Grand and Green Hiking

First the "Grand" portion, and a write-up from guest poster Peggy:

Many of you may know that Kurt got me a 4-day backpacking trip through REI to the Grand Canyon as a Christmas gift. It was either an incredible gesture of love or a flagrant attempt to rub me out and collect the insurance money...I haven't quite decided.

Anywho, I trained hard and it was the experience of a lifetime! I hiked 20.8 miles in desert heat with a 32-lbs. pack on my back that contained everything I needed to survive for three days in the remote backcountry. Our guides were great and though I was the only chick on the trip, I am happy to report that I hung with the guys the whole way and did NOT cry...not even once.
I now feel like Wonder Woman and am pretty sure that I could overturn parked cars with my bare hands. It was SUCH a confidence booster.


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View of the Indian Peaks and Continental Divide

And now the Green portion (by yours truly)...

Perhaps inspired by Peg's trip, or by PBS' current showing of Ken Burns' documentary on the National Parks, or just addressing need to put on the trail shoes, I got away for a couple of hours this morning for a local hike to Green Mountain (elev. 8,144 ft.) here in Boulder. It was a perfect day for hike, too... sunny, clear-blue skies, and temperature right around 50. Save for the occasional woodpecker, chipmunk or squirrel, there wasn't much wildlife to speak of. The views, though, were awesome, and came with relatively little effort.

Barely visible but there,
Mts. Evans & Bierstadt

Mt. Audubon

Fall's colors beginning to show



Longs Peak


A New Season

A new season for the Banana Bees is underway. It actually began last week, but I just didn't get around to doing a write-up on it. In short: the BBs did really well (an "agreeable" defense by the other team helped) and Chloe tallied a goal for herself.

As for this week's action, Chloe found herself (probably due to her lobbying) playing goalie quite a bit. And, man, she did a great job in net! For the longest time, it was a shooting gallery at her end of the field, and she hung right in there and made some really good stops. One girl on the other team had a pretty strong boot, and laid into one. Chloe took it off the arm and chest like a trooper, and kept it out of the goal.

The personal highlight of the game, though, took place when Chloe was out in the field. I'm not sure if she was on offense or defense (besides initial positioning, there's little difference at this stage of the game in these two once the ball starts rolling) but she was dribbling the ball down the near sideline, with 2 players from the other team right next to her, preventing her from going towards the goal. And then, without any prior experience or training in doing so, Chloe executed perfectly the "pull back" move whereby she stopped quickly, rolled the ball back towards her, and made a move towards the center of the field, leaving the defenders behind. It. Was. Beautiful. And right in front of where Peggy and I were sitting, too! We were joined by many others in stunned laughter when she did it. (Sadly, I didn't have the video camera with me to capture it.)

(Pictures, top to bottom: Chloe chasing down an opponent; Chloe mixing it up in The Bunch; Chamberlain sleeping it off after having "one too many" during halftime; Chamberlain eyeing-up the Coors Light guy.)


Faster. Higher. Stronger. Or something like that.

This afternoon was the Fall Fun Days at Chloe's school, which essentially translates into an afternoon of fun and games in the school yard. (You may recall there was something similar in the spring when she was in Kindergarten.)

Pictures will tell more of the story about what the event is about, and how Chloe enjoyed it, so without further ado...

Doing the "javelin" toss.

During the bouncy ball race.

At the bean bag toss game.

Pulling her way through the rope-pulley-wagon race.

Her hurdling still needs some work.


Doing a Little Catching Up...

Wow! I realized earlier today that it's been a while since I updated this thing, so I figured that since I had some free time now (and who doesn't at 11:20p on a Friday?), I'd put up a post about some things that took place over the last couple of weeks.

Aug. 28-30 - To the surprise of many, Chloe and I made a trip back to eastern PA to visit family and friends, and celebrate my mom's birthday. Peggy was already back there on a business trip, and had to stay in the area for the weekend due to some more business there on Monday. Rather than stay at a hotel for the weekend, she was going to stay with my parents. Once that was arranged and we realized Peg had some airline miles available, we did some quick planning and arranged some airfare for Chloe and I to fly out on Friday and fly back on Sunday. It was a quick visit, but the great time we had visiting with folks made the time-zone disruption well worth it.

Sept. 1 - Chloe got her 1st homework assignment of the school year. Beginning today and everyday hereafter for a while, Chloe will be bringing home a reading-level appropriate book for her to read out loud to Peggy and/or me, and then keep a log of the books she's read. In just these couple of weeks, we're beginning to notice some improvement in her reading skills. ( So, yes, for those of you in the know, my daughter will be more read than me by the time you finish reading this post.)

Sept. 6 - Peggy and I celebrated 12 years of marriage. How? By "grillin' and chillin'" on the patio with Chloe... it was a wonderful day.

Sept. 7 - It was a sunny and warm today, so we thought it was a great opportunity for a KnPnCnC walk somewhere. So we decided a walk around nearby Coot Lake was in order... it is close, and dogs are allowed to be off-leash. We made it about 80% of the way around and came to an area where it was easy for dogs to get in/out of the water. So, I thought I'd test Chamberlain's willingness to get wet by putting a tennis ball in the water tantalizingly close to him, but still far enough away from the shore that he'd have to go for a very short swim to get it. Well, did I ever tell you that Chamberlain can howl? He stood on a log, pawed at the water, looked at the ball, looked at us. And when that strategy got him nowhere...howl! This went on for a couple of minutes, but eventually the log got wet enough from him pawing the water that he eventually slipped in. He swam to the ball, and quickly returned to shore. But we think the cooling effect of the water made an impression on him.

Shortly after we left this area of lake, we came to another area where there was easy access. So we decided to throw in some sticks to see what he would do. Well, I won't say he went in with the reckless abandon one might see in a lab or retriever, but he showed considerably less hesitation in going for a swim to get the sticks then he did just a few short minutes prior for the tennis ball.

(Picture: Chamberlain, the Pennsylvania Water Beagle retrieving his wet quarry.)