Backpacking in colorado

Some buddies and I decided to go backpacking in the San Isabel national forest in colorado last weekend. What a fantastic trip we had. We hiked three 14'ers in two days - Mt. Missouri, Mt. Belford, and Mt. Oxford. For those of you who do not know what a 14'er is, it is a mountaint whose peak is 14,000 feet or greater, and rises 300 feet above the next adjacent mountain. There are 53 I believe in colorado, the tallest of which is Mt Elbert at 14,433. The above links will give you some stats and pictures of those peaks if you are interested. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of my own at this time.

The weather was perfect, but us lowlanders where in for a harder time than we imagined. We were definetly huffing and puffing, a couple got pretty bad altitude sickness, but we made it with no injuries or no one tumbling off the mountain. I discovered trekking poles for the first time as I bought some before leaving. I've done a fair amount of hiking / backpacking, but I won't be doing any more without poles. They really are helpful and work great as a lightning rod on top of the peak. Hiking companions appreciate knowing they will be the second ones hit.

It had been a while since I have tackled anything this arduous, and I had forgotten how deceptive hiking can be. It is tempting to look across a valley, up over a ridge, up at a peak, etc and say to your self, oh that doesn't look that bad, only to find when you get up close that was the worse thing you could have done.

I'll post some pictures when I get them from the others as I did not take a camera.


an update of our not so interesting life...

another saturday morning update here. We have decided to embark on a bit of remodeling for our home. It will be a bit of a process, but I don't think we are in any hurry. We are going to redo the laundry room, downstairs bath, and kitchen (eventually). We got a new washer and dryer from Jenica's dad. He works at Frigidaire, and they delivered a top of the line test model for free, but we have to complete surveys on it for a year. Hmmmm...lets think about that for a while...ok, we'll take it! Now if only BMW did that.

Leyla is sure an interesting kid. She does not like change (to an extreme) we have discovered. She broke down crying when she saw the new washer and dryer, saying she just likes our old one. The other day the city came by and cut down our dying 80 year old maple tree, and that was pretty upsetting to Leyla as well. She also doesn't want us doing any remodelling. And on an unrelated note, the other day she called Chloe a "naughty greedy little pig" when they weren't getting along. And for one more Leylaism, the day before her birthday, when I took her out on a date and we were discussing her upcoming birthday, she squeezed her eyes tight and said with upmost longing, "oh I wish tomorrow were today!".

Last weekend I took Jenica on a weekend getaway to the "Amana Colonies", which is a historic german village in central Iowa. I didn't know much about it, but went ahead and booked a bed and breakfast and bought some tickets to the local theatre there. Well, no one clued me in the unwritten law that you had to be retired to be there. When we walked into the theatre, and saw that we were the only people there under 65, we felt a little intimidated. Not that we don't enjoy and respect the elderly, we just felt our of place. And not to mention that everything at the Amana's seemed subpar. The food wasn't that great, the bed and breakfast was relatively pitiful, and the play we saw had a story line about as interesting as "see spot run". We did a little wine tasting as well - I never new you could make "dandelion" wine. It was interesting, but it definitely curbed my urges to go out and eat dandelions.

We had fun just being together without kids. As I grow closer to my wife it is amazing how much joy there is in having a deep relationship with another person. Someone you love to just be with and commune with. The absolute best part of the weekend was the trip back - we took a backroads highway, windows down sunroof open music on holding hands blasting down the highway about as fast as we dared. Proof to the saying that any happily married couple knows: it doesn't matter what you do as long as it is together. In fact, I have decided when it comes to just being together less is indeed more. Simple times are often just as - or more - enjoyable as the busy planned out vacations.