20 July 2014

July Adventures

There's been a lot of action in the past few weeks. Since July 1 I've climbed 5 14ers, camped, hiked, trailrun, wrestled hoarded dogs, drove (rode) all around Colorado and got a promotion at work.

I've yet to see the increase in pay on that last one, but the fitness is making me happy. And having gone to seize dogs was quite the experience.

I probably am not able to provide a whole lot of details, but it was intense. I've seen the show "Hoarders" and its animal counterpart, but that didn't prepare me for the smell. Twentyish dogs inside a house for however long. The house was stuffed full of all sorts of junk as well as the dogs. The fences were covered in old, rotting clothes. The dogs were all terribly thin and mostly unsocial. And they were all unusually quiet. Even on the 3 hour drive back to the shelter there wasn't so much as a whine out of them. It made for a long day. I had no prior warning that I was accompanying Colorado Humane on this trip. I was told to go and so I did. But we didn't go right away. I waited around for about an hour. Then the 3ish hours driving. Then more waiting as it rained and the officers assessed things. My coworker and I were told to wait at the truck until they made sure the resident of the house wasn't home. They all wore bullet-proof vests. More waiting. Then we put together a bunch of crates as they broke into the house and started bringing dogs out on control sticks. There were a few in the yard that we baited with cat food and trapped pretty easily. Then after we caught and kenneled about 15 of them we waited some more. Then more dogs were found in various closets and barricaded nooks and crannies. The total came closer to 20.

All this waiting added up to a 14 hour day. Because my day wasn't over when we arrived back at work. Instead of being able to pass the dogs off to another team, we remained to complete their intake because most everyone else was gone for the night. So I got even more sweaty and stinky while holding the dogs as others vaccinated and photographed. It was all quite fun really besides all the waiting. Perhaps I'll apply for a position in that department.

As for hiking, after the two on Tuesday, my boyfriend and I have hiked 3 fourteeners in as many weeks. We've basically run out of "easy" mountains and I can certainly feel the steepness of the last few. They haven't given me any trouble while actually climbing, but the next day my calves are so sore I have trouble walking down stairs. But our 14er total is 10, only 42 or so more to go! Hahah.

07 July 2014

Holiday Weeked

I had a glorious long weekend.

The Fourth of July is a particular favorite of my boyfriend's so we planned an epic day. We invited a handful of people to a nice beach along Clear Creek outside of Golden. One of my best friends from Kansas even came for the weekend. We grilled hot dogs and hamburgers on a shiny new grill. We played in the creek. We sat in the shade. We lay in the sun. We chatted with friends old and new. We stayed by the creek for about 10 hours, then went in search of fireworks. I neglected to bring my camera so I have no photo evidence of this day.

On Saturday we packed up and drove to Buena Vista to camp near the trailhead of our planned 14ers. My Kansan friend agreed to watch the extra little dog we acquired for the month, while we hiked with the other one.

first light of morning
So we got up well before dawn and she stayed snug and warm in the tent. We hiked practically straight up for 4.5 miles, and reached the summit of Mt. Belford by 9:30 am. It was a very good morning for a hike, the temperature at the trailhead was much too warm, but as we hiked, the air became cooler.

sunlight finds the summit of Mt. Belford
When we reached the summit, the clouds began to form and we decided not to press our luck along the ridge to Mt. Oxford, only a mile away. Good thing too, as it began to rain as we descended.
So many flowers.
Oxford from Belford's peak.

summit selfie
It was a very beautiful hike, if gruelingly steep. We saw marmots and pikas and more wildflowers than I've ever seen above treeline before.
My hiking biddies with Missouri Mountain in the background.

state flower
I was sad to bid farewell to my out-of-state friend, but overjoyed when she mentioned she may become an in-state friend. 

It was a perfect weekend.

you'd think the little one did a 9 mile hike also.

01 July 2014

Trail Tuesday

Today was something new. I hiked some 14ers, but they were not new. It's just that I hiked with someone other than my boyfriend for the first time since I can remember. It was sad to be without him. I love sharing those experiences with him. But it was fun to hike with a new friend.

6 am clouds covering the peaks
We hiked Gray's and Torrey's Peaks. I've done them both before, but never both at once. I really like that trail. For the most part it's very gradual. The views are astounding. Except for today.

There was a bank of low clouds shrouding the peaks as we ascended. Nothing dangerous, basically just fog. It obscured the top of Gray's to the extent that we suddenly found ourselves on the top with no more trail to climb. But we broke though the haze before the summit of Torrey's and had some great views. By the time we'd descended back to the valley, the cloud bank was gone and the peaks were pristine.
"view" from the summit of Gray's Peak.

Summit of Torrey's (have I mentioned I love these shoes?)
We made excellent time for a 14er, summiting Gray's in two hours and Torrey's in an additional 30 minutes. The whole hike, breaks included, took about 4 and a half hours for ninish miles.
we did find some friends along the way

Pristine peaks.