A Travellerspoint blog

USA

the Great Sand Dunes National Park 2019 - Colorado USA

highest sand peaks in all of North America

sunny 100 °F

sand everywhere

We went down to southern Colorado to check out a strange natural phenomenon. First, there's just this great big pile (30 square miles) of sand sitting in the middle of a circle of mountain ranges. But in May, June, and July, the melting snow runoff creates a temporary river right beside the sand. And there's some 4WD only off-road paths to take, which made the 4Runner happy.

But be warned, the water also brings out the bugs for those months too. and the sand gets HOT during mid day, so the best dune hiking is early morning or late afternoon. We also were lucky to even get a camping spot at the national parks campground. I checked 6 months before our trip and they were all sold out except for a few spots. We even had to move between sites the two nights we were there (luckily they were close).

And it was HOT during our stay (got to 100 degrees), so make sure to have shade and plenty of water. Good time to take a nap in the middle of the day in the tents and then drive around a bit in the vehicle with the A/C blasting.

Recommend:

  • bring water to hike up the first peaks of the dunes (will take about 2 hours)
  • reserve your campsite as early as possible ... or check out campgrounds that are outside the park
  • bring bug spray and sunblock
  • enjoy the river during the spring/summer months
  • if going off-road, make sure you have a high clearance 4 wheel drive (not AWD) vehicle and a way to deflate and inflate your tires
  • cardboard and regular sleds don't work to slide down the sand, but there's a place that rents boards just south of the park entrance

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels - National Parks album

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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 12:26 Archived in USA Tagged mountains hiking colorado usa camping nationalparks murktravels 2019 Comments (0)

Leadville Marathon 2019 - Colorado USA

the highest, roughest, toughest marathon in the US

sunny 50 °F

overview / intro

After a lot of races in 2018, I only agreed to one this year. But it was a tough one. It's in the mountains near Leadville, Colorado. It starts at over 10,000 feet of elevation, climbs up and down several mountains, one of which gets over 13,000 feet of elevation.

The views were absolutely amazing. That's one of the main reasons I still get out and challenge myself with these runs, despite limited training time and some injuries. Seeing the mountains and open sky as you run through forest and up gravel roads until they're closed by snow that's still around in mid June is sweet.

Relive video of the hike

link: watch my race

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels - festival and races album

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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 10:46 Archived in USA Tagged me mountains colorado race challenge 2019 Comments (0)

2018

A Year In Review


View Colombia 2018 & Belize + Panama 2018 & New Mexico Parks 2018-9 & 14ers 2017+ on MurkTravels's travel map.

...better late than never

Looking Back

2018: What an exciting and fun packed year. It started out so refreshing as I removed some dead weight and things that were holding me back. I tried out so many new things as I start to look into what hobbies to get addicted to next: archery, mountain biking, long distance backpack camping ... I also kept up with the things that I already do a lot of: ultra races, day hikes, global trips, music, and going to lots of random events and festivals.

Plus there was adding new family members, having a fun work environment, catching up with friends, volleyball, puppy antics and so much random things. Check out the summary below and follow the links on some of them to more specifics.

Activities

Things that happened in 2018:

Big Travels

Quick Trips

  • race near Charlotte, North Carolina
  • wedding in Des Moines, Iowa
  • work training in San Francisco, California
  • road trip through Sante Fe and Roswell, New Mexico

Hiking 14ers

Ultraruns

Festivals

Concerts

  • Concert overview: A Perfect Circle, Brother Ali, Dan Auerbach, Dashboard Confessional, the Dreamers, Matt & Kim, Micky James, Reason the Citizen, the Regrettes, the Roots, Shannon and the Clams, Weathers, Welles

Life stuff

  • Renting a new-old home in Denver
  • Sold my home in Minnesota
  • Growing puppy
  • New tattoos

Looking Forward

I have a bunch of set plans already, but will also be providing you with some surprises throughout the year.

2019 Goals

Things I'm researching or planning for in 2019:

  • Trip to Japan
  • Trip to Canada
  • More 14er hikes
  • New vehicle
  • New home
  • New hobbies

Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempted at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 16:29 Archived in USA Tagged mountains art colorado music concert panama run usa festival hike belize bike denver colombia 2018 in_review Comments (0)

National Parks (& aliens) 2018 - New Mexico USA

- the trip that partially was -

snow 20 °F
View New Mexico Parks 2018-9 on MurkTravels's travel map.

overview / intro

To end 2018 and start 2019, I planned a road trip throughout the state of New Mexico. I had plans to stop by Sante Fe (for the Meow Wolf exhibit) and Roswell (for the alien museum), but the main focus was to be on camping in the back of my truck and seeing state and national parks: Carlsbad Caverns, White Sands, Gila, Bandelier, Carson, Taos.

However, since the federal government were acting like children and decided to shut down, all the parks were closed. I realized after I had started. So I got a few days and nights on the road, but cut the trip short, right after celebrating New Years.

Recommend:

  • Meow Wolf, Sante Fe - more coming to Las Vegas and Denver soon !
  • International UFO museum, Roswell

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels events and races album

https://www.facebook.com/pg/MurkTravels/photos/?tab=album&album_id=2415219085378669|Murk Travels - New Mexico album]]

UFO Museum - included a lot of historical and scientific information in additional to alien stuff
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Meow Wolf - probably only make sense if you've been there and witnessed the craziness

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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 10:08 Archived in USA Tagged art nature hiking usa aliens camping cold roadtrip newmexico nationalparks 2019 Comments (0)

2018 hiking - Colorado USA

... mostly Colorado

sunny 70 °F
View Colombia 2018 & Belize + Panama 2018 & New Mexico Parks 2018-9 & 14ers 2017+ on MurkTravels's travel map.

overview / intro

Some more of the places I ran or hiked in 2018:

  • Bergen Peak
  • Colorado Trail - section 2
  • Grand Lake
  • Horsetooth Falls
  • Lair o' the Bear
  • Lake Jasper
  • Mt Galbraith
  • Mt Falcon
  • Red Rocks
  • Reynolds Park / Eagle View
  • Rocky Mountain National Park
  • Walker Ranch

or read in more detail about Ultra runs , Longs Peak , Mt Bierstadt

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums

Horsetooth, near Ft Collins
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Walker Ranch, near Boulder
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Colorado Trail
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Rocky Mountain National Park
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Black Canyon, near Gunnison
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Lake Jasper, near Nederland
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Lair O the Bear, near Morrison
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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 16:19 Archived in USA Tagged mountains hiking colorado mountain usa hike denver nationalparks 2018 Comments (0)

2018 concerts - Colorado USA

live performances

50 °F
View Colombia 2018 & Belize + Panama 2018 & 14ers 2017+ on MurkTravels's travel map.

listen up

Denver is such a great city to be able to experience live music. Here's where I went and who I saw this year.
Check out these and other concerts I've been at with the concerts playlist on the MurkTravels Youtube.

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Bands in 2018:

  • Dashboard Confessional
  • Dan Auerbach (Black Keys)
  • the Roots
  • Matt & Kim
  • A Perfect Circle
  • the Dreamers
  • Weathers
  • Micky James
  • Welles
  • the Regrettes
  • Brother Ali

Venues in 2018:

  • Summit
  • Paramount
  • Fillmore
  • Red Rocks
  • Marquis
  • Cervantes

Pictures

Not a whole of pics or videos, since I seem to enjoy the concerts at the time and don't take out the phone very often.

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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempt at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 15:46 Archived in USA Tagged art colorado music concert usa denver 2018 Comments (0)

Ragnars and Grand Traverse 2018 - Colorado and Carolinas USA

distance running races and training

sunny 90 °F
View 14ers 2017+ on MurkTravels's travel map.

Races

Some of the individual and team based ultra runs I did over the summer:

Chase the Sun training run - June:

  • on summer solstice, tried to run the entire day from sunrise to sunset
  • group of 5
  • ~ 7 mile looped course near Boulder, CO
  • made about 27 miles and 6 hours

Colorado Ragnar trail - June:

  • around Snowmass, Colorado
  • team of 4, each running 6 times
  • course of 116 miles, mostly off-road dirt trails that looped around one main site
  • I completed about 28 miles
  • team ran for 24 hours
  • camped overnight
  • high of 95, low of 35

Colorado Ragnar road - August:

  • from Copper Mountain to Aspen, Colorado
  • team of 10, each running from 3 to 6 times
  • course of 190 miles, mostly paved roads or sidewalks
  • I completed about 27 miles
  • team ran for 30 hours
  • rode in vans between runs
  • I had the flu the entire weekend

South Carolina Ragnar trail - October:

  • around Fort Mill (near Charlotte NC)
  • team of 6, each running 3 to 5 times
  • course of 132 miles, mostly off-road dirt trails through the woods
  • I completed around 28 miles
  • team ran for about 28 hours
  • camped overnight
  • high humidity and "low" of about 75 overnight

the North Face Grand Traverse - September:

  • the one long solo race I did.
  • Part of a 3 part series (run, mountain bike, cross country ski) throughout the year on the same course
  • from Crested Butte to Aspen, Colorado
  • distance of 41 miles
  • 7,000 feet of elevation gain and descent
  • almost 10 hours of moving time
  • video : https://www.relive.cc/view/1812896250

the Discrete Cirque Series - August:

Pictures

more at : Events album

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all day training run
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completing Ragnar road Colorado
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completing Ragnar trail Carolinas
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Grand Traverse
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Links

MurkTravels Vimeo - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Youtube - videos of my trips & entertainment
MurkTravels Facebook page - pictures, posts, and regular updates
MurkTravels Facebook photo albums
MurkTravels Instagram - my attempted at artistic travel images
MurkTravels Travel Map - all the places that I've been and the things that I've seen

Posted by MurkTravels 17:33 Archived in USA Tagged nature colorado mountain run race camping challenge southcarolina nationalparks 2018 northcarolina Comments (0)

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