Aug 2, 2015

Golden Summer Part VI - Recreational Hangover

Karin and John were in town the weekend of my 31st birthday. They helped me celebrate by putting me through a punishing series of intensive activities, beginning with hiking a 14er. 

I've found this summer that I pack my weekends so full of physically intense activities that come Monday morning I usually feel hungover from it. I usually get home Sunday night about 6PM dead tired from too much sun and too much fun outside, and still have a car of camping gear to unpack.   It's like a recreational hangover. I'm not sure if I'm complaining about this or not - it's kind of a great thing but kind of exhausting. At any rate, Karin and John's visit was definitely one of those weekends.
Bierstadt is the easiest of the 14ers. That's why we, and everyone else in Denver, chose to hike it that Saturday morning about 9am. It starts at about 11,000 ft, so it kinda feels like cheating, but we did hike to 14,000. The road was lined with cars probably a half mile from the trailhead. Below: view as we begin the hike looking up to the top.

When we got to a saddle with some snow, although we were feeling taxed we decided it is no time to turn around when your goals are within reach. And also there were children, elderly, and people who didn't look like they belonged on a hike who were still going up. So we had to.

 Finally, an entire three miles from the car, we made it to the top. So did everyone else of course. 

 On the way down a gorgeous day turned into a rapid hail storm and rain.
Bad weather sometimes makes for more interesting pictures than good! Below: half rainy conditions looking back at the peak.
After a cookout with some of Karin and John's friends, the next item on the agenda was a mountain bike ride on Sunday morning. This was my idea but I soon came to regret it. I managed to go over the handlebars on my bike almost right away and declared that I then hated mountain biking and was going to sell the bike. 

After the ride, I was cheered up by taking a ride on the alpine slide which leaves from the same parking lot. I guess I won't sell the bike just yet. Below: ride on the chairlift up. 

Below: Just a portion of the slide. Basically you take a sled down a track on the side of the hill. It's surprisingly fun! But if this is on your bucket list you better do it before December 31st because it is closing down then after operating since the 70's.
We ended the weekend with a biking brewery tour in Boulder. My favorite stop was Avery. REALLY good strong beers and delicious food also. No pictures though- I think I was starting to get too tired for documenting the adventures. Thanks guys for keeping me company for a weekend! Just like in college, a good hangover usually means you had fun!

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