April 2017- Miscellaneous Stuff!

In April of 2017 we didn’t do any big trips, but we still did a lot of smaller day trips. As always we didn’t sit around doing nothing! In fact the main reason we didn’t travel quite as much was because we had just started our 12 week Mt. Rainier training plan, that takes up so much time!

When we got back from California we ordered our avalanche safety gear, and headed out for a day trip at Rocky Mountain National Park. We decided to test our skills at backcountry winter navigation. So we planned out a route online with mapping sites and then headed out into the backcountry with a map and a compass and attempted to find our destination without following any actual trailhead. Instead we set bearings and navigated our way through the park.

We made it to the Loch (this lake in the picture below). Our hopes were to also go to Lake of Glass and Sky Pond, but we definitely underestimated how much more time consuming it is to travel when you are having to constantly navigate your way instead of just mindlessly following a trail.

It still felt like a success to me because our goal way to successfully navigate to various destinations and not get lost, and we accomplished that. I have no doubt that with more time we would have been able to get to the other lakes as well.

Also we wanted to take our new backcountry gear out and apply what we had learned in our avalanche safety class. The goal is to never need any of this stuff, but we were still excited to have it!

Also in April we went to the History Colorado Center in Denver. It turned out to be a really neat museum and we enjoyed it a lot.

I think the explanation behind why they have this sign in the museum is pretty funny. Personally I like this actually colorful version much better!

Another thing we did was see my favorite local band, FACE in the Stargazer’s theater in Colorado Springs.

It was a really neat venue, and an awesome show! We ended up being able to get seats right up front so we had a great view. I cannot wait to see them perform at Red Rocks in August this summer!

Also in April, while my mom and Steve were here for Aurora’s first birthday, we went on a day trip out to Sand Dunes National Park. 

It was my mom and Steve’s first time there, Jeb’s second, and my third. But I love this park and always have a good time there.

We hiked up one of the really tall sand dunes. I was impressed with my mom for getting up this high, as hiking on sand dunes is not easy task! As usual, it was super windy there. I guess that makes sense for a place that has sand dunes because of the force of the wind!

It is always impressive to me when you get to the tallest dune in the area and realize just how expansive this place really is.

I was glad to have Jeb with me here this time! Last time I went with my dad while Jeb’s mom was in town.

Gotta love the backwards hat look… But at least you can see our faces better this way. We lucked out with a really nice pleasant weather day.

My mom and Steve headed up the next sand dune.

This was the first time I had ever been to Sand Dunes where there was actually a creek flowing pretty hard in front of the dunes that you have to cross to get to them. My feet got soaked!

It is definitely pretty with the creek flowing and reflecting the sunlight.

On one of our rest days from our Rainier training plan, we decided to tour the Stranahan’s distillery in Denver. We had this drink in the tasting room before our tour started. It was delicious!

Here are some pictures from the tour:

As part of the $10 tour, you also get to sample their 2 main types of whiskey as well as keep the tasting glass. It was definitely strong!

Pictures from outside the building:

Also in April Jeb bought me these really pretty flowers! I think he knew I was getting pretty stressed between the training plan and some hard days at work. This definitely helped improve my mood.

April was as busy as always, but I’m glad we still fit in some fun activities despite being pretty consistently tired from our training!

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