Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Rocky Mountain Aristocrats — FFL 2008 Champions!!

Well, it was a great season and everyone put up some good games, but the Aristocrats prevail in the end! The championship match up with Ned, and his team that switched names in the postseason, was a close one. Only one point decided the Bledsoe's Bloody Organ League Champion for 2008. What a match!

Click HERE to see more stats from the season.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

An elephant paints an amazing self portrait

An Elephant Paints An Amazing Self Portrait
An Elephant Paints An Amazing Self Portrait This it utterly amazing. Right before your eyes you will see an elephant paint the most incredible thing...

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Varitek turns down arbitration offer

Catcher eligible to sign with any team

By Ian Browne /

LAS VEGAS — Free-agent catcher Jason Varitek declined arbitration from the Red Sox before Sunday night's midnight ET deadline, meaning he is still eligible to sign with all 30 Major League teams.

If Varitek had accepted Boston's offer, he would have been contractually bound to the Red Sox for the 2009 season.

Varitek is a Type A free agent, meaning the Red Sox will get two Draft picks as compensation should he sign with another team.

Figuring out the catching situation remains a top priority of Red Sox general manager Theo Epstein at the Winter Meetings, which officially start on Monday in Las Vegas.

There's still a chance Varitek -- Boston's starting catcher since 1999 -- will be part of that situation. In fact, an ideal scenario for the Red Sox would be retaining Varitek and acquiring a younger catcher who could ultimately serve as his successor.

"That's a desirable outcome," Epstein said last week. "We also have catchers-in-waiting in the Minor Leagues who are talented, but maybe not quite ready to step into a prominent role right now. We'll see. I'm confident that we'll find a way to end up with a reputable catching core that we hope will not only have us set up for 2009, but also in the future."

Monday, December 1, 2008

Add my widget ...

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Inaguration Count Down

Powder Day!!!

It was a powder day at the Basin on Sunday!!! We headed up to the mountains on Saturday evening and found much different weather than in Denver. At the tunnel the roads were snowpacked and once we made it to Keystone, it began to snow harder. In the morning we headed up to A-Basin with Erich and Julia and enjoyed 23 inches in two days (they are now up to 35" in the past 3 days!!). The top of the mountain was not open yet due to winds topping out at 80 mph!!

But there was plenty of snow to enjoy lower on the mountain. Patrol opened some glades skiers right, but the terrain was not steep enough on the first time through as we sunk to our mid thighs and had to walk our way through most of it. As more people rode that terrain it got much easier to get enough speed to have fun.

Melissa and I were going to head out around 1 pm to watch the Patriots back in Denver, but we ended up sitting in traffic for two hours without even making it to I-70, and it's ony 6 miles away!!! We ended up turning around and heading back to the condo in Keystone. Instead of waiting in 6+ hours of traffic to Denver, we enjoyed a dinner at Kickapoos and a brew at the Wolf Rock Brewery in River Run Village. The bad part was we had to get up at 4 a.m. to drive back home for work.

I think it was all worth the early season pow turns!!

See more from Arapahoe Basin HERE.

Photo Shoot

Finished up my photo shoot for the January '09 issue. We shot it in front of the Bistro Vendome restaurant in downtown Denver. The subject is Exit Planning for Boomer Businesses. Also took some shots back at our photographers studio. John Johnston takes some great photos and also creates the New Belgium Brewery ads (see his blog for an inside look at how he creates those). Some low res, raw photos from the shoot are posted below. You can check out more work from John HERE.
Getting the lighting right for the studio shoot.

Monday, November 24, 2008

Coldplay in Denver

Melissa and I went to the Coldplay concert at the Pepsi Center on Friday evening. Amazing show! Our seats were up near the nosebleeds, but the sound was great and we could see everything. They had a couple large screens with video that showed everything that was going on. What an amazingly talented band. From the music and lyrics, to the performance and lights, it was all spot on!

Coldplay plays Yellow for their encore. >>

You can see more video clips from the concert HERE.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Dustrin Pedroia takes top honor as the 2008 AL MVP.
Way to go little guy!

And Youk took third as well.

GO SOX!!!!!

Read more HERE.

Monday, November 17, 2008

Children of Winter

We went to see the new Warren Miller film at the Boulder Theater on Saturday evening. See it if you can, it will get you pumped for winter!!

Friday, November 14, 2008

Cool stuff ...


Living in Denver is much different than Breckenridge when it comes to the first snow. Breck got it's first weeks ago. Here in Den, the weather guys have been talking about snow the past week, but it never happens. Each morning I wake to green grass while Breck is blanketed under powder.

Finally this morning the grass was no longer green. It had a fresh white coating on it and the flurries were still dropping as I drove to work. Winter is here, for a few hours. It will soon be all gone as the temps rise into the 60's and 70's.

Guess it's time to head up to the mountains for some skiing!!

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Bike + Views - Confrontation = Living

Found my camera! I think I've lost that thing 10 times now. Strangely enough, it always turns up where I've already looked before. Anyways, photos have been uploaded to Picasa for your viewing pleasure.

See photos HERE.

Marshall Mesa and the Community Ditch biking/hiking trails are located just south of Boulder. An easy ride with some good up and down. Nothing too technical, so it was nice to just ride after having been off the saddle for a while. Great views of the Flatirons!

Took my helmet cam out for the first time on my bike. Got some cool footage, but it's not ready to publish yet. We'll see what type of editing I can do to it first. Check back for some possible video in the next few days.

We had quite an interesting encounter with an elderly couple who did not seem to understand the rules of the trail and were very stubborn in their ways. They felt that every biker should stop and get off their bike, as well as walk off the trail to get around them while they were walking. Obviously some bikers who don't follow the rules had made them upset over they years. Yes, there are rules on the trails, but they did not fully understand them and were pushing the yield rule a bit too far.

We first came upon them at a switchback near the top of the trail. A seemingly nice lady in her 70's and a quiet man that must have been near 90. I was surprised to see them walking along on a trail such as this, and this high up on it. I hope to be in good enough shape to do the same at that age. However I think I'll be a bit nicer than they ended up being.

I was stopped at the switchback waiting for Melissa, and they asked if I was headed down. I said, "Not yet, but we will be soon." The lady gruffly responded with, "You'd better stop before you get to us!" I replied that I would give them plenty of notice before passing them, as I always do for anyone else on the trail. They continued down towards Melissa who was negotiating one of the steeper sections prior to the switchback. When they got to her, the old man stood in the middle of the trail and would not move. Melissa had to dismount and go off the trail to get around him. At the time we just shrugged it off as a senile old man who was probably going blind. Little did we know that we would encounter them again.

On our way back down, we came around a corner and saw the elderly couple in a heated discussion with a man who was stopped on the side of the trail on his bike. As I got closer, I could tell they were arguing about who had the right of way and how it should have been handled. I decided to pass through slowly and carry on, not wanting to get involved in a discussion that would never end in agreement. As I passed, the old man walked in front of me and put his arm across my chest to stop my forward movement. I was barely creeping along, so I stopped and asked him not to touch me. Lucky for him I am a kind and non-confrontational person. Someone else may not have been so nice and he could have found himself wrapped up in a lawsuit over assault. They continued to argue with me and the other biker over the rules that they did not understand. I wish I had kept my helmet cam running to catch the events! Eventually we went on our way, shaking our heads about how misunderstanding the older couple was. Guess you can't always teach old dogs new tricks!

If you are ever out on the trails, follow the rules. If someone does not understand them, try to give them some friendly advice, but also understand that not everyone is open to knowing the truth. So at that time move on, enjoy the ride, take in the views and live life!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Work, a four letter word

I know the title of this blog is COAdventure, and most of my postings lately have been outside the realm of my adventures. However, work sometimes gets in the way.

I've been very busy the past couple weeks with the December issue of our magazine. Not only is it a "re-cap" of the years products and trends (source list after source list, arghhh), but I also had five financial big wigs to get photos of for our "Forward Thinking Five" section. Working with four photographers around the country I was able to schedule everyone in and stay within budget to get it done. A very fine balancing act. I think it turned out good. Goes to press tomorrow, so we'll see.

Above is the cover for the December issue. Peter Wallison, with the blue background, would have been McCain's Treasury Secretary had he been elected. Big names in the financial industry!

On a lighter note. Melis and I went on a great Mtn. Bike ride this past Sunday just south of Boulder in the Marshall Mesa/Community Ditch trail area. Great weather and spectacular views of the Flatirons. A basic ride with some fun downhill, nothing too technical which was good for not having been in the sadle for a while. I'd have some photos posted already, but still trying to find where I put my camera. Hopefully it'll turn up soon and I'll get them online. Also have some video footage from my helmet cam. Got to edit it down and add some tunes to it. So that may be a while before you see my skillz from my pint of view.

Enjoy your Wednesday!

Anyone else pissed!?!

The credit card companies get bailed out with my money and still charge me 30% interest!! Anyone else see the sense in that?

From CNN Money: "Treasury Secretary Henry Paulson said Wednesday the government would broaden the reach of the $700 billion bailout plan to support non-bank financial institutions that provide consumer credit, such as credit cards and auto loans."

Read more HERE

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Thank You Veterans

Today is Veterans Day, a day to honor all those who have bravely served in our Armed Forces. As a nation, we all should show our gratitude, not just on this day but always. Service to country is a calling, to serve and protect us, to keep our country safe and to preserve our way of life.

Those called, give their time and risk their lives for their fellow countrymen. With so many Americans currently on active duty, it is especially appropriate to honor the brave women and men willing to make the necessary sacrifice to protect our way of life.

Thanks and prayers go out to them.

Friday, November 7, 2008

President Elect - Barack Obama!!

Well, we now know who our 44th President will be. Barack Obama! The first African American President of the United States of America is a Democrat. With a landslide victory that turned multiple states from Red to Blue, we now know who will lead us for at least the next four years, if not eight.

I'm excited. Wish he could start right now and Bush could just go back to his ranch and stop causing problems. Who knows what stupid things we have in store for us from the White House between now and January 20, 2009. Hopefully he can keep them to a minimum and give Obama less to clean up than he already has facing him.

I wanted to visit my friend Mark in D.C. for the inauguration ceremony in January, however financial circumstances (which I am sure are hitting everyone) may not let me partake. We'll see what magic I can make between now and then. Most likely it will just be a flight in, party with the Seavey's and then out. I don't see me being able to attend the ceremony or balls afterward unless I fall into a good chunk of change soon. If you don't believe me, check out the prices HERE. Crazy!!

If you missed Obama's acceptance speech on Tuesday evening, it's a must see HERE.

Monday, November 3, 2008


Have you voted already?

Please make sure you are at the polls tomorrow. I am not writing this to sway you one way or another. Vote for the candidate you feel will best serve our country. Think about how you want the next four years to be. Don't think about the past four, that is behind us. Choose someone who will give us the best four years and thus make the years after that as productive as possible for the environment, business, families, individuals and the world.

This election is extremely important to all of us. You can't afford to not vote. I feel this one will be closer than most people think and your voice counts. So get out and make your voice be heard. If you don't, (this may sound harsh, but I believe it) then you have nothing to complain about over the next four years when it comes to how our government works.


Happy Voting Everyone!

Monday, October 27, 2008

Going Green

It's the Colorado way!
We went to a Halloween party Saturday night. We were "Going Green". Even had solar panels on our backs. There were some great costumes there: a couch, the standard slutty girl cop, a priest and pregnant nun, a pink flamingo, Sarah Palin and even an over sized box of Franzia including a tap on the front that you could actually drink the wine from!

You can see photos of our costumes as well as some pumpkins we carved with the Arce's last week HERE.

Monday, October 20, 2008

First Turns!!

We headed up to Arapahoe Basin on Saturday morning and met up with Erich and Julia for a few runs to start the season. Only one trail is open with an 18" base. So the lines are long and the crazies are all over the place. We took two runs and then headed in for a Bloody Mary. The snow was OK, considering the time of year, but the crowds made it hard to link your turns. Can't wait for more of the natural stuff and more trails to open.

We finished off the day with a soak in the hot tub at the Keystone condo and then watched the Sox beat the Rays in Game 6 of the ALCS. Too bad they did not show up for Game 7. Oh well, there is always next year ...

See photos from our first day of skiing HERE

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

You can feel it in the air!

Ski season is on its way! With temps in the 30's at night and low 50's during the day the past few days in Denver, you can feel winter coming on. Although the forcast is for 70's be the end of the week. Anyways, Arapahoe Basin opens tomorrow with an 18" base, ribbon of death. One trail just barely covered with man made snow. They will be the first to open for the '08-'09 season in the U.S. I won't be there, but I am sure a bunch of crazy people will be. That's the best time to get hurt and be out for the rest of the season. Between the idiots who think they can race down the narrow trail like it's mid February and the beginers who don't even know how to turn yet, your likely to run into someone or have someone run into you. No thanks!

But I'll be there soon! Got my pass already and starting to do lunges after runs. Need to get the burn out of the legs before those first killer Tele turns of the season. Looking forward to it.

Read more about opening day here: Summit Daily News

Free your heels and your mind will follow!

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Steamboat Weekend

This post now seems a bit on the old side, but I wanted to share photos of our weekend in Steamboat Springs. A busy week at work has prevented me from posting earlier.

Last Friday evening, Melissa and I headed up to Steamboat after work. It's about a four hour drive from Denver. We took U.S. 40 over Berthold Pass, through Winter Park, Granby, Kremling and over Rabbit Ears Pass. The Aspens were just starting to turn in Denver, but are in full color up in the mountains.

We got to the Tap House on Main Street in Steamboat just in time for the second inning of Game Two of the ALDS between the Red Sox and the Angels. We had some good food and drink while enjoying a Red Sox win!

We got to the tiny town of Columbine late-night and found our cabin in the dark. We woke up to a lost cow mooing for his friends. The entire area is Open Range, so the cows basically have taken over and go wherever they want. Upon stepping outside, we were blinded by the gold Aspens that surrounded the cabin. Anyone looking for a fun weekend in the mountains north of Steamboat and just South of the Wyoming border, should check out the Columbine Cabins. Our cabin was one room with a wood stove for heat and kerosene lanterns for light. There are group bathrooms in the center area of the cabins and a outhouse for our cabins use. Very rustic and quaint. Most of these cabins are over 100 years old.

Saturday morning we hiked Hans Peak. The trailhead is located just across the road from the cabins. Great little hike. We got caught in some snow and wind at the top, but the views were spectacular. Rained most of the weekend off and on, so our photos were not as good as if the sky had been blue, but the fall colors made up for it. Not quite like New England fall colors, but still beautiful in their own right.

We added to our Colorado brewery checklist with the Mahogany Brewery in Steamboat. We enjoyed a great dinner and a few pints of their hand-crafted beers. Then we were off to the Strawberry Park Hot Springs for an evening soak. A must for any visit to the Steamboat area!

We wanted to try out some fly fishing in the area, it is well know for many amazing fishing spots, but due to the rain and cold we headed out for an excellent breakfast ( Winona's ) Sunday morning and then back to Denver to catch the Sox game. If yo have a chance to visit Steamboat, any time of the year, you should. A historic town with a ton to do.

Check out our photos:
Jason's Photos
Melissa's Photos

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

A great must read!


The Wounded-Courier: Leaked Memo of McCain Camp's Future Hail Mary

Are you ready?

It's October and the Red Sox are still playing! Anyone else feeling that exciting anticipation of the first ALDS pitch? It's time to start defending out title.

Seems to me that the end of the Sox season was a bit under expected, with injuries and some bad losses. But that is all in the past and the slate is clean as we head into Wednesday nights match up against the Angels. One game at a time. Our history against them in the playoffs is on our side.

Take a moment to vote on the poll to the left, and keep up with the team here.


Thursday, September 25, 2008


Now, I know this blog is primarily about my adventures in Colorado, but I felt compelled to post this entry, written by Mank. He does a good job of summing up the race for Prez so far.
Enjoy! ...

By Mank

I was just waiting for the McCain Campaign fall-out. It seems inevitable, and it seems as if it is upon us. I am still worried that he could take this thing.
Every turn in momentum proves to be worse than the last. It seems that campaigns get 2 to 3 weeks of good numbers in a bounce and then swing back down while the others swing up. We have 40 days to go. Obama can avoid that, I think, by driving hard and fast and not budging on messaging. He has found McCain's soft spot, now he has to go at it. Clinton found it in '92, remember: "It's the economy, stupid."
According to some data, 90% of Americans think the Friday debate should go on... I have to think that McCain over-played his hand and reeks of desperation at this point. They are also trying to avoid the Palin debate, and rightfully so, if you have seen any of her interviews. Even Sean Hannity couldn't make her look prepared, and that's saying something.
Also, I think Palin has marginalized the Campaign's message (or lack thereof, depending on who you ask), because she cannot deliver it honestly. As McCain and his cohorts scramble to keep up with issues they make gaffe after gaffe, and with the microscope firmly on Palin, everything appears 10x as worse. And, it is not because of her personally sordid past, purported extra-marital affairs, questionable judgement, or parenting. No, it is because she is new and running for the biggest office in the country and the public deserves to know about her record. Her record. Not the record released by the McCain media team. Only hope America is really paying attention to what is being revealed.
As a note, the Obama campaign letting Palin do herself in when talking and also by her not talking to the press will be one of the truly deciding factor in this election. Things that political junkies and wonks live for. Sure it will be the economy and the war, but the strategy behind Obama's political maneuvering will become that of legend, should Obama win. This perhaps being their finest choice. After all, the election is about John McCain.
The McCain/Rove election strategy of running on "personality" could be seeing it's last days of effectiveness. Though I didn't think they should win on that issue either, it certainly plays to folks who do not pay as much attention to the issues, who have closeted racism, or just plain like John McCain. Now that the campaign is [inevitably] back on the issues, Obama and Biden have a clear advantage, if only Biden would stop giving terrible soundbites.
I sincerely hope that Obama can keep them on the ropes with direct attacks and concise messaging. Bring up Keating 5 and de-regulation, bring up McCain's ties to Fannie and Freddie Mac, bring up his houses and cars, bring up his voting against the immigration legislation that he co-sponsored, bring up his terminal hawkishness on war, bring up his wish to alienate Russia and create a new cold war, bring up his habitual poor decision making. Bring it all up. Issues, Issues, Issues.
With personality as a secondary factor [and the McCain campaign grasping for straws], the general public could possibly view the ticket much differently. Allowing McCain and Palin's personalities to appear directly reflective of their ticket's standing. No longer a "Maverick war-hero" and "Washington outsider Mother of five". They will appear as they are: McCain as old and tired, indignant and irrational man with judgement that is highly questionable. For Palin I think the judgement will be less harsh, written-off more as, "Well she seems like a nice lady, but I don't really think she has what it takes to be vice president/president. But good for Alaska."
As a last note, I keep reminding myself that this election is not about converting Republicans (present company excluded). A majority will vote McCain, even if it isn't in their best interests. It is about swing voters and first time voters. If they are mobilized they can make a world of difference. I only count on the fact that all these polls are not including them and you see an amazing turn out.

Get out and vote and mobilize those around you.

Check out more amazing work from Mank at

Wednesday, September 24, 2008


The Red Sox have clinched (at least) the AL Wild Card and are off on the road to defend their 2007 World Series Championship!!

On the same night the Red Sox clinched their ticket to the postseason, they also dealt with the near inevitability that they won't win the American League East as the Rays swept the Orioles in a doubleheader. The only way the 92-65 Red Sox can win the East is if they win their last five games and the 95-62 Rays go 1-4. Because the Rays beat the Red Sox in the head-to-head series, they would win the division if the two teams finish with the same record.
The Red Sox play two games with the Indians and three against the Yankees. The Rays have one more game at Baltimore before playing four games in Detroit.
In other words, barring a miracle, the Red Sox will enter the playoffs as the AL's Wild Card entry, and play the Angels in the Division Series, beginning either Oct. 1 or 2 in Anaheim.

Read more here.

Monday, September 22, 2008

What was Brewing this weekend?

This past weekend, we decided to go on a Brewery Biking Tour through the Denver area. We picked out a few locations and headed out on our bikes. Our first stop was to be the Hops of Cherry Creek Brewery. We biked along the Cherry Creek bike path for about 6.5 miles and found that the brewery was closed. Most likely due to the rising cost of hops around the world (read more about Hops prices here at the Boston Globe). So, instead we stopped by the Cherry Cricket, a popular sports bar in the area and had some food and a pint of some other local Colorado craft brews.

Next, we headed back north on the bike path to Pint's Pub. This is an English brewery that has 12 beers made on location. Two of them are "Live Ales" which are cask conditioned, served at cellar temp, hand pumped instead of CO2 and still have their live yeast cultures in them. I had the Dark Star Ale and Melissa had the Lancer IPA. Tasty!! They also serve some great Crisps. Pint's is also word-known for having the largest selection of Single Malt Whisky outside of Great Britain. Very cool Old English atmosphere. We will be back again to try some of their other brews.

For our third and final stop, we cruised over to the Great Divide Brewery, near Coors Field. Here we tried a few of their craft brews and also took a short tour of their facility. I had the Samurai and Melissa had the sampler and a very dark and heavy Oak Aged Yeti Imperial Stout. They have been in business for 14 years and distribute to almost every state and outside the U.S. as well.

Full of beer and food we peddled back to my place to finish our 15 mile Brewery Biking Tour. Melissa now has 30 breweries visited in Colorado and I have 28 out of about 95.

See my photos of the Brewery Biking Tour.

One a side note, we worked off the beer on Sunday morning with a 5k road running race in Arvada. I ran a 25:30 and got second place in my age group (20-30yrs). Melissa ran a good race finishing at around 30min.

And, I'd like to mention that I am sorely disapointed in the Patriots performance on Sunday. There is no excuse for losing to the worst team in the NFL, even if you don't have Brady. They better bring their defense into San Fransisco in two weeks because they forgot them in the locker room this past Sunday.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Aspen Weekend

This past weekend Melissa and I headed West over Independence Pass to Aspen on Saturday. On the way we stopped for a picnic lunch and explored the ice caves. Then checked out Aspen center and the Aspen Brewery before heading to the Snowmass Balloon Festival. We spent the night at "The Peirson Inn" in Carbondale and woke to a magnificent breakfast of sausage and stuffed french toast made by Chef Karen. Then we headed out to check out the Maroon Bells, the most photographed peaks in any park in the US. After hiking up to the base of the peaks, we fly fished in Maroon Lake and had some great luck. Melissa caught her first trout on a fly rod (named it Fred) and I snagged three others. On our way back to Denver we stopped into the Glenwood Canyon Brewing Company for dinner and a pint.

You can see photos from the trip at the following links:

Jason's Photos

Melissa's Photos


Wednesday, September 10, 2008

New England Vacation 2008

Well, it took me a few days to get to this one after coming back from vacation and having a ton to do at work.

Time sure flies when you are having fun. Our nine day vacation went quicker than we wanted, but we were able to do and see just about everything we wanted to. Between Maine, New Hampshire and Massachusetts, we covered a lot of ground and saw many friends and family.

You can see a map of our trip (more than 600 miles) by clicking HERE.
It may take a second to load, so be patient.

You can see photos from the trip at the following links:

Jason's photos

Melissa's photos


Friday, August 29, 2008

DNC Obama Acceptance Speech

(Click on the headline to see photos from this blog)
Melissa, her friend from work TC and I were fortunate enough to get tickets to Barack Obama's acceptance speech at the DNC. The speech was at the Denver Bronco's Invesco Field, about three miles from my house. The stadium holds 76,000 people and there were upwards of 80,000 there for the event. Many celebrities and media from all around the country.

The line went on forever and it took us about two hours to get in through security. Only one entrance for 80,000 people! The security was similar to what you find at the airport, but with many more police and snipers around the top of the stadium. Our wait was much shorter than it was for many others who stood in lines up to six miles long! Click here to see the route of our line to get inside.

Once inside we found our seats in section 526, but soon were upgraded, thanks to Melissa's connections, and found ourselves in section 135 about 10 rows up from the floor level. Were were behind the news tents for NBC, CBS and ABC, so the view was a bit obstructed, but the atmosphere made up for it.

Click here to see a video of the crowd doing the wave.

We saw Sheryl crow and Stevie Wonder play and heard speeches from Al Gore and Joe Biden. There were celebrities all around on the floor and we saw Martin Luther King III walk by and Samuel L. Jackson was seated just a few rows in front of us.

Click here to see a video of Stevie Wonder.

Then Barack came out to a huge roar. Click here to see a video Barack entering. He is an amazing speaker and goose-bumps came more than once during his talk. Personally, I feel that we need an organizer like him to change this country for the better. As he said, "8 is enough!"

Click here to see a video after the speech ended.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Longs Peak

(Click on headline to see my photos from this post)

On Sunday, August 24, we climbed Longs Peak (14,255 ft). The hike was 15 miles round trip and took us 13.75 hours to complete. We started with five of us (Erich, Wes, Jaimee, Melissa and myself) but Jaimee and Wes had to turn back at the Keyhole due to some altitude sickness.

We camped at the Longs Peak campground on Saturday night. Melissa and I headed over to Lilly Lake on Saturday afternoon to fly fish. I caught a 16 inch Greenback Cutthroat Trout on my fourth cast. It was a beautiful fish.

Our climb started bright and early at 3 a.m. on Sunday. Due to hiking in the dark, I did not get many photos until the sun came up. We watched the sunrise at about mile four, just before the Boulder Field. The Boulder Field is a place where you can camp, prior to making your ascent on the peak, if you want to lug in a 40 pound pack the five miles. From the Boulder Field you can see the Keyhole, where the trail heads through and out to the North West side of the mountain. From this point, there is much more exposure and mostly third class climbing (you need to use your hands to negotiate the trail).

The Trough is one of the harder spots, because there is no noticeable trail and loose rock everywhere. At the top of the Trough you head over a crux and onto a narrow ledge for a while before the Homestretch. The Homestretch leads you up a smooth rock face to the top of Longs Peak.

Once over the top, the peak flattens out into a massive area about the size of two football fields at 14, 255 feet. The views were amazing and the weather was great. Sunny and barely and wind. We enjoyed the peak for a bit and had a quick lunch before heading back down.

The route back is the same as the way we came. However instead of pulling yourself up over all the rocks, you are lowering yourself down and sliding on your rear a bunch. As we came back through the keyhole, we saw the dark clouds heading our way. Erich stopped at one point halfway to the Boulder Field and put on his rain jacket. We joined him, and just in the nick of time. It started to rain and the clouds quickly blew in.

As we got to the campsites at the Boulder Filed, it started to hail and the lighting crashed down all around us. The thunder was so loud that it made you fall to your knees and shook your body. We found shelter with five others and sat out the hail storm for about 20 min. Check out the video of our experience here: Hail Storm Video.

The video only shows the very beginning of the storm. It got worse as the pea sized hail hit our backs and the lightning struck all around. By the time it passed there was about two inches of hail on the ground and covering all of us.

We then headed out to complete the rest of the five miles back to the trail head. Moving as fast as we could we still ran into a few more downpours and a little more hail. Our bodies and feet were aching as we willed our wet bodies down to the car. Our goal was to get to Oskar Blues Brewery and Restaurant as soon as possible to reward ourselves with a pint and burger. Boy did those taste good after that long day!!

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Lake Isabelle day hike

(Click on headline to see photos from this post)
Melissa and I took short hike today. The weather turned out to be more like New England than Colorado!