Monday, July 27, 2009

Balanced Rock Hike (Saturday, July 25, 2009)

Balanced Rock is an interesting mushroom-shaped rock sitting on the north side of Lumpy Ridge in Rocky Mtn. National Park. It's an eight mile round trip from the Lumpy Ridge Trail Head (which replaced the Twin Owls and Gem Lake trail heads a couple of years ago). Below is a picture of the topo map posted at the trail head.
Snack time at Gem Lake before following the trail on to the north side of Lumpy Ridge. Gem Lake has become one of my favorite training runs. It's an eight mile round trip from my home. About half of it is easy road running, and half is moderately difficult trail up to the lake and back down. Tough on the way up, pure joy running it back down!
Gem Lake..the trail continues on past the small sandy beach to the left of the rocks.
Gem Lake pictured from the north side.
Balanced Rock with Karen in the foreground.

I failed to take pictures of the trail between Gem Lake and Balanced Rock, but believe me, it really is pretty country up there on the north side of Lumpy Ridge. Nice rolling trail in a beautiful Ponderosa forest with fascinating rock formations and wonderful views of the Devils Gulch Road area and Cow Creek area.

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Ypsilon Lake 07/22/09

View of Longs Peak (14,259 ft.) from the trail. The Keyhole route was just declared non-technical by the National Park Service this past Monday, July 20th. I'm contemplating a hike up there next week...anyone like to join me?

Chipmunk Lake.

Ypsilon Mountain ( 13,514 ft.) above Chipmunk Lake.

Ypsilon Lake. It's a nine-point five mile round trip with a 2000 ft. climb to 10,540 feet.
Myself and Karen at the lake.
Another shot of Chipmunk Lake with Ypsilon Mountain reflected in the still water.

Chapin-Chiquita Saddle (07/15/09)

On July 15 Karen and I started up the Chapin Pass trail with good friends Sharon & Ed, intending to go up only about one-half mile for the view. However, Sharon was feeling her oats and before we realized what was up, she had led us up above treeline all the way to the Mt. Chapin - Mt. Chiquita saddle at 12,000 feet!

View from Chapin Pass down the Chapin Creek drainage toward the Cache la Poudre River.Sharon and Karen climbing one of the rock staircases. Looking eastward over the saddle down to Endo Valley, Horseshoe Park, and Deer Mountain. Snowfield just below eastern rim of the saddle. We dropped down over the east side of the saddle just above the snowfield to get out of the wind and enjoy some food and drink. That's Karen, Sharon, and myself trying to get comfortable while Ed takes the shot.
View east over a really nice rock formation.
The Lindemeistermuehlenhiemers (who graciously provided all of these photos) in a darned good one-handed self portrait.
Zipping up to face a stiff west wind as we prepared to head back down to the trail head.
Me making like a kite with the fierce wind holding me up.
Our lunch spot at the Chapin Saddle just above the snow field in the middle of the photo. Sharon pointing it out on the sign at the Horseshoe Park Overlook.

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Italian Night at Vincenzio & Karina Gerberini's

Guido and Margaretta showed up for the party in their best Italian finery. The menu included Mediterranean Torta with focaccia, shrimp, bruschetta, crackers, roasted red pepper dip with fresh vegetables, and Caprese salad. There was lambrusco, chianti, and birra moretti flowing by the gallon. The main course consisted of baked ziti and individualized personal grilled pizzas (done on the barbecue grill). And of course, the grand finale, Phoebe's fantastic, delicioso, beautifully decorated practice wedding cake.

Friday, July 17, 2009

Sky Pond Hike

Today's hike was to Sky Pond, a nine mile round trip hike beginning at the Glacier Gorge trail head. From there we used the fire trail (unmarked trail) to by-pass Alberta Falls by going around the west side of the Glacier Knob. Then it was on up past The Loch to Timberline Falls. After having a quick snack at the base of the falls, we climbed up the short, steep, and wet section alongside the falls to ascend to Lake of Glass. A short hike from this pretty lake leads to beautiful Sky Pond. We had a leisurely lunch there in sunny, warm conditions while watching a number of technical climbers on one of the Cathedral Spires.
Below is a picture of Karen and Phoebe with Timberline Falls just visible to the upper left.
Phoebe and Karen at the falls with The Loch behind them.
Yours truly standing at the base of Timberline Falls.
Karen at the falls and not wanting to be anywhere else!
Karen and me with The Loch in the background on the right.
I made it above the falls....piece of cake!
Past Lake of Glass, heading up the trail towards Sky Pond.
Lunch at Sky Pond.
Left to right, The Sharks Tooth, The Petite Grepon, and the Cathedral Spires.
Preparing to head on back down. Still sunny and warm, but with a stronger breeze now.
The three of us at Lake of Glass.
Phoebe and Karen descending from the lake towards the top of Timberline Falls.
Getting a bit steeper.
Must be something interesting up there.
Cow elk.
Yellow Colorado Trail Flower.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

New Bear Pictures July 15th, 2009

This is the smaller of at least two bears who have been in the area recently. After taking these pictures today, I chased this little guy away by hollering and throwing a few rocks at the wooden fence which enclosed the garbage can he was ransacking. He circled around the area and was back again in about ten minutes! These shots were taken two houses down the street from ours.

Last night at around ten-fifteen we were sitting on our deck with Sharon and Ed when we saw a much bigger bear silhouetted by a street lamp just north of our place. Sorry, no pictures of that one.