We were lucky to get to spend a couple weeks in Colorado, a nice break from the heat (or in John's case, a bit of cold to be tolerated). Visiting friends, lots of training, some upgrades to the trailer, plenty of good stuff keeping us busy.
Kelly and Ryan invited me on a hike into the Indian Peaks area, on Devil's Thumb trail. What a beautiful day, and I was SO happy to be back up in the mountains!
Lots of snow melt happening:
But not all of it has happened yet!
We made it up to a pretty lake (Jasper, I think), deciding that was a good place to turn around. We had considered climbing up to the Divide, but there looked to be a lot of snow up high. Playing around on the snowy trails was enough excitement for the day.
Look John, solar!
Back to the "lowlands", I met up with my adventure racing teammate Tom for some packrafting practice. Posing with our rental Gnu:
This guy put on the river right before us - check out the PFD on the dog!
Launching on the South Platte River for some fun in the manmade rapids!
John took a couple videos of us - except he used his old phone with a super low-resolution setting so it's not really easy to see that it's actually us in the boat. But you can kind of get the idea:
Another grainy video with us yelling as we descend (warning - potty mouth language):
Not a self-draining raft:
That was so much fun we needed a short nap on the riverbank (more expedition race training):
We paddled a few miles, bumped a couple knees, turned the boat over once and didn't drown, success!
We met up again on another day to climb a 14er - Quandary Peak!
More happiness and beautiful views:
Almost made it! Oh wait, that's just the flat part before the final climb:
Oodles of mountain goats on the mountain!
They just wandered by, fairly oblivious to the people clambering up and down the trail. So cool.
Such the scenery:
Heading up the last steep pitch:
More "walking through snow" practice:
Yay for the top of Quandary!
It has been too long since I've been up here:
Tom demonstrating how to pack an excellent lunch:
More mountain goat cuteness:
Can't quite get over these guys:
Another herd of them hanging out as we descended:
That was a wonderful start to my Denver training experience. Some good altitude acclimation, adventure race-specific workouts, and fun with my teammate Tom. Thanks Tom!