Sunday, July 2, 2017

Training around Denver - part 1

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!

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