Headed out Saturday with our buddies in from chicago, the family we own our boat with. We took lyft over to chautauqua as the parking is usually pretty tough. We headed out with another family up the main trail which quickly became very muddy. Eventually we all split off, one family with little kids turning back, family with big kids forging on up royal arch trail, and ev and I doing the middle trail less grueling, flatirons between 2 and 3. We had a great time, ev hiked a bunch and loved climbing the through, up, and over a long rocky scree field. She had a blast and so did I. We took lots of short timeouts to look up close at bugs, leaves, rocks, branches and whatever else caught her interest. Super fun daddy daughter hike. We headed to the playground to wait for our friends. Then to the amazing chautauqua dining hall, always a special experience. We ended up just sitting in the comfy chairs by the fireplace, ordered some apps, hot chocolate, and enjoyed the vine. Then got a big lyft car and all piled in and rolled home.
Lisa and I took a five day “engagement-moon” road trip to the south over New Year’s 2010. One of my projects is to summit the highest point in all 50 states, and a few continents and countries as well. We stayed with some good friends in Indianapolis the first night, then the second day drove to Asheville, NC where we stayed again with friends up in the mountains – celebrating New Years by lighting off a bunch of firecrackers with their five year old and playing dino board games, much fun and laughter had by all. Turns out that in the winter most of these southern state high points are closed to vehicle traffic, and most being drive-ups, this complicated our task. Read the rest of this entry »
Went on an amazing winter backpacking trip on a section of the Ice Age Trail (which stretches across the entire state of Wisconsin) in Kettle Moraine State Park Northern Unit. Incredible terrain, big rolling moraines with the trail often following the ridgelines, big sweeping “kettles” or giant rounded indentations, often with water in the bottoms.
Beautiful weather – that is if you’re into winter camping. We had about 40 degrees and clouds the first day, snow then blue sky the second. The first day we hiked about ten miles after a couple hours of driving up to the park. Ten miles is a long ways let me tell you, especially in uneven terrain with thirty or forty pounds on your back and a pretty nasty cold to boot. We finally straggled into camp, all twelve of us, with plenty of daylight left, surprisingly plenty actually. We had the tents set up, fire made, gear organized and were well into our dinner before it even turned dusk, around 7:30 or so. And thank goodness we had followed Will’s suggestion and set the tents up immediately because a snowstorm rolled in – which was very fun to have. A thick blanket of snow covered the ground and grew deeper through the night, probably six inches worth. Ryan, the trip leader brought his Samoyed, a siberian-bred dog, big puffy white fur – he was about as happy as a dog could be, he was born for that weather and played and thoroughly enjoyed himself.
Food was excellent, and eventually after some storytelling and laughing and huddling around the fire as the snow gathered on our backs and hats, people retired to their various tents. I and several others slept in the shelter on the benches along the side. We were all perfectly warm with our winter sleeping bags. I slept like a champ as did the others. The next morning we gradually broke camp, no big rush, getting out of shelter #3 finally at eleven and meandered another six miles, which again is a good bit of distance. And the second day the terrain was quite rugged, especially considering we were so close to Chicago – it was a true wilderness experience. The trail crossed a few roads but we saw only one other hiker out there the entire trip – amazing. The shelter was very cool – I had heard they existed in the midwest but had never seen one.
It very much reminded me of the Appalachian trail shelters. At the end of the trail a few folks had to drive the car we dropped back to pick up the others at the trailhead where we’d left them the previous day, took over an hour – no matter as we all laid down on a dry section of concrete and enjoyed the sun – many getting a good bit of color.
A great time was had by all. We all met up at Perkins a few miles down the road for a well-deserved late lunch, and then made our way back to the city, refreshed, tired, sore, and generally refreshed, mentally, spiritually, and physically. I left my blackberry off the entire time, what a great feeling.
Go bouldering in Morrison, Colorado.