Tuesday, October 30, 2007

My Second October Summit...and a Windy One!!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

The agenda for the day was Mt. Sherman and Gemini, a neighboring 13er and one of Colorado's Centennials, but weather proved to be a bit of an obstacle this day, unlike Saturday on Antero.

We started at 6:30am and it was COLD! We bundled up ready to start and had to get a picture! I think I look like a turtle!! One of these days I'll heed Christopher Beard's good advice and "start cold" because within the first 5 minutes you inevitably warm up, but I still haven't learned....

This was our first view of the summit, before the sun even rose! The moon was still pretty full and we didn't even need our headlamps. It was fabulous!

Mount Sherman is the site of an old mining village. We're not sure what they used to mine, but the ruins were really interesting to see. I have to say, however, that with the early morning light and the gusting wind, it made for some pretty eerie scenery!

The sun finally poked its head out from behind a neighboring mountain. This picture does not do it justice, the sun was a firey red and absolutely stunning!

By now we were probably an hour and a half to two hours into the hike and the wind was relentless! We were getting close to the summit and knew it was definitely within our grasp, but it took a lot to battle the high winds. This is Heather to the left gazing upon the summit...almost there!
And of course, here's our summit shot! We didn't stay too long on the top of this mountain as the winds would probably have blown us right off! We snapped a couple shots and headed down. We had hoped to zip over and bag Gemini as well that day, but the wind was too much and we were both just as happy to get down as quickly as we could!

On the way back down, we took a short cut down the snow. Luckily, it was still early and the sun hadn't melted it and so it was pretty hard and we were able to walk right down. No gaitors needed today!

Before Heather joined me at the summit, I took this video which gives you a little idea of how windy it was!
I just remembered this picture too...gives you an idea of how cold it was. I had to thaw my nalgene before I could even open it and it was completely frozen! Yikes!!

My First October Summit!

Saturday, October 27, 2007, Mount Antero

So as it turns out, my hiking is not over for the season...thank goodness!! This past weekend Heather and I set out for a weekend of hiking, not knowing what to expect. It is the latest in the year I have ever hiked, so it was an adventure! We prepared for the worst, but lucked out with some fabulous weather and very minimal snow, at least on Saturday...
This was my view on the way to the trailhead as the sun was rising.
We met at the Baldwin Gulch trailhead at 8am hoping to drive up the road a little, but there was too much ice so we decided to just hike it. We were in no hurry and the extra couple miles was a good warm up. By 8:30 we were packed up and on the trail.
We stopped for a little snack and met a few new friends. Heather called them Grey Jays, but apparently, they'll eat right out of your hand! It was pretty fun!!

After some food and fun with the birds, we continued on our way and it wasn't long before we were above treeline and started looking for the summit. There was this beautiful summit to the right of our trail that we thought could be the summit and we contemplated taking a short cut over there, but it's a good thing we didn't b/c it turns out it wasn't the summit!

We hiked a little further and rounded one last corner only to see we had been chasing a false summit...ugh! This is me to the left, a little annoyed that we still had quite a ways to go!

These were some of the rocks we had to cross on the way to the summit in the background.

Here's Heather on her way to the summit! We reached the top around 2:30pm, about 6 hours after we started. We didn't rush the hike and simply enjoyed ourselves. We stayed on the summit for almost an hour too before we started back down. We were enjoying reading the register, something I don't usually do. I saw a couple names from Buffalo, NY!!
Here's our summit picture! Mt. Princeton is in the background. The views weren't all that great b/c it was kind of a hazy day, but it wasn't too windy at the top and absolutely no threatening clouds so that made the summit quite enjoyable.

On our way back down I saw this rock about to fall and cause a terrible rock slide, so I pushed it back up to stabilize it...haha!

As we were hiking down, I looked down at my watch and realized it was almost 4pm and that was when I first realized we might be racing against the sun! We ended up making it back to the trailhead at 6:45pm just as the light of dusk was all but gone. To the right is Heather and I at the end of a wonderful 10 hour day :)

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Race Pictures...finally!!

Well, after a couple weeks finally, I have pictures from the race to share : )
After...and we still look great! The day after the race, we went for a little stroll through the city...this time with a few more stops : )
First, Buckingham Fountain. This is where we had ended our race the day before...I think I enjoyed it more the second time.
After the Shedd Aquarium, we took a water taxi to the Navy Pier.
This is Kelly's photography...very patriotic!
On our way from the Navy Pier to the Sears Tower, we ran into Bob Newhart, so Kelly decided to get a few things off her mind : )Before making it to the Sears Tower, we took a detour to the Millennium Park which has some very extraordinary modern art like this, nicknamed "The Bean", it's real name is "Cloud Gate" by Anish Kapoor.It was fun taking pictures with it-check out that Chicago skyline!
Next, the Sears Tower, probably one of the highlights of the trip!
A beautiful view of Chicago.

By the end of the day, we were pretty tired! Between the Art Institute, Shedd Aquarium, the Navy Pier and Millennium Park, we probably ended up walking another marathon, but it was worth it! We were sure to make the most of this opportunity : )

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Chicago Marathon...A Survivor's Story

So any of you that may have seein in the news, the Chicago Marathon this past Sunday was certainly a marathon to remember... Breaking record tempertures in Chicago for an October day, they ended up closing the race around 11:30 or 12:00 for a variety of reasons. They said they ran out of water, which I never experienced, but it was definitely hard to come by, but they for sure ran out of paramedics! More than 300 people were rushed to the hospital, which does not include all those who were treated at the med tents on the course. Five of those taken to the hospital were in critical condition and one man lost his life. It was insane-the worst race I've ever run! Fire hydrants were open, firetrucks sprayed water onto the runners as we went by. We were told to stop running, that the race was over, but as long as I felt ok and had water in my hand, I was running. It was a disappointing race for the fact that I had hoped to get a PR because I trained so well for it, but I ended up getting my worst time! On the plus side, it did feel incredible to finish the race, it was probably one of the most difficult things I've ever had to do and in that sense, it was a great victory. Regardless, I got to be a part of this incredible race which took me to Chicago, for the first time in my life!

Monday, the day after the race, my friend Kelly (who had also run the race) and I took a train back into the city to do a little sight-seeing. It was a long day and I'm pretty sure we walked the equivelant of another marathon, but it was worth it. Chicago is a beautiful city! I unfortunately forgot my camara so I'm waiting on Kelly for the pics to post, but as soon as she does, I'll post them here : ) We first went to the Art Institute and admired Chinese sculptures, Renaissance art, modern photography and American Art, among a myriad of other things. My favorite, surpirsingly enough, was the American Art collection. I really enjoyed the paintings of the early American landscape and of course, the mountains. I always thought the Monets and VanGoghs would be my favorites, but the photography and the American Art were spectacular. I almost could have cared less whether or not I saw anything else!

After the Art Institute, we went to the Shedd Aquarium. As it was Columbus Day, a holiday for most schools, the aquarium was flooded with children, but it wasn't as bad as I thought. I really enjoyed the animals and the shows. Kelly tricked me into seeing a Sponge Bob show, but other than that, it was a great time!

When the Aquarium closed, we took a water taxi over to the Navy Pier. By this time, we were pretty tired and walked around for a little bit, but we were more interested in the Sears Tower and getting home! So we headed out to the Sears Tower but not before we stopped for some cool pics at Millenium Park! We barely made it to the Sears Tower before it closed and took some more fun pictures at the Sky Deck. Then it was definitely time to go to bed, so we caught the train and headed back to Kelly's aunt & uncle's home about an hour away. Luckily, we just hopped back on the train and enjoyed the long ride back.

Well, that's all for now, but the pictures will come soon, I hope, and then there will be more to share : )