Tag Archives: hiking in colorado

Ben Tyler Trail #606-Pike National forest. 2nd attempt failed- 5/11/13

12 May
The view of our destination from the beginning

The view of our destination from the beginning

When we kind of stubbornly decided we were going to do Ben Tyler Trail (hike details here) this weekend, I knew deep down there was no way in hell we would make it to the top……. AGAIN.  It is really close to Kenosha Pass and one of the areas that probably got 4-5 feet of snow over the last month and then this week we had rain all week which meant snow storms up high, but still we got up insanely early and headed out to this trail.

A little closer the curve of the mountain to the middle right is where we are trying to get to.

A little closer the curve of the mountain to the middle right is where we are trying to get to.

At the beginning of the hike we were really optimistic, the trail conditions were straight up awesome and the weather was perfect.  I mean check out that sky, have you ever seen a more perfect color blue!

No gators yet

No gators yet

About a mile or so in, the snow really was taking over and we were trying to not comment about how deep it was starting to get.  There was only one other set of foot prints in front of us and honestly we were really hoping it was someone who had made it to the top.   We saw him jogging down not long before we crossed the stream for the first time and we were so excited he was actually there today (and not the day before) that we forgot to ask how far up he made it.

Crossing the creek

Crossing the creek

It wasn’t too far after this that we saw where the runner turned around, headed back and then we realized that it was time for gators.  I picked up some new ones at a great price and I am so glad they arrived before this hike because I needed them today.

Gator time

Gator time

Snow is getting higher

Snow is getting higher

At least the views made the snow not such a big deal

At least the views made the snow not such a big deal

We honestly didn’t take that many pictures and when we did, these are all with my iPhone or our Olympus tough camera not our canon, but the day was so beautiful I think it would have been hard to take a bad picture.

iPhone - Aaron's favorite from the hike

iPhone – Aaron’s favorite from the hike

After we saw where the runner turned around, it was just us blazing the trail through the snow.  Which we love but man was it a workout, first a foot, then 2 and 3 when finally we got to the trail marker around 10,000 feet up.

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We were huffing and puffing all through here still feeling good so we continued forward although we knew that it was unlikely we could get all that much further. It was actually getting warmer, the snow was getting deeper and more unstable yet we still had hope that we might make it up a little higher or that the snow would be a little less but finally we had to admit….the snow was too much.

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Before we took these pictures, Aaron slid down almost to his waist, for like a second we wanted to try to go further and try too hard to make it to the top.  But the clouds were really moving in and the reality that the snow was not going down at all hit us.  We turned around and started heading back, as I have begun to learn going down is not as easy as I once thought it was, the temperature had started raising and the snow was melting pretty quickly.  Only from the bottom up or so it seemed, the stress to our knees was intense.

the way back is not so great

the way back is not so great

The hardest part of heading down before we wanted too, was that the clouds almost disappeared and the sky turned this intense amazing blue that made us wish we hadn’t turned around ( even though it was the right decision) because the views on a day like yesterday would have been unbelievable.  I cannot wait to make it to the top one day and we will!

Seriously blue with my iPhone no less

Seriously blue with my iPhone no less

I feel like I had never seen this color blue in nature until I moved here and now I cannot get enough.

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In the end we managed to get to a little over 8 miles of hiking with a total elevation gain of 1700ft but it took us 5 hours round trip. One stupid feeling of awesomeness hit us on the way back, there was another pair of foot prints in the snow that suddenly appeared but they turned around at least half a mile or more before we did.  We got to the parking lot as they were finishing up their de-clothing post hike ritual, 2 guys younger and in better shape than us the look on their faces when they realized we went further than them was priceless.  We could almost read their lips “like seriously they beat us”, it felt crazy great!

We just loved the views too much and our favorite pictures got out of control so forgive me.

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Bergen Peak Trail, Elk Meadow Open space *AGAIN* 4/20/13

20 Apr

The start

This week has been tough on so many levels for so many reasons and I know I am not the only one struggling to find balance and meaning.  I can tell you that the only thing on our minds yesterday was getting out hiking and getting as high as we could (altitude wise of course), but with all the snow we got this week any hike was going to be challenging so we decided that it was going to be Bergen Peak …..again  Details of the Hike here

Honestly, I was not optimistic about our hike yesterday but we figured let’s get all our stuff together and go as far as can.  A pie in the sky hike would be to do the exact same hike we did here 2 weeks ago ( Details here), 13.5 ish miles in 6 hours with around 2400ft ish total elevation gain.  The storm that hit us this past week dropped around 2 feet of snow on Bergen Peak AND we had a chance of rain later sometime this afternoon.  All I wanted was a good hike that would help us to keep moving towards a 14er this summer.  We started out slightly bundled up, gators on for high snow with actual hiking boots (not usual and decidedly heavier) and prepared for every thing the mountains have to offer.  What we got was surprising, the snow was deep and every where but at first it was easier to move through and at just a little over half of a mile  We saw our first herd of elk

Elk 1Elf 2Elk 3

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After 7 years of living here we finally saw our first Elk!!! It was so super cool and we were crazy excited to see them….I even pulled out my big camera which I feel like I only carry for weight building lately.  None of the pictures turned out as good as I wanted them to be but I can tell you it was awesome!!!!

We started out really slow and as we climbed up I figured  if it takes the whole day, then it takes the whole day just as long as we finished before the rain was predicted to start at 4…did I mention we started hiking at 7:30?  At that early in the morning the snow was perfect to walk on, but other than the occasional  slide it wasn’t too bad and there had been enough people before us to create a very nice path.  The traffic on the trail was really light going up we saw one other couple hiking and then one jogger.  That jogger told us he spooked a bear about a 1/2 mile up the summit trail, our pace became slower and we were super attentive, stopping for any little noise.  I was really torn here, scared to see my first bear and yet wondering if I could catch one in a picture.  We then had the good luck of meeting up with another hiker who had just gone up to the summit and she saw no bears so we continued on.  Here are a couple of pictures of what the trail looked like on our way up:

Bergen Peak trail conditionsBergen Peak TrailTrail conditions at the top

It was a beautiful day and crazy challenging, it was like walking up and down sand dunes with lead weights on our ankles and back.  In the end it took us 4 hours to get to the top, which was covered with so much snow and I only fell once, thank goodness for all that snow it totally made my face plant more funny than painful.  We don’t know this trail enough to walk where there weren’t already foot prints and so I was challenged in getting any good shots of Mt. Evans at the top but Pike’s peak was AMAZING!!!!  When we were about to leave another hiker had just arrived and he was so nice, but he told us something new and embarrassing. Before today we always stopped at the vista point assuming it was the summit, but in fact it is not so he showed us where it was and took a picture of us so we had actual proof we made it to the summit.   What a funny lesson for us, I was such a proud hiker until that moment!

Proof we made it to the summit of Bergen Peak

Proof we made it to the summit of Bergen Peak

In the end we did just under 12 miles even thought my fitbit said 14, we are crazy insane tired like my joints have never hurt so much tired and my calves have been aching.  The day was beautiful and different I couldn’t get enough of it all.  I am in love with this particular hike and most times it is pretty crowded but yesterday we had almost the whole thing to ourselves.  Most hikers who actually attempted the peak did the standard route up and back ( Sleepy S > Elk Meadow> Bergen Peak Trail > Summit Trail), we decided to do the loop via Too Long down from the summit trail and just enjoyed the complete solitude.  By the time we headed down the snow was starting to get slushy and slidey, I took the advice I received from Didier when I did White Ranch Park with my nieces last month and took a lot of small steps it helped so much!!!  I still had sore feet but no blistering like I did then…..

Here are some of our favorite pictures from the hike:

on the way up

on the way up

Pikes Peak from Bergen Peak trail

Pikes Peak from Bergen Peak trail

Mt. Evans from Bergen Peak Trail

Mt. Evans from Bergen Peak Trail

Snow is to the top of the Scenic view sign

Snow is to the top of the Scenic view sign

Looking out from the scenic view sign

Looking out from the scenic view sign

Pikes Peak 2

Pikes Peak viewed form the top

Another Pikes peak shot from the top

Another Pikes peak shot from the top

View at the top

View at the top

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Us half way down

Us half way down

Snow moving in as we hike down.

Snow moving in as we hike down.

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We finished just in time!

We finished just in time!

Hiking out of a Hangover – Deer Creek Canyon 4/13/13

16 Apr
View of Denver

View of Denver sort of

Since I started hiking to healthy over a year ago I have been really good about not drinking on Friday nights before our hike, while it is my cheat day I never want to run the chance of a hangover hindering my hike on Saturday. That’s not to say that I still don’t get my drink on, I just wait until I have showered post hike on Saturday and then start knocking them back. This past Friday however, was special and so I drank! I had my best girls on deck to hit this place in Denver called the Green Russell, it is supposed to be like an old school speak easy with great drinks and atmosphere….and it was all that and more. Honestly I had so much fun that I didn’t really watch how much I drank and I tried to be really good about drinking a huge glass of water in between each drink.  I really thought I would beat the potential for a hangover and still knock out a tough hike on Saturday. After a safe ride home I passed out at a respectable 11:00.

A few hours later I woke up and knew I was in for a good solid hang over. I was determined to not give into it so I pounded water, took two Advil and tried to fall back to sleep only to lay there for a couple of hours getting mad at myself, chanting I was going to do the hike no matter what. Then at 4AM-ish Aaron got up and said he was feeling really awful, like can’t hike awful and was going to take his meds to see if it helped.  I am embarrassed to say I rejoiced and immediately shut off my alarm and fell right to sleep, clearly more concerned about myself than Aaron.

When I started waking up around 7:30, I looked at the weather and knew our only chance to hike this weekend would be on Saturday, if we left right then we could still get to Bergen Peak with enough time to get in our 13.5 miles. Unfortunately Aaron still wasn’t feeling well, so I decided I would torture myself do the taxes and if he was still not feeling well when I finished,  I would just hit Deer Creek Canyon on my own. Surprisingly, I didn’t start drinking while I did the taxes but mostly because I really wanted to get some hiking in.

When I finished my annual torture taxes, Aaron was waking up from a nap and feeling up to joining me for 6.5 miles at Deer Creek Canyon (Hike Details here). Now I will admit I was still hung over when we started, but we decided to try and go for time since we weren’t going for distance or stamina. Man was it hard, I was nauseous most of the hike but then there was a moment around mile 4 when I felt that last drop of alcohol sweat out of me. It was like someone had lifted a huge weight off of me.  The last 2.5 miles flew by as I finally felt better, and I really needed to get to the bathroom.  In the end, we managed to finish 6.5 miles with a total of a 1300 ft elevation gain in just over 2 hours, not to shabby.

A couple of things we noticed about hiking this trail later in the afternoon on a starting to get insanely windy day before bad weather hits.  First, it was surprisingly empty, something we have only experienced here when it is actually snowing while we hike.   I think we passed maybe 15-20 other hikers/runners the whole 2 hours it took us.  Pretty sure they were all hung over too, well except the group of pregnant women who were too cute not to just applaud and grin at, and so no one was very cheerful to be out.  The other weird contingent was the dates we saw, seriously 2 couples on dates and like early on dating, where one person didn’t prepare or dress appropriately but the other isn’t going to point it out because they are not sure if they like them yet- early on.  Or the one person wasn’t honest about their activity level but was trying their best to impress the other person, while also trying not to pass out because they can’t breathe heavy in fear of letting on to the deception…..  It led to really fun people watching.

All and all it wasn’t  what we wanted to accomplish this past weekend, and honestly has left me in a funk because I feel like I didn’t get a good solid hike in.  I am trying to remind myself that at least I got out and moved but I am struggling with motivation and staying on track.  This week we are getting hammered with snow, like 20 inches or more in the foothills have already fallen, with more expected tonight and tomorrow.  I am thrilled to have the moisture when we so desperately need it but sad because I have no idea where are we  going to hike this weekend if all the foothills got a couple of feet of snow.   It should be interesting for sure!

Bergen Peak Trail + – Elk Meadow Jefferson County Open Space 4/6/13

6 Apr
The view at the top - Mt. Evans

The view at the top – Mt. Evans

I am on cloud 9, seriously 50 pounds lost on my weigh in yesterday and then today we kicked major butt on our hike.  We did Bergen Peak last August and to be honest it was insanely tough then, like I was practically in tears on the way down thinking “why the hell did I let myself get this way”…. it felt great to finish it with more of a “wow I can still do more” today.

First, we did a repeater today because frankly the weather is all over the place and I am super not confident about what we can do when the trail gets insanely unpredictable.  For me, a trail I know is much easier than one I don’t regardless of what ice and snow may be present.  Plus this park is amazing and it got us up to 9700 ft, we need to gain altitude and work on our lungs again, so I managed to get an extra 2 miles out of this park, which is of course not that hard.   So in total we did “officially” 12.5 miles and my fitbit said 13.5 miles, which took us 6 hours to complete.

In looking for any recent hikes here, I found very few pictures showing trail conditions, so here they are.  There is not much before we got to the Bergen Peak trail, then there is ice and snow periodically throughout:

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but really until we got to the summit trail at the top, we didn’t need any aids.  It was mostly bursts of ice here and there, but at the top is was consistently snow and ice.

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And it was still not that bad, probably because we were some of the first on the trail  so the ice hadn’t settled in when we passed through so we never put anything on until the way down and then it was only me wearing extra help.  I imagine that after we went through it may have been a little more challenging but by then it was getting warmer and digging in was not all that bad.

The day was perfect, it started out a little chilly with some clouds expected.  For the first time we didn’t over dress, even though we had more on board just in case. As we climbed there were things we hadn’t seen the last time we hiked this, like Pike’s Peak.

Pike's Peak - our peek of it lower on the trail

Pike’s Peak – our peek of it lower on the trail

When we hiked this last August,we were in the middle of  a series of fires and the views were limited because of all the haze from those.  I had no idea that we would be able to see Pike’s peak on a clearer day, it is 60-ish miles south of Bergen peak, so imagine my delight as looking up from our climb up to see this.

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The other bonus on hiking today, there was not all that many people out this early in the season we didn’t even see one other person until we got on the summit trail and then it was 3  people in like an hour.  We were almost 9 miles through the hike before traffic picked up.  It looks like the lower trails have much more traffic this time of year.

All and all, it was a great hike and we felt really good getting it done in a way that made us feel so strong and confident about our future hikes.

Here are our favorite pictures from the hike, and for the record I am in love with Mt.Evans.  Everyday it greets me as I go to work and tells me the weekend is going to be awesome because it means I will be up there, some where getting more views of the amazing prowess of mother nature.  Please forgive my over attention to it, this hike gives you breathtaking views of Mt. Evans and so I couldn’t help myself in paying it extra homage!  Do this hike if you can one day, it is worth every single step!

The view from the summit trail facing northwest

The view from the summit trail facing northwest

Fav1 off the trailPikes Peak1Denver

North Front rangeMt.Evans 1Me on the edge

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We made itUS close

Mt. Falcon Repeater + more, Jefferson county Open Space Hikes 3/30/13

31 Mar
Castle Trail - Mt. Falcon

Castle Trail – Mt. Falcon

Today’s hike needed to be both inspiring and challenging but I was also worried about the condition of the trails I originally had planned on doing with all the snow we got the last weekend.  I had hoped  that the warm up being forecasted would happen earlier in the week and be more intense than it was, but it was enough that anywhere that received a ton of snow would have melted to the point of  being annoying once we started hiking over it which pretty much covered those hikes I had planned.  There was one trail I thought would be a good bet for this weekend after all our weather, but it was a repeater so I decided to add-on more mileage and elevation gain.

We originally went to Mt. Falcon Park Jefferson County Open Space (details of the trail in the link) at the end if July last year.  The first time we hiked this park, we were there on a really hot day thinking “I bet this hike is really great in spring or fall”.  Plus there are a great set of trails at the top that we could use to challenge us to go further and climb more.   That is how we ended up back at Mt. Falcon Park today.   Here is what we took on for our hike:

Turkey trot> Castle trail> Parmalee Trail>  Meadow Trail > Castle > Turkey Trot  : Officially 10.5 miles, my fitbit said 11.8 miles total it took us 4 &1/2 hours.  A total elevation gain of  2100 feet.

Castle trail

Castle trail

It was a little cold and windy at first, but before we knew it we were peeling off layers of clothes trying not to sweat through everything.  It didn’t take long for us to remember why we wanted to come back to this trail again, the views were beautiful again and the changing sky made them new when we passed them again later.  We were lucky enough to have these 3 ladies greet us as we got closer to the west parking lot, too bad for the runner that came by before I could snap the perfect picture but at least I got this one.

Deer

Deer

We have been here before, but that first time we were competing with a race so we kept dodging runners.  This time it was still pretty active but it was a nice mix of runners & hikers but nothing like the last time, it was such a nice hard workout with all the beauty!   Instead of going from the East parking lot to the west parking then back, we wanted to get more mileage so at the top we decided to take on the Parmalee Trail because it had a nice elevation decrease then regain and it was a loop that brought us back to the Castle trail.  It was a perfect add-on!

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The Meadow Trail was actually the toughest part and not because it was hard but because it had a couple of feet of snow we had to walk on.  Since we had already taken the legs off  our pants it made for interesting half mile.

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The Parmalee trail was really beautiful, mostly covered by trees and then it broke out of the trees with great views  of the surrounding mountains.

Trail conditions

Trail conditions

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When we got back to the Castle Trail, a lot more clouds had started to roll in but man did it make the mountains look even better.

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As we headed back down the views of the ruins there also looked spectacular!!!  I don’t know what it was but everything just looked so good today.

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Oh and there was a new sign that I hadn’t seen before….I hope they start posting these everywhere because really going up is hard and those going down should give way even if they are jogging….

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Here are a couple of the amazing views we had:

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This hike was wonderful, even more so then the first time we did it!  If you find  your way over to this park try any of these trails or all of them, they were all great on their own each with new and amazing views!

When we got home, one of our cats was very vocal about us coming home smelling terrible but still demanded he get picked up….

Serenity

Mesa Trail – Boulder Co Hiked 2/2/13

2 Feb
View at the start of the hike

View at the start of the hike

Bluebell Road > Mesa Trail

Starting Elevation:  5700Ft

Highest Elevation: 6482 Ft ( but the trail goes up and down the whole way like we covered  8 ascents and 9 descents, giving an overall elevation gain of 2600- ish for what we completed)  It is a great leg workout!

Trail Length:  Officially the Mesa trail is 6.7 miles from Chautauqua Park all the way south to the Southern trailhead just outside Eldorado Canyon State Park for 13.4 round trip and our goal was to do the whole trail round trip.  What we managed to hit was 5.7 one way, 11.4 miles round trip according to the map, but my fit bit said 6.5 miles.  So I am taking the middle of the road and saying we finished 12 miles today. It took us 5.50 hours 8AM-1:30PM to finish.

Trail Uses: Hiker, Running and I think horses….NO BIKES

Degree of Difficulty:  For the first time, Aaron and I cannot agree – my assessment moderate to difficult, Aaron’s = Moderate the book says easy

Bathrooms:  At each end North and South.  Otherwise this thing is insanely busy all year round so use good judgement…..unlike me

Pets:  Yes, but dogs must be either on leash or have the green tag indicating they passed the voice control test for Boulder.

Fees:  None!

View of the Front range from Bluebell Road

View of the Front range from Bluebell Road

We were feeling pretty awesome after last weeks hike and decided ambitious was the best way to jump into this weekend’s hike.  I picked this hike because it was long and while it is considered an easy trail, I think that rating is only given because if you do any one section it is easy compared to where you are going.  The Mesa Trail is the main artery along the Flat Irons of Boulder, it leads to the some of the best and hardest hikes on the front range.  It goes to Shadow Canyon, Fern Canyon, Bear Peak ( Closed due to fire damage until 7/31/13), Bear Canyon among others.  The total up and down elevation gain is around 3200 feet, which is a pretty tough butt burner, calf builder or cardio challenge.  At the end I think I counted roughly 8 ascents with 9 descents, I am wiped out!

You can pick up any portion of this trail at 3 parking lots, today we chose to go from North to South so the only choice was to start at Chautauqua Park in Boulder or the beginning ( You can also start at NCAR and the South trailhead by Eldorado Canyon).  Take Bluebell Road, directly west of the Rangers station up( South) to the Mesa Trailhead.

Hike starting point.

Hike starting point.Mesa Trailhead

Mesa Trailhead

It isn’t a killer climb until you realize it goes  on for roughly 2 miles and 700 feet in elevation.  It did warm us up super quick! In the distance of the picture above,  there is another outhouse which I thought was poorly placed since it was just over half a mile from the parking lot…. but at the end of the hike I actually ran to it.  The trail was so busy and after mooning 6 fellow hikers I was a little outdoor solution shy….. Anyway we took the left smaller trail, the right is supposed to be a butt buster up to Royal Arch but we haven’t tried it yet.  From the left, this is really the most narrow the trail will ever be.  It was often wide enough for 2 groups to pass each other easily.  As we got to the ice/mud stairs, I was feeling great thinking how awesome I was, hehe if only had a crystal ball.

The top - so easy looking

The top – so easy looking

The Bottom of the mud stairs....not so cute now
The Bottom of the mud stairs….not so cute now

The whole time I was thinking, man those stairs are going to suck on the way back if all that mess melts…it did!  The trail is so well-marked, each trail head is very well identified, as is the Mesa trail and what way is the way you want to go. I was super impressed.  We stuck to following the signs for 5.7 miles until we turned around.

NCAR entrance and trail info

NCAR entrance and trail info

This trail is interesting for so many reasons.  It is really a beautiful hike, in and out of pines, around canyons, the views East and along the front range are stunning.  It makes you want to be out there every weekend to see how it is different each day.  What makes you kinda not want to ever go there again is your fellow trail users.  At first, early in the morning everyone was sort of nice but then the later it gets the nastier your trail companions become, no courtesy or consideration for other people on the trail.  Runners are huge here, and no joke, on the way back as we were on a tough climb up, 2 runners tried to “run” us off the trail as they came down making sure that we knew their workout was more important than ours.  I was shocked and really disappointed  at how many mean or indifferent people there were after 10AM, honestly it made me not want to ever come back.

There was one more thing that made me not want to come back.  On a slow trail, finding a secluded place to “take care of business” is challenging as it is.  On a busy trail like the Mesa Trail it is almost miraculous, which is how I found myself mooning several hikers after my best efforts to find a secluded spot,  shortly before we turned around.  I am newly comfortable to peeing outside so this new hiccup was unexpected and REALLY embarrassing.  Aaron was trying to so hard to misdirect the passing hikers stares by talking to the decoy me on the opposite side of the trail but I just chose unwisely.  It did lead to a ton of laughter and trying not to make eye contact with those hikers that passed Aaron as they realized it was my butt they saw in the trees not so long ago……

This is a year round place to hike, the ice can get tough in the shade just as the mud is super tough on the sunny parts. It is worth doing at least once and honestly we will probably do it one more time to try to get to the end.

After the directions to the hike will be our favorite pictures.

Directions:

From Boulder, take Baseline Road west of Broadway 1 mile to the Chautauqua Park entrance on the left hand side of the road.

From Denver, take I-25 North to HWY 36 towards Boulder. As you enter Boulder, turn left onto Baseline Road and turn left. Take Baseline Road for about 1-2 miles and Chautauqua Park will be on your left.

Goofy faces

Goofy faces

View from the turnaround point

View from the turnaround point

KS n AL

Mesa Trail -Chautauqua

Mesa Trail -Chautauqua

The reality of the scale +4.4LBs ….44LBS down 46 LBS to go…….

5 Jan

Sweet feast

Well now I know,  it takes just 19 days to gain back what it took a month to lose.   I will admit I ate more than I ever thought I would, the above picture is evidence of the sweet feast I created with my family on Christmas eve and mostly at my urging….. Man do I love to bake.  I just don’t do it very much because I love to eat what I bake too much, well that and anything Frito Lay.   After this feast of fresh-baked cookie awesomeness, I hopped a plane and headed back home but not to get back on the bandwagon.  In fact I knew that I just wanted to be on break until 1/1/13 but I wanted to keep active.  Unfortunately I wasn’t planning on getting so stinkin sick and so all my good “be active” plans went out the window, as the only time I have been out bed in the past week is to go to work.  When I stood on the scale this past Friday I was not shocked just surprisingly disappointed, but I did feel better in general noting I didn’t need any medicine just to get into the shower.

I had such high expectations that I would bound out of bed this morning, miraculously better after 6 solid days of head cold hell.   I am sure no one is surprised that I more crawled out and stared at my hiking outfit like,” please don’t judge me”.  The good thing is Aaron had no false illusions about what I could tackle today so when I charmingly said yeah I think I got 4-6 solid miles in me let’s hit Waterton Canyon, he coyly responded how about Cherry Creek State Park and let’s take it easy today.  This way we are close to home just in case and there are lots of easy paths to get your lungs back.   I was so not into this idea as it isn’t hiking to me, but he is too smart for his own good!  The first tiny,itsy bitsy incline just a 100 feet away from the car kicked my butt and I was coughing nonstop.  I don’t even want to talk about how slow I was walking and how I kept thinking it seemed like he was running….. less than 3 miles later I was climbing back into the car wondering how long I had to wait to get back into bed.

I know everyone and everything has been talking about how bad the cold and flu season is this year, but I seriously didn’t think it was as bad as what I have been living through for the past week.  And I am still not better!  For the next 6 days I am focusing on eating healthy and getting in as much exercise as this recovery will let me.   I am going to tentatively plan an easy hike for next weekend in hopes that I have finally stopped coughing by then.  I hope none of you are so unlucky as to get afflicted with this nastiness, suck down that vitamin C and wash those hands excessively!