A Travellerspoint blog

Entries about colorado

2019 14ers - Blanca - Colorado USA

more hiking up tall mountains

rain 60 °F
View 14ers 2017+ on MurkTravels's travel map.

Blanca

This peak is part of potentially 4 that one could down in southern Colorado near the Great Sand Dunes. Again, this is a hike that I needed the 4Runner. There's 7 miles of road up to a lake to where the real hiking trail begins. I drove about 4 miles of the road before it got really rough - the truck could have handled it, but my off roading experience isn't quite up for that challenge yet. We camped out overnight in a protected pull off site and starting early the next day.

Even a 6 am start was tough going to cover the 3 miles of rough rock road, and then another 4 miles up what is basically a big pile of rocks. There were definite steep drops off some cliff faces, and exposure to high winds as we climbed up a ridge to the top. One section was pretty much boulder climbing and many minutes I just laid low and hung on to whatever rocks were closest.

The goal for the day was to also do Ellingwood, which shares part of the same approach, and there's a ridge connecting the too. However, we were exhausted, it looked even tougher to climb and we couldn't find where the path split off (remember that it's a pile of rocks with a rock path going up it and piles of cairn rocks to guide your way, so it's tough to spot which are the real rocks to follow). Later, we're glad we headed down early as we got a downpour of water for the last 2 or so miles of hiking. What a fun challenging hike, one of the toughest ones I've ever done.

Relive video of the hikes

Grays & Torreys link: https://www.relive.cc/view/vr63JEV23dO
Blanca link: https://www.relive.cc/view/vRO7GpVG5KO

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums
and 14ers album

One of the easier sections of the road to the trailhead. This is after we parked, and didn't see any vehicles after this point.
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Chasing the sun up the mountain
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One of the many lakes we hiked by
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Climbing up Blanca's ridge, with Ellingwood in the background
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Proof at the top
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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 18:24 Archived in USA Tagged me waterfalls sunsets_and_sunrises mountains lakes trees snow nature hiking colorado lake sunrise sunsets usa rockies hike denver roadtrip 14er murktravels 2019 Comments (0)

2019 14ers - double take - Colorado USA

climbing the Gray-Torrey duo

sunny 60 °F
View 14ers 2017+ on MurkTravels's travel map.

Gray's & Torrey's

These twin peaks are a somewhat close drive from Denver, but I heard horror stories of the road leading from the highway to the trailhead. If you don't have a high clearance 4WD, then it's another 3 miles each way before and after your hike. These are a couple easier hiking options, but I didn't ever want to add 6 or more miles of gravel road walking. Now that I have the 4Runner, Chris and I decided to knock these peaks off the to do list.

A semi early departure of about 5 am got us to the road. It certainly was rough, but did see some lower cars made it up part of the way. They must have some adventurous drivers. We got near the trailhead for parking and saw quite a few people had camped there over night. Good idea for future trips. The most used path up to either peak is straight forward and has a consistent up hill grind. There's also a Kelso Ridge route option that gets more into class 3 to 4 rock climbing, but we decided to wait on that for a future trip.

The most exciting part of the trip was on the way down. We had to cross a snow field. Previously hikers had crossed and worn down a path, enough so that we could slide down part of it but on a gradual descent section on the trail. We thought that was it, but next saw some people just off the trail, sliding straight down the mountain in a valley. What I came to learn was 'glissading'. Before I knew it, Chris jumped into the snow and started sliding down too. So I followed. It was slick, steep, and scary. We slid for several hundred feet, and then dropped off a ridge and onto an even steeper part. It took a few minutes to probably drop down 700-800 feet of elevation. Quite thrilling, and only ended up with some soaked pants and jackets.

Relive video of the hike

Grays & Torreys link: https://www.relive.cc/view/vr63JEV23dO
Blanca link: https://www.relive.cc/view/vRO7GpVG5KO

Pictures

see more on Facebook Murk Travels albums
and 14ers album

the moon is still out
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the sun is on the way
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view farther into the Rockies
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celebrate
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at the top
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an easy section to walk/slide down
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the steep section we glissaded down - you can't even make out the few little specks of people at the top or the path we slid down
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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 18:18 Archived in USA Tagged me trees snow nature hiking colorado sunrise usa hike denver challenge 14er murktravels 2019 Comments (0)

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)

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)

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