rowan

97 degrees.  Been a hot week at 5500ft.  Solution?  Go higher 🙂

5 days after my disappointing Bighorn retreat, HIKE weekend.  Chicken soup for the brain.

Friday drive after work, 3 hours to Leadville on the Continental Divide.  (first time ever) Rented a Ro-friendly cabin just north of town.  Pup & I would hit it hard early a.m. – but not too early.  Taking advantage of the area’s cool mountain air, good sleeping weather.

Backpack, boots, multiple shirts (I hike in layers), whole lotta water.  8am start, trailhead parking already FULL.  Found a spot quarter-mile away on the road to Massive.  Today’s hike destination: Mt. Elbert, first 14er of 2017.  FAAANNNTASTIC!

Summitted this peak in 2012.  Not a technical hike, but remember it being one of the longest.  Tallest peak in Colorado, 2nd highest in the lower 48.  This early in the season (mid-June), just happy to ferret out a hikeable peak.  Heavy snow season.

3 false summits, whole lotta up-n-down.  Challenging but doable, did my online research.  Almost 4 miles of treed wildlife: ground squirrels, chipmunks & (surprisingly) a flock of prairie hen.  Kept Ro tethered to my belt – he’s a big FAN of chicken ❤

UP UP UP, water break.  Different set of muscles used [vs marathoning].  UP UP UP, ‘nother water break.  the Scenery?  No comparison.  Thin air, wildflowers, intermittent tuffs of green – life finding a way above 12,000ft.

False summit snacked.  Took in the panorama, circled by mountains & snow pocked tundra.

1100ft of vertical to go.  UP UP UP, ‘cross a large snow field.  Teeny tiny people visible high above, our first summit view.  Let Ro romp in last winter’s remnants but kept Pup leashed.  Season change/high altitude sun, unexpected crevasses/cornice breaks.

400ft more, SUMMIT SUCCESS!

Pulled a jacket out of the backpack & hunkered behind a large boulder.  Chicken jerky for Pup, Turkey avocado for Dad.  Long hike back – best part?  No return drive ‘til morning.  Weekend cabin rental, highly recommended – even Ro got a bath 🙂

 

 

Mt Elbert 2017

 

 

Dropped Ash & Tom at DIA, their next stop: Reykjavik, Iceland.  [after work] returned to pick up Marty, my first (& only) grandpup.  Year-half living with Ro, knew this 2-week reunion would be appreciated by both.  BROs reunited!

Spoiled?  Well…maybe a little.  Pup-Peroni snacks, hot dogs, fried eggs each morning.  Eggs are good for their coat, right? 🙂

Short work week, family & friends now gone, weekend plans?  A June SNOW hike…of course.  Travelled north to Brainard Lake, short 45 minutes away.  Generally roads open Memorial Day weekend.  No such luck this year.

Originally had hoped to hike Lake Isabelle.  2 mile jaunt to Brainard, beautiful sunshiny skies.  Lotta hikers.  Brainard still half-frozen.  Kicked back & people watched.  BIG smiles from BOTH pups.  Ro loves the snow, Marty loves to hike.

Circled ‘round Brainard.  Met by a wall of snow.  No Isabelle in today’s hike forecast.

Home returned via Nederland.  In-town cell reception, received another batch of texts from Iceland.  Wouldn’t trade our Colorado snow hike…but this particular weekend, think I got aced by Daughter.  Volcanic hot springs, Icelandic ponies, oceanside boulder hike, spelunking & whale watching – that doesn’t include a 2-day jet set to London.  Well done Ash.  Nothing left undone.

 

 

Ash & Tom’s Icelandic Adventure

 

 

Who doesn’t yearn to visit a lawless Wild West town?  Welcome to Deadwood, South Dakota!

Seemed fitting I slept in a casino, ate dinner ‘bove an old saloon.  Breakfast’d next morning at Sheriff Bullock’s former hardware store.  Bullock rode with Theodore Roosevelt’s Rough Riders & later attended his 1904 presidential inauguration.

It is said that “The inaugural celebration was the largest and most diverse of any in memory—cowboys, Indians (including the Apache Chief Geronimo), coal miners, soldiers, and students were some of the groups represented.”  This was to illustrate how diverse a man that Teddy Roosevelt really was.

SUPER Saturday.  Having already visited Custer State Park, Crazy Horse Memorial & Mount Rushmore, didn’t arrive in Deadwood ‘til late afternoon.  Hotel check-in, clothes swap, got in my daily run.   Started at Days of ’76 Museum – ‘cross Main Street from Cadillac Jack’s (my casino bedroom, pre-Mother’s Day).   Followed Crescent Drive, down Dunlop & McKinley to Railroad Ave.  Hugged Wildwood Creek two miles ‘til it emptied into Deadwood’s historic downtown.  Nice trek.

Dinner reservations at Deadwood Social Club, like stepping back in time.  Housed above Saloon No. 10 – site where Wild Bill Hickok was assassinated by Jack McCall while playing a game of poker August 2nd 1876.  A+ atmosphere, limited non-cow menu.

Early to bed, early to rise.  Read the history of Deadwood’s first Sheriff Seth Bullock, while I stuffing down a morning omelet.  Quick downtown sightsee, then UP UP UP to Mount Moriah Cemetery.  Buried high above town, walked the long hill UP to Wild Bill & Calamity Jane’s gravesite.  Odd how many graveyards I find myself – it’s the history I love.

Badlands still on the list (& 2 Black Hills marathons 🙂 ).  I’ll be back, South Dakota.  I’ll be back.

 

 

pre-Mother’s day run

 

 

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...