Sunday, December 28, 2008

The Nuggets, A New Mesa and Greenland – all in one weekend

Whew – I need a vacation from this weekend! It has been busy, busy, busy! Friday evening was another one of our Nuggets games as part of our 10 game “season ticket”. This game was one of the better games that we have seen all season. The Nuggets were playing the Philadelphia 76’ers and it was a neck-and-neck game. Usually no more that 1 or 2 points separated the teams. Ultimately the Nuggets ended up winning by 4 points. We had a lot of fun riding the light rail and enjoying the game. Zack was in rare form – actually he was in normal form – he did his normal routine and attracted the attention of everyone around. In some ways it is kind of nice that he attractions the attention that he does as it is usually good attention. I can’t tell you the number of times I hear people say “he is so cute”, “he is so intelligent”, etc. So it is very nice. On Friday he put on a “drama” show for everyone in our light rail car. He had on a “wig” that he got as a present from his cousin Cole. He really had everyone on the entire train car cracking up.
My brother and nephew were also at the game. However, their tickets were REALLY good, unlike our peanut heaven seats. I called my brother on his cell phone during the break between the first 2 quarters and we spent a couple of minutes trying to find each other. Finally Zack and I were able to spot them 8 rows behind the Nuggets bench. As per usual we indulged in the very bad for you, very expensive stadium food. We had lots of hot dogs, churros and ice cream. It was a good evening! Saturday was a bitterly cold day. But regardless we got out for a hike. We headed south to Castlerock and an open space area that we had never conquered before – Gateway Mesa Open Space. It is not a large open space area, but if offers some dramatic views to the east of the plains and forested areas around Franktown and Elizabeth. We had the place pretty much to ourselves because it was nasty enough that no one else wanted to be outside at that point. Despite the cold Zack was fantastic. I really have to say I am so impressed with the level of strength he is showing and his determination to hike through difficult situations. Sunday we went to Greenland. No not the island in the north Atlantic! Though I wish we were going there. Having flown over Greenland numerous times on my way back and forth to Europe, I really do have a desire to go there. We actually went to Greenland, Colorado and the Greenland Open Space. This open space area is one of the largest open space areas on the Front Range. It consists of over 20,000 acres. The majority of the land is located to the east of I-25. However, all the major trails are within the 3600 acres located to the west of I-25. Nancy was not feeling very well today so I made the decision to take Lex on our hike. Lex tends to give Nancy a hard time – always getting into trouble. Normally, I will leave Lex at home just because I don’t want to take him and leave Bailey at home. Bay doesn’t like being left alone and he is just too old to go on hikes like this any more. But given the situation today – I had to take the Lex-maniac with us.

The three of us arrived at the trailhead for the Kipps loop trail around 11:00AM. Of course Lex was just so eager to go. He wanted out of the car and on the trail immediately. Unfortunately for him, I wasn’t going to let him off leash. We hit the trail and through it was warm today – in the 40s and 50s, we realized we were in for a tough hike. The trail winds through a lot of open range land and the wind had drifted snow across the trail and packed it to the point that it was like walking across very rough cement. But occasionally the snow would give way and we would post hole through the snow and get lots of snow down our shoes. The hike was beautiful as we walked through the rangeland and began to scale a series of low hills. As we climbed the hills the hiking became more and more difficult, but the view across the hills and the plains was simply gorgeous. The climb was well worth it. After almost 2 miles we made the decision to turn around and head back to the car. In the spring once the trail is clear and dry I am sure we will do this hike and do the entire 8 mile loop. As we walked back to the car we came across a party of 6 people on horseback. Throughout the hike Zack had been holding Lex’s leash. As we neared the horses I made sure I had hold of the leash. I didn’t want Lex to take off and spook one of the horses. Zack of course had to ask the people if he could pet their horses. They were very accommodating and stopped the horses so he could stroke their faces. He was petting one of the horses when the horse decided to let out a very loud nay. Zack jumped a mile. I thought he was going to jump out of his skin. After he realized the horse wasn’t being mean or anything he was ok with it.

After the horses we just prodded on through the rough trail. It was tough and by the time we got back to the car we were muddy and feet were pretty well soaked. We were tired and we were just glad to be back to the car and headed home. All-in-all it was a tiring but good weekend with my boy. I love my Zackie so much and we both really enjoy the adventures that we have. I can’t wait for us to have even more! On a totally and complete different note – I have found a little hobby that I am going to start in 2009. As those of you who follow this blog know – I love to go hiking in the “open space” areas of Colorado. In 2009 I am going to start a new website dedicated to listing all the open spaces of Colorado and the trails within the open spaces. My plan is to hike everyone of these trails and write a review of the trails on the website I start. I’ll be working in January to contact every county in Colorado and get a complete list of their open space properties and all the trails within them. It will just be something fun to do and it will give Zack and I an added incentive to get out and hike! We hope everyone has had a great last weekend of 2008! Thanks and peace to all!

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