Back in Austin

Typical pose for the long car rides to and from Colorado.

Tracy is taking advantage of her new boat on the lake.

We’ve been making a lot of feasts.

The snow was crazy. We ended up losing power and water for about two days each. We had a minor pipe issue but nothing compared to a lot of the people in Texas. I went for a run the day the snow started to melt. It was wild to see ice floating in the creek.

We also volunteered at a vaccination center.

Off to Mexico

We had planned a 50th birthday trip for Tracy’s triplet brothers and me. Unfortunately, everyone bailed except us. We were a little concerned, but we usually just stay at the resort and have limited interaction with people. The resort employees took great precautions, but a lot of the guests seems to be unconcerned. Our routine was a run on the beach every morning, breakfast and swimming at the quiet pool, and dinner at 6pm so no one was in the restaurant. Flying wasn’t bad, but we took full precautions.

Here’s a few pictures from our 10 days there.

Couple Preston updates…. He’s back at school and rescued a dog named Jasper. We had some friends that visited the beach near Preston and ended up meeting him at the dog park. She referred to this picture of Preston and her daughter as “masked awkwardness”

Summer is ending

Over the last 7 weeks we’ve been really busy. We’ve had several visitors and done many adventures. We’ve explored new trails and set personal records on others. The weather is getting chilly and we are starting the process of packing for Austin.

Monte, a new friend stayed nextdoor at the Surf Hotel for a week. He needed a break from Louisiana and seemed to enjoy his time in BV. He managed to make it to the saddle on Yale his first day here.

Preston surprised us on Labor Day. We had no idea he was coming, but he managed to show up on the worst 2 days of the summer. The day he arrived was thick with smoke and the following day, we got a foot of snow.

We’ve also had some lazy days around the house. The dogs have had the best summer- they walk 30+ miles a week but also relax in front of the TV with us.

I did a little more trim painting but left the project of painting the doors until the spring. We also had a mystery vegetable start growing next to the door. It turned out to be a squash and we assumed that it came from seeds in the compost.

Our neighbors came over on Thursday night and we sat of the deck and listened to the concert happening in the park. The sunset was gorgeous only to be followed with a full moon.

The summer continues to be nice

Our exploring continues as the weeks go on. We’ve climbed Yale, Midland Hill, and done many hikes on the CT. I’ve also done several long runs on Brown’s Pass Loop and the CDT. Plus on the date of my cancelled 100 miler, my friend Matt and I did 50 miles on the course. Last week, our friends Berton and Lori rented an AirBnb in town and we did several hikes with them including climbing Mt. Antero.

Tracy’s rowing friend, Felipe and his girlfriend, visited. We made them get COVID tests before coming since we are both still very concerned with getting sick. We played poker one night and climbed Yale a couple days later.

There have been lots of animal sightings. Something as basic as a cat in the backyard to moose on the trail or a goat on the summit.

6 weeks of summer

The weather has been awesome and Tracy and I have been out exploring the trails and peaks. We took so many pictures, I created a gallery of them. We’ve climbed the Belford group, Yale, Princeton, and up to the CDT. I also did a new loop with our neighbor’s son-in-law.

The dogs get a couple long walks everyday. We are usually outside at sunrise and late afternoon. Here’s a few pictures of our view of Mt. Princeton at first light and then a gallery of the dogs.

Snow is melting

It’s a great time of year in BV. The weather is getting really warm and the snow is receding. Last week, I climbed the Buffalo peaks (13.2k) via a cross country route from the Tumble trail. There were a few snow fields to navigate and a vicious wind, but otherwise it was a straight forward climb.

I’ve also been busy around the house. I made another giant pot of corn chowder and filled the planters.

The dogs have been putting in a lot of miles on the trail and seem to be enjoying it here.

The snow finally melted enough that I could make it to the saddle on Mt. Yale. In a couple weeks, I’ll try for the summit on the East ridge. The last picture is Yale in the distance taken from further down the Colorado Trail.

On Saturday I did the Spirit Vertical Run DUO 14er Challenge – a virtual race put on by Spectrum in Austin. The goal was to climb 12,571 feet, which is the elevation gain from Buena Vista, CO to two Collegiate Peak summits (Mt Harvard and Mt Columbia), combined. It took me over 10 hours to do 11 repeats of a segment of Colorado Trail on Mt. Yale. I ended up climbing just over 12.6k in 30 miles (up and down). I got 2nd place.

Spring is here

The town is still dead, but the weather is awesome. Last week was supposed to be the Collegiate Peaks Trail Run, but it was cancelled. I decided to do one loop solo, unsupported. The weather was awesome and I only got lost once.

The only thing in town that has been challenging is the grocery store. On days when the weather has been borderline, I’ve cooked. I’d already made 6 gallons of chili and now we have 9 trays of veggie lasagna to fill up our new refrigerator. All the animals around us are also eating. The hummingbirds came the day after the feeder went up and Darby is always hungry.

The dogs have been walking 30+ miles a week and often get to swim in the afternoons. The last picture is from sunrise this morning. The full moon is setting over Mt Princeton. This picture of Princeton and the one above are 10 days apart, showing you how much snow has melted from the peaks.

Quarantined in BV

There are worst places to be stuck in. Pretty much everything is closed in BV except the trails. They are closed to all but locals, so they aren’t busy. We have a great routine: online yoga every morning, a dog walk on the river trail, and an afternoon hike in the mountains or across the river. Happy hour is at 4:30 and we brought plenty of food from Austin. The only annoying thing is that the single grocery store in town is packed, so I limit my visits to opening time one day per week. We have gotten take-out from the neighborhood restaurant and have bought several bottles of the local whiskey to help out.

We’ve made one trip with the dogs up Midland Hill and several trips to the Avalanche Trailhead.

The Surf Hotel is closed, but every couple weeks they are making take and bake lasagna at cost and anything extra you pay goes to the staff. We have an order coming on Friday.

Avalanche is snow free for the first mile and you can almost get 1k feet of climb in. The weather turned cold this week, but I’m betting I’ll be able to get half way up by the end of the month.

The dogs are in heaven. If you click through the pictures below, you can see Darby in her crazy state after getting a bath.

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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