First hike

(Somewhere on the Canyon Loop Trail.)

We went on our first mountain hike today.  It was a relatively short and easy hike (3 miles), or would have been considered short and easy if we’d been doing such a hike in the flatlands at lower elevations.  It was a good first hike, though.  A way to get started and see how acclimated we’ve become.

I had a little trouble in the beginning with more lightheadedness.  And the uphill parts were a little harder than usual.  It’s an odd feeling because my legs were working just fine, not really feeling much exertion, yet I was winded as if it were a long, steep climb.  That’s high altitude for you, I guess.  We’re going to be in amazing shape when we return home if we keep up the kind of physical schedule/activity we’ve been doing for these first three days.

M the Younger picked us up early this morning and drove us up to the Betasso Preserve, located at the junction of Boulder and Fourmile Canyons.  He chose the Canyon Loop Trail for our first hike.  It’s also a mountain bike trail.  He biked it while we hiked it.

Somewhere I read that Ernie Betasso who I think donated the land to be used as a public park, said that once you live in the mountains it’s impossible to leave because one leg becomes shorter than the other.  If you look at the trail in the photo above, I think you’ll get some idea of what he meant.

(M the Younger on his mountain bike.)

M the Younger managed three loops for our one.  It took us about one hour and 45 minutes to hike it.  That’s about 15 minutes over our usual time for a 3-mile moderate to difficult hike.  Not too bad, all things considered.

It was a beautiful hike with plenty of scenic views.  The weather was a little iffy, but it worked out well.  We felt a few raindrops here and there, and the cloud cover kept the temperature cooler than if the sun had been beating down on us.

We saw a few mountain bikers during the first half of our hike, but no other hikers.  Somewhere towards the end the hikers began showing up, many of them with loads of small children.

There were plenty of wildflowers in bloom.  I don’t think I managed to capture the color in my photos.  I can’t be sure because the colors and such are odd on this laptop.

(My favorite hiking partner up ahead.)

After the hike we had lunch at the Boulder Beer Company with M the Younger and Mere.  I had my first buffalo burger.  It was good.  I’m not a big fan of eating meat lately, but thought I should try at least one while we’re here.  M and I each had a beer (12 oz. rather than a pint).  It went right to my head.  They say you don’t need to drink much at higher altitudes.  Perhaps that’s true.

M and I walked back to our hotel after lunch where we went for a swim and then settled in for our afternoon rest.  Now it’s time to hop on the bike and ride around for a little while.

(The infamous bike.)

A hole in a stone

(092:  Peering through the standing stone.  Photo © 2009 by Robin)

I was shooting through the standing stone we have at the top of the hill and the flash went off.  It was so bright outside that I wasn’t expecting the flash, but decided to wait and see how this photo looked on the computer screen before deciding to delete it.

I find it kind of interesting.  It’s certainly a different view of the pond (barely visible through the weeds).  The stone was bleached out by the flash.  It’s an earthy-brown color, a little of which you can see at the bottom of the hole in the middle of the stone.