Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Colorado January 2014 the last of the training for Kilimanjaro

Most of what you are about to read is TRUE!

All Pictures are at the bottom

Grandma Molasses decided to join me on this trip. Grandma Molasses is on break from her gig in
Hawaii. Free flights again, this time it was easy, a direct flight very early on Saturday the plane was empty we walked right on.

Since we got in to Denver early We decided to meet up with Ross and Sue in Colorado Springs and do some touristy stuff. First stop Cave of the Winds. Cave of the Winds is a large under ground cave that was discovered in 1881. Tours are given every half hour and well worth the price of admission. Which in our case with Grandma Molasses serving in the military, was a little less than what normal
folks would pay. Our guide was very knowledgeable as well as quick witted. We spent about an hour on the tour which should normally last about 30 minutes. Ross wondered off and got stuck in a crevice. We finally found him, or should I say we found his feet. It took us about 15 minutes to dig him out. I am not sure we will be invited back.

The day was getting late we decided one more quick stop at Garden of the Gods National Park. It had been over 30 years since I had been here. The park was just as exciting to see as it was 30 years ago, though a little smaller, the rocks that is. The rocks are very soft and between the winds and rains are slowly wearing away. You can see the evidence of this by the red soil.

We walked through the park before heading home.

This week should be a great week for skiing. My goal this week is to spend a lot of time at 10,000 feet or higher. This will help me with the Kilimanjaro hike, I know I am strong enough, what I do not know is how my body will react to the altitude.

Skiing is a perfect venue for my training. It was Sunday and Grandma Molasses and I headed to Copper Mountain. Normally a one hour ride, with the snow coming down it took two hours. On our arrival we meet up with Brendan an old flame of Grandma Molasses's from a past life. The weather
was perfect, heavy snow, high winds, and zero degree temperatures.

I had not thought of training for the harsh weather conditions we would face when we summit Kilimanjaro. Though I was thinking about it now. The conditions today are helping me make sure I would have the proper layers on for the climb.

As we took our first run we realized between the wind and snow, visibility was about 20 feet. If one of us got more then 20 feet from the other we would just disappear. Grandma Molasses wanted to start out on a green, but made a wrong turn and headed down Jacques Peak, a more technical blue that had not been groomed. Grandma Molasses's first run of the day was down a
technical blue with 6 inches of powder covering fairly difficult moguls. She made it down with flying colors. Brendan was on a snow board and was loving the perfect conditions.

The resort was empty, especially for a Sunday, not sure why, maybe the blizzard type conditions were keeping the wimpy away. We skied for most of the day just one hot chocolate break.

The toughest part of the day was the drive home, 3 hours. The roads were fine just the idiots in their two wheel drive cars trying to go up steep snow covered mountain roads. They were stuck everywhere slowing traffic down to a crawl.

Day two, was another great day of skiing, it had snowed all night and was continuing to snow. Sue was joining us today on her snow board. There was now 12 to 18 of fresh powder and skiing was great. It was a little warmer and not as windy. Still great training weather and I was spending most of the day above 10,000 feet.

Day three, today we decided to tube instead of ski. Patrick, Scrappy, and Oregon were joining us. As we headed to the tubing place which is out route 40 we saw warning signs for avalanche prevention. Shortly after seeing the signs we found out the avalanche prevention turned into avalanche creation. Yes, the blast created an avalanche that covered route 40. Time for a U turn. Copper mountain also had tubing so we headed west on Interstate 70. As we got closer and closer to the Eisenhower Tunnel the weather and road got worse and worse until it was near white out conditions. Cars stopped, just parked right on the interstate. We would later find out that this was the worst road conditions in 40 years.

We made the decision to turn around and get a ice cream at the Dairy King and lunch at Cactus Jacks.
The rest of the day was just rest and relaxation.

Big news today, Scrappy and Oregon got engaged. There was a big celebration Oregon even cut Scrappy's hair for the event. These two are so in love.

Today Ross and Sue decided to go skiing with Grandma Molasses and I. The weather is picture perfect, 28 degrees, sunny, plus 18 inches of fresh snow from the last 3 days.

Ross and Sue are over the moon with the news of Scrappy's engagement to Oregon. Sue is already in wedding planning mode, not sure she realizes that
is the brides responsibility to plan the wedding. The whole drive to the ski resort was talk about the wedding and what she was going to wear.

Once we arrive Ross told me today would be the day I give up skiing. For the life of me I could not think of a reason I would give up skiing. Ross then handed me a brand new top of the line Burton snow board along with custom fit boats. With this new equipment he said, "Today you learn to ride!" The first thing I noticed was how easy it was to get the snowboard boots on and how comfortable they were.

The second thing I noticed was how it is impossible to get off the ski lift without falling flat on your face. Comfortable feet vs. looking like a fool!

My first run took two hours. Ross and Sue were very patience. Grandma Molasses gave up on me and went to ski with Brendan. My guess is, I took 30 - 40 falls during the 2 hours it took me to get down the mountain. The falling is not so bad especially with the soft fresh snow. What was tough was getting back up, all abdominal muscles. Not my strong suit.

One run down! I felt bad for Ross and Sue, I suggest they do a run on their own, I would join them on the next one. In reality I just needed a break / rest.

Time for my second run of the day. I learned how to get off the ski lift, just sit on your board , or should I say, when you fall off the lift, end up sitting on your board.

The second run only took 35 minutes and I would guess I fell 5 to 10 times. I developed my ability to turn. I would just fall and get up facing the opposite direction.

My falls were less frequent but harder as I was able to go faster, the faster you go the harder you fall.
The temperature had drop so the snow was harder.

Two runs was enough for me. We headed to the lodge, I was happy with boarding and knew I had a big learning curve before I would master the sport. We hung out waiting on Grandma Molasses, it appears she has rekindled the flame with Brendan and was not looking to leave anytime soon.

Sue finally put the pressure on Grandma Molasses to meet up with us. We had a wedding planning dinner to get to.

Scrappy and Oregon joined us for the wedding planning dinner. It was nice that Sue is allowing the bride and groom to be involved with the planning of their own wedding. It is a good thing Sue has taken charge. We learned at the wedding planning dinner that Oregon is not going to tell her parents about the engagement and wedding plans until after the wedding.

We went to a great Sushi restaurant in Downtown Denver. Grandma Molasses had another dude meet us at the restaurant. I think the saying "A sailor in every port." applies to Grandma Molasses. Grandma Molasses can sure pick dudes that are all very nice, clean (yep they shower), and polite.

Hot Dog whose real name is Nathan, is the heir to the Nathan Hot Dog empire. Thus the nick name Hot Dog. From what we could gather Grandma Molasses and Hot Dog had been married at some point. Reading between the lines, in order for Hot Dog to get his inheritance he had to be married by the age of 24. Grandma Molasses was willing to help out. They had a 24 hour quick marriage started and ended in Vegas.

We spent so much time hearing about Grandma Molasses and Hot Dog's wedding day that there was no time to plan Scrappy and Oregon's wedding. Sue was not happy about that.

I am heading back East for my last and final prep for Tanzania and the hike up Kilimanjaro. I hope I am ready.




1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Mwahahaha! And my Hot Dog franchise is still boomingto this day.