Well lets get everyone caught up with my life over the last couple of weeks or so. Its been well very very busy and full of good times and great news. First things first though I have to tell everyone that My wife Jessica and I are to be expecting our second child together sometime around the first of the new year. This wonderful news came just days before we left to go visit relatives in Ft. Collins Colorado. I'm very excited and can't wait to welcome a new child into the family.
Ft. Collins was absolutely a blast. It was everything I was hoping it would be and just when I needed it to be. We have been working extra hard at work two months prior to this trip and well to tell you the truth I really had to get the hell out of there. Even if it was only just for a few days. The goal once we got there was to relax and enjoy the mountains but I couldn't just go to the Rockies and not run any of that awesome single track they got out there. So I managed to talk the wife into letting me get a couple of days to go and explore.
The first couple of days up there were spent taking in the local sights. Checking out the local trail scene and eating way too many homeade chocolate chip oatmeal cookies. Of course no trip to Ft. Collins would be complete without taking a tour of the New Belgium Brewery as well as the Odell's Brewery for some free samples. During our time up there we must of taken over 500 pictures. Which is completely opposite of what normally happens when we go somewhere. Usually we end up leaving the camera in the car. Not this time though. I'm currently going through all of them picking out the best ones.
The third day up there was probably the best one only for the fact that I got to get back up to Estes Park to hit some of the trails that I didn't get to hit the last time we were up there. Though the original plan for the day was to check out the Horsetooth recreation area just west of Ft. Collins. Things didn't work out quite the way I wanted them to. Arriving at the parking lot of the recreation area at 6 am. I found that it was already packed with hikers and mountain bikers. Not the quite single track filled day I had envisioned on the drive up to Colorado. So making a quick decision and breaking the cardinal rule of trail running or being outdoors in general and not informing anyone of my whereabouts. I headed west for another half hour to RMNP and the Roosevelt National Forest for some solitude.
It turned out to be a great day. Pulling into the parking area to the Lumpy Ridge Trailhead. I was glad to see only a couple of other vehicles and they hadn't even hit the trail yet. They were still getting their gear together for a day of rock climbing. Sweet I thought I'm going to have these trails to myself for at least a few hours. It was Sunday after all and I didn't expect to be all by my lonesome. I took some pictures of the run including one with a shot of myself overlooking Estes Park near the top of the Gem Lake Trail. A shot of Gem Lake. One of the Black Canyon trail and one of T-Bone and me at the New Belgium Brewery having a toast of apple juice and Fat Tire.
The run lasted for what seemed like an eternity. Though it only lasted for 5 hours. I covered just under 25 miles according to the map. I took a side trip off the trail to check out bridal veil falls and then a big chunk of the miles came when I tried to get up to checkout Lawn Lake. That turned out to be the big bummer of the day. Due to all the snow they had there this spring I ended up post holing through 3 foot of snow and losing the trail a few times a mile or so from the lake. I decided to call it off going the extra mile. It wasn't worth getting really lost. I just assume settle for a little lost. Which is what happened on the way back down. Tired of fighting the snow sinking all the way to my knees with every step I took I started getting frustrated. I zoned out for only a few minutes when I realized I wasn't on the trail anymore. I spent the next ten minutes trying to back track to where I got off. It wasn't hard its just that I had to do an extra ten minutes of 3 foot snow. Coming off the Lawn Lake trail I connected up with Black Canyon trail for another 5.6 miles then connecting up with the Lumpy Ridge trail for the remaining half mile. Coming around the bend and catching sight of the parking area and it was filled with vehicles. People were parking all the way down the road. I guess I got there at the right time of the morning. The funny thing is that the whole time I was on the trail I only saw maybe eight people total. I wonder where they were all at?
Just like that the adventure was over and I started the drive back to Ft. Collins not without a quick stop by McDonald's for a well deserved chocolate shake. The drive home was nice. Slow but nice. I actually got to see some bighorn sheep on the side of the road also some elk that had come down into the valley to feast on all the new spring growth. That evening we went out to eat at Beaujo Mountain Pies. Possibly the best pizza I've ever eaten. Their big seller is the 5lb. pizza piled a mile high with toppings and a crust on it as large as a loaf of bread. Reading their menu they had this challenge. Where if you and another person could eat their special pizza in one hour. Your meal was free. They would pay you each 100 dollars and throw in a t-shirt. Here's the kicker. Their special pizza is 14lbs. Yeah that's right 14lbs. Three of us couldn't even get 2/3 the way through a 5lb pizza. I can't imagine the hosses that could muscle down 141lbs of that monstrous creation in one hour. Well that's about it for now. I have some more pictures to post in a few days. I'll throw in one of the pizza for everyone to see. Kettle Moraine is right around the corner. So I'm sure I'll have some thoughts, fears to share about that also. Hope everyone is having a great Memorial Day weekend.