Q:Love your blog!
Colorado, it’s not you. It’s Me. …ok it isn’t me, it’s Washington.
Man, I thought Colorado was super rad (and it totally still is) but Washington is abso effing lutely gorgeous. Just the drive in had me stoked to lace up the ol hiking boots and go do some ground poundin but today was the first chance to and surprisingly a fair amount of roads in Mt. Rainier Natl Park were closed :( But there was a terrific opportunity to check out Crystal Lake Trail! Normally I’d say this is your typical steep grade/lotta switchback 6 mile yo-yo but interestingly it traverses an avalanche slope so as you progress (at least, at this time of year) one must hike on solid dirt with large patches of avalanche snow melt that is too hard to make a good footing but too soft to walk right upon. Talk about a slow crawl. After getting 2 1/2 miles of a 2300 ft elevation gain on that crap, it’d be easy to say “the hell with THIS!” A few minutes later, though, a couple of middle aged folks with snowshoes and Yaks on came by, apparently since the winter we were the first two parties to have made it that far! haha :D So, fear not because the first of three Mt lakes is just ahead! :D Gorgeous aquamarine snow melt on top of the snow covered lakes was really neat! In your typical high ridgeline surroundings it was a great place to have a bite of lunch :)
In all, while hoping to get some of that Wonderland Trail action, that’ll wait for a different day ;)
4 National Parks in 6 Days…
Moved from Denver to Seattle (Puyallup, actually haha) and took a week to get there. Camped out for three nights in Canyonlands NP then spent the day in Arches NP.
Drove up to Grand Teton and the mountains are just amazing. They jut up out of the ground so immediately it’s almost punching you in the face as you enter the park. Bopped around in the spring melt around Jackson Lake to Hermitage Point. We saw an Osprey snag a fish out of the river and a Bald Eagle run it down, dog fight it mid air and steal the fish haha! And thankfully we didn’t see any face to face, but we did see a lot of grizzly bear tracks!
Yellowstone’s western side opened and while it was mostly a drive from sight to sight, the beauty of that place is without question and accurate description. LOTS of elk and buffalo roaming around :D
Now, in Seattle. It’s a rad ass’d city and I really look forward to learning the lay of the land! The next chapter: Seattle…
Washington or BUST!
Headed from Denver to Puyallup, WA in only 5 days! Work starts May 6 so it’s only sensible to take the time to see Arches Natl Park, check out Salt Lake City, drive up to to Grand Teton Natl Park and finally Yellowstone Natl Park before b-lining to Seattle for a week of fun on the bay! :D
Now, to get through this blasted week of dumb work before we bounce! haha
Q:Hello, sir! Thought I'd drop by and profess my appreciation of your blog. Top notch!
Hello to you as well, thanks so much for the eloquent declaration! Your blog is really great too!
Holy Moly! 2000 is a lot! Thank you all for finding my content worth following :)
Get Outside Campaign 9 pt I…
My best bud, Brad from back home, came out to visit beautiful Colorado. He’d never been out here before and it was as always, an extra rad thing to show him the area. He’s a very enthusiastic outdoorsman, though Ohio isn’t necessarily the most epic of hiking/camping/backpacking areas to do so haha, still he takes every chance he can to Get Outside! so it was no shock and quite a great opportunity on both our part for him to be eager to do an overnighter despite the low temps! :D
I have never been winter camping, let alone in the high mountains of Rocky Mt Natl Park! It did necessitate procuring a few bits of gear, like a 0° sleeping bag and collapsible shovel, but overall I was very pleased at how prepared we already were after reading up on enjoyable winter camping :) One thing that I have come to enjoy so much and also something I was really excited to get Brad to partake in was snowshoeing! While the trails for the first 1/2 – 3/4 from Glacier Gorge to Alberta falls and just after were pretty hard packed from high traffic, we found that with 40lbs of gear on our backs, hiking without them was terribly slow going. As we reached the last leg of our trail where the snow was well over 2ft it was super fun hopping in and out of the drifts :D Despite our packs suckin the life out of us/him in the higher, thinner air which he wasn’t quite used to, he still rocked it! We mad it the 3 miles to our camp in as many hours :)
The ascent to the lake was fuggin tough! haha. Steep with deep snow we made it to the top. Watching the excitement of Brad taking in the absolutely stunning beauty of the mountains was all we needed to fuel our ascent. There was such a strong wind snappin off the surrounding ridges (18-20 mph!), I was knocked over twice! But, reaching the lake and soaking in our trophy view was priceless.
Get Outside Campaign 9 pt II…
My brother, an Airborne Infantry vet, always stressed the importance of “the priorities of work”. Basically a simple discipline to get camp set, wood gathered, gear unpacked etc, stole us away from our GORGEOUS triumphant lake view. It was this that was a childhood dream lived haha we got to build a snow fort! Digging out about 2ft for our tent and a 6ft by 5ft kitchen den to stay out of the wind, that little shovel became the MVP of the day haha. As the sun went down and we sat nippin on our hot spiced cider, snacking on cold cuts and cheese a light snow began to fall. A perfect day.
Morning came and while the gear totally earned the coin I dropped on it haha, we stirred to find the evening’s snow had freshly blanketed us in our camp. As the sun broke through the mountains up over through the pines surrounding us, we broke camp and our fingers about froze off haha :P Back on the trail we made record time heading back to the trailhead. The snow continued to fall and made the scenery already viewed the day before even more wonderful. Nature’s cool like that. I’ve been on that trail three times now, and every time it has been different and more beautiful than the last :)
In conclusion, this most recent edition of Buds vs Wild was a tremendous success and I couldn’t have been more happy dodging work on a holiday weekend than to spend it in the mountains busting my hump, fingers frozen, at times 20mph winds, falling into deep snow and having the absolute best time with my best bud :)
Q:Beautiful winter posts, man!
Thanks! I sure enjoy you enjoy them hip hop anonymous!
Q:you've got a gnarly blog
Wow thanks! Yours as well!
Q:gee what an amazing blog :)
Thank you so much! I am really glad you like it! :D
Snowshoeing in Rock Mountain Natl Park Part II…
Day two of some awesome snowshoeing in RMNP, this time we headed to the more popular Bear Lake as we’d gotten much more confident in our endurance etc on snowshoes. I found this set of trails WAY more fun and much deeper snow to play in haha. I had a blast jumping off of tall boulders into up to 30” of snow :D We went from bear lake up about 3 miles passed the frozen Nymph and Dream lakes to Emerald Lake. Again, heavy cloud weather kept a lot of the surrounding mountains hidden, but as impressed with the mountains I DID see, if there were more to be seen I probably would have exploded :)
Snowshoeing in Rock Mountain Natl Park Part I…
Colorado, I would have your love child even if you beat me.
Thanks again to Groupon, Christmas 2012 was spent in Estes Park, CO and we burnt the daylight in the high peaks of RMNP! Our first time snowshoeing and also in deep snow haha, it was a great two days out in it :D There are only two roads really open and one that our little car could actually drive on haha so we took the less crowded trailhead of Glacier Gorge. We weren’t sure how the snowshoes were going to effect us so we took an easier time and only went about 3 miles total but man talk about an awesome 3 miles!?! Unfortunately the weather kept us from REALLY seeing the mountains, (we were skirting an opposing trail to the foot of the northern ridge of Long’s Peak). But the lightly falling snow and (i’d heard) great weather haha it was an awesome day out playin in the snow :D
Rattlesnake Gulch Trail Eldorado Canyon State Park, CO…
Colorado, I think it’s time we took a break… SIKE.
Yet another wonderfully new and beautiful terrain to hike in. The red rock with the recent bright white snow and stark blue sky made the ascent to the continental divide outlook quite enjoyable. A hot spot for climbers, ECSP is just outside of Boulder, CO in the tiny town of Eldorado Springs.