18 August 2015

Trail Tuesday

It's been a month or so since I've done a real trail run. I looked at the weather for today and decided it would be perfect, as it wasn't even supposed to break 70 until after noon.

I originally planned on doing a trail I regularly run, North Table Mountain. But on a whim, I decided to do South Table Mountain instead. It was enjoyable. About 8 miles of enjoyable. Unfortunately, though the temperature stayed in the 60s, it was really quite humid.  But I survived. I am really out of practice though, I think I hiked more of this one than most of my previous trail runs. My Nerd Fitness workouts are definitely helping to strengthen my legs, but I need to get my lungs back up to par.
tiny toad friend.

wildflowers and singletrack forever.

09 August 2015

Xero Shoe review (of sorts)

Surely you remember how I'm a minimal shoe (fanatic, obsessee, aficionado) enthusiast. I've been wearing Unshoes Pah Tempe for the past three years or so since they were the only minimal sandals that didn't have a strap or lace between the toes. Early this year I began to have some slight problems with them rubbing a bit where some stitching is. Not a huge deal, but I began to look around and see if there were other options. And Unshoes has changed some things, so I considered a new pair of those. But I also found the brand Xero Shoes. They had a very similar strap design, but a very different sole, though still just as minimal. Since they're located in Broomfield, I decided I'd swing by after a trail run and see if they were any good. Steven, the owner, met me and fitted me with a pair. They were super comfortable. And a bit cheaper than Unshoes (especially without shipping!) So naturally, I bought them.

Initially, I had a little bit of difficulty getting the proper fit. They are infinitely adjustable. The heel strap as well as the continuous strap on the top of the foot. I think they were a tad narrow, or perhaps my foot is weird, or I walk strangely, but my feet had a tendency to twist in the shoes, causing the outside of my heel (mostly on the right) to come up over the side and occasionally the big toe to come over the inside. This was especially problematic as the heels have a sort of bumper, a raised cup to keep the heel in place. I would end up stepping on that fairly regularly. But after a few somewhat helpful (and very prompt) emails, I got that mostly figured out. Until about a month later and 50 or so trail miles when the shoes broke. The straps are attached to the sole by a raised part of the sole that is a hole/slit that the strap is fed through. Though the rubber of the sole is very tough (better than the vibram of the Unshoes, in my opinion), this attachment point is a weak spot. I had to complete my hike to Hanging Lake with a dangling shoe.

Again, they were prompt with responses and I was issued a return label and soon thereafter a replacement pair. Luckily the second pair arrived the day before I was headed to Glacier et al. for a week. Unfortunately, exactly a week after I received the second pair, they broke in the very same spot.

This time I got my money back because it just isn't worth it to me unless they change the design. It's obviously flawed.

I like Xero Shoes. I really do. They're comfortable. Light. Flexible. The sole is super tough. They're local. But they're not so durable for real hiking. Probably fine for playing in the lake, taking walks at the park, etc.

Unshoes have their own small flaws as well, but they've never given up under pressure. So I'll tape that lumpy stitching and keep using them until something else comes along.

03 August 2015

National Parks again

What a week!

I just spent a week in Glacier National Park (and a few other parks along the way.) It was a week filled with fun and food and huckleberry mead. And singing. The Pocahontas soundtrack ended up being the soundtrack for the trip. Fun times.

We hiked to Iceberg Lake. Rode a shuttle to the top of Logan Pass. Hiked to Hidden Lake Overlook. Hiked to Avalanche Lake. Swam in the Snake River. Saw several moose. Saw several bears (from a great distance.) Saw a herd of bison. Saw practically ever geyser and geothermic pool in Yellowstone. We even managed a shower partway through the week.

It was quick, and there was a lot of driving and setting up and tearing down of camp, but it was awesome.

A few days prior to us leaving, a fire started at one of the main entrances to Glacier. It closed the main pass through the park. Luckily though, on the day we were planning to head southward, the pass opened up from our side to the top and we were able to take a shuttle and experience the amazing views.

We ended up cutting the trip short by one night. Which was great because it allowed us all a recuperation day before work. But someday we have to actually hike in the Tetons instead of just taking photos of them.

Speaking of which- have some photos (in no particular order):

My friends and I and South Falls, Yellowstone.
South Falls.

Morning mist on the Snake River.

Milk thistle and the Grand Teton.

Hidden Lake and Bearhat Mountain.

Great Prismatic Pool.


Running Eagle Falls.

Fireweed up the trail to Iceberg Lake.

Iceberg Lake.

A moose friend, just off the trail.

Crystal clear up Going to the Sun road.

Wildflowers and Clements Mountain.