TIL – Incidental Mountain Climber

I get informed upon waking that our friend Pajamas is in town, which is a rare treat – he’s building a climbing center in Nepal, and only gets a few months off a year. He comes over to hang out, asks Spesh and I if we want to go hiking. Sure, I say – it’s gorgeous out, and my student for the day has cancelled on me, so I’m definitely interested in doing something outside-ish. Between the winter and the knee recovery and whatnot, I haven’t done much in the way of hiking since I’ve been back, and I think it’s time to test the healing out. Pajamas did Green Mountain yesterday, so he’s wanting to do South Boulder Peak, maybe Bear Peak today. Alright, I’m down. So we load up the car and set out into the morning. Continue reading

Training: Chautauqua + First Flatiron

It’s been a hot minute since I’ve gotten any exercise – I started a primarily outdoors exercise routine and then there was a blizzard and then work picked up and since then I’ve been struggling to find a moment to breathe – so I promise myself that I’m going to do something this weekend, if only to appease my pitiful whiny muscles. Saturday, I don’t have anywhere to be at all(!), so I spend the day in an amalgamation of lounging in the sun/reading Carolyn Finney’s Black Faces, White Spaces1/doing household chores I’ve been neglecting. Once Sunday rolls around, though, I haul all of my gear out of the closet, strap on my not-quite-broken-in Altra hiking shoes, stuff most of everything into my pack, and head out to climb the first Flatiron in Boulder. Continue reading

Training – Little Manatee River

We’re in Florida over the holidays, Spesh and I, visiting my family, and while the family cars are mostly preoccupied with driving my parents to and from work, we managed to persuade one to take us to Little Manatee River State Park twice – the first time, to peek around (and see a wild tortoise!1), the second, to hike the 6.4-mile stacked loop just north of the river. As Florida is not known for its strenuous terrain so much as its humidity, mosquitos, and more toothy fauna, I figure this hike’ll be perfect for stretching our legs.  Continue reading

Training – Indian Peaks Wilderness

Same trail, second weekend in a row. We’re roundabout the Indian Peaks Wilderness, our supposed destination the Saint Vrain Glacier, but really, I’m out here to walk: find my stride, stretch my legs, see what I can do. It’s easy terrain, gently graded, and while I know it’s nothing compared to the Colorado Trail, I glow when Special informs me I’ve been setting a 3mph pace.

Last weekend was different – all thunderstorms stutterstepping around mushrooms and a noticeable absence of the appropriate permits, a combination too rich for my blood. We pulled an about-face after about five miles, searched high and low for a camp spot until we were back to the car, making for a ten-mile day. I wasn’t exactly opposed to a day on the couch before another workweek, but still, it was highly disappointing. A week later, rejuvenated stubbornness, and I feel – I am – faster already, covering those five miles in a few steps, only a few mushroom sightings to slow us down. Continue reading