Tag Archives: road trip

Weekly Recap: May 26th – June 2nd, 2019

Wow with all of the shenanigans going on over the past few months I’ve kinda fallen off of the blogging bandwagon. I’m back on it though (I think πŸ˜‰) and hopefully it’ll stay that way!

So, this week was a weird one as far as training goes. Luke and I went to Minnesota over Memorial Day weekend for one of his brother’s high school graduation and between lots and lots of family time and not having anywhere safe to run, well, I didn’t. πŸ˜† So getting back into the swing of things, especially in the middle of the week, was super hard. But, I like to think I made it work. πŸ˜‰

Monday:

  • 18 holes of golf
  • Badminton and volleyball with Luke and his siblings

While I may not have run while we were in Minnesota that doesn’t mean I was sitting around idle! On Monday Luke, his brother, and I played our final game of golf in Minnesota. And this time we actually kept score! I won!!! πŸŒπŸ»β€β™€οΈ But only because Luke was giving me a few handicaps. πŸ˜‚ I’m not very good at golf. Plus I was playing with Luke’s men’s clubs (because that’s all we have) and that makes things a little more difficult.

After our golf game we headed back to Luke’s mom’s house for a little Memorial Day party. We ended up playing a terrible game of badminton (mostly because me and one of Luke’s sisters were terrible at it πŸ˜‚) and then a game of volley ball where I was probably the best player! Go me! πŸ’ͺ🏻 Hahahaha and at one point Luke’s oldest sister decided that if anyone hit the ball out of bounds that they had to do a burpee. So everyone ended up having to do a few of those. It was terrible and fun all at the same time! 😁

Tuesday:

  • Rest day

On Tuesday we left Minnesota and spent 12 hours in the truck during our drive back to Kansas. We had an extra passenger with us because we ended up bringing Luke’s brother back to Kansas! He’s gonna hang out here until the middle of July because this is his last summer vacation before college. πŸ˜„

Anyway, the ride was long. We drove through some crazy thunderstorms, but we made it home alright.

Wednesday:

  • 2 miles
  • 9 holes of golf

Wednesday Luke decided that he needed to go golfing again. πŸ˜‰ Really he just wanted to take his brother to one of the golf courses here. So I ran 2 easy miles and then went with them and played 9 holes of golf.

I wasn’t doing so hot that day though. Mostly because I was pretty tired, I think. So I stopped at 9. Luke and his brother payed for another 9 but they only ended up playing 4 holes because the members of this particular golf course showed up and were doing something. They didn’t feel like playing through all of that so we left.

Thursday:

  • 3 miles
  • Yard work
  • 30 minutes of Yoga

Busy busy day!

Luke went back to work on Thursday and I had A BUNCH of stuff I needed to get done in the yard/garden since we were gone for 5 days. But of course I ran first. πŸ˜‰ I did 3 easy miles. Nothing fancy. Just working on getting back into the swing of things after not running for 5 days.

After that I spent several hours weed whacking, cleaning the chicken coop, and the doing a little bit of weeding in our landscaping and garden. Hahaha it doesn’t sound like much when you write it down, but it was a pretty tiresome day!

That evening I did done much need yoga and foam rolling. After two 12 hour car rides and all the work I did on Thursday I really needed that!

Ps, my lilies are starting to bloom. 😊

Friday:

  • 2 miles

Note to self; don’t listen to a pump up playlist on a recovery day. πŸ˜‚

Somehow I was still able to keep it easy though. I know this because I was like, hardcore rocking out. Then some dude sitting in his truck on the side of the road saw me and was laughing. He gave me thumbs up though, so it’s all good. πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜‚

Saturday:

  • 9 miles
  • 25 minutes of Pilates
  • 2 speedy miles on the treadmill
  • 30 minutes on the stationary bike

My new motto is “keep the hard days HARD”. So that’s what I did on Saturday! πŸ‘πŸ»β˜ οΈπŸ€˜πŸ»

I started my day with a nice 9 miler. It was hot, humid, and hazy out, so it was pretty slow going. Still pretty hard though. Running in 88% humidity is no joke!

That afternoon I tackled a nice 25 minutes of full body Pilates. Then that night I was bored and decided that a nice little speed session sounded like a lot of fun, so I hopped on my treadmill for 2 speedy miles. Then I followed that with some time on the stationary bike. Mostly to loosen up the ol legs.

Keep the hard days hard. Mission accomplished. πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜

Sunday:

  • rest day

Well, kinda. In the morning I had to do some work in the garden, but after that the rest of my day was easy peasy. Thank goodness for that! Hahaha I was TIRED after all of my shenanigans yesterday. And probably from traveling an whatnot earlier in the week. I definitely needed a day off from everything! 😴

Total Weekly Mileage: 18.13

I will gladly take it! Especially after several weeks of hardly logging any real mileage and after not even being in the same state earlier this week! Sure, it wasn’t perfect, but I still got some real work in and I’m quite happy about that. πŸ˜„

Now, all of the crazy traveling shenanigans are over for a while, so the plan is to buckle down in June and put in some real work! I’m doing Blogilates’ 28 day Summer Sculpt challenge this month (it starts on Monday!) because I’m basically shit at getting any kind of strength work in, so I figured this would be a good/fun way to do it! June is going to be hard, but I know it’ll be with it this fall! πŸ’ͺπŸ»πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

Alrighty! That just about covers it!

Happy Sunday!!

~Ashley

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Thursday Things

We are back from Minnesota! Yay!

Actually, we got back Tuesday night and were home all day yesterday, but whatever. πŸ˜‰ With all of the recent shenanigans that have been going on I haven’t been able to do much blogging! I mean, I could, but it’s a lot easier to do all of this on my laptop that it is on my phone and not gonna lie, I’m kinda lazy. πŸ˜‚

So anyway, Minnesota was fun! Between bon fires, parties, one high school graduation, and lots and lots of family time we sure were busy! Don’t worry though, Luke made absolutely certain that we were able to squeeze in several games of golf. His new goal is to golf at least once in every state. So far we’re 2/50. πŸ˜‚

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On the golf course. Making weird faces because that’s what we do. πŸ˜‰

It was fun though! Luke’s brother (the now high school graduate πŸ˜‰ ) went with us every time and he is now a fan of golf. πŸ™‚ We played at two different courses while we were there and they were both very pretty. The three of us all actually did quite well on our third and final golf game of our trip. We even kept score for the very first time and I won!! In all fairness though, Luke had me playing with a few handicaps because I’m not very good at golf and because I’m playing with his men’s clubs which does make it a little harder for me than it does for them. I guess eventually I’m going to need a set of women’s clubs.

Processed with Rookie Cam

Luckily we did golf and therefore got in some kind of physical activity! Hahaha I’m not exactly one that likes not being on the move. πŸ˜‰ I didn’t getΒ anyΒ running done while we were there, unfortunately. Mostly because we were pretty busy with my brother in law graduating and all of the activities that revolved around that.Then on top of that we were up late every night having us some good ol’ fashioned sibling hang out time, so there was no way I was getting up early after all of that. πŸ˜‰ But mostly there was really no where nearby that I felt safe to run. My mother in law’s house is right off of a buys highway and apparently they see people running on it, but neither her or I think that’s a good idea. I was told of a potential loop I could do, but I was kinda worried about getting lost. Especially since our cell service wasn’t too great there. So, I decided I was just going to enjoy my time there and not worry about it. πŸ™‚

Lily, Dean, and Finn all stayed at a kennel while we were in Minnesota but we brought Whiskey with us. We don’t think she’s old enough to stay in a kennel yet. Especially since she has such a sensitive personality. Plus she was in heat so we didn’t want her anywhere near Finn while that was going on. We definitely don’t want any puppies yet! So, she came with us.

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Luke and I have definitely lucked out with all of our dogs! None of them get car sick at all!! Sure they all get used to riding around in vehicles starting at a very young age, so all 4 of them know how to behave in the truck, but there really isn’t much you can do about a dog that gets car sick. My sister’s German shepherd gets sick and freaks out every single time he rides in her car. So I’m glad we don’t have to deal with any of that. Whiskey sat quietly in the back seat all 12 hours to Minnesota and all 12 hours back to Kansas with no problems. She had a bone to chew on but really she just slept most of the time. We let her out to run around a little bit and go to the bathroom every time we stopped for gas and food, but honestly I think that dog would have held it all 12 hours if we had made her (which we never would!). She is insanely good about things like that. She was the easiest dog I’ve ever potty trained and I could probably count on one hand the amount of times she’s had an accident inside.

Anyway, she did good during our entire trip there actually. She got to hang out with everyone at my mother in laws house whenever Luke and I went anywhere and overnight because the house we were staying at didn’t allow pets. She liked meeting all of the new people, sleeping in my sister in law’s room, and getting to run around in the woods. But even after all of that I’m pretty sure she’s glad to be back home with the other dogs. πŸ˜‰

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We ended up kidnapping my brother in law and bringing him back to Kansas with us. πŸ˜‰ He wanted to be able to hang out with Luke a little bit during his last summer before he goes to college so he’s going to be staying with us until the end of July. Cool Beans! The fun will continue! At least for the 3 of us it will. πŸ˜‰

So like I said, we actually got back home from Minnesota Tuesday night. We left that morning knowing that we were going to end up driving through some thunderstorms in Iowa and it did in fact rain the WHOLE TIME we drove through that state. It was nothing too bad though. Things started getting super iffy around Missouri and Kansas though. We had somehow timed it just right that we wereΒ  super close to getting hit by THE WORST part of this storm cell right around the Missouri/Kansas border. I’m talking hail, flash flood warnings, high winds. It was raining so hard at a certain point that we could barely see out the windshield and there was a tornado warning for the county we were in. We got incredibly lucky and justΒ barelyΒ avoided the worst part of the storm cell, but we sure could see it! This storm did end up producing a tornado that was about a mile long and that was so covered in rain that there were times that you could barely see it. We just missed it, but we were pretty darn close to where it touched down. Scary stuff, but obviously we ended up making it home safely. πŸ™‚

Processed with Rookie Cam

The storm from just outside of Kansas City.

So yeah, we are home sweet home now. πŸ™‚ As of today I’ve gotten a couple of runs done and I’m finally back to eating like a normal person. Hahaha I swear, I gained like, 10 pounds while we were in Minnesota. But fast food while on the road, party food, and alcohol will do that to a person. πŸ˜‰ I’m glad to be back to regular scheduled programming as far as all of that stuff goes! πŸ™‚

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Drinking coffee in my own kitchen was a super nice change yesterday morning. πŸ™‚

Okey dokey, just one more little thing before I go! Remember earlier this year how I had promised ROAD iD giveaways? Well one is currently live on my Instagram feed!!! I’m giving away a $35 ROAD iD gift card to one lucky winner who will be chosen at random! So if you’ve been thinking about getting yourself a ROAD iD or if your current one needs updating this could be an excellent opportunity to do so! Or if you don’t want to wait to potentially win a giveaway you can always follow my ambassador link to save 20% on ROAD iD’s website. πŸ™‚

Alrighty! That is all for now!

Wishing you a very happy Thursday!

~Ashley

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Minnesota Here We Come!!

One of Luke’s brothers is graduating from high school this weekend, so we’re heading up to Minnesota to celebrate!!

Today Luke and I spent the day preparing everything for us to be gone for about 5 days! Luke mowed and cleaned out the truck this morning, while I got the chickens, rabbits, and ferrets all taken care of. Luckily Luke’s other brother who lives here in Kansas and works in the town we live in will be able to come here and check up on all of them and feed them while we’re gone. I’m not too worried about the cats. We just leave out a bunch of water and food for them and aside from being a little upset about not having their litter box cleaned every day, they’re fine. But still, it’s nice to know that someone is going to be able to check up on them. 😊

The dogs however, are staying in a kennel. Well, Lily, Dean, and Finn anyway. Whiskey is in heat so she’s coming with us. Plus Luke and I both think she’s still too little to be staying in a kennel. She’s 9 months old and still not mature enough to handle that, we think.

Poor puppies. Obviously they’re taken good care of at the kennel, but I hate leaving them there! It’s no fun watching them freak out as we leave.

They thought we were going somewhere fun…

Anyway, in between all of our getting ready for our trip shenanigans I was able to squeeze in a couple of miles of running, and then Luke and I went and played 9 holes of golf because he’s addicted. πŸ˜‰

So while I was running I did the thing where I take my shoes off and then just run in my socks for a little bit. I get a lot of weird looks carrying my shoes like that, but dammit it feels right!! πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‚

Then we went and got our golf on. Really the only reason we went today is because yesterday we went out to the course, paid, made it through 2 hits each and then it started pouring down rain and hailing. Obviously we couldn’t golf in that, so we called it quits. But the girl working there was giving out coupons to people who couldn’t finish their games, so we didn’t end up actually losing out on any money. We just had to go back today. πŸ˜‚

After our 9 holes of golf we went back home, ate dinner, dropped off Lily, Dean, and Finn at the kennel (poor puppies ☹️), then we loaded up the truck, went through the house one more time to make sure everything was squared away, and now we’re off to bed! We’re waking up at 2 am and then getting on the road as soon as possible!

Minnesota here we come!!

Until next time,

~Ashley

Desert Rats 10k Race Recap

Better a little late than never right?! πŸ˜‰

I’ve been trying to sort through all of my thoughts on this race, but I still haven’t been able to pull them all together. I’m gonna try though! But this post might end up being s jumbled mess. πŸ˜‚

I’ve also been waiting for the professional race photos to be posted onto Gemini Adventures’ website. Mission accomplished on that front! πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜‰

That being said, I still have a ridiculous amount of photos thanks to my dad. He’s become quite the shutterbug and we definitely stopped more than once just so he could take pictures. But I mean, I can blame him when the views from the course looked like this…

Anyway, let’s recap this thing!

So, the day before this race my dad and I drove about 5 hours from Longmont to Grand Junction, which was super close to Fruita, where the race was being held. We made a few stops along the way, including one stop to take around 3 hours to hike to and from Hanging Lake. I won’t go into all of that again since I’ve already written about that here. But I will say that whole adventure was super hard, fun, and beautiful. Not exactly something I’d recommend doing the day before a race, but I don’t regret it. πŸ˜‚

After that adventure we made a stop for some burgers and then made our way to one of my dad’s drivers houses (my dad basically runs several FedEx terminals). He invited us to stay the night with him and his family so that we didn’t have to stay at a motel. That was super nice of him and he and his whole family were super welcoming and incredibly nice. 😊

I ended up getting to bed around 11 that night and I’m not sure when my dad finally made his way to bed. But we were up before the sun at 5 am Sunday morning. The guy we stayed with laid out breakfast for us the night before; a couple of water bottles, some instant oatmeal, bread, candy bars, and an invitation to anything in the fridge or pantry that we wanted. I definitely like oatmeal before a run though, so that’s what I stuck with. πŸ˜„ So we ate, got dressed, and loaded up our stuff into my dad’s van and then made our way to the staring line in Fruita.

It only took us about a half an hour to get there. So we actually got there super duper early at around 6:30 am. The race didn’t even start until 8:30 am. πŸ˜‚ So we drove up this pretty gnarly Jeep trail. That was a bit iffy in my dad’s van. But it was fun.

This was AFTER we made it back down the super iffy section of road we went up. πŸ˜‚

We didn’t go too far though. There wasn’t a lot of parking for this race so we made our way back to the starting/finish area and snagged us an awesome parking spot.

We sat in the van for a while. Talking, people watching, and sipping at water and nibbling on a few snacks. Packet pick up started at 7 am, so we got out our stuff right as they open up. Being some of the first people there definitely had its benefits! Along with our bibs and participation shirts, we also got buffs. They had a limited supply of them that were donated to them so not everyone got one. Hahaha I was pretty stoked though! Mine sure came in handy during the race. I wiped my nose on it more times than I can count. πŸ˜‚

After we collected our things we stopped at the port-o-potties. There weren’t many of them but at this point it was still pretty early so no one was in line. Score!! 😁 Hahaha after our business with the port-o-potties was taken care of we went back to the van to warm up because it was pretty chilly out that morning. And of course while we were there we pinned on our bibs and got the rest of our gear ready.

Before we picked up our bibs we obviously needed to get a selfie with the starting line. πŸ˜„

At about 15 minutes to the start time we shed our outer layers (and oh boy was that hard! It was still pretty chilly out! πŸ˜‚), strapped on our hydration packs, and made our way to the starting area. We also marveled at the line for the port-o-potties and we’re grateful that 1. We went when we did and 2. Didn’t have to go again. πŸ˜‚

There was very little organization going on. Half marathoners were mixed in with the 10k-ers and as far as I could tell no one was really lined up according to pace. It wasn’t really a super big deal though because this was a really small race. Just several hundred people really. Those aren’t negatives though! Just facts. 😁

A race official counted us down but honestly we couldn’t hear him all that well, but it was kind of easy to tell when we were supposed to take off because everyone cheered and started moving forward. πŸ˜‚ So we took off down the trail, starting with a slight down hill that I definitely didn’t feel and sure didn’t notice until we had to climb up it on our way back to the finish line. 🀣

That downhill was short lived though! We began one of the bigger climbs of the race (and there were several) in the first few minutes. Those climbs KILLED me. My legs were actually pretty prepared for them thanks to the hill work I had done on my treadmill, but my legs were also sore sand tired from our hike the day before. And unfortunately that never went away… That wasn’t what actually killed me though. It was the elevation. Here in Kansas I’m just about 1,000 feet above sea level. I. Fruita Colorado we were at 5,000 feet and we gained around 600 feet getting up some of those hills. I’m sure that’s not a lot for you mountain runners out there, but for this flatlander who also happens to be exclusively a road runner it was TOUGH.

Anyway, the first 1.5 miles were the hardest. I think. Hahaha honestly from this point on everything is a blur. The aide stations were each about a mile and 1/2 apart and that’s what I’m kinda basing everything on. πŸ˜‰

So by the time we made it to the first aid station we were DFL (Dead Fucking Last). At least as far as the 10k-ers went. But considering how small the race was and all of the other circumstances that was pretty unsurprising. And honestly, not at all upsetting. I went into this thing just wanting to survive it and to have some fun. I knew it was going to slow going and I had put any kind of ego aside for this one.

Anyway, the volunteers at the aide were all super awesome. We got many complaints on our Sloth Running Team t-shirts, and I got several laughs and sympathetic looks every time my dad told people I was from Kansas.

Ps. Next time I do a trail race in Colorado I’m wearing a shirt that says “I’m from Kansas”. Just so everyone understands why I look and sound like I’m dying. πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚

Anyway, the next 1.5 miles were much more rugged. There were loose rocks and the rail definitely got more technical. Honestly though I had so much fun on the harder (but more flat/downhill!) sections of the course. Having to chose you’re footing and trying not to trip over rocks was a lot of fun! And I was actually pretty good at it!

You can definitely see the rocks in this photo, but there were more fun sections of the trail than this!😁

Now, if I remember correctly (and I probably don’t πŸ˜‚) pretty close to the next aide station and the half way point there was part we had to kinda scramble up! Oh man, that was hard! My poor lungs were just not doing well this less oxen than they’re used to. But we both made it up it. With lots of huffing and puffing on my part. 🀣

At the next aide station I took a little cup of tailwind to drink and a couple of Honey Stinger gels (score!!). I don typically like gels for fuel while running because they upset my stomach but I took some just incase. But at this point I was doing pretty well on just water and a Gatorade that I had stashed in my hydration pack.

This side station was located on Pizza Overlook. Sadly they didn’t have any pizza. πŸ˜‚

After we left the second aide station is when we ended up running around the rim of the canyon (at least I’m pretty sure. Hahaha like I said. Everything is a blur. πŸ˜‚). Pictures will never do justice to how beautiful it actually was.

After a few twists and turns we stumbled upon the one and only race photography. Shout out to him for sitting there and waiting for our DFL asses. πŸ˜‚ of course I had to be a total dork for my photo. But at the very least I was being a total dork during a super hard 10k with some incredible views! πŸ‘πŸ»πŸ˜πŸƒπŸ»β€β™€οΈ

On the way to the final aid station at about 4.3 miles were we’re blessed with some amazing downhills. The trail was still a little tricky but I picked it up quite a bit going down those hills (around 10 minutes per mile pace according to the one time I actually glanced at my Garmin πŸ˜‚). That was a ton of fun!! At this point we were starting to head back the way we came and the last aide station was also the very first aide station. We were also heading back up hill. Yuck. 🀒🀣Basically the whole last mile was uphill, with one super short down hill in the middle of it.

The finish line was just on the other side of that hill on the left side of this photo.

We crossed the finish line at the EXACT same time, cheering and holding hands! That was pretty cool! And according to the official results, we weren’t actually DFL. Hahaha neat! But also still, not a big deal. πŸ˜‚

Once we crossed the finish line we were handed our “medals” (really just a dog tag on a chain, but still super neat!), and made our way to the food tables were we got pancakes, fruit, coffee, and a few other things, although they did have quite a bit of other post race snacks as well. πŸ˜„ we found a nice place to sit and cheered on some of the first half marathoners to start running in.

After we ate we went back to the van, wiped ourselves down with wet wipes and I changed my shirt (and managed to get out of my wet sports bra without showing any boobies to the world. πŸ˜‚). And then we started our 17 hour drive back to Kansas.

So yeah. This was my first trail race ever. My first official 10k. The farthest I’ve ever run at 5,000 feet above sea level, and the slowest 10k/race I’ve ever done. It was hard. It was beautiful. And it was absolutely so much fun!!

Apparently we’re doing the half next year. Hahaha we’ll see about that. 🀣🀣

But for now, the next race on the schedule is the Running With The Cows 5k on May 11th here in Kansas! I’m very excited about that!!

Until next time,

~Ashley

Hanging Lake, April 13th 2019

Happy Marathon Monday!

Who else spent most of the day keeping up with the Boston Marathon? πŸ€šπŸ»πŸ˜‚

Anyway, I am back home from Colorado! Yesterday my dad and I did our trail race in Fruita, Co (I’ll have a full race recap on that soon!) and then spent 16 or 17 hours on the road, making our way back to Kansas. And then eventually Illinois for my dad. Hahaha I’m very happy to say I get to stay home in Kansas. 😁

So, I’ve been busy, having lots of fun, and out of phone service for a while, so I haven’t really had a chance to write about our adventures in Colorado over the weekend. So I’m going to play a little bit of catch up the next few days.

Friday was actually a pretty chill day. That Thursday was a lot of fun and while we didn’t do anything on Friday I’m actually pretty glad about that now. Saturday and Sunday were fun, busy, painful, and absolutely gorgeous.

So our Saturday began with a 5 am wake up call. Fun! πŸ˜‰ My dad and I packed up his van and started making our way to Fruita from his apartment in Longmont for our trail race the next day. But of course we had to make several stops along the way. πŸ˜‚

First we stopped in Genesee Park to check out a little herd of bison. Well, really we stopped along the side of the highway and walked over to the fence where the were for a few minutes.

I’ve actually seen a bigger herd of bison in the Grand Canyon National Park back in 2014, but it was still fun to go see some more here. There was even a brand new baby which was cool! Only the one though, but we definitely saw some very pregnant bison.

 

 

 

 

We stopped a few other places. Nothing too exciting though. Mostly just gas stations and little viewing areas along the highways. Going through Vail was pretty interesting though. We ended up going through a blizzard. My second blizzard of this trip. In a shitty little van that my dad and brother use mostly for work. πŸ˜‚ We made it through alright though.

At about 1 pm we made it to our main stop for the day; Glenwood Canyon. A few weeks ago my dad hiked up the mile-ish (I think?) trail to Hanging Lake and he said I absolutely had to see it while I was there, so that was the plan for Saturday afternoon.

It was actually snowing a little bit when we got there! And it continued to snow a little bit off and on for most of our hike up and eventually a little bit of the hike back down.

So you start out on a little paved path, maybe about half a mile to the trailhead. At this point I was already feeling the elevation. Oh boy I had no idea what I was actually in for. πŸ˜‚

So like I said, the hike up to Hanging Lake was around a mile, but it was hard, steep, icy and treacherous in places, and oh yeah, it was super hard! πŸ˜‚ It was fun and super pretty though.

 

 

 

The trail started off super rocky, but eventually it turned into more dirt as you started to follow a creek (I’m not sure which creek that would be and I’m too lazy to look it up. πŸ˜‰ ). Then the farther we went up the more ice/snow was on the trail. Luckily my dad has some tracktion that we put on our boots and that helped us out a lot. But we saw a lot of people who weren’t as prepared and they were slipping and sliding all around. On our way down we actually saw a dude who fell on the ice and broke his leg. He was ok, he had several people in his group taking care of him and the rescue team was on his way to get to him.

 

 

 

Anyway, did I mention how freaking hard this climb up was?!? Haha oh man, it seemed to take us FOREVER. But the the trail was super pretty and we had a hydration pack and lots of snacks, so at least there was that. πŸ˜‰

 

 

 

I think it took us close to two hours to hike up the trail to Hanging Lake. It was a tough hike. Especially for someone from Kansas who isn’t used to being at 8,000 feet above sea level, let alone doing hard hiking at that kind of elevation. Once we finally made it to the lake though, man, words can’t even describe how amazing it was! Photos barely even do it justice. But wow. Once I saw that lake, it was totally worth it!

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We hung out there for a while. We ate some snacks and made a few friends. Yeah, I know, I know, you’re not supposed to feed the wildlife. But theses little guys were so unafraid of people, so they obviously get fed all of the time. Hahaha we actually got pretty much everyone who was up there with us feeding the chipmunks. It was so funny. Everyone was sharing snacks, pointing out where our little friends were, taking pictures for each other, and just smiling and laughing with a large group of mostly strangers. So in a weird way, breaking the rules brought a bunch of people together that day!

 

After sharing our snacks with our new friends, we hiked out just a little bit farther to Spouting Rock. That was super duper neat! We took some pictures for this group of women so they took some pictures of us. You guys, if you ever need to be reminded that people are generally good, hike somewhere. Or run a race. But we’ll get to that later. πŸ˜‰

Okey dokey, after seeing Spouting Rock we began our hike back down. Oh boy going down was a lot easier, especially once we got past the slippery ice/snow. We even did a little bit of running! πŸ™‚ Hahaha so we got down A LOT faster than it took us to get up. The downhill was much more enjoyable.

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So we hung out at near the trail head for a little bit. Mostly just looking at wildflowers. But my dad actually found a pair of Lululemon leggings crumpled up in the weeds. Why the heck you’d get rid of a pair of expensive leggings like that I’ll never know, but we took them and I’m pretty sure they’ll fit me. So yeah, hiked up to Hanging Lake and obtained a pair of fancy Lululemon leggings. πŸ˜‚

After we were done I was STARVING! So we went to s little restaurant in Glenwood Springs and got cheeseburgers. Holy cow! That was the best burger and fries I’ve ever had. Probably because I was so hungry. πŸ˜‚

After we ate we drove about another hour to one of my dad’s driver’s houses. He invited us to stay there the night before our race so we didn’t have to stay at a motel. He was really nice as well as his whole family. We went out to ANOTHER restaurant to eat again πŸ˜‚, and then my dad and I showered and went to bed once we got back to their house. We had a another 5 am wake up for Sunday before our race.

I’ll recap the race tomorrow probably. But for now, that’s it! We had lots and lots of fun on Saturday! 😊

I hope everyone had a great weekend as well!

~Ashley

The Stanley Hotel and Rocky Mountain National Park

My dad and I had us some adventures yesterday!!

But first and foremost, after making it through a blizzard the day before, we were blessed with an absolute gorgeous morning here in Longmont Colorado!

My Thursday actually started with me getting woken up by one whiny and pathetic Russian bear dog. He wanted to go outside to go potty. But he also wanted to play in the snow because it’s like, his most favorite thing ever! But the problem with that is after a while he’ll just lay down in the snow and refuse to move. And trust me it hard to get a stubborn, 146 pound dog to move. πŸ™„ Hahaha that being said, we still had a nice little walk on Thursday morning.

Mr. whiny pants, Niko begging to be taken outside right after we had gotten back in. πŸ˜‚

So after Niko had gotten walked 3 times, first by me, then by my dad, and finally by my brother, we began to make plans for the day. My dad basically runs several FedEx terminals and drives semi trucks (even though he’s not really supposed to because he’s supposed to be running the whole operation, but they currently don’t have enough drivers) and he had several things for my brother to do on Thursday. After giving him all of his assignments and sending him on his way, we decided we were going to drive to Estes Park and go check out the Stanley Hotel!

So no one I know personally has ever actually stayed at the Stanley Hotel before (although I’d totally like to one day!) I’ve actually been there a few times!

You see, the Stanley Hotel was Stephen King’s inspiration for the Overlook Hotel in The Shining. And Stephen King has been my all time favorite author since I was in 7th grade. So I just think it’s super duper cool to go there and look around outside a little bit. πŸ˜‚

This time around my dad has me bring my copy of The Shining and we got some pretty neat pictures!

I got my butt very wet sitting on those steps. πŸ˜‚

So yeah, that was fun! After that we decided we might as well go mess around in the Rocky Mountain State Park while we were there. By first my dad took me to a discount outdoors wear store because I was not prepared for winter. πŸ˜‚ I came to Colorado ready for spring, but boy was I wrong! Up until then I had been borrowing one of my brother’s coats (hence the camo. Hahaha that’s not really my thing) and wearing on thoroughly soaked pair of retired running shoes. So I got me a pair of discounted, waterproof hiking boot and a super nice North Face coat for over 50% off. Both of these are men’s items because in weird and prefer men’s coats/hoodies and the selection of women’s hiking boots was kinda sad. But either way, after that I was actually prepared to spend some time in Rocky Mountain National Park.

I have been into Rocky Mountain National Park before, but not very far. So this was a super fun experience! We didn’t really hike that much because it was cold, we were ill prepared, and my dad had to work that night, but we drove around for a while and would get out and walk around some cool places.

First we stopped at Sheep Lakes, which ironically enough, my dad (who’s been there often) has never seen any sheep there. And today was no exception. πŸ˜‚

Then we drove around for a while, admiring how pretty everything looked covered in snow. We saw lots of mule deer and elk, and of course we had to stop to observe them and take pictures! πŸ˜‰

This guy got super close to the van when we stopped on the side of the road. That was neat!

Then my dad decided he wanted to go to Bear Lake because he had only been there once and obviously I had never been there before, so we continued on with our journey through the park.

We stopped a few more times on our way there because everything looked super pretty covered in snow, so it was kinda hard not to. πŸ˜‚ But by the time we finally made it it was actually kinda snowing and the wind was blowing super hard! We hiked a short ways from the parking lot to the lake itself which was kinda interesting because the snow drifts were pretty high! It was a lot of fun though!

Bear Lake was frozen, covered in snow, and absolutely breathtakingly beautiful. Unfortunately pictures will never be able to do it justice. The wind was cold and blowing snow directly into our faces which was painful. But the way it was swirling in the air was beautiful.

We didn’t stay there long. Like I said, the snow pelting our faces was painful. πŸ˜‚ But we both think we need to come back in the summer and actually hike around Bear Lake when we’re actually prepared for it.

After our short adventure at Bear Lake we started making our way out of the park. But of course we ended up stopping a few more times. Hahaha I sure put my new hiking boots to good use today! πŸ˜‰

After we finally made our way out of Estes Park and back home my dad heated up the Keto version of broccoli and cheddar soup that he had made the day before. At that point it was the best thing I had ever eaten. Probably because I didn’t really eat much before that. πŸ˜‚

And that was the end of our adventuring on Thursday. We were both really tired after we ate so I showered and then we both ended up taking naps. πŸ˜‚ But obviously my dad needed to since he had to work that night.

So since my dad is doing the whole Keto thing there are NO carbs aside from some veggies in his apartment, and that’s super boring. πŸ˜‚ I knew he had been doing the Keto thing though, so I had brought a whole big thing of Cheerios with me. Still not super fun, but I NEED my carbs man, and I’ll take them were I can get them. πŸ˜‚

But once my brother got back from everything he had to do today he order us a bunch of carb-y deliciousness. He’s not into Keto either, but neither of us felt like going to the store. So we had the carbs brought to us. πŸ˜‚ I swear after like, a day of eating very few carbs, this personal pizza was the best thing I’ve ever eaten! πŸ˜‹πŸ• Hahaha I paced myself though and only ate half of it and saved the other half for today. πŸ˜‰

Anyway, that just about covers Thursday! I don’t think we’re going to be doing anything as exciting today, but tomorrow my dad and I are driving to Fruita, CO for our race on Sunday! We’re going to be staying at one of his driver’s houses that night (which was super cool of him to let us stay with them!), and we might do some hiking while we’re there. The day before our race. πŸ˜‚ Probably not the best idea, but we aren’t going for any world records at this trail race anyway. πŸ˜‰

But alrighty! That’s all for now!

Happy Friday!

~Ashley πŸ—»πŸŒ²β„οΈπŸ˜Š

Hello Again, Colorado!

It’s race week!!

Destination race week really! I’ve never done a destination race or “racecation” before so I’m pretty excited!

Anyway, my brother had some stuff to do in Illinois which worked out pretty well for me! Yesterday he drove from Illinois to my house in Kansas and then stayed the night. Then this morning I did all of my usual chores, especially the ones pertaining to the animals πŸ˜‰, then we packed up his work van and hit the road to Colorado!

This isn’t even everything I packed. Hahaha I kinda brought an excessive amount of stuff with me. But at least I’m prepared for pretty much any situation! πŸ˜‰

Our drive was mostly uneventful. We didn’t stop anywhere outside of a few rest areas and gas stations so we made pretty decent time at first. Hahaha every time my dad and I make the trip either to Colorado from Kansas or to Kansas to Colorado we end up stopping several places so we end up taking a lot longer. Our record is 16 hours for what should be around a 10 hour drive. πŸ˜‚ My brother an I would have made it in 10 hours if it wasn’t for the blizzard.

The super scenic views of western Kansas. πŸ˜‚

Really though it’s a good thing that we didn’t do much dicking around. Several people warned us that we were in for some bad weather and they were right! The farther west we got the colder it got, and not too long after crossing the Kansas/Colorado state line it started raining and snowing off and on.

Hahaha of course we had to stop at Colorado’s welcome sign. πŸ˜‰

My sister who lives in Colorado Springs warned us that the Denver area was expecting a pretty bad blizzard. She told us that all of the flights out of the Denver airport were canceled. My dad basically runs several FedEx terminals and he told us that they probably weren’t going to have drivers out running tonight either. So yeah, they were expecting it to get pretty bad. And of course I kept getting alerts for it on my phone. πŸ˜‚

For a while there was actually a decent amount of snow on the ground! And it was blowing around so sometimes everything was just super white. It was kinda crazy, but honestly not too terrible. But the farther we went the more snow that was on the ground.

It did really start snowing about an hour out from our destination. Things got a little bit iffy at that point. It was just s snowy, icy, slushy mess. It was pretty gross for a while, but eventually it did get a little bit better.

We made it though! And my dad had a bunch of food waiting for us. πŸ˜„

Hahaha so the most fun part of this trip is watching the altimeter on my Garmin steadily go up. It’s super amusing. πŸ˜‚

Hahaha but anyway, we made it. My dads dog Niko was super duper excited to see me, and now I’m just hanging out with my dad.

Happy Wednesday!

~Ashley