Back from the mountains

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We got back from Ouray yesterday.  The trip was great, although with 7 kids running around I wouldn’t call it “relaxing”.  For me, the highlights of the trip were:

  • The weather — highs in the 70’s with low humidity.  It had me questioning the sanity of living in Fort Worth.
  • Rock climbing — On Monday I got to meet and climb with Jim Donini, a well known climber and the president of the American Alpine Club.  It was inspiring to see Jim, at 64 years old, make 5.11c look easy.  We didn’t climb in the Black Canyon as orignially planned because the weather looked a little sketchey.  So we just did a bunch of sport routes right above town.  Man, it would be incredible to have that kind of climbing 5 minutes from your doorstep.
  • 14’er — On Wednesday, Rex, Stephen, and I summited Mt. Sneffels, one of Colorado’s 54 14,000 foot peaks.  Sneffels has got to be one of the most accessible 14’ers — if you have a 4×4 vehicle you can park at 12,200 feet, leaving only 1800 vertical feet of hiking.  We parked at 11,500 feet to limit the damage to my rental car (yeah, sorry about that Hertz).  We had perfect weather and it was awesome to see my brothers-in-law tick their first 14’er — although a little slip on the descent nearly made it Stephen’s last.  This hike felt surprisingly easy to me, which made me feel good about all of the training I’ve been doing at home.
  • Lone Survivor – This is a book by a Navy Seal whose 4 man unit was attacked by over 100 Taliban soldiers in Afganistan.  As the name implies, the author was the only one to make it out alive.  It’s a pretty incredible story of survival.  Megan and I used to read 7 to 10 books each during a week-long vacation, but I was lucky to finish one this time.
  • Twin Peaks — On our last day in Ouray, the guys snuck away in the afternoon to do this hike.  It starts right from town and ascends 3000 feet in just 2.4 miles.  I’ve done a lot of hiking (mostly to get to rock climbing routes) and this is probably the steepest, most sustained trail I’ve been on.  We made good time and summited in 2 hours.  I decided to run back back down and had a personal goal of being showered and relaxed on the couch before Rex and Stephen got back to the condo.  I made it with time to spare and when Stephen walked in I had my feet propped up on the table and was reading a magazine.  The look of disgust on his face was priceless.  Of course what he didn’t know is that my legs were wasted just like his.
  • Family — People make the trip and I really enjoyed hanging out with my three beautiful girls and the other two families that joined us on the trip.  You can’t choose your extended family, so I feel blessed to be related to Rex, Leslie, Laurel, and Stephen (and of course their 5 kids).

My only regret for this trip is that I wasn’t able to spend more time with Megan.  Between two young kids, a packed agenda, and my own selfish interests the two things that suffer are our sleep and our time together.  This is something I’ve got to work on.

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