Catching up on Colorado
(back in DC... so this is all faint in my mind)
after a morning hike on the Foothills Trail with Rocco I went to meet up with my wife lisa and her college friend Chris
we met at a The Sink on The Hill... a small little resturant right smack in the middle of the Universtity of Colorado campus
Chris is pregnant with number two... waddling about in full penguin mode
we ate a flavorful lunch but I had to evacuate almost as soon as Chris' husband arrived
so much to see... so little time
in an effort to touch bases with a few more people I evacuated lunch before the check arrived
a convenient old trick, but with a joint bank account.... there is no victory
after a quick good bye I jumped in the rental car and headed off to Breckenridge

the drive from Boulder to Breck was a pleasant stroll down memory lane
I drove the scenic route through the canyon from Boulder to I-70 rather than down through Morrisson
no matter how many times a person may drive this route... I am certain it is always spectacular
perhaps not as dynamic as the first approach... but dynamic just the same
from I-70 I took Route 6 right before the Eisenhower Tunnel
figured I might as well go senic all the way
like the tourist I am I stopped at the top of Loveland Pass
no photo op this time
memories dashed through my hypoxic brain....
my first approach through this spot was on my motorcycle at 21years of age.... going cross county on an old KZ750
then my return where I took these out of bounds steep runs through the trees on a Burton Woody... an edgeless snowboard (a performance I would not care to repeat... a performance beyond single speeding... a performance pretty dam close to suicide)
then many trips over "the Pass" going to and from Denver or Boulder in the two years I spent snowboarding in Summit County
as well as the many snowboarding adventures riding the pass on a board outfitted with a metal edge after I learned the difference in the technology
no much snow remained on this day... patches of snow.... patches of earth
June is not the prime snowboarding season
then down the hill down past A-basin.... Keystone.... and onto Swan Mountain Road
again a million memories... some I would not mind forgetting
as I drove down the winding path of Swan Mountain Road I recalled getting run over by a car as I pushed my friend's jeep from a ditch
an injury I had long since forgotten as there are always more recent injuries occupying my brain
finally into Breck
the approach showed that things had changed
the wide open spaces were starting to fill in
it is only a matter of time when Breck and Frisco will be linked by Conoco Filling stations, City Market Grocery Stores, and cute little stores selling Christmas ornaments year round
once in Breckenridge I drove around this one horse town as I tried to make contact with my old friend Tim Faia
as it turns out he did not have his cell on his person which had me burning up what little time I had
eventually we made contact and I was able to swing by his house
it was great to get a peek into his world
his new home... his beautiful wife... his handsome young son... and his moderately neurotic dog... okay.. his neurotic dog... why candy coat it... Jackson does not read my BLOG.... he does not read any blog... he is a dog!
Tim and I took a short hike with his dog Jackson while his wife picked up their son from daycare
it was good to get out and talk with Tim in a face to face non-electronic way
we talked about life and bicycles all whle soaking in the various peaks that surround the town of Breckenridge
with a shortage of time we were back from our hike in no time and onto task two.... ordering Thai food
when picking up the Thai carryout I looked around and saw no Thai people
I asked Tim where the Thai people were... without hesitation Tim told me that they were in Thailand
we ate as fast as we walked as I could sense in my wife's voice that she wanted to hang out with me in in Boulder
it was hard to leave as I had not had enough to eat this tastee Thai food and Tim's son Beck was just warming up to me
oh well.... the next visit will have to be a less of a drive by
taking the non-scenic route I was back in Boulder in a snap of the finger and a push of the pedal
Lisa and I chilled in our luxurious 5 Star hotel... the spanking new St Julien
Lisa sipped a bottle of Sierra Nevada while I slammed Sambuca on ice
our plans to go out on the town were cut short by exhaustion and anticipation for a full day to come
in hind sight we should have used the hot tub
upon waking up we were greeted by black skies and cold rain
Lisa went for a Spa treatment while I lounged in bed
shortly after going through the channels several times I was out on the sidewalk dodging ice cold rain drops seeking out some morning coffee
back to the room with coffee in hand I started to pack my bags
lisa and I set our course for a hole in the clouds for a hike
we could not find that hole in the clouds so we went to brunch instead
in an effort to kill time waiting for the clouds to clear we did some shopping... well... shopping was a neccesity as lisa did not have proper gear for the mountains
with a destination of Leadville CO.... we needed winter gear even in the calendar marked summer for the rest of the states
luckily for us..... Boulder is a outdoor retail store mecca
the North Face store had most of what we needed and some of what we did not need but bought just the same
with no sign of a break in the weather lisa offered to foresake her afternoon Yoga class for a drive to the mountains
both of us hoping for a different weather system on the other side of "the Pass"
we drove the fast way rather than the scenic way in an effort to give us more time for hiking....
sure enough
as we climbed in elevation the weather did change
the rain changed to snow
through the Eisenhower Tunnel.... there was more snow and more clouds in the distance
we continued onto Leadville
once in Leadville we questioned what to do....
we went from junky antique store to junky antique store...
until it was finally time to get changed and meet up with the wedding party
it was great to see Scott
it was great to meet his wife to be
there were all sorts of old friends gathered for the event
Scott had planned an unconventional wedding with a very casual theme
it was a pleasure for all...
dinner moved into drinks.... drinks went from the resturant to a locla cowboy bar.... lisa and I went back to our hotel to get some rest
lisa and I woke thinking we could just ask any Leadville local about a good place to hike
everyone either pointed us to the same brochure or the yet to open visitor's center
so we went and got coffee as we waited for the visitor's center to open
we sipped our coffee and compared various hikes... but wanted a human opinion
once it was 9am we rushed over to the visitors center for advice
as it turns out they had no opinion.... just the information on the borchures
well.... that and the incorrect advice that we mistakenly took
the hike that sounded most attractive was the hike up to Mt Elbert
this would be an easy hike to the highest point in Colorado
having been to the highest point of Arizona it seemed like we could knock up our second highest point on a list we have not really started
the kind little hippy behind the desk assured us that it was a 3-5 hour round trip...
being fit we figured we could knock it out in closer to 3 hours
we drove to the trailhead
upon arrival we encountered a few people from our wedding party
Stan gave us an estimate based off elevation.... we assured him otherwise
then a hiker from Vail told us of the 5 hour round trip.. granting us a 4 hour if we kept our pace and did little resting
we revised our trip
we would hike up for an hour and half then scramble down
thus giving room for showers and drive to the wedding
Scott and Iris went unconventional
no church... no steeple... no building to speak of
there they were out in the open... in front of friends, family, and the open sky of colorado
we drove to the base of the hill then got an exciting ride to the top in an old friend's 4X4
a justice of the peace lead the short ceremony... then they were married
everyone gathered for a BBQ on a lower section of land that looked out over the Colorado Rockies and black clouds in the distance
cold weather rolled in... then rolled out
music played as people mixed and mingled... and ate... everyone ate heartily
then another set of dark clouds rolled in
since it was getting late... cake had been eaten and people had all been mixing and mingling
everyone decided to make a mad dash down the hill to their cars...
it was a good choice... the cold rain started and continued for longer than most people would have been comfortable waiting out
that night the folks in the wedding party gathered for dinner and drinks in small packs
only to regroup at Scott and Iris' small Leadville weekend home
where a bonfire was set for more drinking and socialzing
it was a low key affair
comfortable for all... well.. comfortable for all who enjoy the outdoors
Scott was a handsome groom and Iris was a beautiful bride
rather than posing on top of a wedding cake they stood on top of the world right in the middle of the snow capped peaks of the Rockies
the next day had an early rise
lisa had an early morning flight to Pittsburgh... while I had an afternoon flight to DC
I dropped lisa off at the airport then went off to Boulder for some breakfast, a hung over hike, and some shopping
the weather was good on my last day... but not as but not as stellar as the days before the rain
I did some hiking at Gregory's canyon... but did not manage the loop as I was not familiar with the trial names and could not figure out the map with my hung over sleep dedrived brain

it was good to get home an sleep in my own bed
although my body was not ready for the heat and humidity
with all my complaints.... there is something to be said about the cold mountain climate

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