Friday, March 25, 2016
On March 23rd, the metro Denver area received a "surprise" blizzard. In Castle Rock my car was buried under 12-14 inches of snow, drifts were up to my waist, schools and the library were closed. The wind was howling above 55 MPH in gusts. Driving was nearly impossible. I-25 south of town was closed just like I-70 at Denver and I-25 north to Wyoming. The eastern plains were battered too. Most of Colorado was under a Winter Storm Warning that became a blizzard warning as the day progressed. At one time 130,000 people were without electrical power. Temperatures were below 30 degrees. All in all, not a good day for hiking or doing anything outdoors.
That's a spring storm. Spring Storms sneak up on you and change quickly, especially in the mountains. I prefer hiking in the fall because those storms move slower and are not as severe as the spring storms can be. The same goes for hiking in the eastern US too. In the spring, beware of sneaky, strong storms that can catch you off guard. They won't show up in the forecast as anything more than cold weather, or maybe a light snow and then, bam! You find yourself stranded on an Interstate highway with dozens of other drivers worrying you have enough gas to keep the heater going or spending the night on a cot in a noisy emergency shelter, calling family and telling them not to worry.
My short video above was shot from inside my home looking out of my balcony. I was thankfully off work today and didn't have to commute into town. Remember to always pack a blanket or two in the car for winter and spring trips, plus snacks and water to drink. If you live in the inter-mountain west, or far north, never leave home without a warm jacket, gloves and a hat until well into May.
Friday, March 18, 2016
|Hiking in Colorado|
Four days each week, I do 50 crunches, 25 push-ups and 20 squats, plus 15 minutes of stretching my legs. My leg muscles have always been tight, and now they are tighter.
On alternate days I go the gym where I live, ride the recumbent bicycle and lift weights on the machines. I started bicycling 30 minutes a day during January's cold, now in March I ride harder for 20 minutes including a 5 minute cool down. I setup a manual workout, either a series of climbs or on-off wind sprints. On the weight machine I do ten sets of ten bench presses, pausing a few moments between each set. I also perform a rowing and a bar pull-down exercise with differing weights. My goal is to increase muscle mass and tone and to strengthen my core.
My plan has been working for me, and while I keep increasing weights and duration's a bit weekly, I am sleeping better, standing straighter and climbing stairs easier. My weight hasn't changed much, but you can now see the muscles in my arms and abs. My work is at a sit-down job indoors, so I get up every 30-40 minutes and walk around the building.
|Pavement ends on Ridge Road in Castle Rock last summer|
My good weather plans for April are to leave the gym behind and begin a 2 day per week hike while wearing a day pack for 5 miles each day, and increase the miles as summer approaches. I also plan to dust of my bicycle and begin riding that on local bike trails, alternating with hiking one to 2 days weekly. I plan to increase the mileage, days and training time on the local hills to be able to ride a metric century (60 miles) easily by mid summer.
No superlative goals yet, but I am getting rid of my winter flab and am toning up for a busy summer in Colorado, planing to be able to enjoy the great outdoors!
Friday, March 4, 2016
|Looking downstream along Cherry Creek Trail|
It was 71 degrees one weekend day last week, overcast and breezy. A "shorts" winter day, with just about everyone in town outside, enjoying it. Some went as far as sleeveless tops and running shorts, others with their winter coats open or slung over their shoulders. On the trails, bicycles were thicker than walkers, whooshing by close enough to feel them.
|It is clear enough to see the bottom of Cherry Creek|
|Just one of the many bicycles on the trail today|
|One of many No Camping signs|
|I wish Denver would look at a different way to handle storm water than pouring it into the creek|
|Many bridges cross Cherry Creek along the trail|
|These sound breaks are pleasant|