Category Archives: stuff

Memorial Day 2012: Denver Botanic Gardens and Mt. Bierstadt

Last Monday (Memorial Day) was spent with the family touring the Denver Botanic Gardens. It was kind of like a zoo, for flowers. I got some nice shots with the camera and we had a good time together. An album with some more photos can be seen here.


Since we had gotten an early start, we made it back home around 3 in the afternoon. Everyone was pretty beat from walking around slowly in the sun, but I was getting antsy to go do something more. I tried to talk Malcolm into going for a run or ride. Too tired was the response. I was starting to gear up for a mountain bike ride, when I had a thought. “How about a fourteener?”

He wasn’t too tired all of a sudden.

The weather was awesome. A little windy and slightly cold, but the perfectly stable atmosphere made for a great window of opportunity.  We ended up going from couch to summit in 3.5 hours.

The road up to Guanella Pass is paved now and is very nice. You gain altitude in a hurry as you leave Georgetown behind.

I’d never been up Bierstadt via the traditional (and VERY popular) route. The only other time I had summited this peak was during my Circling the Abyss run a few years back where I came up via the south ridge.

We started our climb just as the last of the weekend hikers were coming off the mountain. It was all ours for the rest of the night.

The climb itself was very straightforward, just a little snow here and there to negotiate.

It was cold and windy when we topped out, so we didn’t stay too long. It was much more tolerable a few hundred feet lower down.

The evening light was spectacular, and I got a great shot of Malcolm as we started the descent. I wrote more about that in my Friday Foto post a couple of days ago.

We stopped halfway down and I set up my mini tripod to take some photos of the beautiful sunset.

We pulled out our headlamps, but didn’t ever turn them on. The light of the moon was plenty bright to get us back to the car. From there it was back down the mountain and home by 11:30. What a great way to spend the evening!

Waterton Canyon: OPEN

After a year and a half (minus a short break last winter), Waterton Canyon is finally open again.  It took a long time for them to complete the Strontia Springs dredging project.  I did part of my run up there this morning and was reminded of what a great place it is.  Yeah, it’s not miles of gnarly singletrack, but it is a nice secluded place to put it in cruise and enjoy the scenery.

I left my house at 6:00 and ran through the lot after a couple of miles, it was completely empty.

That would change…

I did a few miles out and back in Chatfield before looping back to run up the canyon.

There were a few new items, but no massive changes.

New sign.

New trailhead signs.

Some leftover equipment.

It was a cold 17 degrees when I left home, but I was warmed up by the time I headed up the canyon.

I always have U2’s One Tree Hill play through my head when I pass this spot.

A new table/shelter at mile 2.

Dam.  River.

Nice of them to install a mirror so you can check your look before hitting the top.

Then I spotted a cool monster icicle mouth.

So nice to run a 12 mile out-and-back with no roads to cross or traffic to worry about.  Just take in the view and let the legs do their thing.

No snakes today!

Information overload!  So much to keep track of.


I was the only one at the dam when I stopped to turn back.  There had been a couple of bikers come down the canyon while I was going up, though.  They looked miserably cold.

The sun came out and I had a small tailwind which made for a great trip back down the canyon.

The folks at the house near the halfway point have taken a cue from the church at the top of the High Grade climb and put out a cooler of goodies.  No credit cards accepted, though.

It looks like just water for now.  Better start donating.

Lots of people were coming up the canyon now.  It was great to bump into Leila and Donnie, and all the other runners I saw seemed especially happy.  We would smile at each other like, yeah – it’s good to be back!

I even spotted a guy on an off-road unicycle.  Pretty sure it wasn’t Rob…

Still facing another closure, but this one will seem like a piece of cake after 1.5 years.

After another week of warm temps, and after the word gets out, this place will be standing room only.  Even on the busiest days, it’s not too bad.  Plenty of room for everyone.

I was suprised not to see any sheep.  I thought they would be everywhere after having the place to themselves for so long.  I stopped and talked to a guy who was hiking with a D90 hooked up to what looked like a four foot long lens and he hadn’t seen any, either.

There were some cool ice formations in the river as I crossed the bridge and made my way back home.  23 miles later.

Contest Fever

I’ve entered 4 contests so far this month.  Probably 3 more than the rest of my life combined.  I’ve written Haiku for a pair of shoes, left a comment for another pair of shoes, sent some photos to Gear Junkie for a Weekday Warrior series, and now this.

The latest one is a photo contest for Trail Runner Magazine:


Hit Us with Your Best Shots!

In an upcoming spring issue, we will be featuring a gallery of our readers’ most inspiring trail images. So submit your sharp, well-composed trail-running photos (no paved surfaces, please!) that make you want to lace up and head out the door.

To enter, simply email 72 dpi jpegs (no more than six at a time, please, and edit down to the best of the best, i.e. no similars from  the same shoot) to Deadline: January 26.


I’ve already had my picture in Trail Runner, so it stands to reason I’ll get a picture in Trail Runner.

I guess after winning some $170 La Sportiva climbing shoes last year with a picture of me rock climbing in 1988(!!), I’m feeling lucky.  Can’t win if you don’t try…

Here’s my faux toes: