Mountains, Mountains and More Mountains

Trip Start Jul 21, 2009
Trip End Apr 28, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Colorado
Thursday, July 30, 2009

We've been in Denver for most of this week, so it's about time for an update.  The early part of the week was spent around the new house.  Sunday, Erik (my brother) and Corinna had a housewarming party at their new place, and Monday we spent continuing to fix it up -- mostly painting and such. 

On Tuesday, John, Erik, Dad and I attempted to climb a 14er (Colorado-speak for a mountain over 14,000 feet tall).  We woke up early to hit the road, and drove towards Grays and Torreys -- a pair of peaks standing at 14,270 and 14,267 feet, respectively.  Unfortunately, the road to the trailhead was washed out, and not suitable for anything less than a 4-wheel drive.  So we headed instead to the nearby Mt. Bierstadt.  This peak stands at 14,060 feet.  From the parking lot, it's a 7 mile hike, with a 2,850 foot elevation gain.  The first while is a nice steady gain through the valley, but the last 1/2 mile or so is a scramble up boulders and solid rock -- made more challenging by the altitude and winds.  The summit had fantastic views, but it was freezing cold.  Once John and Dad and I all made it, I didn't stay long!  (Erik broke his toe last week, which made hiking difficult.  He and Ziggy spent the day sunning by the lake instead).

After hiking, we met up with the rest of the group for dinner and a relaxing soak in a mineral-water hot tub.  At this place (Indian Springs), they pump water from natural hot springs into different pools for a nice mineral soak -- a good way to recover after a strenuous hike up a mountain and to catch up with everyone for a while.  Ziggy (the dog) provided a memorable highlight to the evening -- you had to be there!

Wednesday, John and I headed out with my parents to Rocky Mountain National Park.  We did a loop through the northern portion of the park, and were greeted with some fabulous views -- sharp, rocky peaks in every direction, and meadows stretching as far as you could see.  I've included pictures, but they don't begin to show it properly.  We also came across elk and mule deer on the tundra, and other wildlife elsewhere in the park.  The weather held for the morning, but the afternoon thunderstorms blocked what might have been some nice views of Longs Peak.  We stopped in Boulder for dinner (cute little downtown, once we finally found it) and then returned to Eriks.  

Today is a low-key errands day, and my parents and Erik leave tonight to head back to Wisconsin and Michigan.  John and I leave tomorrow to head to Dallas -- next update will be from Texas!
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