Showing posts from December, 2011

Section House Hut Trip

Our last big adventure for the year was a snowshoe/hike hut trip. Nick's been slowly accumulating gear for trips - hoping to eventually transition to back country skiing. The last big purchase was the Osprey Kode packs so we could carry the snowshoes and all our gear. With that, it was time to actually get out and try a hut trip. At that late date, there weren't many openings in the 10th Mountain or Summit Hut systems. There was plenty of room in Section house - a restored railroad boarding house perched on the top of Boreas Pass. It was also a shorter hike in, so perfect for testing gear out.

We approached the hut from the East side - parking at the Gold Dust trailhead. It was already pretty windy out, but the trees down in the valley shielded us from the wind. Hearing the creaking and moaning of the old pines was a little freaky at times - especially with the number of trees down along the trail. To Nick's dismay, there wasn't much snow down low and the trail had be…

Kittens causing chaos

Ahh, the joys of kittens. We decided to start leaving them out of the bathroom more at night and during the day. They are almost four months old now and it's time to start giving them a little independence. Too bad Miss Sasha is a little clumsy! Last week she knocked one of my spider plants and my rosemary off the banister. That was a bit of a mess to clean up and the plants did not survive. We had rosemary potatoes for supper that night. Then a few nights ago I was in my office working on Nick's jacket when I heard the distinctive sound of glass shattering on stone. Into the bathroom they went as I cleaned up wine glass shards from the kitchen floor! Sweeping, mopping and vacuuming to make sure all the splinters were picked up. A few hours later, Sasha knocked DumDum's food dish off. At least it was onto the towel on he floor. Made cleaning up easier. And hopefully the last thing she'll knock over - my prickly pear cactus. Amazingly the plant and pot survived the fall…

Skinny tire suffering

As usual, the colder months are providing time to work on my bike. It's still a huge weakness when it comes to my Xterras, so the more work I can put in, the better. With a borrowed power tap on my road bike, it was time to join the group road ride. I'd heard stories about the chaos and carnage, but also that it would a good way to build some speed and punch on the bike. My goal for today was to just stay in the group, follow some wheels and hold on the best I could. The group was really big today, lured by the crisp temperatures, low wind and sunny skies.

As we rolled out from Starbucks, I hung close to the back of the pack. I've never ridden in a group that big and wasn't as comfortable as others in the middle. I also didn't want to cause someone else to crash! I was doing well, keeping up with the pace and following the mild accelerations. Then the group turned right to head south on Mark Sheffele road. There was a slight uphill, followed by a long rolling downh…

Rock Canyon Half Marathon

The Rock Canyon Half marathon, put on by the Southern Colorado Road Runners is a great local event with a fun and challenging course and a good end of season race. I hadn't done it in a few years so decided to take advantage of my Pueblo connections and test myself at the 13.1 distance. It's been a while since I ran a half so I was hoping for good weather and fast competition. Well, one out of two isn't bad! There were plenty of speedy women on the starting line, so I am really happy with my 1:29:26 and second place. The woman's winner Ellie Keyser turned a 1:23:13 and was out of sight for most of the race. The weather on the other hand was far from good, with sub freezing temps, gusting winds and enough snow to make sections of course a little slick. I can't thank the volunteers who stood out in that weather handing out water enough. Just running was cold and I was fairly warmly dressed!

My morning was pretty easy thanks to Micheal O allowing me to stay at his hou…

The Sounds of silence

Or the sounds of bike tires crunching on snow. A string of freezing days after Saturday's snowstorm left a few inches of crisp and dry snow on the shady trails. The trails exposed to the sun were melted but frozen, making last night's ride nearly perfect. The temperature was a little chilly but the trails were quiet and the air still. It was just me and Stacy for the night's adventure so we met at my house, bundled up and headed to Stratton. Once we got on single track the only sounds were of our tires crunching against the dry snow. It was cold enough to freeze my breathe but the steady pace as we meandered thru Stratton and up the Chutes. At the top of the chutes we stopped to admire the view. Colorado Springs sprawled out I front of us, the city lights twinkling in the frigid air.

Then onto Columbine. We took the second drop into Colimbine, opting to enjoy a little more downhill. Normally I would put warmer gloves and another layer on for the downhill but decided not t…

Wild Rice Stuffing

This a little late for Thanksgiving, but I wasn't gonna post a recipe I hadn't tried. This is a good alternative to the traditional bread based stuffing. It has good flavor and a nice blend of textures. It is also a good complement to the rest of the meal.

Bring to boil
- 2 cups of chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups of rice. A blend of wild and brown rice works best. Black rice will discolor the broth

Simmer for 35 minutes or until rice is tender

While rice is cooking:
- Grate 1 1/2 cup carrots
- Grate 1 cup parsnips
- Chop 1 cup onion
- Chop 1 cup turnips
- Chop 1 cup yellow peppers

Add to rice and return to boil
- Add 2 tbs parsley and basil
- Add any other spices to taste

Simmer for 10-15 minutes
Remove from heat
Stuff turkey