Thursday, July 9, 2020

Week in Review (June 30 - July 6)

Tuesday (32,161 steps) - Work in the office, walk downtown during lunch. Met up with Mike and Tyler for a run at Apex. Neither of them had been there before! Unfortunately, Mike wasn't feeling well and turned around before he had a chance to get to the Enchanted Forest. Even though I had mapped out the route I wanted to do, we (meaning "I") made a few wrong turns. All this meant was Mike had to wait at the car longer and Tyler and I ended up doing some extra mileage.

Wednesday (57,897 steps) - Work from home and a lunch walk with Pika and Ben. Still finding painted rocks once in a while!

After work I met Mike in Boulder for a run. Unfortunately, it was a pretty slow and frustrating night! The forecast had the evening being much cooler and Pika was REALLY slow on the climbs, even with plenty of stops for water. Guess she is done with these runs until fall, or a MUCH cooler evening.

Thursday (19,962 steps) - Work in the office. Apparently the only picture I took all day was during my early morning walk with Pika. This is "fence cat" caught in mid-jump after climbing over the neighbor's fence.
Walk with Pika in the evening.
Friday (40,440 steps) - Ben and I were up very early, although not as early as I had planned. I had set my alarm, but since this was considered a holiday from work, I was confused by not going in on a weekday and I had set the time for a weekend alarm, not "Friday." Anyway, since I'm an insomniac, I managed to wake up on my own only about 20 minutes later than we planned to get up. We rushed a bit to get out of the house, and on the way to the mountains we stopped in Georgetown at the rest area to use the bathroom before getting to the trail head.

Last summer Ariel and I had done Buffalo Mountain, although we had started at the other trail head, and we did the route counter-clockwise. We weren't sure if Ben was going to be able to do a ton of mileage/climbing, as his toe was still recovering from when he kicked a rock in Crested Butte. SO, we decided to get most of the climbing out of the way by doing the clockwise route, and we would decided after getting to the base of Buffalo if we were going to summit.
I don't know how Ben does it! This direction was WAY harder than what Ariel and I had done. The first two miles had so much steep climbing, and I was really regretting that I had not thought to bring poles with me. Oof. More than 1500' of gain in two miles led to me being really hot and frustrated early on. Luckily, once we got through the first few miles, the trail levels out and got really pretty - so my mood improved.

Last year, Ariel and I sat on a log and ate lunch near this small lake

The views were truly stunning! There was still a decent amount of snow at the top, and the wildflowers were in full bloom. We stopped in the saddle to eat our sandwiches before starting the climb down.

Unlike last year, we had to cross a few snow fields!

I think this was taken after the water crossing when I slipped into the water...

Probably my favorite picture of the day. SO. MANY. YELLOW. COLUMBINES.

Somewhere in the midst of the flowers, we got off the main trail. Luckily, Ben realized it didn't seem like we were on the "right" single track and I checked my watch. Sure enough, we were .10 off track. Yet, even backtracking, I couldn't figure out where we went wrong. We ended up doing a bit of bushwhacking until we ran into a couple and they were very clearly on the correct trail. Still not sure how that happened.

It was certainly getting warm, but Ben said he was still feeling ok, so we were going to attempt to summit Buffalo Mountain. During the lower part of the trail, we came across a hummingbird that was very interested in us. Both of us were trying to take pictures of him, but he was so fast!
Can you see him to the left of Ben's face?
This climb was GRUELING. I had not felt this out of shape in a LONG TIME. We were also fascinated by the number of kids that we came across. Are kids super-human? The higher we got, the sketchier the clouds were looking. There were also the most aggressive mosquitoes EVER on this trail. Any time we would pause we would get eaten alive! We were still more than a mile from the top when the thunder started. We were also approaching the rocky summit, so even though it sucks to not make it all the way, we decided it was better to be safe than sorry and came down. We actually wore our Houdini jackets and it was a bit chilly with the rain. The climb down was very rocky, so we had to take our time on the slick rocks.

By the time we got to the bottom the rain had stopped and we took off our jackets. A few people told us there was a moose hanging out near the burn area, but unfortunately, we didn't see it :(
By this time, we had been out a LOT longer than we had planned. All we could think about was putting on flip flops and going across the highway to the brewery. At least everything from here on was downhill.

Lilypad Lake 
Outer Range was literally right across the highway from where we parked, so we were sitting down and having beer within minutes of when we came down. The drive back to Denver was uneventful. We took Pika for a walk and saw a beautiful sunset.
Saturday (20,900 steps) - Took Pika out for a quick walk - and our mangy fox friend paid us another visit!
Our adventure for the 4th of July was meeting some friends at Herman Gulch for a (mostly) hike. It was a beautiful morning, although a bit cooler than we all expected, so most of us kept long sleeves on for the first mile or so.

Unfortunately, we were too early for the massive field of Columbines, but we saw plenty of other beautiful wildflowers.

Still a decent amount of snow in the "big" snow field area
Lots of friends on this day - we social distanced, even for the picture (no dogs faced us though)

First time I have been here when the lake was still partially frozen!
I had never continued on past the lake, and although the trail really doesn't go much further, we continued on. We had a great time playing in the snow, looking at wildflowers and soaking in the view. What a beautiful day!

I love this pic - Ariel is avoiding a snowball, but I managed to catch her looking like the Matrix or something

One of the sections we DID run

A few of us met in Georgetown at the new Cabin Creek brewery. It is a really cute location with a good view. It got a little chilly on the patio, and eventually rained, so we scattered pretty quickly after that.
On the way home, we stopped at the store to pick up groceries. Ariel decided to wait in the car with Pika. All during our hike/run she had a few small "liquid-y" poops. Well, she kinda exploded with diarrhea while we were in the store. We also discovered she had pooped in about a dozen spots in the basement, so Ben spent a lot of time cleaning. Spent the evening at home, with front porch beers with the neighbors. Fireworks went on forever and ever. LONG DAY.
Sunday (12,914 steps) - Finally, a day of nothing! I woke up early, but managed to stay in bed until after 9, which is crazy. Ben made "mountain breakfast" of cinnamon rolls and bacon, and then we took Ariel to a friend's house. Took Pika for a walk.

First time I've seen a snake on the sidewalk near our house!
While A was at her friend's house we got a beer at 4 Noses.
Picked Ariel up and went to Katrina's graduation party. The party was just a handful of people hanging out in the driveway. Weirdly, Ben (not my Ben, friend Ben) showed me a chair he had pulled out of storage - apparently we had all carved our names in it 20+ years ago. I can't believe he still had it.
The most interesting part of the evening was listening to Katrina talk to about her future and her plans - I don't remember being that much of an idealist. She also seems to have her "shit" together more than I did.
Monday (29,120 steps) - Work in the office, walk downtown during lunch. Met up with Tyler at North Table. MAGICALLY, even though it had been in the mid 90s downtown, it was overcast when we started our run - and actually stayed that way for most of it. That meant it was about 10 degrees cooler. Still felt hot though.

Home in time to make spaghetti for dinner, but not enough time to take Pika for a walk - Ariel took her out before I got home.

  • 213,394 steps
  • 45.5 miles "run" - using run a little loosely now that I'm primarily focusing on strong uphills and 200+ training.

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