Sunday, March 1, 2015

CrossFit mountain style!

I always see people in the gym doing CrossFit, it doesn't seem exciting to me. I know it's big business now, but I'm a little old school. I prefer to pick up heavy things and set them back down. Repeat. I know I can stay strong, keep my cardio and endurance levels high, without having to change anything.
I know CrossFit works great for many people, especially the group atmosphere of peer pressure and challenge. Always do whats best for you, even if it's not cool, that's better than doing nothing. One foot in front of the other, one day at a time... that's how I tell people to start working out, walking, running, hiking, climbing, etc. Just start, worry about everything else later. No paralysis by analysis, ie. no armchair prepping.

On the way to the cabin we saw this massive elk herd, and figured there wasn't going to be much snow ahead. Right past this herd (assuming it's called a herd anyhow) was a group of about 40 deer, then 30+ antelope.


The closer we got the more snow we ran into, as expected, dashing our hopes.

Almost done doing our crossfit for the day. Our new Jeep is awesome, it broke up the snow plow bank at the driveways end just fine.
There was 3 feet of snow in some spots, and the bottom foot was a little crusty. When I left last Sunday, there was a fresh 6 inches on the ground, even though I had just finished shoveling. When you get to the end of the driveway and turn around to another shoveling session sometimes it's best to just stop.

The shoveling was hard, but we get a low center of gravity so we are using our legs instead of backs. My shoulder didn't appreciate it towards the end, but we wanted to get it done before dark, I had spaghetti to make after all. 10 shovels and 10 second rest, similar to steep hiking (10 steps, 10 second rest). Eventually it was done.
Saturday morning hike. I always try to get some hiking in before breakfast, when at the cabin. In town it's just not the same but I'll soon be able to get that done as spring arrives. Here are some more shots from Saturday:



Sunday is the same, the sun is winning the battle against the low hanging clouds. Forecast is for 1-2 feet of snow by tomorrow night but it appears it's all staying really high up in the hills.

I woke up to check out the sunrise and get some cinnamon bread started.

Once that was going I headed out for a pre breakfast hike with Rock

You can see the clouds lingering, Rock is staring at the sun chastising it for hiding behind some clouds. Since the roads aren't all cleared of snow we didn't get as many miles as a normal weekend, but it's different when you have to slog through 2 feet of heavy stuff. We saw what I think was a coyote down the road, but it could have been a mountain lion. The tracks were more dog like and not very big so I'll say coyote. The big cats around here have paw prints that will make you swear.

Apparently Father in-law likes cinnamon bread and it was nice to be left a little.... It was really good and with a cook time of 40 minutes (10 minute prep or less) it's perfect for a 2 mile hike.

They are packing up to head back, I'll drive in tomorrow morning like usual. This gives me a chance to clean everything and do laundry while nobody is in the way. If it snows I'll shovel, and it's threatening right now. This coming weekend looks to be nice and warm (40's) so I'm hoping to get some running in. If it's not in the 40's, the wind chill is pretty brutal in my little running shorts and tank top.

Saturday, February 21, 2015

Coyote choir

Made it to the cabin a few times this week and basically arrived and went to bed. The need to clear my head has been overwhelming the last few months so I finally decided to just curl up under the covers and sleep. I think I managed almost 10 hours last night and that's probably a record for the last few months. If I try to nap at home, Rock has other ideas.

Before I crawled into oblivion last night I did take a hike up the road. This is what it looked like as I drove into the area:
I know many people across the country are getting hammered with snow and cold weather and they are predicting 2 feet of snow for us over the next two days. I don't care either way, the mountains are getting plenty and when it's like this in the morning, how can I believe the weather reports:
oh... back to my hike.
The coyotes were howling, singing the song of whatever they sing. The stars were starting to peek through the sky and the moon was a sliver of white. I still talk to our old dog Luke, via. the stars that look like the white spot he had on his chest. We talked (we being I looked up and chatted away) for a bit about how I miss him and how I'm glad he is watching over us and how he would have probably hated getting used to a new house while being blind. I talked about all the issues I am dealing with at work but that we finally hired a replacement for a manager we let go last month.
Luke, of course, had nothing to say.

Here is a pic I snapped right before it got really dark.
I'll be getting back to my primary job in the next week and I'm really glad. I learned a lot and experience is always valuable but I am falling behind on what I need to get done.

This morning I had some toast (homemade bread) with strawberry jam (home canned of course). I also had 3 glasses next to my plate; peppermint tea, almond milk and cherry juice. I ate and watched the clouds roll in while the fireplace cracked and popped. It's calm outside right now but I doubt that will last. Time to stoke the fire, workout a little and go for another hike.

No grass grows under these feet.

Sunday, February 15, 2015

No Spring here but a new Jeep is!

Yesterday I got a little too much sun while I was out running and then raking the yard. First world problems.... Today it was cooler and when I walked outside to take Rock for a hike it was snowing. Those on the East coast are probably sick of the snow but we are enjoying our few days of sunshine and then a few days of snow. This coming weekend it's going to snow a lot, so we will head to the cabin and enjoy a little more winter.

We should be enjoying the drive in our new Jeep. We decided to sell our plow Jeep (since we have only used it one time) and our other Jeep (mother in laws). MIL's Jeep is staying in the family, just transferring ownership, so that's comforting to everyone. We doubled our money on the plow Jeep, and with our new purchase we finally have a reliable non company vehicle that we can drive around the country on trips (that's not a large diesel truck).

2015 Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicon, automatic, 4.10 gear ratio, saddle leather, dual tops, upgraded sound/stereo. Ordered a pet barrier net to keep Rock in the back and some door protectors to keep his little claws from digging in.



Our last attempt to purchase something left me so frustrated I wanted to scream. This time I had to go back to the dealership and complain and push in order to actually get the correct help I wanted. We ended up getting one of the lowest prices possible (I had shopped dealerships across the country) and actually enjoyed the experience for the most part. No, we aren't crazy, our last new vehicle purchase was 1995 (well my purchase, it was right before we met).

Rock got new tennis balls!

We did an ammo inventory this morning, part of our weekend in the city house cleaning party. Ammo count is good and I'm glad. Ammogeddon started early yesterday, I don't think it's going to let up for a while. Like other bloggers I saw the available inventory plummet over a short time span. There is ammo out there, but I think it's going to be gone in the next day or less.

We shall keep on prepping, stocking up and working on skills. Still hitting the gym 3-4 days a week, running 1-2 and hiking a few times with Rock. Our hikes have a loaded backpack or even just a pack with 15 loaded p-mags. Every little thing helps. A few less carbs, a little more protein, a few more veggies, a couple more sets/reps, one more 1/4 mile, etc.

Everywhere I look I see people who don't even try. We have a country full of people with bodies that work great and yet they choose to destroy them. Father in-law stumbles around and his body doesn't work so well anymore... I can't imagine what it's going to be like for people my age who don't take care of themselves. A world full of scooters and wheelchairs smashing into each other on sidewalks and in the grocery stores.

Perhaps the future is already here....

Sunday, February 8, 2015

Cabin fever?

It's not even dark yet and it feels like it was a week instead of a weekend. Father in law needed to get out of the house, the last 4 months have been rough, and the last 2 weeks hellacious. He hadn't slept alone in a few months shy of 60 years, and he had never been in their current house alone for more than a few hours.

Where does the cabin fever come in? It doesn't, I just heard someone in town talking and they said they had cabin fever.... WHAT?!?!?
We did happen to be at a little eatery full of couples our age, and while the food was good, hearing people say they are tired of being cooped up was annoying.

I know that I'm (and we are) untypical and the grain goes in all directions instead of how everyone thinks it should go. How can anyone have cabin fever around here?

Let's start with the first night and a little walk with Rock....
We broke the retractable leash, now we use a 30' lead.
That's right, can't see this if your head is buried in a TV

Seems like a great vaccination against cabin fever.

I don't understand how people, who are able, don't get out.
Father in law spent his first night out of his house, without his sweetie, and he was able to get some rest. He ventured to the end of the driveway and even made his way to the woodshed with me as I checked to make sure there wasn't any wind damage. It was windy in the tree's but on Saturday it settled down some.
Until I went running that is. 10 mph constant wind in the plains, if not 15-20, and big gusts. I'm obviously stubborn and kept going to the designated extraction point. I was completely drained from the sun and from the energy expelled to stay upright as the wind blew sideways the entire distance.
Doesn't look windy does it? It was my turn to extract someone.
Expelling energy means you have to fuel up!
It wasn't enough but I was full. Needed 10 more.

Mountain eating and a cabin tradition of blueberry pancakes!
Saturday night proved exciting in the skies as well.
That's looking back towards the city home and Pikes Peak.

The woods.

Looking South towards our usual hiking area.
Sunday was a nice sunny day and what better thing to do than punish myself with another run. Rock was already pretty tired, we totaled 8 miles on his paws in a little over 24 hours. This is from our early morning hike:
Pitbull on bull action!

Moon!

More moon.

Mollie, the in laws dog, can walk about 200 feet at a time, she needs to be conditioned. A lot. The dogs spent a lot of time together and get a long great. Rock is under socialized but there are only a few dogs he gets long with Mollie obviously, and Lorie (the Amish neighbors dog).
My Sunday run was pretty horrible. My legs were destroyed from the hiking and running I had already done, but I headed out at a faster pace than before. The wind was just a simple 10 mph headwind but no gusts. I was extracted and returned to a chore list, so we worked hard. Father in law commented that we sure don't let the grass grow under our feet. He also was impressed with our supplies and how we had just about anything he asked for. We need to work on medication for him, he needs a longer supply than 30 days especially if he is going to be down here a lot.

We finally got the outside holiday lights taken down, the comforter beaten and hung outside to air out in the sun (to the joy of the Amish that went by), the firewood rack was refilled on the porch, the fireplace ashes were cleaned up and tossed out, we filled the bird feeder and we checked the chimney for soot. It needs to be cleaned but it's not dire, we will try and get it done this coming weekend. The cabin is cleaned, laundry is done. Dinner consisting of elk meat, potatoes and onions has been eaten and now it's just me. Father in law ended up getting some good walks in, on his own, and felt a lot better than he did when he first showed up. I told him it's the thin air, but he actually has some goals and ideas for the future, so that's great news. It's a slow process but nothing we do is slow so he got swept up in it.

In total I put in over 17 miles of running and hiking since Friday afternoon. The weather here is in the mid 50's for the next week minus one day of possible snow. The water is starting to flow but I'm not fooled, it's only February.
Compared to the other photo's this one is dull.
I need to put some canned goods away and do the dishes before I settle down into a good book. It was a great weekend.

Wednesday, February 4, 2015

Thinking back.

I'm tired, we are both tired, Rock is tired. We are getting more sleep finally.

Closure. It happened finally and now we are moving forward and moving on. It's been hard on all of us but the friends, family and even the bloggers kind words and well wishes have certainly helped.

Now what...

Having been through this before, I know what comes next, the various stages, etc. We are taking Father in-law to the cabin this weekend for some get out of the house time. It's supposed to be 60 degrees so it's going to be a great weekend for running, sleeping in, eating pancakes and doggy hikes.

We did escape ourselves on Friday night, it was very relaxing and sad and we spent some good time thinking back. We talked about how the memories we make right now, today, are the good old days. If we don't make good memories, why even bother looking back.

I hope to be posting more often and getting back to reading all of my favorite sites.

Here are some photo's from our escape!

Can't get enough of Rock and our hikes together!

I ate the smallest one, Rock ate the next two!

Opposite direction hike... Rock wanted to play!

Sometimes you have to get out of bed early in order to see amazing things.

These, right here and now, ARE the good old days!

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

On loss

There is much to read, think and say on losing loved ones. Mentally I debate myself about losing someone fast vs. a longer drawn out process. There isn't a prize, people are simply gone. Is there relief if it's a long process, and if so is that suddenly second guessing when you feel relieved.

Are they in a better place? Is that even possible when your family is still alive? Do people decide it's time, are they waiting for something, etc.

When my Father passed away I cried for hours, days. I think I cried enough for a lifetime. The hear breaking agonizing grief, anger and frustration.

Mother in law had a great life, of that there isn't any doubt.  We are working through getting all of the service arraigned and notifications. I keep reminding everyone it's a celebration of her life, nothing else, so keep it that way. 59 years of marriage, 4 children, 3 grand children, world travel, family cruises, mountain getaways.
I even got her to swear once in a while, and that would always get her to say, "shit you did it again!".

For us, life will return to a normal state, with emphasis on involving father in law in activities. I have several business trips coming up that perhaps we can escape on to try and reflect together without others around.


In the meantime life is rolling on as it always does. When I get some time I'll put a post up about my excursion to San Francisco, and my increased loathing for cities. ick.

Sunday, January 18, 2015

As the sun slowly fades

Rock and I are staring out of the window, we are exhausted. 7+  miles a day of Rock hikes, a few hundred pushups and a few 3 mile runs. I really want to go out and enjoy the sunset but it's going to be more of a star gazing kind of night, we hope. If you don't find your failure points you won't know what you can really do.

Normally I run uphill for the first half of my runs, sort of a no brainer to me, but I feel it's a little like cheating. I don't usually let up on the pace in either direction, but for a change I ran downhill to start. It was a nice change, but there were some conversations with myself on the long lonely road. When you are exhausted and want to give up, you keep thinking about things that provide motivation (hey, are those zombies horses?).

The Amish thought I was crazy yesterday when I ran by in my little running shorts and tank top. Today ALL the Amish thought I was crazy as I ran by the house they were having Sunday service at (not sure what they call it, but I doubt it's called church for some reason).

We had Sunday brunch with the neighbors... I'm not sure when they are moving, but I'll be out of town for a bit and might not see them again. Rock wasn't impressed but he only howled a little bit. Good neighbors often make good company. Lori the dog, Rabies the cat (we thought the named fit).


Here is a picture that could have been identical over the weekend, on several different occasions.
Rock did enjoy getting on the snow and sniffing out rodents and digging for them. The wind wasn't so bad today, but the last 2 nights it's been howling hard enough to make me concerned about a tree coming down. 45 yesterday, 50 today and of course the fire is just about ready to be lit as the sun has now been swallowed by the mountain demons.

I have so much going through my brain right now that I'm going to curl up in front of the fire with Rock and read another zombie book. It won't provide insight into anything, it won't make me understand stupid people, it wont help me decide if I should buy another AR. It will kill some time before we go check out the stars... if I can manage it, I'm super beat up.

Tomorrow is another day and we will head home in the afternoon. I need to get some clothes packed and some work done.