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You know the old adage, the grass is always greener on the other side? Well, it’s true in the US. Like thousands of others before us, we made the move to Colorado one year ago from the East coast. Colorado is synonymous for things like 14’ers, alpine skiing, craft beer, and cannabis. With the world at our feet, we decided to apply for jobs in the most controversial industry in America right now, cannabis. (more…)
Have you ever been so high you thought you could touch the sky? Hey now, I’m talking mountain climbing…If you’ve ever climbed a 14er (a mountain summit that is at 14,000 feet above sea level or higher) you understand the euphoric moment when you reach the top. It’s like sitting on top of the world. Colorado is home to 58 fourteeners that bring droves of hikers and outdoor enthusiast to the trails. The Humbleweeds have crossed off yet another item on the bucket list.
It all started with a drive to Mt Evans, located near Idaho Springs, CO at an elevation of 14,271. Known as the highest paved road in North America, the Mt. Evans Scenic Byway winds to the top of the summit passing breathtakingly beautiful Echo and Summit Lakes. With snow still visible and the hillside blanketed with summer wild flowers, curious white mountain goats and bighorn sheep looked on as thousands of tourists make their way to the top of the sky-scraping peak. Looking out at the endless sea of mountain tops, feeling a sense of peace and wonder, one truly gets lost in the moment. As John Muir once said, “the mountains are calling and I must go;” so we began planning our next 14er outing, this time on foot.
Being novice climbers and maybe a little more “aged” than most on the trail, the Humbleweeds set out for Mt. Bierstadt, standing at 14,060 ft above sea level, just outside the town of Georgetown, CO. The parking lot was situated around 11,600 feet and from there the hike was a sharp 2,392 ft climb to the rocky summit. On July 4, starting at 7:00 a.m., we joined hundreds of other hikers making their way to the top. The round trip was a seven mile hike, but certainly not for the faint of heart. While passing through willow marshes and wadding across the rushing Scott Gomer Creek, it took almost 4 hours to reach Bierstadt’s western slope. The rocky trail made several switchbacks while progressing up the mountain. On the talus upper regions of the mountain, the route was no longer a recognizable path but a series of cairns, marking the way to the summit. The last 300 yards was certainly the most difficult while crossing the scree (broken rock fragments) while maneuvering the jagged boulders to the peak. As the air became thinner, it was evident the altitude affected our attitude, that’s right, the euphoria set in! We made it! Another Humbleweeds first…a real emotional high!
Once at the top, we claimed a spot on the peak to sit and bask in the glory of our accomplishment. We shared the peak with others who also made the successful trek to the top. Some even celebrated with a festive “keg stand” at 14,060 ft, oh yes…(see photo.) We were amazed to see so many well behaved dogs made the trip with their human companions. From the peak, we could see Mt. Evans, the mountain that inspired us to make the journey just a week before. One hiker told us he’d been hiking on Mt. Bierstadt more than twenty years and had never seen the weather on the mountain more perfect; certainly a a perfect way to spend July 4th in America.
We’ve only just begun.
Eric and Lori
Wild West Winter Sports!The Crystal Carnival of Leadville, CO introduced us to Ski Joring, a Scandinavian tradition that has found its way to the American West, slightly modified. With horses pulling skiers down a snow packed Main Street in Leadville, this tradition began in 1949 as a way to entertain the restless and snowbound residents of the Crystal Carnival.
The Leadville Ski Joring event provides a thrilling fast paced course of ski jumps and jostling rings. Riders must make their way through the course with the best time and spear the most rings. It’s fast, intense, and entertaining. I “pity the fool” that steps into the street when the horses and skiers fly by.
Loving small town traditions,
Eric and Lori
We spent a lovely New Years in Aspen CO, with Toby and Amber (a lab terrier mix and an orange tabby) at a housesit between the Roaring Fork River and the Rio Grande Trail near Aspen. With days spent snowshoeing and Toby showing us around the neighborhood, it’s easy to see why people retreat here year-round.
The 360 view from the condo is like watching the Wonderful World of Disney for the first time in color….vivid colors, unique scenery, and colorful characters…yea it’s like that here.
Strolling through downtown Aspen is like browsing at a fur factory; full length fur coats and furry lined hats are all the rage or more like the norm. We weren’t wearing fur, but Eric’s Carhartt jacket did turn a few heads, as did my striped knee socks.
Still turning heads,
Eric and Lori
Snow made its way into our holiday plans and the chill and snow finally caught up to us. A fresh blanket of snow covered Boulder on Christmas Day, a beautiful site to behold.
While visiting our son, Nixon, we decided to prepare a traditional Christmas dinner with all the trimmings at Nixon’s apartment. And a memorable meal it was….using the resources available at the bachelor pad, Eric worked his magic and prepared a roasted turkey breast in an iron skillet, mashed potatoes made up in a mason jar and fresh brussels spouts sautéed in a cake pan, and egg noodles made in “normal” sauce pan….it was delicious, comforting, and simple.
We gathered around our Charlie Brown Christmas tree (we brought along a pine branch from West Virginia) and shared a very simple, very sweet Christmas. Nixon treated us to a night out on Pearl Street at the Bohemian Biergarten Sunday Night Comedy Show. There were four great acts that kept us laughing. Thanks Nixon!
All in all a great holiday, considering this was the first holiday away from the old country and extended family in over 50 years.
Aspen bound for New Years,
Eric and Lori
Happy Birthday Mr. HumbleWeeds; celebrating from Red Rocks Amphitheater, Morrison, Colorado.