Monday, January 5, 2015

I Live in Iowa: Week 185

Another year! Sometimes, or perhaps often, I am amazed that I lived this long. I mean, there are so many things in the world that might conspire to make it so that I didn't live to 2015, yet here I am.

I started the week off in Dubuque, went to church, then packed my van and left for Colorado. Part way across Nebraska I realized that I would be able to drive up into the mountains, get three hours of sleep and be able to climb on Monday, instead of spend Monday bumming around the tourist joints. So I did that. I slept three hours in the Evergreen Wal-Mart parking lot, with a dozen other people doing the same. I woke up and started hiking up the east ridge of Quandry Peak. However, just above treeline the wind was pretty terrible and I was getting cold so I turned around.

It was still really early, so I went to a coffee shop in Breckenridge and spent some time on the Internet. Looking for a hotel, I could not find anything under $200 for the night in Summit County! Finally I found a hotel in Fairply for $80. It was on the other side of Hoosier Pass, and seemingly far away, but it turns out that Lincoln, Democrat, and Bross, all 14,000 foot peaks, were accessed from that side of the pass.

So Tuesday I tried to do Democrat. I wore my Olympus Mons boots because the temperatures was supposed to be below zero and cloudy, but it ended up being warmer and sunny. Then, I planned to drive to the winter trailhead, but I was about .8 miles short when my van could no longer make it up the hill. So I made a painful 11 point turn and parked going downhill, so that I wouldn't get stuck when I left in the afternoon. That hike was so tiring in my 8000 meter boots! I made it around 4.5 miles from parking my car up to about 13,200 feet or more, but the snow conditions didn't look the best, so I turned around. The weather was nice, but in the winter much more conspires to make a simple hike difficult. The distances are farther, the trail is always obscured, the weather is worse, and you are alone. Being more than a mile, maybe two miles, from anyone else, in the cold and wind is hard. In part for the simple fact that there is no one else to help break trail.

The Asian Fusion restaurant beside the Riverside Hotel that I stayed at was great! I was totally not expecting to find green curry that good up in a town with less than 1000 people. Fairplay has quickly become a place I would be interested in visiting again. Not very commercial, up in the mountains, it has a good coffee shop, The Java Moose. Plus, it's up in the mountains which is kind of the point of going to the mountains.

Wednesday, I hiked the east ridge of Quandry then I skied down it, as I already blogged about. It was awesome!

That night I went down to Denver and had an unusual experience for New Year's involving Cards Against Humanity at my friends friends neighbors house. Yes I meant that.

We bummed around town New Year's Day, tried fixing my front winsheild, only to find out after splicing wires that it was a missing fuse. After another night out eating Mexican, really good Mexican, I woke up bright and early and drove home Friday.

Then I proceeded to get sick Saturday... figures. Just a cold, but never fun. Overall, really really good week.

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