Monday, June 21, 2010

Rocky Mountain High

Spent last week hiking and running in Colorado's Arapaho Basin area. We stayed in the condominiums at Keystone - lovely and inexpensive in the Summer. Bed, bath, living room, kitchen, dining room, and balcony made the condos nice relaxing places to come home to after work or play. The condos overlooked a lovely stream with a fast current. Each morning I'd run either alone or with Chris on a path that followed the course of the stream. On the first day I had an asthma attack within the first three minutes. The altitude took its toll. I kept going and finished the run, which was only two miles. But it took me a few hours to recover. Running improved over the next few days because we remained at or above Keystone's altitude.

We took some beautiful hikes above Breckenridge. The hikes took us close to 12,000 feet. We saw marmots and pika, as well as bighorns, old abandoned mining camps (located in impossible places - kudos to the hearty souls who built them), huge snow banks, clear mountain lakes, and stunning waterfalls.

Marisa had made great food suggestions at the Whole Foods in Denver. So we had Tofurky Jerky, Cliff Bars, avocados, crackers, and gorp to sustain us. The hikes took anywhere from 3 to 5+ hours. I used sunblock like I owned stock in the company. It was really easy to burn.

My Brooks Cascadias (pictured below on the left, next to Chris's Adidas and Marisa's Keenes) worked very well for both the runs along the streams and the serious trail hikes. I had no falls, no discomfort, and no blisters. I also didn't have any joint or back problems. We covered seriously rocky, sandy, and muddy terrain, and the shoes showed almost no sign of wear. I had been half expecting a tear or two in the sides of the soles or in the fabric uppers. The Cascadias, however, really held up, and looked the same after a week of punishment.

Here are some more pics of the trip:

Finally, I received some sad news this morning. I learned that a friend of mine had passed away suddenly last Thursday. Tommy Johnson; a great humanitarian, musician, father, and friend to everyone he met died last Thursday. I knew him for about 14 years, and never heard anything but positive remarks and encouragement from him to all who surrounded him. He was an avid tennis player who I played with or against almost every Saturday for the past decade. His loss is a loss for the city of Lawrence and for all that is good in the world. He will be missed. To learn a bit more about this extraordinary person, cut and paste this

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