Archive for June, 2010

Road Trip Day 9: Headed Home

We headed home from Telluride early even though it was hard to leave. Beautiful place. I highly recommend a visit if you have never been. As we were driving around Blue Mesa Reservoir by Gunnison we decided on a whim to stop fish for a little while. Didn’t catch anything but it was still a really nice morning. For lunch we stopped at Coyote Cantina in Buena Vista like always. Even with the stops we still managed to be home by 3:30. It is bittersweet. It is always nice to be back home but now the vacation is over. So sad.

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Road Trip Day 8: Telluride II: Our Anniversary

Today is our 2nd anniversary. We wanted it to be memorable. Since we kept hearing how high the water level would be we were easily talked into signing up for a half day of white water rafting. The water would be higher and faster than yesterday and start tapering off tomorrow. This specific day would see record high water levels and speeds for the past 50 years. Our guide was hilarious. More importantly he had been a raft guide in Telluride for 27 years. He took us down several stretches of river that had never been done. We slammed into dozens of waves that hit well over our heads on the 14 mile stretch of river. Total blast.

After rafting we enjoyed a nice long massage. The girl dug her elbows into my shoulder blades. I refused to cry out so she kept digging harder and harder. Doesn’t that sound nice? Most of it was very relaxing and I enjoyed it thoroughly. But if you ever just want a relaxing massage, when they ask if you have any sore muscles they should specifically focus on just say no.

We finished the day at the most amazing restaurant called The Cosmopolitan. We have eaten there many times and even had our rehearsal dinner there. Every time we ended up having the same waiter, Jaime. Unfortunately, Jaime had the night off but it didn’t matter. The food was as unbelievable as always.

Vacation Workout 8: Another day off CrossFit WODs but the rafting was plenty.

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Road Trip Day 7: Telluride I

bridalveilfalls This morning we took a nice drive by Dunton Hot Springs on the way to Telluride hoping to check out their cabins but it was rented out for a wedding. The drive was still amazing. In Telluride the waterfalls are gushing. Locals have been telling us they haven’t seen the water that high in over 50 years. First we checked in to Mountain Lodge, the same place we stayed during our wedding two years ago. When we told them it was our anniversary they upgraded us from a studio to a condo and gave us yet another spectacular view. I love this place. The condos are amazing. I will definitely post pictures later. We shopped a bit today and then drove into town for a closer look at these falls. Then we sat in the Jacuzzi did not do much else. Another relaxing day in paradise.

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Road Trip Day 6: Mesa Verde II

The original plan was to hike around this area today but it was upwards of 90 degrees with no shade. It was a perfect day to do nothing. We spent time in the shops and took a short drive. Most of the mesa has been burnt to the ground by fires started by lightening. It is sad. The trees around here took hundreds of years to grow just 10 or 20 feet and are not likely to make a comeback. It looks dead everywhere. But our tour guide said the fire is not the death of a mesa, just a stage in its evolution. If you look closer it is teeming with life. Just below the grey dead branches the wildflowers are blooming everywhere. And there are over 200 species of birds here! _DSC2093_cropped

Our guide also told us is that Mesa Verde is just a small side show of the ruins protected by the park. The area open to the public displays about 40 total sites out of 4800 ruins they have actually found! So the fires have not done nearly as much damage as it would at first appear though the damage covers 3/4 of Mesa Verde itself.

In the afternoon we took a long nap in our room. We went on a nice walk to an overlook of The Balcony House ruins and Soda Canyon. We ate dinner at the delicious restaurant up here again, a little later this time. At about 11:30 we drove away from the lights of the lodge and did a bit of star gazing. It is so dark and the sky is so clear you can see everything. And the temperature is still 72 degrees so it was a really nice evening.

Vacation Workout 6:  I took today off.

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Road Trip Day 5: Mesa Verde I

_DSC2085 Before heading to Mesa Verde, we stopped at Honeyville Farms in Durango and tested flavors of honey settling on one called Bumbleberry. Good stuff.

The drive through Mesa Verde to the Visitor Center is spectacular with expansive views of the valley, the mesas, and clusters of 14’ers. As we were checking in at Far View Lodge I ran into a friend from college! He now works for Colorado Tourism and came with a few DJs from Canada to do a broadcast for Toronto and Montreal. What a small world!

After check in we took an afternoon bus tour that drove us around the top loop stopping at various cliff dwellings and ended with a tour of the magnificent Cliff Palace (first photo). Our guides were extremely knowledgeable. We then ate dinner at the restaurant at Far View Lodge called The Metate Room (below). The chefs here are amazing. We shared an elk tenderloin and a couple prickly pear margaritas.

_DSC1438 Todd dropped vague hints throughout dinner about my anniversary present. The sun setting over the cliffs made it the perfect setting to exchange gifts even though our anniversary is not until Monday. (Todd took the photo to the left from our balcony).

Todd gets to choose his present. I want to shop with him at the store in Telluride where his parents bought the champagne glasses we used at our wedding. If we do not find anything he wants we will be going to get massages when we get home.

Todd surprised me with tickets to see Sting at Red Rocks! He is performing with the Philharmonic Orchestra on Wednesday! The first concert I ever saw was Sting at Red Rocks. My Aunt Jeannie took me when I was 11 years old. I think he had just left The Police. I knew a few songs and had a great time but he has accomplished so much since then. Now, knowing all of his music, I have wanted to see him at Red Rocks again but I never though that would really happen. The funny thing is that I was just telling the couple on the train that yesterday when they talked about some recent concerts they have seen! I am soooo excited!

Vacation Workout 5:
21 15 9 reps
Push ups
Sit ups / leg lifts
Time: 3:06

This was a short one but I made progress with the push ups. I made it through the first 21 without stopping. I have not been able to do that since the one time I did it in March. It was a struggle and my next sets were about 3 at a time but… getting better.

A funny thing happened. One of our tour guides gave a bit of an incidental plug for The Paleo Diet. He talked about how healthy the nomads were when they ate mostly meat and how the discovery of corn, beans, and squash allowed them to settle but caused them all kinds of health problems and decreased their life expectancy. Most of it was caused by less activity and several dental problems (which can actually lead to all kinds of serious issues – even heart problems) but it was still kind of ironic.

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Road Trip Day 4: Durango to Silverton

Thursday, June 4, 2010

_DSC1954 As we checked in for the 9:00am train from Durango to Silverton we learned that someone put us on the 8:15am train by mistake. We had just watched that train pull out of the station. A woman informed us that the equivalent car on this train was full and tried to put us on the 1:45 train. Um, no. I told her the mistake was not our problem and we needed to be on that 9:00am train. So why doesn’t she upgrade us instead. They only had space in First Class, normally a $60 per person upgrade. She upgraded us for free! Our car was called the Silver Vista, named after its paint job plus the fact that it is the only open air car with a glass ceiling for better viewing of the cliffs. Our hostess, Ellie, waited on us hand and foot and gave us all kinds of information about the train and the sites along the way. What a great mistake!

The train ride was absolutely beautiful. We travelled by waterfalls, bridges, towering cliffs, and rushing rivers. I love hiking and mountain biking but there is something to be said for sitting in a train all day and just watching nature go by while someone waits on you. Ha ha ha. The people in our car were fun too. I could not help but giggle when the Australians were frantically snapping pictures of the prairie dogs near the station. We also chatted quite a bit with a very friendly couple sitting next to us and ate lunch with them at Handlebars in Silverton. When we returned to Durango we had a little Mexican food in town and then spent some time in the Jacuzzi before bed. What an incredible day!

Vacation Workout 4:
10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 reps
Sit up / leg lifts
Time: 6:37
(This means you do 10 burpees, 10 sit ups, 9 burpees, 9 sit ups, and so on down to 1).

Our hostess Ellie told us that on our 8 hour round trip train ride there is just one guy that shovels the entire 5-6 tons of coal necessary for the trip. I will be thinking of this fact when I feel exhausted during our always less than 20 minute CrossFit workouts.

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Road Trip Day 3: Pagosa Springs

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Sleeping in was really nice. My uncle gave us two nights in the time share of our choice as a wedding present (two years ago) so are finally using it in Pagosa Springs. We are in a large condo with a full kitchen, two person Jacuzzi tub, and another awesome view of the snow capped peaks. In town we found a nice looking little cafe called Victoria’s Parlor. I had half of an eggs Florentine and Todd had a Belgian waffle. Yum! Great food, great atmosphere, great service. What a relaxing morning.

_DSC1827_cropped After breakfast we took a beautiful drive followed by a 6 mile hike round trip. On the way we saw dozens of robins and a few woodpeckers. One of them let Todd walk up real close to get video. It is a little early for the wildflowers but the Spring runoff was unbelievable. The big payoff at the end was Fourmile Falls, a gorgeous double waterfall totaling a drop of nearly 300 feet. You cannot tell by this picture but we are still a long way from those falls. The tiny white sliver to the left of the falls is huge and very steep frozen snow bank. The highlight was probably climbed up that thing to sit behind the gushing falls. Not so much fun was falling on my butt twice on the way back down. Ouch!

In the evening we sat in the hot springs. They just built a new upper level for guests only. We snuck in and spent most of the time in 107 degree pool overlooking the river and the rest of the resort. Todd dipped into an 111 degree pool but that was too hot for me. I finally got up the nerve to dip quickly into a 110 one by the river before we were just too tired to stay awake anymore and headed back.

Vacation Workout 3:
10 rounds:
30 second handstand
30 seconds holding an overhead squat
No rest

Again I used a towel in place of a PVC pipe. The sit-ups from yesterday didn’t do much for me so today I added 4 x 25 of the kind where you do a sit-up and legs lift at the same time. Better but still need to find something harder.

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Road Trip Day 2: The Great Sand Dunes

Tuesday June 1, 2010

_DSC1682 In the morning we waded through the waters of Medano Creek and hiked up High Dune, a 650 foot mountain of sand. From there we had an expansive view of all the dunes, the entire valley, and all the snow capped peaks surrounding us. The best part was running back down. The sand stops you so abruptly that no slope is too steep. One hour up. Half hour back. Todd did most of the downhill barefoot but the sand was way to hot for me and I wanted to protect my already weak toes. In the summer the sand can get up to 140 degrees!

After the dunes we took another very short hike to Zapata Falls. The Spring runoff is so high you can’t get up to where the falls are. Not on the trail anyway. In a bold move Todd decided we should wade upstream in the fresh snow-melt water our socks and shoes. Brrrr!!!!  It was worth it though. The waterfall was just gushing.

_DSC1733_croppedFor our last adventure we stopped at Colorado Gators. It was really windy but we still enjoyed ourselves quite a bit. We held a baby alligator and they put its teeth marks on a “bravery certificate”. Aside from gators and snakes of every size they also had a wallaby, emus, goats, donkeys, and Todd’s favorite, this huge ostrich that hung out with us for awhile.

Our next stop is Pagosa Springs. We drove straight through Center, Colorado on our way to our their. My dad grew up in Center so I spent many childhood weekends there riding motorcycles up and down the ditches with him and my sister.

Vacation Workout 2:
10 rounds for time
10 push ups
10 situps
10 overhead squats  (Used a hotel towel as the bar/pvc pipe)
Time: 14:30  -  That is not really a good time. It is those pushups. By the last round I was doing them one at a time. Definitely needs work.

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