Sunday, June 19, 2011

A Weekend for Dad

Our mountain adventures continued on Saturday morning where we left off on Friday evening.  Though it rained cats and dogs overnight Friday night, Saturday dawned with a fair amount of sun mixed with some clouds.  Allen being the over-athletic type that he is, decided that he needed to go for a fairly lengthy run first thing in the morning.  So he took off on an eight mile jaunt up and down Buffalo Mountain.  Given that he is from sea level the fact that he can do this without so much as batting an eyelid is quite unbelievable.

After his return from his run, it was time to take a proper hike.  The three of us set off on what I call "the mile long loop" though in reality it is much closer to 2 miles.  It is the path that I normally take the dogs when I have them in the mountains.  Much of the area in which we do this hike has been clear cut of trees in the last year due to the pine bark beetle infestation.  Given that we really hadn't been out on this hike in a good six months I was shocked to see how much more had been logged.  There are literally no trees left standing except for a few lonely aspens.  But even now you can see the forest beginning to recover as there are plenty of little sapling taking root.

We spent some time cleaning up the condo.  (Though the next time I am there we are having a "deep cleaning" done including all the carpets and tile floors.)  By 1:00PM we were messing around with the car figuring out where to put Zack's bike since we now had Allen's bike on the roof rack.  Thankfully Zack's bike is small enough that it could fit in the back of the Explorer on top of our luggage.

Instead of taking the direct route out of the mountains on I-70 we decided to go over Loveland Pass and check out the conditions as Allen will be riding over that pass on the last day of Bicycle Tour Colorado.  The conditions on top of the pass were brutal!  The temperature outside was only 40 degrees and there was a very stiff wind blowing.  On top of that you could see where snow had fallen over night!  Hopefully conditions will improve by next Saturday or Allen and all 2300 other riders on the BTC are going to have one painfully cold ascent and descent of the pass!

From there we pretty much made a straight shot toward Central City where the starting point of the BTC is this year.  Getting to Central City of course was easy, but finding the Central City High School which was the official registration and starting point was a bit harder.  It turns out that the High School really isn't anywhere near Central City.  You have to go through Blackhawk and then up Highway 119 for several mile before you finally reach the high school.  It is a small high school so it's ability to handle 2300 riders was dubious.  Parking was difficult and there were people everywhere.  After about 30 minutes we finally found a place we could park that would allow us to dismount Allen's bike and get his gear out of the car.

Whew - that was an experience!  Zack and I then just needed to make it home for the end to our first week of summer adventure!  The rest of the drive was uneventful as we wound through Clear Creek Canyon and eventually got on I-70.   We arrived home around 4:30 and then the process of getting normal life re-started began!  The first thing that had to be done was that I needed to retrieve the dogs from my brother's house.  Unfortunately, I also got to see the path of destruction that my two lovely's inflicted upon my his house.  All I can say is that there are times I really wish I could super glue BOTH dogs mouths shut!  Grrrr....  (Nancy is no longer is a position where she necessarily feels comfortable taking care of the dogs.  So the pups will either be going to my brother's house or the kennel during our future summer trips.)

After that it was a quick trip to the grocery store for some food and then I had to get dinner for everyone.  By the time 7:00PM rolled around I was ready for a glass of wine and plunking down on the couch to watch some TV.  Needless to say, that made short work of the evening for me as I was quickly asleep - only waking up to get Zack off to bed at 9:30PM and stagger up to bed myself.

The good thing about getting to bed early was that it allowed me to wake up early this morning!  I got up and took care of a bunch of things - laundry, dishes, etc before heading out on my Father's Day gift to myself - a very long bike ride.

My stress fractured fibula is still bothering me a bit, so I have scaled back my hiking this summer in favor of biking.  Today's ride was one of my traditional favorites.  I start at my house and then pick up the C470 bike trail heading west.  When I intersect the South Platte Greenway just to the west of Sante Fe, I take that and head downtown.  I added a little variety today by taking a 3 mile detour up the Bear Creek bike path before turning back and heading downtown.  I pushed myself very hard for much of the ride and by the time I was about 4 miles outside of downtown I was pretty darn exhausted.  (It didn't help that I didn't eat anything before I went out!)  I managed to push myself extract hard and get to Union Station without getting too ragged.  I had 20 minutes to rest at Union Station while I waited for the train to take me home.  It was a great ride and has given me some determination to ride at least one century (a hundred mile bike ride) this summer.  That should be fun.

The rest of Father's Day was spent doing some low-key things around the house and paying off an agreement I made with Zack.  Prior to departing for Telluride, I had told him if he kept his "fear mongering" in check he would be able to get the Nintendo 3DS gaming system.  This is the first hand-held gaming system that has 3D technology built in that does not require any special glasses.  I felt it was a good reward for the effort he put forth to fight off his anxiety while he we were away.

Now it is time to start thinking of the week ahead.  It will be a busy work week.  On top of that this is the only free week that Zack has from summer camps, so both he and I have been busy arranging times for him to hang out with some of his buddies this week.  Thankfully this is the only camp-free week as it is a pain in the butt when I don't have a pre-programmed event for him everyday.

(I recorded my bike ride today and last Friday on my GoPro helmet/bike/whatever cam.  Once I go through the footage and find some neat sequences I will add them to this post.)

Anyway - that is the story for this weekend!  I hope everyone had a great weekend!!

Thanks and peace to all! ~J.

1 comment:

Fragrance said...

Wow I really enjoyed reading this, he is deffently lucky to have you as a dad. Anywho enjoy fathers day and hope to read more from you!