Showing posts from June, 2017

Two more hikes

Two more great hikes to write about, from Grand Lake. Yesterday I hiked uphill from the lakeshore to the Shadow Mountain fire tower, almost ten miles round trip. I started soon after seven, I was the first car in the parking lot, and didn't see another hiker until I was on my way down.
Very soon after I left the start line I heard a rustle in the bushes and saw what I thought was an elk, but I later found out was a mule deer. It ignored me. The path followed the lake for a while and I noticed a pelican and lots of ducks. After entering the Rocky Mountains National Park the path started to climb, but the climbing was gradual and I motored along. The walk was almost entirely in the forest with only occasional views. It's a shame that so many of the trees in the forest are dead from bark beetle infestation.
I popped out at the fire tower quite suddenly. It wasn't quite on top of the mountain but it was the highest you could go. The fire tower is a historic building but it's…

Colorado Episode 1

I've been in Colorado for four days now and I have been making good use of my time.
On my first day here I ran a lovely half marathon. And I'm afraid I have already spoiled the story! I don't often do half marathons but this one appealed to me because it was billed as America's highest downhill half marathon. My desired participation cost me more anxious moments in my planning than any other aspect of this trip. So many different things could go wrong and stop me reaching the start line. The problem was that my flight from Melbourne was supposed to touch down in Dallas, Texas on Friday afternoon and by Saturday 7.15am I had to be at the parking lot for the race organiser's bus to take me to the race start. The parking lot was in Georgetown, Colorado. It was a point to point race, Loveland ski area to Georgetown, and you had to take the bus from the finish line to the start.
I had it all planned down to a T, at least in my head. I booked a flight from Dallas to Denver…

Mount Macedon ultra

Yesterday I did the Mount Macedon 50 kilometre ultra for the second year in a row. This is a tough one, relentless hills with several particularly treacherous downhills, not to mention the effort required for all the steepish climbs. Last year we had near-perfect weather, unlike the cold rainy conditions that had prevailed for many years previously on race day, and when I finished the race I vowed not to do it again as the weather gods might not be so kind in future. But there I was on Sunday and the weather was not near-perfect, it was spot on perfect.

The race is set in a wonderful part of Victoria, lovely forest and fabulous views (which require climbing hills to gain the rewards). There's only one downside as far as I'm concerned: I like to stay near the start the night before the race and the only convenient place is the Mount Macedon Hotel whose rooms are cell-like and chilly even when you have the portable heater well positioned and going full bore. I survived a boring …