July 22, 2014
And we are back! This is not a repeat.
Last night was great! But when I said I was going a 2nd night, the critics said, "Why would you want to see the same show twice?". Well, that's easy! 2 reasons: 1) They are amazing. 2) It ain't gonna be the same show. And it wasn't! Trent came out in some big shit kicker boots and I figured that was the sign.
The vibe was totally different. Much more vintage NIN. Only "Find My Way" from the current album was played.
But the bigger news of the night was that I took a date! Reagan said she wanted to go see NIN play after seeing some of the concert video earlier in the year. Plus, as we drive to soccer, I often crank up NIN to get her ready to play. She enjoys this type of music. She loves loud stuff.
So we got there later, got her a shirt, and got into position right before NIN played for maximum concentration of experience. She was blown away by how loud it was at the show. She could "feel the music".
I was a little bummed she didn't hear "Copy of A" which is a favorite song of hers. But "Head Like a Hole" was and that's her 2nd favorite. So her first concert ever was a success and she gets to tell people that she saw Nine Inch Nails @ Red Rocks for concert numero uno. That's about as badass as it gets.
March of the Pigs
Me, I'm Not
Find My Way
The Great Destroyer
The Hand That Feeds
Head Like a Hole
Well, usually I leave a lot of concerts, especially NIN, wanting more. The show was good and it could go on. After 2 nights in a row, I felt very satisfied. NIN might not be back around for a while but I sure got my fill over the last 2 days. Perfect summer concert(s)!
July 21, 2014
What's better than Nine Inch Nails at Red Rocks? 2 NIGHTS of Nine Inch Nails at Red Rocks! Yep, the summer tour is getting underway here in Colorado with back to back shows at our revered Red Rocks Amphitheater. Very excited.
I wasn't sure what they were going to do for this tour but I had a hunch and I was right. When NIN returned after hiatus, they played Lollapalooza last summer and had this sweet stage show on wheels done with video carts. I wanted to see that live. Finally did tonight. But the show starts off really simple and builds from there.
Working all kinds of lighting and shadows into the mix by the end of the first song.
There were 7 panels in all being moved around by a team of unseen stagehands on the backside. Mid-song just shifting and reorganizing with total synchronization.
As the set progressed, more instruments pop out. The panels gain depth. Its a cool effect. The pictures do not do it justice.
In comparison to last fall, this tour has more native NIN angst in it. Closer even made a return to the set list. Started with Trent hid behind the panels doing a video of himself on them. Then spreading to reveal him.
I was finally over on the right hand side of the venue as I am always on the other. It was a nice change. Great views at row 7. Probably the best I have been there in a while because it was more centered. Anyway, can't say enough of the show. I always leave a NIN show knowing that was the best I will ever see live. Its just a privilege to see it so many times over the last decade.
The opening act was some grunge band called Soundgarden. Ha. Yeah, those guys. Still alive and kicking with new material. I had never seen them so I thought it might be a cool opener. Frankly, I didn't dig it. Their material has always been not quite there for me. I like the obvious hits but the rest is too "grunge jam band". I just don't get it. I mentally compared them to last week's opener, Korn, and Korn blew them away. The crowd was nuts for Korn. Soundgarden just doesn't bring the rage I like to see. To each their own. Plenty of people there really dug the set.
I found 2.5 Timko's in the crowd before the show got rolling. Glad to see these kids out enjoying the show before life changes for them soon. Hope your baby rocks.
Here is the setlist for posterity:
Copy of A
Came Back Haunted
March of the Pigs
Me, I'm Not
Find My Way
The Great Destroyer
The Hand That Feeds
Head Like a Hole
I wonder what night 2 will bring. Same set? Different set? Doesn't matter.
July 20, 2014
|Moving Time||4 hr 58 min|
|Summit Elevation||14,229 feet & 14,155 feet|
|Elevation Gain||5,365 feet|
|GPS Export||KML GPX|
|GPS Analysis||Gamin Connect|
My climbing partners were up and ready for action again today. They sleep all week in preparation for the weekend adventures. Today, we had lots of time and the weather looked like it was going to hold all day so I opted to hit the southernmost part of the Sawatch to get that checked off the list. So we packed up and headed about 60 miles south near Poncha Springs. Drove the dirt road back to the Blank Cabin trailhead and we were off by 8 AM. The lot was pretty full of cars so I figured that would give us plenty of chase for the day. My legs were extremely confident from the get-go today. However, my lungs were signalling that they weren't in the mood.
The trail was pretty choppy for the first mile. Felt like ascending Shadow Canyon. Then there was a big circular move to gain the ridge. Finally above treeline we could see the first target, Mount Shavano.
We never really broke our stride and hit the top in about 2:30. Lots of people up top. But the real twist to this climb is making it over to Tabeguache Peak and back to descend. Not a lot of other options. So when you hit Shavano, you start accessing if you can run over and tag its neighbor and get back with no difficulties. About 1/2 the crowd was moving on, the rest had enough with the single peak.
As I was getting out a bit of food and water for my buddies, Ozzy sees this marmot like a hundred feet of the edge and goes after him. I was kind of freaked. He usually is exploring summits but this was a bit of a steep edge. He ended up down on a rock that seemed like it looked over a significant drop. But I am sure it was a case where the kid knew his position better than the parent. He eventually returned. No marmot.
There is Tabeguache (shaded by the cloud) just after stepping off the Shavano summit. My splits showed it was exactly 1.0 miles summit to summit. Took 34 minutes to get over there. When you are up there, it looks forever away. You can see tiny people on the summit. The route isn't well defined. Its just kind of like "go that way". Lots of rock/boulder jumping. The dogs and I were making good time and passing most of the early morning crowd headed that way.
This is from the saddle between the two. Just a few hundred feet of vertical to go!
Made it. Nice shot over to Mount Antero, its 14er neighbor to the north. You can 4WD most of the way up Antero. Still debating just ATVing because YOU CAN. The roads were visible.
My boy's 4th 14er of the summer. He is in his element out there. Everybody asks what breed he is and comments on his mountain skills. I joke and tell them he would be much faster if I wasn't slowing him down. He runs 2x the distance I do as he goes off and investigates everything on the mountain near and far. Including rolling in any snow that is visible.
Lizzy was on alert the whole time on tab. Fucking marmots. She wants one. Bad.
The descent. Same thing. They saw one out in the open and it was quite the excitement.
The return over Shavano is supposed to be the crux of the route as you have to regain the summit. We were doing good. In fact, only +6 minutes over the other direction and I think I stopped and emptied my shoes. But that's not good enough for Ozzy. He wanted back up on Shavano fast. Maybe that marmot came back?
We didn't stop at the summit when we got there. Just dropped down the other side. Long line of folks stretched back to treeline that made it fun to work the descent. Ran out of water at treeline and I was pretty parched. But we kept a decent pace and hit the truck in 1:15 with a few stops along the way at the creeks.
I thought that 2-fer was going to be a gimme. But it wasn't. The Sawatch always delivers with proper vertical gain. No shortcuts on these mountains.
As I was driving out of the trailhead, you are treated to a spectacular view of the peak you just came off of. Plus looking north you can string together views of several peaks of the same prominence. That got me to thinking how fucking ridiculous the Nolans 14 is. Get this. 4 miles from my house is the Leadville Fish Hatchery, where most people start this adventure. From there you string together fourteen 14ers in a row to end up at the trailhead I just left. I am driving back home by car probably 70 miles on a nice highway. The route for Nolans goes over the top of the peaks you drive along. Sick.
My truck is officially old now. But I still love it. And don't know what I would replace it with if I had to. Drive on, H2!
July 19, 2014
Somebody once told me that I need to cut out running the easy parts of the course up here and concentrate on the hard parts. So I went back to the hardest again today for another go at it. Last weekend felt OK but I was pretty gassed coming up the backside. How would today go? Well, cooler temps for one up here now. I think summer was last weekend here. So with poles in hand and dogs by my side we marched up Hope Pass again.
I bumped into some friends once again out with the same plan as I had. Zeke, Aish, and Brian were out for a double as well. They invited me to join in but that's too hot a train for me to be on. I let them go forth. Stomach was off since I woke up so it was a pretty flat ascent. Was just hoping to shift the contents for the backside.
Coming down the back of Hope is probably the most scenic part of the course. I used my poles extended on the descent today for a test. Wasn't bad. I ended up making the call at the bottom of the descent to just go touch the road and return. No Winfield today. I had a bad feeling.
The speed train blew back by me at about treeline after they hit Winfield. I was actually feeling better in the gut and had much more energy for the climb than last week. Barely stopped. Felt stronger and my calves were not tearing up. Maybe its working or maybe chopping Winfield was the key. Time will tell. Strava called it a PR. Back at the summit for the 2nd time.
As I crested, a big black cloud was coming in from the west quick. Thunder but no visible lightening yet. I had to talk the dogs out of marmot hunting and start making our way to treeline. Just as we got there, the rain and hail started. There were a nice stack of folks pent up at treeline waiting to see what the storm was going to do. We made it just in time. That Winfield decision paid off. Could have been stuck on the other side for a bit.
We got pretty soaked on the descent back to the car. Back at the trailhead, the speedsters were refueling so I joined them for some banter about the upcoming race. Who they are worried about and how its going to be different this year. The starters list is thickening up so we should have a nice race up front once again here in a few weeks.
July 14, 2014
Another Mayhem Festival and the line up did not disappoint. And finally a show over at Red Rocks instead of Fiddler's for a summer festival. I ended up with 6th row tickets for Sydney and I. She was excited to see M. Shadows of Avenged Sevenfold once again. But I was hoping I could introduce her to a few of my favorite bands as we worked through the line-up.
Trivium was our first act that we saw. They are my favorite band in the line up. Only a short 30 minute set unfortunately but I am glad to see these guys getting on the big stage. Totally different set of songs this tour because Matt's voice issues I hear. Still quite enjoyable. I think the crowd really dug them. I hope more people get into this band. They are winners.
Asking Alexandria was next. They aren't my favorite. Sydney and I escaped up to the top to see them while we chowed down on some dinner. Worked out well. But we had to get back down low to our seats for the next act.
I take Sydney to these shows and everybody tells her how cool she is. Its neat. She was ready for Korn but wasn't really sure she liked them. She knew a few songs but hadn't been religiously memorizing songs like I asked her to. Bad kid. Oh well. I did have her take her iPhone and she snapped like a million photos and shot a bunch of video. It was neat to see her engaged in capturing the show a bit.
Korn is back after a bit of a break with some new band members. I thought "oh it will be nice to see Korn again". No big expectations. Boy was I wrong. Those guy killed it. I mean song after song. Tons of energy. The crowd was nuts. I really enjoyed it and was excited to see such a veteran act show everybody how its still done. I felt almost tired after they got off stage. They could have headlined.
And finally, A7X closing out the show. They are solid every time. I can't help but thinking of them as some high school kids that just nailed it. Great songs and the fans really dig them -- men and woman. They are going to be around for a long time.
Red Rocks didn't disappoint. I was glad Sydney got to see a show there. Its our best venue in the state and its always a treat to rock out at the Rocks.
July 13, 2014
|Moving Time||4 hr 12 min|
|Summit Elevation||14,067 feet|
|Elevation Gain||4,462 feet|
|GPS Export||KML GPX|
|GPS Analysis||Gamin Connect|
Needed to climb again today. Figured that would be a good way to build on yesterday's 20 mile Hope Pass double. So what to do? I quickly decided to go pick off Missouri Mountain. I had been up in Missouri Gulch before to do Belford and Oxford. So it seemed to be a good choice as its close and somewhat familiar. The dogs and I were awoken by the Silver Rush 50 starting up about a mile from the house at 6 AM. Loud PA system. I just smiled as I was not in that race today. So the dogs and I headed back down south near Winfield to get our day going.
We moved up through the forest really good. I was using poles again. We were overtaking the hikers 1x1. Gave me something to focus on. Like it was a race. Once above treeline, the dogs were out roaming everywhere. They think its a giant playground.
The route is easy to follow. We came to the Belford turnoff and proceeded to the pass on the right as instructed. We kept going deeper into the valley and I knew eventually we really needed to cut West and start going straight up. It was about 5.5 miles to the top but it didn't get going vertical until about mile 4. That's the summit just to the center then right at the top. But to get up you go way to the back of the valley then zig zag back up the right hand side in the photo.
Crossed a snow field that the dogs were going ape shit in. People were stopping and watching them. They just run around with no concern about rolling down a 14er. But honestly, they seem to have super grip. I was at 2 hours on the clock by this ridge. I had hoped to summit in 2 but it was a tad further than I thought. The summit is way down there at the end of the ridge.
A few more minutes down and a few little trickier sections and we could see the people standing on the summit.
I hit my watch at the summit and threw down my poles. I was spent. That was good work getting up their quickly. Chatted with folks who left before sunrise. I was in bed. Its fun to feel like you have a super power.
A marker. Seemingly rare these days.
Random shot southward. Lots more Sawatch down that way to keep me busy.
Lizzy finally posed for a summit picture. Ozzy was busy looking for a pika that was making noises. I started getting nervous that he was going to go down the wrong side looking for it.
Selfie. I was there.
Time to descend. Back over the ridge. You can kind of see this little narly looking section just ahead. It wasn't anything scary once you figured out the route.
I snapped this just off the summit. Kind of shows the way back out. You can see the trail through the valley. So you follow the ridge, then zig back towards the camera, then zag back into the valley. Then the car is down there in that dark patch below on the road -- which leads to Winfield.
The best part of climbs? The mountain streams. The dogs get wet and play at everyone. Its always break time for a minute. Looks tempting.
Glad to finally knock another unique 14er off my list. I need to keep venturing to new places instead of old ones more often.
July 12, 2014
I need a little hope if I am going to pull off another run here next month. So it was time to face my nemesis today. I drove down to the Willis Gulch Trailhead just west of Twin Lakes. All the other silly runners are still trying to figure out how to cross the raging river. No way. Go west! As the dogs and I got started, I heard my name being called. It was Joey Luther. We decided to team up and do this together. He wasn't sure what exactly he was going to fit in for the day and I had been sure that Winfield was on the menu. So we headed up.
I used poles today. I am finally training with them. I saw Kili using them at HR so fuck you JT. Here is Joey up ahead in the meadow near Hopeless. I was moving steady but not too quick up this today.
Pretty sure this guy was the first one up top. He is my mountain goat. He has a mind of his own but I love taking him with me.
I carried water for the dogs but they had other plans. Making due in the small run-off channels still flowing down the hill.
Ozzy also enjoys history. Here he is after we arrive at Winfield checking out the story behind this place. It was about 10 miles over to this point from the car. This would be the longest dog trail run in mileage to date. I was a little nervous but these guys never let me down.
While Joey was off refiling his water, I took a selfie in front of the Winfield sign. I know many people who share this sentiment. Yet we return annually.
We took the new trail to Winfield but just opted for the road on the return to the pass. Just something different. I was struggling in the lower mile of the climb. It was ripping my calves right off of me. I instantly started dreading doing this climb with 50 miles on my legs. But I kept at it.
Finally, we neared the top. Joey there in the distance if you can spot him.
Finally. What a pain in the ass climb. I swear its coming back over that kills. Used to going up and going down and going home. Not here.
We made the summit just as weather started coming in south of us. Sat for a quick break and then we were on our way down. I had a bad side stitch the whole descent which keep me in check. Nothing else too interesting.
When we hit the bridge near the car, I immediately stripped down and got in the river. Ice bath! It was cold but so refreshing.
Ended up at nearly 20 miles in about 6 hours with 6,500 feet by the GPS.
Thanks for the company, Joey. Best of luck next month!
July 10, 2014
Been at elevation now for 7 days straight. More to go before I have to go "down valley" as they say up here. Trying to be sure to get something interesting in every day run wise to build back up post-Bighorn. Its fun being here in that I am not running around Union Reservoir mindlessly every day. The dogs get me up and are whining at the door each morning for the next adventure. Then they come home and sleep all day.
Its nice and cool up here but I like to claim to enjoy the heat. So most of my runs end up going through some storm like this one from Monday. I was looping Turquoise Lake when this little storm set in. There is always something inspiring (maybe depressing) about looking this direction from the dam and seeing Hope Pass in the distance. Over that and back here is a long way. But its amazing that you just keep stepping and its possible.
For today, I wanted some new vertical. I never run on the east side of town. That is like no-man's land over there. So I broke the trend with an ascent of Mosquito Pass. On a non-race day! Can you believe that? It was quite enjoyable.
I took poles. Yes. I am planning on using them next month so I better start building a little skill. Frankly, I think they eased things on my hip a bit.
My partners in crime enjoyed the route. Ozzy is constantly cutting switchbacks though. Lizzy was hunting pikas like it was open season. Fun to let them roam when you can see for miles.
Except when they go too far. I was drinking some water and doing a few pictures and turned around. No dogs. See them? Another pika hunt led them over there. I swear they run 2x the distance I do each time.
Well, back down to Leadville there in the distance and back to work. More good stuff on tap for the weekend!
July 5, 2014
For the prior 2 years, on the 4th of July holiday weekend, I have taken my kids on a mountain climbing adventure. We stuck to Mount Sherman for those. Its close. Its short. But its steep. But we nailed those. So this year, I was ready to diversify. And I felt like gambling on a successful summit. I wanted to be sure we worked for it and hit up a proper mountain this year. So I went to my favorite. My steady. The 2nd closest to my cabin. And the tallest in the state of Colorado -- Mount Elbert @ 14,433 feet.
The kids popped out of bed at 5:30. We left by 6 AM. On the trail by 6:30 AM. Pretty busy out there today. But that's good when you are with kids. Lots of folks to chat to and give the kids accolades on being out there. I continue to love watching adults struggle and have a 9 year old blow by them with sheer determination. Its inspirational.
The mosquitoes were super thick in the woods but we kept charging on. I had confidence if we got above treeline in good shape, we had a shot at this. We stopped once at treeline and I had the kids re-fuel. Then we marched up. There are 2 false summits on Elbert so those were a bit of motivators, then demotivators. But oh well. The kids kept busy watching their dogs frolic around the mountain. We had great weather and it seemed like we had this in the bag as we hit 13,000 feet. Reagan then started to bonk but some sugar turned her quickly and she sprinted off and summitted well before the rest of us. Sydney had a headache near the top but was a trooper.
We stayed up top for nearly an hour with dozens of other people. Clean skies and decent temps. Sydney took a nap. The dogs rolled in the snow. And I just enjoyed chilling out on top of Colorado once more.
9 miles R/T, 4,400 feet of elevation gain, 8 hours.