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Fall and Spring in Austin

It’s been a while since I posted so this will cover all the fall and spring’s adventures. We are heading to BV again in a couple weeks and it will be extra nice to get into the wide open spaces and fresh air.

In November, we did our yearly trip to Mexico – we stayed in Cancun and had a wonderful time. The resort we stay at is so nice, that there is no reason to leave except for a daily run on the beach.

We went back to BV for a couple of weeks at the end of November and it was bitterly cold – a huge contrast to last year. We stayed in town and frequented all our favorite places.

I’ve been doing a lot of cooking and have stocked up on chili, corn chowder, salmon, and curry vegetables. The sushi boat is from a lunch I had with members of my old team.

We also did some work around the house. A new chandelier for the dining room and a fresh coat of stain on the fence.

We had our doors adjusted in the house and the guy that fixes the doors also creates these intricate rock structures in the greenbelt. He told me about one he created off trail in the middle of one of the canyons. I was determined to find it when I ran that weekend, and I did. It’s hard to get a good perspective from the picture, but it’s taller than I am.

There have also been a few races – Cactus Rose, Bandera, Spider Mountain (headlamp pic below), and the Maze (last pic). In 2 weeks, I’m running the Tangle.

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Finishing touches

The end of summer is here. I’m packing up the house and getting it ready for winter. The weather has been awesome this week so the dogs and I have been enjoying the fall colors from the trails. I’m meeting my friend Jason on Thursday for a final climb of Yale. The next morning, the dogs and I are off to Austin.

I made a dinner so pretty last night, I had to take a picture of it. Baked potato smothered in chili with sour cream, tomatoes, and avocado on top.

Winter is here, but just a little

Winter came this week but it was much less than was forecasted. Snow didn’t stick in town, but the mountains were covered.

I was prepared with inside activities since I’d already cut all the plants down, taken in all the patio furniture, and removed the outside screens. My chore was to make a giant amount of campfire salmon to freeze. I hit a new mark with 16 foil wrappers. Even in the new oven, it took 3 loads to cook it all.

The next day, I was craving chili. I already took the giant pot back to Austin so I used the Yeti to mix all the ingredients. I used every pot I had and the crock pot to cook it and ended up with 8 gallons of chili to freeze.

Winter is coming.

Makes me want to watch Game of Thrones again. The days are getting shorter and lazier. Darby has taken full advantage of slowing of pace.

The weather is supposed to take a turn towards winter on Thursday – snow and a low of 9 degrees… I bought a lot of food to cook and a bottle to drink during the cold days. Last week, I hit the mountains pretty hard to get ready for Cactus Rose at the end of the month, so I took it easy today with a hike up to the East ridge on Mt Yale. I took a couple pictures of the trees changing color in the canyon

The dogs and I plan on heading back at the end of next week. All of us will be back for the Christmas open during Thanksgiving. I attached the video I made of Preston and my trip to Kilimanjaro that I forgot to post earlier.

6 weeks of random stuff

The last 6 weeks have been busy and fun. Tracy has been here a lot to enjoy all the great things BV does in the fall. I also made a trip to Austin to pick up Preston and take him to CalPoly. I returned to Austin for a week and Tracy drove back up to BV with me. The picture below is the start of the TransRockies run.

We’ve spent a lot of time at the local distillery, Deerhammer. The dogs enjoy it since the food truck next to it serves sweet potato fried (their 2nd favorite food behind salmon)

I’ve been slowly replacing the appliances in the house. The latest addition is a new stove. The house is huge, but the space for the appliances are tiny. This was the largest stove I could find for the space. The 2nd picture is how close I cut it to make sure you could pull out the drawer.

The dogs get walk every morning and the view never gets old. This was the beginning of September and later, there will be some late September pictures. The weather patterns in the fall bring more clouds early so the sun rising makes some incredible colors.

September weather was awesome. We spent a lot of time on the deck and Izzy enjoys sunning.

The dogs and I went back to Austin since I was going to drive Preston to college. While in Austin I was able to get a run in, do some maintenance around the house, and have a poker game. Preston and I left on a Tuesday and we took 4 days to get to SLO (CalPoly). We spent the first night in Roswell since I was excited to visit the UFO museum. The second night was in Flagstaff and we were able to have dinner with Kathy and John Eastwood (my undergrad adviser). The third night we went to one of the few casinos in California that allows 18 year old’s to play poker. Preston went straight to the tables and I didn’t see him until 5am the next morning. He had his ups and downs but came back 50% up. The last night, we stayed at one of the few hotels with vacancy in SLO. I dropped him off to his dorm first thing the next morning and left right after unpacking the truck. His dorm is pictured below – nothing special with 3 people in a room.

Tracy, the dogs, and I drove back to BV the following Sunday. It was an uneventful trip except the Eagles lost to the Lions (yeh for me). We had a wonderful time together in BV. Many trips to Deerhammer, Asian Bistro, and the Surf Hotel. We also volunteered at the 14ners festival, selling drink tickets. The pictures below are from a hike we did up Mt. Yale from the standard route at Denny Creek. Tracy did awesome and the day was wonderful.

Last week, the colors were awesome awesome during our morning dog walk.

CW’s adventures on the 14ners

CW has been in BV on and off for a month. The adventure I plotted for him this year was for him to climb 7 of the 14ners in the Sawatch Range. He would camp at the base of one, climb the following day, and then trek to the base of the next one. I met him for 4 of the climbs. He did great.

He camped in Missouri Gulch and we climbs Belford and Oxford back to back and then I ran down the backside and climbed Missouri also.,

When I was meeting him in Great Horn Basin, I ran into a pair of moose. If you zoom in you can see both of them in the meadow below.

His final peak was Mt. Yale. We went up the East Ridge which involves a lot of route finding and scrambling. He was exhausted when we finally reached the summit.

Getting ready for the High Lonesome 100

Since getting back from Africa, I’ve been hitting the trails pretty hard to get ready for High Lonesome this Friday. I’m feeling very good so I’m hoping to beat my time from last year. My expected splits are below with my times from last year.

I’ve been all over the course to check on the conditions. The snow is melting quickly. On Saturday, I went back with my neighbor’s son in law and we turned right and climbed Mt. Antero. The weather was great and we ran down.

The next day I climbed Law’s pass which is also on the course. There is still a giant cornice but it’s easy to get around.

I also returned to the road by St Elmo to see if the avalanche had been cleared. It had. I continued on to the Colorado Trail and ran the crest to Hancock and then back to St Elmo. The only challenging spot was the last pitch to the old railroad bed. The hill was completely covered with snow, but it was easy enough to kick steps down. It was so large, I doubt it will be gone by race day.

I took a day off and made a huge batch of Campfire Salmon.

Our gardening has turned out well. Everything is in bloom.

On Saturday, my friend CW came to visit and we sipped whiskey on my neighbor, Mark’s porch and watched the sunset.

On Sunday, I ran the Mt Harvard and Mt Columbia loop while CW hiked to Bear Lake. It was much more challenging this time since there were still huge snowfields that I had to go around. The route I took ended up 3 miles longer and 1000ft more elevation than the traditional route. The view from Harvard is the first picture, view of Columbia and the traverse is the second.

A little Climb

Today, I decided to do the Little Browns Creek to the Wagon Loop circuit. I basically climbs from 9k feet to 13k feet and then drops down on the backside of Mt Wilson. It’s about 17 miles in total, but I got a little lost so I was closer to 18. The snow is melting fast on the saddle. A few pictures below.