Sunday, July 23, 2006
Stick a Fork in Me
I'm done. I thought we all needed a break from agility this weekend and I really wanted to spend some time in the mountains. Saturday I rode up to Gold Hill which is a little mountain town above Boulder at oh, I don't know, maybe 8600 ft or so. I made a nice loop of it, climbing up Four Mile Canyon and heading back home down Sunshine Canyon. Usually I'll go up Sunshine, it's shorter at 9 miles vs 13 miles up Four Mile but it's way steeper and I'm still testing out my knee on the steep stuff. Even though I took the wimpy way up it was still horribly steep in some places and the dirt road was pretty loose. When I started the ride I had fantasies of continuing on to the Switzerland trail but to be honest I was lucky to make it to Gold Hill and very nearly turned around before getting there. The thought of ice cream at the General Store in town was the only thing keeping me going and when I got there all they had was crappy processed stuff that I couldn't bring myself to eat so I had to settle for an energy bar. Instead of hanging out at the store with the other cyclists I continued on to a nice viewpoint with great views of the Continental Divide. It was great to be climbing in the hills and flying back down again but I was so trashed when I got home. It didn't seem that hot-low 80's-but I think it took a bit of a toll on top of me having lost so much fitness. It took me 2:18, my record is around 1:45 and an average time is 2:00 so I have a good idea of where I'm at on the bike and, ugh, it's not good.
Sunday Jonny & I went to Rocky Mountain National Park for some hiking. It's not my favorite place because it's so darned crowded but there are a few trails I like and some of the scenery is spectacular so I'm willing to put up with the hassle of the place. This particular hike is on some of the most popular trails in the park so it was a pain at the start but most folks stop after a mile at Dream Lake, where the above photo was taken looking toward Hallett Peak (left) and Flattop Mountain (right). We continued on for another mile or so to Lake Haiyaha where we stopped for a nice lunch then continued on to Alberta Falls and looped our way back to the start. The picture of the bird was taken on the trail leading from Lake Haiyaha to the Falls. I'm not sure what it is, at first I thought Ptarmigan but I think it's too big so maybe some other kind of grouse. As for the people who hunt these things, you have got to be kidding me. This bird just sat there on the rock right next to the trail, I could have reached out, picked it up and stuffed it in my backpack with nary a fuss. I went right up to it to take the photo and several other groups of people passed by, took photos, etc. and the bird just stood there quietly mumbling to itself, completely unphased. She almost looked like she was mugging it up for the cameras (I'm assuming it was female due to the lack of bright colors but what do I know).
It was a beautiful hike and a nice day but 2 3/4 hours of hiking on top of yesterday is taking it's toll on my body so tomorrow I rest.