Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Checking for Fires So You Don't Have To

Ahh...Memorial Day.

Makes you want to grill out, veg out, chill out. Or--in the case of my family--climb a big fat mountain.

Now don't get me wrong, my husband Josh and I did plenty of the former. We went over to Josh's brother Micah and sister-in-law Kelly's house two nights in a row to drink some lemonade-y vodka drinks and jam out to Rock Band. We also traipsed down to the Farmer's Market and then caught the uber-early 11:00 a.m. showing of Indiana Jones on Saturday.

But Sunday...whew. Sunday was a different story!

Micah and Kelly suggested the four of us go on a drive in the mountains, packing a picnic lunch and possibly doing a little hiking. Heck yeah, sounded great! So we piled in their car with their dogs Brahmin and Bodhi and headed for the hills. Mt. Evans or thereabouts was our destination. Naturally, the lake we had picked out was pretty packed...it was Memorial Day, after all. So we kept driving, skipping the toll road to the top of Mt. Evans and continuing onward and upward until we found a really beautiful picnic area. Bread, oil, vinegar, avocado, swiss cheese, almonds, fresh fruit...simple and tasty!

After lunch, we drove until we reached a random pull-off point. There was a sign that indicated that vehicles were permitted to continue up the rocky dirt..."road" is too luxurious of a term...more like "path". Micah braved it in the car for awhile. Snow only partially blocked the path, but we were lucky no one was coming down at the time. Finally we pulled over to an out-of-the-way spot and decided to go the rest of the way on foot. We didn't have a clue what "the rest of the way" meant, so we were pretty lucky that it was only another mile or so up! The path was gentle and not steep by any stretch of the imagination, but the air was thin and I had sort of a difficult time. Lack of oxygen really gets to me, even after having lived in Colorado at 5,400 feet for 4 years. At certain points I became really sleepy, then giddy, then freaked myself out because I realized I was oxygen-deprived. All was well, though. You just have to take your time and not push yourself too hard.
Turns out we were climbing Squaw Mountain, and went all the way to the top of the Squaw Mountain Fire Outlook post...11,486 feet! The 360-degree view of the valleys spreading below and the snowcapped mountains in the distance was absolutely, positively unbelievable. We could even see Denver! No fires in view, thank goodness. Inside the hut at the top you could just make out a couple of plastic-wrapped mattresses, for the lonesome Forest Service rangers stuck on fire-watch-duty. Josh, being who he is, also scrambled up a few rock outcroppings. I, being who I am, did not. :) I really enjoyed the excursion, though I usually make a lot of noise about how I don't like to go Up. Having a goal point (supercool outlook station!) helped make me feel like there was an actual finish to the hike. Yep, I'm a wimpstick.
Monday dawned rainy and Seattle-y. I honestly didn't want to get out of my pjs. It was a great reading day...finished A Tree Grows In Brooklyn...and managed to get out of the house long enough to go on a long walk with my darlin' to see the tail end of the Boulder Creek festival. I was also adament about watching the Great Rubber Duck Race, because...well...when 9,000 rubber duckies are floating down a municiple river, ya just gotta see it.
Sadly, no fiber news over the weekend. But in a day or so I'll post the details of fleece-washing that took place a couple of weekends ago. A pound of soft and lovely Rambouillet, all squeaky-clean...certainly didn't begin that way!

1 comment:

sherry said...

Beautiful shots, love the mountains. I love Kiva, too. I wish I could say yes to everyone.
I'm trying to pledge once a month.
Thanks for stopping by my blog.