Saturday, August 30, 2014

Where has summer gone...

Wow, September. It is pretty much here. We had all these plans for summer hikes and now summer is almost over (the fist snow has fallen in the mountains). 

Here are some pics of where my summer has gone. 

Planting a garden in a new house, maintaining it and harvesting currants, zucchini, cucumbers, peas, jalapeƱos, and the first carrot. 
I am very thankful that the previous owners were plant and garden lovers and left us with great soil and a great garden design. 

Nom nom nom.

Cherry season. Harvest and make jam. All natural, all organic. No thickeners added, pretty much from tree to pot to jar. 

Germany did it. Another star was added. Ft Collins had the soccer fever.

Including Jack.

Fishing started. Trout out of the Poudre River, and some Lakes in the mountains. 

Beer brewing started and hops was planted. First a German Altbier and then a clone of the Stone IPA. 

More harvesting. Kohlrabi, beans, cucumbers and zucchini. Our garden this year isn't even that big. Next year we are hoping to add a front yard garden. 

JR competing at the Train to Hunt National Championships. 

He ended up in 7th place in his first season as a bowhunter. 

Sage, broccoli, the first tomatoes and herbs.

Carrots are growing fast here in CO. 

Pickled pretty much everything we couldn't eat. And we eat a LOT of veggies. Jam, salsa, relish, pickled zucchini and cucumbers.

Mail lady complained that our sunflowers are in the way. I responded nicely and told her we are lovers of bees and they seem to like the sunflowers. BTW, there were no sunflowers hanging in the sidewalk, she must have had a bad day. I beat her negativeness with positivity :-)

First pears coming in and to my surprise chard and spinach are still growing well, even in July.

No picture:
Passing the NCLEX and becoming a "real" nurse. 

Trip to the Black hills of South Dakota for a half marathon. My marathon training has decreased tremendously after graduation. Work and studying took over (and the garden), and now as an RN work and sleep seem to have taken over my life (and the garden). 

Camping in the Black Hills.

Happy to see I still have my school records, my state record and my national title stars. YAY. Motivation. 
Race morning was EARLY (4 am) and the race went much better then expected. I went with the flow, whatever my legs wanted and managed a 1:22, a win by over 7 min and a course record. I would call that SUCCESS. Sometimes a good attitude really helps :-)

Jack barking at the deer family in downtown Spearfish. 

My Spearfish Halfmarathon award. Pretty cool, canyon wood and rocks made into a sassy lady. 

Came home and harvested more...
packed for Hawaii:

Waikiki Beach.

Pina Colada and Cherry shaved ice. YUM.

Went surfing and had a BLAST. Took a few waves that were way too big for me and ate it big time in front of everybody :-) But managed to ride some waves as well. WOHOOO!!! My fear of fish is out the window when I get to play in waves.

Said hi to some locals chicks and roosters on my run.

Ran to all the sightseeing, since I didn't have a car.


Lots of steps, ran them until tourists came :-) Oh wait...I was a tourist as well.

Pretty flowers.

Buddha with a...a Swastika...disturbing BUT we can't forget that in Buddhism this symbol is the element of the earth!!! In Hinduism it is a symbol of invitation to goddess.
Still strange to see in a restaurant in downtown Honolulu. 

Snorkeling at the preserve. Fish fear set in, off course, there were no waves!!!
Favorite fish is the Convict fish. 

Came home to more harvest: zucchini, carrots, bell pepper, beans and hair loom tomato and little tomatoes. All of the above disappeared in my belly that evening. 

First corn harvest.

Hops harvest!!! First year plants. Can't wait for next year!!!

Hairlooms are  going crazy!!! This year we focused not on quantity but on quality. All organic, purple striped heirlooms, yello heirlooms, white heirlooms, black heirlooms. Yum. BIG difference in taste when only fertilized with organic material (coming straight from our chickens).

We are expecting the Brahmas to lay eggs soon, their comb is coming in.
JR's hunting season started, he has tags for elk, antelope, deer (archery) and a backup elk rifle tag. The goal for next June-October is to have all our own meat (hunted or fished) and all the produce out of the garden. All the beer brewed ourself and who knows what else we can come up with :-)

This week is a long run of about 2 hrs. Hopefully I will acclimate to work soon and can get back to my normal running routine. Maybe an early winter marathon is in the air...til then: happy training and happy harvesting.


has just released their 2015 edition of bikes!!! Look at these colors. If you want to be able to have something special, something that looks fast and fun, visit their website and ask about these 2015 beauties!!!

Saturday, July 12, 2014

Rawah Wilderness Area hike

Colorado has a lot to offer, so we didn't have to think twice to plan for the 4th of July. HIKING. We decided to scope out the Rawah Wilderness Area about 2 hrs away from Ft. Collins. We were prepared with multiple trail maps, equipment for rain and shine and some happy puppies. 

 At the start of the West Branch Trailhead (parked at West Branch Trail parking lot).

 Getting higher in elevation (start was at about 8600 ft, 11.220 was our highest point at Grassy Pass).

 Beautiful Columbines flowering after all the rain.
 The trail consisted about 75% of the time of NO TRAIL (as in creek instead of trail or the snow was too high to show the trail). It sure was an adventure and our feet were wet for 4 days :-)
 The "usually small creek crossing". First camping spot was just past this beautiful river. Fresh water for the puppies and us.

 Stashing the critter bag. We did read that Black Bears are not uncommon in this area.

 Most of the West Branch Trail was flooded, and once we turned onto the North Fork trail, we encountered lots of fallen trees and damaged bridges. But no worries, we really liked it like that. It was a great adventure!!!
 Checking out how many more switchbacks to Twin Crater Lakes.
 Lots of water this year!!! Waterfalls and streams everywhere!!!

 Unfortunately Twin Crater Lakes would have been a very snowy hike and we wanted to get to Rawah Lake 3, so we skipped the 3 mile detour. We will be back in August and hopefully make it to the beautiful Lakes.
 Where is the trail?
 On our hike up to Grassy Pass.

 Lunch break at 11220 ft. Perfect conditions. No wind and lots of sunshine.
 For me, that meant play time in the snow fields!!!
 Tupperware - snow- tower.

 Continuing the hike to Rawah Lake 3 before the storm comes.
 But first a little fishing. We read most lakes had great fishing, but after this harsh winter, Rawah Lake 3 had absolutely NO fish in it. They did bite at Camp Lake.
 Yep, this is the trail. Thankfully we had contour lines on the map to figure out where the trail should be.
 Rawah Lake 3.
 Off trail from Rawah Lake 3 to Camp Lake. There was absolutely no trail and we even had to help a bunch of hikers who got lost. We decided to go over Sheep Mountain and down the other side. Lots of fallen trees and snow banks, but we managed to find Camp Lake!!!

 Brook Trout in Camp Lake!!!
 Camping in and close to snow was great. The toughest part was finding a dry spot since everything was a little marshy!!!
 Jack's first time giving a fish a kiss. He was not too interested and also had no interest in eating fish skin later that day :-)

 Some more fishing before the last 7 miles back to the car. There were 5 campers with us around the Lake and we wondered how they got there. Turns out that the other part of the loop was a pretty easy 7 mile hike in and we also learned that a ranger had been telling people at the parking lot NOT to do the entire loop due to flooding and snow. Ooops. The North Fork of the Laramie River is usually this nice stream coming out of the bottom of the mountain. It was roaring and very deep. Thankfully we found a "balance beam" and made our way across.

Camp Lake is beautiful and there was fish in the inlet, outlet as well as the lake!!!

 Jack did get tired after 4 days of playing and running in the snow.

We released this little guy. Possibly the smallest fish with the biggest appetite. It bit a fly that was the size of this guys head :-)

Rawah is a great wilderness area. I highly recommend it, even in the snow. The Twin Crater Lake area and South Rawah Peak area with Grassy pass are great and fairly remote. All the peaks can be conquered and I think we might spend 4 days up there in August to explore more.

WARNING: It seemed like ALL maps we compared between ours and other people's, had different mileages and different contour lines. Plan to hike more then the map says!!!