Adventures at 11 Mile State Park

This past weekend I had planned on summiting a 14er with the pups but when I woke and checked the peak forecast it had changed overnight from partly cloudy to thunderstorms!
A quick search of state parks near me and I decided to go out and take a look at 11 Mile park- in Lake George.

We got there early- about 7:30 and had no problem parking in the Coyote Ridge lot on the east side of the lake. When we left at about 11, the lot was completely full.

The trails are not always labeled very well, so I recommend screenshotting the trail map on your phone or printing it out before you leave.

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We started on the Coyote Ridge Interpretive Trail, on the north side of the loop. When we met up with the Midland Trail we headed east around the wetlands.

I’ll come back with a pal and climb those boulders another time – NEVER CLIMB ALONE! Even on easy climbs that you know you can handle – it’s just not a good idea.

 

The midland Trail takes you to a peninsula at its furthest most south point, and this is where we went off trail for a while. Staying on the east side of the peninsula, we found ourselves all alone at the waterfront! We spent maybe 30 minutes there hanging out, eating snacks and sunbathing and saw one boat the entire time! Gorgeous and secluded.

When the midland trail meets with the two-trackers to the backcountry camping sites things got less enjoyable. With no clear signage, we wandered down both directions of the two tracker only to come across tons of campers.

Turns out the black bear trails and the midland trail weave through the campsites. These campsites say “backcountry” but every cluster of them have smelly bathrooms and trash areas. The rest of the hike was crowded with family reunions, fishing excursions and lots of noise. All the people were really nice but it was a little shock to the system after spending the precious couple hours in silence with nature.

There are some spots I’d love to come back to with a buddy and boulder a bit off trail- almost all north of the wetlands but there were a few good looking faces on the SE-most section of the Midland Trail.

Have been very busy ~ out and about enjoying the greater springs area💕

Micah has been gone a lot for work, so I’ve been taking care of everything on my own… quite a lot to handle but we’re managing =)
I’ve been trying to get outside every day I can that it’s not raining.. we’re deep into monsoon season so sunny days are pretty rare anymore. Here are some of my recent adventures:

Went hiking with my beautiful babes and best friends up on MacNeil trail- a deserted trail up Cheyenne Mountain–

I say deserted mostly because we were up there almost three hours and never saw another person!

Micah came home last weekend for a few days so we went to disc golf at El Pomar Youth Sports Complex…
Really gorgeous views along the whole trail!

And then on Sunday I went with my pal Amanda and her absolutely gorgeous kiddos to Cheyenne Mountain State Park! It does stink because dogs aren’t allowed on the trails there, which will seriously limit my ability to go hiking there. With Micah gone, and my commute being so far, I’m not able to spend any time with the doggos during the day. I feel so guilty leaving them at home now when I do anything..

But the kiddos were so curious and intuitive and brave! I aspire every day to be more like a child in those ways…

I’m alive and well in CoSprings

Hey guys!! Sorry I’ve been MIA- so much has been happening!

 

Sunset at the end of our new street

Caught a rainbow mid-rainstorm the other afternoon. Also a hanging basket and part of the front yard.

Micah and I are finally all moved in to the new house, the 40 minute commute is killing me, my parents have moved in with us from Michigan along with their two dogs.

 

Momma-bear taking an afternoon snooze with all the puppers

 

 

 

We’ve been busy planting and tending to kale, lettuce, tomatoes, peppers, soy beans, eggplant, and flowers flowers flowers.

Oh yeah and raspberries!

Anyway, between unpacking and helping my parents move, we haven’t had much time for hiking/climbing/adventuring.

We have joined a fab climbing gym called Pure Bouldering and have been climbing there three times, hopefully much more frequently in the coming weeks now that things are settling down.

I’ve plans for a hike/climb somewhere this weekend- stay tuned 😚⛰

What are you looking at……

 

Views from Pure Bouldering’s outside gym

 

 

On the Move

We’ve been SO busy with packing lately- sorry for the lack of adventures! 

Left our house in Pueblo and got into one up in Colorado Springs FINALLY! Very excited, even if I do have to commute now ☺️

There’s TONS of space to garden so stay tuned😁

Angel of Shavano

Hey there 👋🏼

Saturday, Micah and I went back to Shavano, this time without the pups.

We both felt better right out the gate, although we had gotten a late start again, not leaving our house til 6am and not getting on the trail til 9am.

On the way up we passed a gentleman who let us know if we stayed to the right of the angel we could avoid dealing with all the slick snow drifted up over the trail. We thought hey, let’s avoid some snow! So off the trail we headed 🙂

That’s Tabeguache on the far right


It was going fine, way more steep than the path (we assumed) until we got to about 12k. I don’t have a ton of pictures from this area because we were bouldering on really loose rock and we were pretty nervous and trying to avoid landslides.

Views from the climb up the East Ridge of Mt. Shavano

What happened was we went too far north and ended up following the NE ridge towards the summit. Once we got over the false summit on the ridge, we realized it was still another 500ish feet to the summit, BUT we could finally see the path!! We had wandered wayyyy further north, and were about to approach the summit from the NE side, not the main trail that takes you up the saddle on the S side of the summit.

Finally over the false summit of the East Ridge, Micah spots the trail winding up through the valley to our South

 

About 300 feet below the summit we realized it was already 2:30pm, and we had to get all the way down to the trail still and out to the car, so we headed SE from our position and met up the trail in the valley.

(Addition: we didn’t go back down the way we came because the rock was too loose for our current gear set up and mental game.Down climbing off trail was just a bad idea at this point)

There was still enough snow to spy some ski tracks down from the top of the saddle into the valley and it had me itching to hike up and ski down… so maybe someday!
Anyways, we hit some snow on the trail back down, veered off the trail to the south this time and made it back to the car by 5.

 

The weirdest thing happened tho… as we were at the base of the East Ridge, we saw a woman peak over the top of the false summit and wave to us- that being the deciding factor in taking the ridge up. Well, we never saw the woman climber again – and we had perfect visibility of the summit ascent on the east and south sides once we got over the crest. Micah and I think she was the Angel of Shavano👐🏼

Mt. Shavano

Hey all! Saturday Micah and I ventured out to Salida, and more particularly the Sawatch Range to take a look at Mt. Shavano!

It’s a class two 14er, and we took the east route from the Shavano / Tabeguache trailhead. This meant about 9miles round trip with over 4K feet in gains!


We decided to take Dooey (our boxer/lab mix) with us, to see how he handled the elevation and if he’d be a true #CragDog.

Well, from the get-go we faced challenges. I woke up in a not great mood- my camelback water carrier thingy (not actual camelback brand FYI) had leaked thru my pack overnight soaking everything. I broke a Mason jar and definitely didn’t eat enough sugar. Basically I was a big ole grouch.

We needed up leaving the house closer to 6a than our intended 5a goal- so we weren’t actually to the trailhead til about 9:30ish.

I felt sluggish and tired right away- micah realized I had definitely not eaten enough sugar so I stopped and nom’ed on some gummy bears and then we back on track.

About 1,900″ we met some hikers on the way down that said the trail was way covered in drifted snow that was super slick- even with their micro spikes they were sliding around. They also mentioned you could circumvent the snow by bouldering up to the right and getting above the treeline there.

Shortly after that we broke from the trail and headed straight up off the trail. 

It wasn’t long before we hit the incline they were talking about: lots of loose rock and boulders- super fun! Our topo map put us at ~12,100″ and allllmost above treeline. The loose rock really worked our footwork and balance and we had some stellar views finally!


Unfortunately; we realized Dooey wasn’t keeping up with us. He was frozen in terror near the base and wouldn’t push any further. He was clearly pretty anxious so we turned back and took our time on the hike back to the trailhead.

We’ll be headed back up next weekend I’m pretty sure to check out the trail status the rest of the way up 👍🏼👍🏼👍🏼

Also- now that I know the temps and snow pack etc… I’ll be carrying a lighter pack. Less outer layers for sure!

Memorial Weekend Camping

Hey all!

So I purchased a new tent last week for a multitude of reasons:

  • The only tent I had was HUGE – like sleeps ten people huge.
  • It had steel poles🙅🏻
  • I had REI member dividends burning a hole in my pocket
  • I had a 20% off REI coupon

So first I looked around and quickly fell in love with The North Face’s Homestead collection. I ended up choosing the Domey 3.


Near me is a State Park called Lake Pueblo. It’s a huge lake created by a dam on the Arkansas River- so we reserved a rustic spot this weekend and had an absolute blast!!

The tent was the easiest tent I’ve ever had to set up and there was plenty of room for us, the dogs and our stuff. We did have to both help get the last three poles in their spots, but I suspect we could have managed it alone either one of us, had we been motivated to.

The three doors are SO great even without three people- it makes packing and unpacking gear and clothes way easier. Also makes it easier to avoid tracking dirt and sand into the tent; although, with two dogs it’s hard to avoid that anyways 🤷🏻‍♀️

Also the trail weight of the tent is ~7lbs which is ideal for us and our needs.

The scene was pretty chill in our camp area- I suspect because it was the rustic sites and also the public beach wasn’t open yet so I think that kept traffic down. We woke up eeeearly Memorial Monday and went for a long run with the dogs around the bluffs and cliffs surrounding the lake and found some awesome spots to cliff dive- more on that later this summer😄😁

Also -my genius honey🍯 built us a wonderful hammock stand so now we can hang even out in the desert!! Here’s some recap pics from the weekend ☺️ also, I’ll include the close up of the top of the stand in case anyone wants to recreate!


Everything but the kitchen sink salad 🥗

I’m a really big fan of meals that have flexible ingredients because I really haaaate wasting food. Stir-frys, breakfast scrambles, nachos, etc… 

I think salads are a GREAT way to get rid of fruits and veggies, cheese, nuts, hard boiled eggs – anything that’s you’re worried about not using before it goes bad. Below is an example of a salad I made and then took to work for lunch. So delicious- but I absolutely needed some gum after… the red onion was strong! Anyways, here ya go!

For the dressing I mixed mostly balsamic vinegar with a bit of raspberry walnut vinegarette and brought it separate in a mason jar. 

Great Sand Dunes National Park and Preserve part 2

So this weekend, Micah and I loaded up the pups, rented a sand board and headed out to the Sand Dunes!


The park is about two hours away so we packed our camel backs and some snacks and hit the road about 7am. We brought our own trail mix (almonds, peanuts, raisins, dried cranberries), fresh strawberries, string cheese and butter biscuits. Lucky for us the dogs drink out of the camel backs so they’re perfect hiking buddies.


Anyway- I’ve never been great on a board (can’t snowboard, can’t skateboard), but I was able to stay mostly upright and have a wicked time out there. We were on the dunes for about 5 hours, including some rest stops along the river:


Anyways- here’s a quick GoPro video I put together of some highlights. Enjoy!

Thursday’s workout

My friend Amanda:

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Has been looking for help in the gym so I’ve started training with her, helping her with meal prep etc.. etc…

We’re both kind of uneasy in the gym we’re at (Planet Fitness) because there’s very little private area for body weight or even free weight combo workouts, so we end up smooshed in their “30 min. workout” area for the time being. We stay there tho because it’s a good location, 24 hours, cheap and we both tan there, so we’re trying to make due.

Yesterday we decided to focus on shoulders so here’s our workout:

Warmup

Walk on treadmill set at speed 2.5, incline 9.5 for five minutes
Run on treadmill (my speed started at 5.4 and ended at 6.2) for 15 minutes
                                (Amanda started somewhere near 4.8 and ended around 5.5 I think)
Windmill arms both directions x10
The following circuit three times:
10 push ups (mine were on my feet)
(Amanda did her first three pushups on her feet and the remaining 7

in each set on her knees)
10 Burpees
20 Mountain Climbers

Workout

Four sets of the following Circuit:

  • Dumbbell Shoulder Press x15 reps (I used 10lb dumbbells, Amanda started with 5lb and used the 10lb on her last two sets)
  • Barbell Front Lift and Hold for 3 seconds  x15 reps (we had our hands facing the ceiling instead of the floor so some assist came from the biceps. Both used a 20lb barbell)
  • Shoulder Press Fixed Weight Machine x 15 reps (I used 30lb on the first two sets and 45 on the second two, Amanda stayed at 30lb the whole time)

Cool Down

More arm windmills, both directions
20 pushups in sets of two (Mine on my feet, Amanda on her knees)

STRETCHING STRETCHING STRETCHING

Here’s an example of the dumbbell press and the shoulder press:

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