Adventures in Colorado and around the World

Thanksgiving Adventures: #OptOutside Edition

What could possibly be better than spending Thanksgiving surrounded by family and delicious food? How about sprinkling in a wide variety of adventures? We managed to squeeze in a ski tour, a hike, some fat biking, another hike, and some much needed rest!

On the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, I headed up to A Basin for a quick lap on my skis before finishing up preparations for turkey day. I thought the sunrise was going to be beautiful, but it was actually too cloudy to the east for the sun to light up the skies. I also thought there would be fresh snow since the drive over the pass was very snowy, but A Basin didn’t get any of that snow. Despite nothing happening the way I thought it would, it was still a perfect first day on skis for the season. And I’ve never felt stronger on the downhills in my life! All the core exercises and cross training are definitely worth it.

The next day Jason and I woke up early with plans to hike South Boulder peak before gorging ourselves on turkey and stuffing. We paid the $5 to park at the South Mesa Trailhead and started our hike up. Boulder OSMP has been working on the South Boulder trails for the past couple of months and the progress is astounding! They left some of the trails rocky and fun, but smoothed out the trails that were damaged by the 2013 floods to make them more accessible. Unfortunately our hike didn’t make that much progress. Jason started to feel dizzy as we climbed up Shadow Canyon and we ended up turning around about 1000 feet below the summit. It was still a cool 6.5 miles and 1400+ feet of climbing.

We bought into the “opt outside” hype for Black Friday, although realistically we would have done something active anyways. I have wanted to ride up Old Fall River Road in Rocky Mountain National Park for the past couple of years (even before I was a mountain biker) and since it is already closed to vehicles and was closing to bikers at the end of November, Black Friday seemed the perfect day to attempt it. The start of the road was MUDDY, which lasted for a whole 3 miles before turning into snow. At first the snow was manageable, but it slowly got softer and deeper the higher we went. Soon we found ourselves pushing our bikes uphill through untracked snow. After a half mile of pushing, we decided to take some photos and turn around. Even on the downhill we had to occasionally push our bikes through the deepest snow drifts. It was certainly an adventure and next year I’ll be back to bike all the way to the top. We finished off our Black Friday by stuffing ourselves with Indian food at Kathmandu II and relaxing in front of the TV.

On Saturday Jason was pooped so Moose and I went out for a “mom and pup” adventure. We headed to Hessie Trailhead in Indian Peaks Wilderness without a plan for hike direction or duration. The first mile of the trail was a sheet of ice but luckily we didn’t let that deter us. We turned right to stay on the Devil’s Thumb Bypass trail and then the wind hit us full force. We also saw some bear prints (and a sign at the trailhead that said bear activity was unusually high in the area). Since neither one of us are fans of strong wind and we didn’t want to mess with any bears stocking up for winter, it was an easy decision to head back down the Devil’s Thumb trail when we came to the intersection. In 6 miles and 2 hours on the trail, we didn’t see a single soul past the wilderness boundary. It was the perfect easy Saturday adventure.

After four semi-full days on adventure in the rear view mirror, Jason and I decided to relax on Sunday. We cleaned our bikes and our apartment, made a delicious dinner for his parents, and just reflected on a Thanksgiving weekend for the record books.

After 8.5 months, I’m finally starting to feel like myself again. I no longer question whether my body can handle the adventures my mind is craving. Of course I’m still being cautious and I’m 100% OK turning around or relaxing if that’s what my body needs. But it feels so good to spend 4 whole days outside!