Wednesday, June 30, 2010


So tonight I am spinning through the channels and come across a show on Animal Planet called Monsters inside me  OMG, oops a little valley girl slipped out! This is just freaky some of the parasites and bugs you can pick up at home and abroad. So this guy is hiking in Argentina and is bitten by a Sand Fly and is infected with Leishmaniasis.

Check this out!

So hey, you may want to carry some bug spray with you or put it on before you head out if plan on doing any hiking abroad.

Happy Hiking

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Walking to work and back

So I have sprinkled pictures of what I have come across this week while walking to or from work or out in the backyard. I should break the 100 mile mark tomorrow for the month. Not one of my best but getting back up there. I feel that my blog looks baron when I post pictures and there is not content to go with it. So the rest of this is about my upcoming trip to Kansas.

I get pretty excited around the 4th of July, don’t you? I get excited as it is a time to visit with family who I only get to see maybe once or at the best twice in a year. This year only Candy, Clark and I will be going to Kansas. Eric will be staying back as he has to work. We will all gather at my parent’s house for the 4th and have a big barbeque, play some horse shoes, drink a little, blow shit up, drink a little and catch up with each other on life’s events. My mom comes from a large family of six brothers and three sisters, so with uncles, aunts, cousins, 2nd cousins, girl friends, boy friends, in-laws and outlaws we have a pretty big group.

That evening we break out all the night works and put on a show. In years past my cousin was able to get his hands on some professional grade fireworks. Oh boy, what a blast! Hey if you don’t come away with a few burns then you’re not doing it correctly. But at the same time you need to watch your ass and as my wife would say when people show up in the emergency room “Chances are Alcohol was involved”!

I believe his source dried up last year. But even so with what you can get at a fireworks stand is still enough to do bodily injury if you not careful. So be careful out there this year and remember that we are celebrating our independence as a country/nation as well as those who are still fighting to help us keep it today!

My sister, her husband and two daughters will be there and it has been a year since I have seen them. This last weekend Candy and I were out shopping and I picked up a few little goodies for my nieces. These should keep them occupied for a while.

Few all pics here:

Happy 4th of July!

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Colorado Birds

Well I didn’t get out and do any hiking this weekend. Busy with chores that I had been putting off. Even with that I still didn’t get everything done that I wanted to. I find I can get more done when I make a list.

Candy and I met for breakfast this morning when she got off work. After words I sat out I the backyard with the camera and took some photos of the birds.  I figured I should just go ahead and post the pictures that I have taken over the last two years of all the birds I have captured on film. I will have to comeback later and name them all. 

Friday, June 25, 2010

Side Tracked

So I don’t talk about this to much but I really like cars. Actually I have way too many, currently 7. Well with the purchase of my latest a 1931 Ford Model A Truck, I have decided to downsize so I can get some extra cash to start my rebuild project of the Model A Truck.

I posted my 1975 Ford Ranchero on craigslist and looks like it is on its way to France. I got what I asked for it and it will be picked up on July 15th. The driver side window is busted out and the new owner is sending me the glass and I will have it put in before it leaves on its big journey over the pond.

Funny enough there seems to be a big market for classic cars oversees and based on the success of this sell, this could be a new little business. I hate to see it go, but I have had fun with the car and it was a driver for my oldest son all the way through high school.

The Ranchero is an acquired taste, not as popular as the Chevy El Camino but I drove a 1959 Ranchero when I was in high school. I was as bad at they come in that ride. When I graduated it ended up being sold for more reliable transportation when I left home. I think you hear that same story from a lot of folks.

Below is a picture of the Ranchero and I hope the new owner in France has a blast with the car as I am sure you don’t see to many of these on the road over there.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Keep on Trucking!

It’s been a decent month for getting some miles in, as of today I am up to 87.5. If I can keep it together, should be able to break a 100 this month. I have been getting out and getting some distance in on the weekends. I need to step up my walking to work but it has been tough with so much going on. Oh there I go making excuses!

I did walk to work and back today, made my way through the Bear Creek Regional Park. If you are new to the area this is a great place to do some hiking and get acclimated with the elevation.

I haven’t been able to get any good photos of the coyotes that live in the park. The best time to catch a glimpse is in the early morning. This year I have only spotted one, but he was gone before I could get to the camera.

You know it is a sure sign of summer when the Milkweed (Asclepias syriaca) plants are blooming.  I came across this one in the park on the way home. These will grow anywhere from 2 to 6 feet high. Did you know that Monarchs need milkweed to survive. The butterfly lays its eggs on milkweed plants. The growing larvae (caterpillars) eat milkweed leaves. These leaves contain toxins- poisonous chemicals. These toxins don't hurt the caterpillar, but they do make the caterpillar poisonous to most predators. Because it eats milkweed leaves as a caterpillar, the monarch butterfly is also poisonous. The survival of the monarch butterfly depends on this self-defense system provided by the milkweed.

The Yucca plants are flowering now as well. I came across this one and it had ants crawling all over it.

Happy Hiking

Sunday, June 20, 2010

New Friend

I have had a lot of fun keeping my blog. I also started a group on facebook named Hiking Colorado Springs. To date there is 129 members. It’s open to everyone and they can post photos and stories. Hopefully it will catch on and we can get it going.

Well through this group I was able to make a new friend and hiking partner. We made plans to meet up at 5:30AM at the Gold Camp park lot and then head up to Mt. Rosa. I had told Candy what I was doing and she was ribbing me about making a date on the Internet. LOL.  Derrick and I met for the first time in the parking lot. We were both on time and after we exchanged initial greetings we were on our way. Luckily I think our hiking abilities were about the same. I was concerned as you never know the pace a new hiking partner will keep. But we seemed to be pretty evenly matched.
There are two ways to get up to Mt. Rosa but this route is the longer of the two. My GPS tracked that the route we took today was 15.2/Miles. From the Gold Camp parking lot up to Mt. Rosa it is 7/Miles with a 4K elevation climb. The following are the trails that we took today:

Gold Camp Road (GCR), 624, 673, 672, 701, 668, 622, GCR. On our way up 624, we took time to go to the base of Saint Mary’s falls. Always a great place to check out. They have really done some nice work on the trail as well at the base of the falls. After a few photos we continued on up. We made the steep climb and finally found ourselves at trail 673 to make our way up to the summit of Mt. Rosa. We worked our way up and at 9:45AM we had reached the summit.

This was the first time to the summit for Derrick and the fourth for me. Be it your first or fourth, it is always a great experience. We pulled out the cameras and snapped some pics. While at the top we had two other hikers join us. We all took pictures, we took some pictures of them and we had them take pictures of us, showing we had reached the summit.

Once we had a quick bite and some water we started our way back down. We took trail 672 down to Frosty Park and then took 701 to trail 668 aka Pipeline Trail. Had a first for me on the trail today, as we were coming down 668 and around a corner I look up and there is a girl putting her bikini top back up and I could tell she was embarrassed. She had what I am guessing was her boy friend with her. I am guessing they were doing a little candid photography, we said hello and kept on moving.

It was hot today and luckily we had a breeze and for the most part shade. In the areas where we didn’t have shade it was hot! We didn’t start running into people until we were back on 622 aka Seven Bridges. The closer to the bottom we got the more families we came across. I think most of them are tourist but I didn’t check that license plates in the parking lot. Today we spotted two deer, a snake and numerous squirrels and birds. I came across the first columbine that I have seen this year. Two different color varieties of columbine, I had not seen the yellow colored ones before but the blue are common.

Happy Hiking

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Tunnel Closed

Today Nik, Candy and I headed out to investigate the Oil Creek Tunnel. We met up at 10AM and headed up the 24 to Pikes Peak. Dam they get you with the toll charge, all together it was $36.00, $12.00 per head. So we paid the money and proceeded up the Peak to the Elk Knoll parking lot. It was breezy but not to bad and the temperature was cool. We loaded on the packs and headed down trail #652. There were a couple folks coming up the trail as we started but other than them we didn’t encounter anyone else.

We made our way down and found the junction to take you up to the Oil Creek Tunnel and the old ruins that still remain. We had to make our own trail at one point as the snow banks had it covered. One of the great things about this hike is that you start above tree line and work your way down into the trees and then up against the Peak. So you have a variety of scenery to enjoy as well running water from the snow melt.

As we came around the trail and in view of the tunnel entrance I was getting excited and ready to start digging out the flashlights. All of sudden there it was, a steal barrier that had been installed within the last two years, barring your way into the tunnel. Major disappointment! I am just glad that I had been able to make this trip before and actually get into the tunnel and been able to check it out. So I apologized to everyone, even though it wasn’t my fault but I had built up the expectation of going in. Who knows maybe they were relieved. :-)

We checked out the ruins and snapped off some pictures. Now it was time to start making our way back up the mountain. It is a fairly steep area that you have to go back up and secondly hiking at 12k feet is different than hiking at 6k to 10k feet. You can tell the difference if you are not used to it. The elevation climb is about 900ft and the trail up is about a mile and three quarters. All together roundtrip is 3.5/miles. Not a long hike but a very enjoyable one with a good cardio workout.

I don’t know how many different types of wild flowers we came across but the vegetation was spectacular to look at. Candy really enjoyed checking out the plants and flowers. She got some really good pictures.

Once we got back to the parking lot we drove on up to the Peak. The place was packed! The Cog Railway had just arrived and the parking lot was packed with local and numerous tourists from out of state. I saw license plates from TX, VA, and MS.

All in all, even with the tunnel closed I had a great time.

Happy Hiking

All pictures can be found at:

Wednesday, June 16, 2010


Well I didn’t get out and do an actual hike today but I did get out and play 18 holes of golf. One of the database partners that we work with took me and a coworker out today. Had a great time other than my game sucked. I hadn’t been out on the golf course for over a year.

It was a beautiful day and hey I wasn’t at the office so I guess I shouldn’t complain about how I played. We played at Pine Creek and the course was in great shape. I sliced one and wacked a house. Hey that is the price you pay when you live on a golf course.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Happy Anniversary

I was looking back on the early days when I started blogging about the hiking I have done and realized that at just passed my two year anniversary. Where does the time go! I was a lot more active and more descriptive with my entries in the early days. Because I had a goal and it was all new to me.

I started keeping track of my miles again as well as what I have been eating and drinking. It’s been good for me as it has got me back the trails. With the weather warming up that’s made it easier because you just want to get out and enjoy the sunshine.

Today I did the treadmill for my lunch break and got 2/miles in. I had a 7:15AM call that I needed to do be on so I ended up driving and getting in at 6:30AM. It takes MS Windows a good 10 minutes to boot up and had to do a quick review on some work items.

For the month of June, I am up to 51.5/miles. So far so good, just need to keep it up. But it has been tough with a lot going on at work. I have a big weekend planned. Thinking about doing Oil Creak Tunnel on Saturday and for Fathers day I thought I would head up St. Mary’s Falls and if I have it in me keep going up to Mt. Rosa. This one will be a long one if I do the loop but I think I am ready.

Sunday, June 13, 2010

Another Great Day in Colorado!

I left the trail head at 7:30AM and headed down Gold Camp Road to Trail 622 (aka Seven Bridges), to Trail 668 (aka Pipeline Trail), to trail 720 to 667 (aka Jones Park) then looped back down to Gold Camp Road. Total miles today came up to be 9.08/Miles. Hiking time was 3 hours and 30 minutes plus I had 38 minutes of stopping time to take pictures and get a drink of water.

It was overcast this morning and the clouds were hanging low around 8K feet. I didn’t snap two many pictures on Seven Bridges as I had done it just the weekend before. But I did have the camera ready for any flowers, birds or other critters that I came across. I moved up the trail pretty good today. Might have been that I did it the weekend before or the fact that I have been walking to work again everyday when I can.

It was nice and cool this morning with the low hanging clouds and it had rained last night. The vegetation was loving the wet weather and there were so many wild flowers in bloom. I snapped this picture of some wild iris’s growing in a meadow of Aspen trees. I have also included a close up.

This picture is of another Chipmunk that I came across. They are so funny actually little camera hams. They will sit on the branches and let you snap as many pictures as you would like.

This is a picture of a nice little water fall on trail 667. I actually hung out here for about 10 minutes and had some turkey jerky and a little water to drink. While down in the creek I had 5 dirt bikes come by on the trail. I don’t think they had seen me as I was about 10 ft. below the trail in order to snap this picture.

I have to say riding dirt bikes up the trail looks like a damn blast! After seeing them I started toying with the idea of putting my old 75 Ford Ranchero on Craig’s List and seeing if I could sell it or trade it for a decent dirt bike.

One other cool thing you will spot is this old mining tunnel. I don’t know how far in it goes as I have only stepped in the entrance to snap a picture. If I had someone with me I might have the guts to go in a little further.

Well that’s about it for this trip. Need to figure out where I want to go next weekend. I may head up to Pikes Peak and hike the Oil Creek Tunnel trail again. If you would like to view all pictures from today's hike you can find them

Happy Hiking!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Another Day

Took the long way to and home from work today and managed to get 7.3/Miles in. We will see if I can do the same route tomorrow. I need to make sure to take the camera with me tomorrow as I missed some good pics tonight.

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

a good week

So far this week I have gotten 21/miles in. Need to keep plugging away!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Seven Bridges

Above are a few pics from today’s hike up the Seven Bridges trail. We had a group of 5 today and were able to get 7.5/miles in. Everyone did a great job and had a great time. I know I did. We started from the trail head about 9:45AM and we back to the vehicles just before 1:00PM. We moved at a pretty good clip up and down.

The trail was seeing a lot of action today. The way up we didn’t really run into any people but on the way down there were several groups of hikers and families. I feel bad, a group of three ladies we passed on the way down asked how much further it was. I let her know that they had about another two miles or so to go. She said they were going to go for it and had some peanut butter sandwiches they could snack on along the way. I commented that the Bears love peanut butter and she about shit! I told her I was kidding and continued down the trail.

The trail is in good shape as are the bridges. The creek was running strong and could be heard through the canyon.

If you would like to see all of today’s photos you can find them here:

Tuesday, June 1, 2010


I really enjoy watching the Finches eat from the feeders. The feeders look like tube socks but they are a mesh with small holes that the Finches can pick the thistle through. I guess you could use tube socks if you had to. Today I spotted a pair of yellow Finches eating and drinking from the fountain. From what I have read the Finches are part of the Passerines family of birds. This means that they can perch securely on twigs, reeds and even grass stems.

Oh and their singing ability is incredible. They have a complex syrinx which is more highly developed than it is in other birds. Most passerines have its own distinctive song and sounds uttered within a defined rhythm and structure. I need to get some recording equipment and go out and record them singing so that I can play it back and see if I can attract other finches. These photos are from this evening.

667, 666

Yesterday I got a nice little hike in. Totaled up to 13/miles and was a really good workout. Left the house at 6:30AM and headed up the Bear Creek Trail and then up Mays Peak and over to Captain Jacks. I then took trail 667 and then down 666 and back to the house. The first 7/miles were the toughest as it was a 2K elevation climb.

I managed to walk to work this morning but had to get a ride home. The wife was leaving town and was having laptop issues so I need to get home quick to get that resolved.

Below are a few pics that I snapped along the way.