closer.

Eventually, after what seemed like (and may have actually been) hours, I made it to the summit. I was rewarded with a fantastic view of the continental divide. I could see it raining in Leadville, about 30 miles up the road, but the weather was beautiful where I was. I performed my usual ritual: fired up a cigar and popped open a can of Pabst. Sent out a few text messages, then called Katie to say hello.

While on the phone with Katie I actually said, “woah, it’s starting to get dark, I should probably be going.” I then told her I’d call her from Leadville, where I planned to stop for a few beers before heading out to the Mount Massive trailhead.

Heading down off the Peak was even slower than heading up. It was getting dark quickly, and the cairns I followed up the mountain were getting really hard to see. Before I knew it, I had to pull out the headlamp, and that made the cairns impossible to follow, as I couldn’t tell a cairn from a regular rock.

No problem though. I figured I’d just drop straight down to treeline and follow the trees over until I hit the dirt singletrack path I’d hiked in on.

Well, it just wasn’t meant to be. It was pitch black out, and I couldn’t see any of the surrounding mountains or even the mountain I had just climbed. I became disoriented very quickly. I also found myself scrambling down steeper and steeper rocks. It got to the point where had I been forced to head back up, I doubt I could have climbed out.

Shortly after one of my legs fell into a deep hole and I whacked my knee on a rock (I still have a huge bruise there), I took a seat to assess my situation. I had a vague idea of what direction I had to go to get back to the trailhead. I could also hear East Cross Creek way down below me, and I knew that if I could get there I could follow the stream back to the main trail.

However, the portion of the mountain I was on was pretty steep. And my eyesight was limited to the small beam of my headlamp. I was worried that in my rush to the stream I was gonna get myself into a situation that I couldn’t get out of.

So I decided that I was gonna hafta spend the night at treeline (just under 12,000 feet). Luckily for me it wasn’t as cold as it could have been, as I had on BDU pants, a short sleeve cotton shirt, a long sleeve pseudo-technical shirt from Nash Hash-South Dakota, and a thin fleece I got from the Bandera 100K a few years ago. In my Camelbak I had about 1.5 liters of water, a Clif bar, a can of Pabst, four Philly blunts, and, thankfully, a lighter.

Found a semi-level place where some trees and rocks would break the wind. It was probably in the high 30s, not cold enough to freeze to death but more than enough to make life miserable. Even though it had recently rained and all the wood was wet, I eventually got a fire going which made life suck a little less.

I tried to use my cell phone to call Katie and tell her not to worry. No signal. There was, however, 911 access. I was afraid that Katie would worry when I didn’t call her from Pb-ville, so I called 911, reported my situation, and told them not to send search and rescue if anyone called in for me.

The next hour or so was nice. I chilled out next to the small fire, smoked a cigar, and enjoyed my Pabst. Shortly after that life turned pretty shitty. The next six hours would have me curled up in the cannonball position, trying to stay warm. I had built half a fire ring, and used my body as the other half. About every twenty minutes the fire would burn down, and I’d wake up shivering like hell. But as bad as things got, I kept telling myself, “hey, it could be worse, at least it’s not raining.”

The only part of my body I really worried about was my feet. My sneakers had got wet while crossing some snow up high, so I took off my shoes and socks. My dogs were cold! I took my camo boonie cap and wrapped that around my feet, which helped somewhat.

After what seemed like an eternity the sun came up. Trying to get up and walk was an adventure, as my legs were all kindsa cramped up from shivering all night. Took me about half an hour before I could really start moving again.

Fairly anti-climactic from here on. I was probably ¾ of a mile from where I was supposed to be. Once I could see again I saw where I had to go, and about four hours later I was back at the car, enjoying another PBR.

Once I got cell phone reception I called Katie. She said, “how’s Mt. Massive?”

“Shit, you wouldn’t believe what happened to me. You weren’t worried last night when I didn’t call?”

“No,” she replied, “I just figured you got drunk in Leadville and forgot.”

all week long!

Finished up my week of riding to work. Figure I use around 1.5 gallons a day for the commute to and from work, so that saved me 7.5 gallons, roughly 26 bucks at this week's gas prices. If every American who drives to work could cut that out over an entire year, whether through riding a bike, taking the bus, or carpooling, our foreign policy issues might be a little easier to deal with. But we've become a country of fatties, so I don't see that happening. Gonna continue to try to ride once a week through the winter, no small task considering how miserable the winters can be here on the front range. Guessing I rode about 25 times over the past year or so (saving almost 40 gallons - almost three full tanks in my jeep - of gas).

Thursday, September 25, 2008

happy birthday!


I start working at Trinity Brewing tonight! Tonight is just for a few hours to get to know the place but tomorrow I'll be there from 4PM 'till 11PM. Come on over and I'll hawk a big loogie in your beer!

hippie 5K

At the CRC happy hour run last night, I noticed a poster for the Manitou hippie 5k. Starts at 11AM-ish at the corner of Pawnee and Manitou (where the library is). There was no information on entry fees. In fact, the only info besides the date and time were this:

1st place - the barefoot runner with the fastest time
2nd place - the runner with the fastest time
3rd place - everyone else

Think I'm gonna do my normal long run on Saturday morning, then throw back some Firefly, and then go check this out. I'll have pleanty of time to do this before the hash, since Kimchi mismanagement is turning into the Austin hash and having secret meetings without inviting the pack.

the end is near...

Firefly vodka is now available at Red Rock Liquor, which I can walk to from my house.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

new blog

My lack of running recently has given me a whole lot more free time on my hands. I thought about trying to cure cancer with all those extra hours, but instead I did something much more important and started a new blog. Colorado Poop is now online! Be sure to check out the Pooing-on-Austin link in the upper corner, as those guys were the inspiration for me.

Also continue to update my Pikes Peak blog every now and then.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

watch yo bike!

Article in the Gazette this morning about the huge increase in stolen bikes downtown. Read it here. This problem even plagues Manitou, as the cook at the Townhouse Lounge has his biked ganked while he was working a few weeks ago. Might hafta go visit the local witches council and turn those scumbags into frogs or something.

And while I'm on the subject, Net, one of the two bikes at my house is gone, I hope your friend picked it up...


I reluctantly stepped on the scale yesterday and stared down a dumpy looking 176 pounds! Yikes, I've gained ten pounds since Leadville! Guess that'll happen when you go from 80+ mile weeks to this string of athletic prowess:

Aug 18-24: 6.4 miles
Aug 25-31: 11.7 miles
Sept 1-7: 4.0 miles
Sept 8-14: 4.0 miles
Sept 15-21: 15 miles

Guess biking to work just isn't going to cut it. Plus, even though this was a rest period, other activities, mostly hiking some 14ers, have left my body in shambles. I have a huge golf ball sized lump under my right knee from falling on Holy Cross, and my heel still hurts like hell (I think from Imogene). My legs just have that general feeling of having been run over by a bus. I need to start running again to heal myself up! On a good note, I'm menatlly ready to fire things back up and have made peace with myself over the Leadville DNF. And by "peace" I mean that I'm going to train even harder and get that big buckle next year, hopefully after completing Hardrock the month before.

Out the door before 5AM for a nice five miler, not a bad start...


Monday, September 22, 2008


As far as I can tell it wasn't in the Gazette (shame on you , Dave!), but last week a member of the military "fell" off the second story balcony of Scumbay and was killed. Just one of countless retarded stories coming out of the shithole that is downtown Colorado Springs. I'd never root for a bar to close down, but I don't consider anything in the square between Platte, Nevada (at least until King's Chef gets it's liquor license, of course), Colorado, and Cascasde to be anything even remotely close to being cool enough to be a real bar. There's been a lot of stories published (and it seems a lot of stories not published) recently about sleezy happenings at all those yuppie downtown bars, hopefully they start yanking liquor licenses soon. Maybe that'll drive all those self-righteous downtown Springs wannabes up to some Denver martini bar.

strangers in the night...

Just heard Cake do a cover of Sinatra's "Strangers in the Night." Good stuff!

doo bee doo bee dooo...

Pony Express

Despite several Pikes Peak hashers committing to this and then bailing out because their pussy hurt, $100 and I managed to get up early Sunday morning for the Pony Express trail run, a low key 15 mile loop around Rampart Resovoir up in Woodland Park.

I had several excuses to bail on this one, including A) my legs were still cramped up from sleeping in the forced fetal position to keep from freezing to death; and B) the discovery that Firefly vodka is now sold in Colorado led to quite the hangover.

The problem with lame excuses, however, is that they usually keep one from doing cool stuff, like running the sweet singletrack trails around Rampart. And it's only $6 for this one, and that includes a nice horseshoe for finishing.

Feeling like shit, I put down 2:45 for my predicted time. I was only out there for a good workout, not looking to push it. I didn't push it, but as my legs were stretched out I was able to keep a decent pace and ended up finishing in 2:02.

Beautiful day out on the trails! Woohoo! Some pics from the run:


Summer is over and fall is officially here.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Mt. of the Holy Cross

Bagged Mt. of the Holy Cross (my 23rd 14er) on Friday, but not without a cost. Tried a late afternoon summit, got lost around 13,000 feet on the way down when the sun set, and had to spend a chilly night at treeline with no cold weather gear. I'll post a trip report soon.

Mike the Headless Chicken and GRRRReta the t-rex

A long time ago I was reading an article in Dirtrag where the writer had travelled across the country on I-70, hitting the best mountain bike spots along the way. For some reason the guy mentioned Mike Headless Chicken and his statue in Fruita and it stuck with me. So finally getting out that way, I decided to check it out. Turns out, the statue is based on a true story, which you can read here.

After dining at the Hot Tomato Cafe (good call, Yeti! FYI, I think that microbrewery is closed, I couldn't find it...) I walked around the town and also came upon this statue:

That's GRRReta, as I found out from the plaque outside the cage. GRRReta looks nice and friendly, but one local told me she's really vicious and the townspeople fear her breaking loose, as evidenced by the security fence and leg chain.

Colorado National Monument

Took advantage of being sent to Grand Junction for work to hang out at the Colorado National Monument. Had a blast running some of the trails and driving the course of the upcoming Rim Rock Run, which is my next scheduled race. My pics don't do this place justice, but here are some of 'em. The rest can be seen here.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Telluride Blues & Brews!

No better way to end a great summer than by heading down to Telluride for their annual Blues & Brews festival! Great town, great music, great beer, great trails, sure had a helluva weekend. Some of the highlights:

1. Hitting Moonlight Pizza in Salida on the way down. My favorite pizza in the world. We also checked out the First Street Cafe, completing the Salida list of bars in my Colorado Liquid History book.
2. Setting up camp. It was a great place to pitch a tent, and we listened to Joan Osborne during construction of our little hippie village.

3. The beer. It was awesome that security at this event didn't go overboard, and it was very easy to sneak in all the PBR and vodka I could drink, avoiding the $5 charge per beer inside festival grounds. But the actual Brews part of the festival rocked too, with three hours of free beer from tons of microbreweries.

4. Baked in Telluride! I've wanted to go here ever since I heard Phish mention the place in a 1988 show. The joint rocked! The food is actually average, but the crowd that the place attracts is worth the price of admission. Plus they have beer from local Smuggler's Brewery on tap. I'm now the proud owner of a "Baked in Telluride" shirt and coffee mug.

5. The music! Great performances all around! Never seen John Hiatt before, but his Friday evening set rocked! It was also great getting to see one of my favorites, the John Butler Trio! Even though his 70 minute set lacked some of his best songs, he did what he could, including making fun of people who watch Fox news. Also found out that his tune, "Gov Did Nothing" is actually about George Bush and his, uh, inspiring, response to Hurricane Katrina. Hard to believe that a foreigner (i.e., terrorist!) from one of the axis of evil countries (Australia) can come over here and bad mouth Fox news and GW, but everyone was either too stoned or too drunk (or both) to act like true patriots and shoot him.

G Love played a great set too, barely stopping in between songs. Lots of guests too, including Big Sam and John Butler. The muical highlight of the entire weekend for me came when he went into a freestyle rap about having the munchies after getting stoned and jonesin' about Tastycake Butterscotch Krimpets!

Gov't Mule was right on as well, including a few songs with Susan Tedeschi.

Saturday night we got to ride up the gondola to see Warren Haynes. He didn't disappoint. One of my favorite lines from any song was written by Warren, in Patchwork Quilt, when he mentions a "banjo moon in a tie dyed sky." Warren explained to the crowd that this line was written over almost a decade ago when he was playing with the Allman Brothers in Telluride!

6. Bear Creek Canyon. Took some time on Sunday morning to hike back Bear Creek, which is part of the Hardrock course. Really great to see this beautiful part of the world without the physical and mental stress of HR.

7. Telluride! Definitely the best venue I've ever been to for a live show. The entire town basically becomes part of the festival. Friendly people, great dive bars, unbelievable scenery. Can't wait for next year!

You can see all the pics here.