Mountain Thoughts

This is a mental reflection of my time in the mountains this winter. I was able to get to explore several parts of Colorado and Utah this winter. Mountains in different ecosystems and different experiences. So, I guess in a nutshell, this will be a my reflection of that.

Thoughts 1:

My first winter trip was with Elisa to Fort Collins. It was odd to not go balls to the wall, but probably better for me. We did hikes in a few areas.

Our first hike was not too far from suburban Fort Collins life. We watched 5 coyotes make their way around a frozen pond. Surrounded by people, and it looked like they were just trying to find the best way to go about their day. Maybe hunt, rest, or just play. It was peaceful to watch them. Put myself in their world for just a few moments.

Thoughts 2:

My first time seeing the mountains of Utah, just outside Salt Lake City, and it was wonderful. My short time hiking there was fucking tiring. Somehow the route we chose in the dark ended up being one of the hardest. It was nice to go through it with a friend.

The thoughts on this hike were of struggle. I got out there, and had to be at a meeting in an hour. The mountains are always worth it. The cold air and heavy breathing made for a clear mental state. I seemed to operate at a higher level the rest of the day. It was also fun to experience my friends reaction. He was excited and pumped up to have done the hike. A great moment for all.

Thoughts 3:

As discussed above, hiking with others and experiencing the excitement together is a blast. Seeing Blake look around the Flatirons in wonder was a real gift.

I am lucky my bachelor party was in Boulder. I got to go on a great, and short hike with all my friends. I was so happy in the moment. Possibly the best moment of the whole weekend. I get to be in my favorite place, with my favorite people. This was my last winter experience this year.

My original intention was to cap it off high up in Rocky Mountain National Park. My ego wanted to do big hikes, that were high up. Yes, I love that, and I will continue to do it, but I have to be honest about the drive. It felt like my last shot to get up there, since I have a busy summer. What am I trying to say?

I am trying to say that what needed to happen is what occurred.

Away with the Wife

Elisa and I are on a 3 year streak of Colorado visits. How perfect are we?

We have stayed in Rocky Mountain National Park, Boulder, and now Fort Collins. We have a similar process every trip.

  1. Spend some time alone. Enjoy the particular city we are in and each others company.

  2. Make time to see our friends. I actually see my friends that live in Colorado almost as often as Kansas City.

  3. Hike and socialize

Our time together in the mountains has always been interesting. Our first time (RMNP) I was recovering from surgery and got a bad infection. But we still had an amazing time! The next year in Boulder was the definition of chill. We spent a lot of time in the resort, letting go of stress. Our latest trip was a perfect mix of everything.

Day 1:

Elisa and I took off late on Wednesday from Kansas City, so I will start the journey early Thursday. First, we hit up our favorite diner not too far from the airport (put name in). Had some amazing cornbread pancakes and headed to Boulder. We spent the afternoon trying some beers and shopping around. I always buy books on Pearl Street. Not sure why, but I have enjoyed every one that I have come back with.

It was refreshing to spend time just the two of us. Talking about our wedding and random life thoughts. We also had mixed results on beer. I will plug the good place. We haded to our tiny home in Fort Collins later that night, settled in, and then went to dinner. Our first day gets a little rough here. I forgot my wallet, so had to uber back, and then I got sick (puking) once back at the restaurant. Our nice night together continued with a lack of interaction from me. It is moments like this that I curse my weak stomach.

Day 2:

We began enjoying breakfast at a local waffle shop before checking out some hike in the (put in name) public land area. We arrived to the area we were going to hike. There was a dog park at the beginning of the trail. Elisa and I had a moment of missing our own adorable pups. We hit the trail. The sun was bright and air crisp. It was an easy hike with great views.

The greatest delight was watching a pack of coyotes for most of the journey. It started with one coyote hunting for rabbits and prairie dogs through the valley. As we went along, watching our new friend, we hear him join the rest of the pack. We watch as the five coyotes play on the frozen lake. Watching people hike along, and most of them with dogs.

I found the interaction odd. Such a wild looking pack, but perfectly content with the humans and cousins (dogs) around them. This just might be what wild is in some cases now.

We concluded the hike. Happy to see new places and watch some wildlife. These are the joys of nature.

One of the best ways to conclude a day on trail is with a beer. If you disagree, I am judging you. We made out way to New Belgium Brewery. It was a great tour. The company has such a fascinating history, and delicious beer to enjoy along the way.