Here are more photos:
Went for another hike on Sunday, this time up to Isabelle Lake and points beyond in the Indian Peaks Wilderness Area. No dogs this time, the trail gets busy up to the lake then it gets very steep, rocky and narrow though the crowds thin out. In any case I didn't feel like hassling with the dogs and it was my birthday so I didn't even feel guilty leaving them home. The trail starts out in the woods and steadily climbs to Lake Isabelle where you get spectacular views. This is probably my favorite day hike from Boulder I've got a bazillion photos from this spot but I couldn't help myself and had to take a few more. Just like Border Collies, you can never have too many, right?
The trail heading up above Isabelle Lake goes well above treeline to Pawnee Pass which links up with a couple of other trails. I've gone all the way to the top of Pawnee Pass, once with heavy overnight backpacking gear and a 7 year old 100 pound Akita, but the last hour or so is a terrible neverending slog up steep exposed rocky switchbacks at around 12,000 feet elevation and neither Jonny nor I were up for it. Here's a view from the top though I've got better photos somewhere. We got up to a flattish tundra area with a view of Lake Isabelle below just before the really steep rocky part and decided that was a good place for sammiches and enjoying the cool wind. After a long hot summer it felt good to be snuggling into a sweatshirt. Jonny had tweaked his knee so we decided to head back down after lunch and it was a good thing because though it was clear blue skies when we turned around by the time we got back to the car 1 3/4 hours later it started pouring rain. It's the heart of monsoon season here which means violent afternoon thunderstorms are the norm. The rain got torrential as we drove home down Left Hand Canyon and we ended up picking up a cyclist who was going hypothermic and could no longer control his bike on the descent. I was more than happy to help him out but sheesh, what experienced cyclist goes up in the mountains this time of year with no rain coat? He blamed his hypothermia on being dehydrated from a 13 mile run earlier that day straight up Magnolia Road, which is a hellishly steep dirt road. Uh, sure, if you say so.
Saturday I took Cody & Lola up to Powerpups in Windsor, about 50 minutes away, for a fun match of sorts. It's more like course run throughs because you can go anytime you want all day so people trickle in here and there. There were only 3 of us walking the course first thing in the morning then a few more showed up so I got 2 runs in with both dogs and was done in less than an hour. The course was the Grand Prix finals from the Oregon USDAA Regionals this year and it was a tricky one. Some weird angles heading into a tricky weave pole entry was perfect practice for us. I had some trouble with the section with Lola and tried it different ways. Cody was in a fiesty mood and was charging through all his contacts. He had a beautiful running contact on the dogwalk but, erm, that's not what he's supposed to do. The launch off the A-frame was not so beautiful. We redid everything until he had nice stops at the bottom. It's tempting to think about training running contacts for him, more to ease the impact on his shoulder and for motivational reasons than for speed, but at 9 years old I'm not convinced it's a great idea. He does have nice running contacts when he doesn't launch though, hits the yellow no problem and he seems so much happier. Lola was running a bit rough, we haven't been practising enough because of the heat and I think she's lost a bit of confidence. We've got a trial this weekend and all I can do is hope for the best for her. I'll get her back up to speed this fall when the weather cools down. Took Cody through a quick course run through on Tuesday night and he nailed a USDAA masters standard course. If only he could run like that consistently in trials. In any case it's always a kick in the pants to run him when he's on, even if we're the only ones to see it.