Monday, July 05, 2010

Mittens in July

Ute Trail, Rocky Mountain National Park

Jonny and I took a short 2 1/2 hour hike on the Ute Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park today.  Starting elevation is about 11,600 ft. and doesn't get much higher, maybe 100-200'.  Not sure how many miles we went and it's not a steep trail for the most part but it is challenging.

It's the worst sort of trail for me because it looks like it should be easy but there are rocks strewn throughout and I drag my feet and get distracted by the mountains so I ended up tripping a lot and even fell once at the start.  The views are totally worth it though.

Top of the world

We saw a lot of marmots.  They still had their fuzzy winter coats.

I didn't blame them, I needed my mittens and fleecy headband for part of the hike.

A freezing wind was blowing like a freight train at the trail head, so hard we had to yell to hear each other, and we almost bagged it in favor of a hike at lower ground but decided to press on for a bit first.  I knew the trail dropped down after a short steep climb at the trail head and was hoping it would be relatively sheltered and sure enough it was.  Eventually I shed the jacket and mittens.  It was still windy but it wasn't terrible and there were places where it was calm.

Despite the holiday weekend we saw maybe 3 other groups of hikers the whole time, it was mostly us, the marmots and the wildflowers.  It's long been a dream of mine to go to Switzerland but I don't know, I can't imagine it's all that much nicer than where I was today.  Maybe some day but for now I'll take 1 hour 20 minutes of driving and gas money over a million hours on a plane and a zillion dollars in travel costs any day.

Friday was a 2 hour, 20 minute ride on the Lair of the Bear trail just up the road from Red Rocks Amphitheater.  I've never been there, again, maybe one day.  The ride was challenging, especially the hellishly steep climb at the start.  I usually do this ride in the fall when I'm enjoying whatever fitness I've gained over the summer but in July I'm battling the Fat and the Out of Shape so it was more challenging.  I made it though and was rewarded with beautiful rolling meadows and wildflowers.  It's such a beautiful trail-woods, meadows, mountain views, steep climbs, rolling descents-and just an hour's drive, maybe a little less.  It was so quiet too, I think a lot of people left town for the holiday.  Boulder was a ghost town this weekend and it was fabulous. 

The only bad part of the weekend?  Last night we had thunder storms and fireworks.  Cody didn't care and Lola spent most of the night in the bathroom but Strummer was a shaking, panting mess.  I bought him a Thundershirt and we've been breaking it in but last night was too much and I can't say that it made all that much difference.  The fireworks weren't too bad but coupled with several hours of loud thunder beforehand it was too much for him.  Even Lola came out of the bathroom and snuggled up next to me on the couch also panting and drooling.  Fun times I tell you being sandwiched between 2 doggie basket cases.  I remember the days when I loved the 4th of July.  Sigh.


  1. Since I'm working today, I'm trying not to hate you too much. Love the pix, though.

  2. Gorgeous pictures!!! What a pretty hike!

  3. Those are GORGEOUS pictures!! That does suck about the dogs and teh fireworks/thunder. I'm definitely thankful that mine are able to sleep through all of that.