Posts tagged homebound:
National Pie Day (aka JCP’s Version of Heaven)
Pie: Restoring my faith in humanity one bite at a time.
I started with this savory vegetarian shepherd’s pie (above) before moving on to a slice of apple cheddar pie.
Thanks to Humble Pie for making all my Pie Day wishes comes true.
We hiked through some seriously Pacific Northwest-style weather the other weekend.
This is Lake Isabelle, being all coy.
The trail is fairly flat (by mountain standards), which makes it a good hike for out-of-state visitors. Plus, you know, there are some okay views.
Hideous, I know. Somehow, we managed to finish the hike without trying to gouge our eyes out from all that ugliness. Then we had to suffer through seeing the chubbiest marmot ever and spotting a moose. We’re troopers like that, I guess.
Food trucks lined up for the season’s Civic Center Eats. We opted for banh mi and roasted veggies from Chef Driven and frozen organic lemonade from Lemon Peddler and took our food to the shade.
We also brought a little something home for dessert:
The zippy lemon from the Denver Cupcake Truck. Yum.
Highway to the Stars
Pikes Peak, you’ve been bested. I now can claim the highest I’ve been is 14,264 feet above sea level. AND there was a goat reward at the top:
A goat reward times two!
Mount Evans is the highest paved road in the U.S. (Fun fact: Up at this altitude, you’re above 40 percent of the earth’s atmosphere and a whopping 90 percent of the earth’s water vapor.) Even better, it was built in an early-1900s pissing match between Denver and Colorado Springs. Pikes Peak was being developed as a tourist destination, so Denver did them one better and built their mountain road up a higher peak. Take that, Colorado Springs!
The road switchbacks up the mountain, and it can get a bit dicey above the treeline, where you can lean out over that narrow ribbon of asphalt and see a LONG way down. But seriously, look at what you find at the top:
Top of the world, this.
With storms rolling in, we made one last stop to hang out with some old men. Bristlecone pines are believed to live longer than anything else on earth. They can see 5,000 years. I don’t think they look a day over 500, though.
We loved the area so much we were back the next free day we had. And we’ll be back again.
Lakes, snow drifts and no signal
It was our first Colorado camping adventure, and I learned a few things:
1. It doesn’t matter that it’s the end of May, there is still snow to be found north of 11,000 feet.
2. When you marry a former Boy Scout, he will judge the fire-making skills of other campers. He will judge HARD.
3. Being out of range of your cell phone’s signal is absolute bliss.
We camped at the edge of a small mountain lake at Sylvan Lake State Park. The park was nestled down between the hills at the end of a long, winding dirt road that followed a river. The nights were cold (yay for good sleeping bags!), but there were already wildflowers starting to bloom along the lake-side trail. Obviously, I went Full Hippie and stuck said flowers in my hair.
So, hiking. I’ve learned that, in the mountains, it’s easy to go from civilization to wilderness in about three seconds, and here it was no different. We were surrounded on all sides by the White River National Forest and chose the gorgeous Nolan Lake hike. The trailhead started from the “town” of Fulford, which was only accessed by a deeply rutted goat path masquerading as a road and apparently had a population of two in the last census. Yeah, it seemed like the start of a horror movie to me too. There was even a fallen tree blocking the road, which if that doesn’t scream “harbinger,” I don’t know what does.
Still, the hike was stunning, winding through dense pine forests, vast boulder fields and rivers still heavy with snowmelt. Parts of the trail were still heaped with snow, and I sank up to my butt in more than one drift. Wearing yoga pants and summer hiking shoes was perhaps not the best choice of clothing. But despite being a tad sodden and chilly, it was a fantastic trail.
And waiting for me back at the campsite were hot chocolate and s’mores. Perfection.