2011 RUNNING & TRAVEL ADVENTURES

 

   
 
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   BEATIN' THE HEAT AT 10,200 FEET
(photos from Turquoise Lake)

THURSDAY, AUGUST 4

 
"In every walk with nature one receives far more than he seeks."
~ John Muir
 
 

I found the perfect antidote to stress this morning -- a six mile hike with Cody in cool sunny weather along the shore of beautiful Turquoise Lake.

Ahhh . . .


Mts. Elbert (L) and Massive, the two highest peaks in Colorado, are reflected in Turquoise Lake.

Just looking at that peaceful scene calms my mind and soul.

This walk really rejuvenated me. Iíve been bummed out lately with all the *stuff* that seems to go wrong and it was good to get out on such a pretty trail -- part of the LT100 foot race course -- and feel ďcleansedĒ by the lake, mountains, trees, and flowers.


Daisies by the lake

It was sunny, breezy, and in the 50s F., great weather for a brisk hike and a nice contrast to the heat we've been living with the past month.


I know the trails on this side of Mt. Elbert pretty well by now.

I took lots of pictures at the lake, some of which I'll show in this entry, and visualized hiking up both Mt. Elbert and Mt. Massive in a week or two; I need to acclimate to the altitude better first, though. 

CHILLIN' OUT

We're happy to be back in a cooler area again in the temperature range I call the "Dandelion Time Warp" -- mid-40s to low or mid-70s F., temperatures that dandelions like.

You could call it eternal spring.

At 10,200 feet elevation in Leadville, however, we might be lucky to get up to 70 F. Temperatures often top out only in the 60s here in August, and sometimes not even that. (Imagine what it's like in the winter!!)


Early morning sunlight on "Cody's Cove," the first spot where we let him get into the water on this trail.


Looking back over "Cody's Cove" to the dam and Mt. Massive; note the snow on the mountain.

It was 47 F. when I got up at 6 AM. We had one electric space heater on part of the night. We haven't needed to turn on heat overnight for several weeks.

It was mostly sunny in the morning, then quite cloudy by noon. Some light rain fell in town during the afternoon and the high was only about 60 F.

From the Mineral Belt Trail loop around town it looked like quite a bit of rain fell near Hope Pass and on Elbert, Massive, and Sherman peaks:  


This is what Mts. Elbert (L) and Massive looked like after lunch today when I was out on my bike.

We knew there was good chance of rain this afternoon -- every afternoon, this time of year -- so Jim and I got out to do our main exercise in the morning.

LAKE EFFECT = SOOTHING

I drove out to Turquoise Lake with Cody and parked near the dam, then hiked around the southeast side of the lake past the Tabor boat ramp and back for a total of six miles.

This part of the trail goes by two boat ramps. Here's the first one:

 


Some folks don't *need* boat ramps.

There are lots of people camped within sight of the trail and many of them were down by the lake fishing, boating, and playing in the water.

I saw about fifteen people on the trail itself, including four cyclists going slowly.


Two boys fishing


Mom and kids


More folks in a boat (dwarfed by this huge boulder)

As you can see in  these photos there are wonderful views of the mountains to the north, west, and south from the lake trail.

The mountains have more snow on them than usual, which is common up and down the Rockies this summer after the heavy winter and spring snowfall.

The flowers are more prolific and the lake is the highest Iíve seen it in several years. Itís not right up to the trail where I saw it ten or eleven years ago when I first started coming here for the race, but itís definitely higher than in recent years.

Apparently this part of Colorado is getting enough rain.

MINERAL BELT

While I was enjoying my lakeside hike (and swim, for Cody), Jim was having just as much fun riding his bike on the paved Mineral Belt Trail loop and streets in Leadville. He called me from the high point to say he could ďseeĒ me down at the lake!

When I commented on all the flowers this year, he said there were lots of them on the bike/hike path also.

 

Jim had so much fun on the Mineral Belt Trail that I decided to go for a bike ride after lunch.

My intention was to do an out-and-back in case it started raining. I didnít feel any rain until five miles, so I turned around then. It was faster coming back that way than continuing on another seven-plus miles to do a complete loop. It only sprinkled less than a minute but the sky was pretty dark over the mountains to the west and south.

I enjoyed my ride and took more pictures (imagine that!). I'll show them in another entry after I've ridden the Mineral Belt Trail a few more times.

THE LEANING WALL 

When Jim got back from his ride he emptied out the large camper basement (one of three basement areas in the Cameo) and started working on the wall that became detached next to the water tank yesterday.

I showed a photo of the problem in the last entry and this is what it looks like now:

Jim detached the thinner inside board that is covered with carpet so he can study the construction better. (That little 1x2 is just an extra piece of wood he has.)

There is a pretty sturdy piece of plywood next to the tank. Jim doesn't know whether to add another stronger piece on the inside of the wall "sandwich," add a 1x2 on the floor as a brace, and/or just put more screws in the wall thatís already there. It was screwed at the top and bottom; the bottom came loose.

We discovered that it is hard to push/hammer the wall back where it belongs, even with the thinner wall removed, the water tank empty, and both of us pushing on the remaining piece of plywood and four cross pieces. The vertical space is just too tight. We got it back to within an inch or two of where it belongs but Jim may have to pull it out again to finish the project. This is a work in progress.

 

Jim has written to one of the Carriage internet forums to see if any other owners have done their own repairs on the wall. One of his questions is whether it would be risky to use a jack to raise the aluminum floor joists so he can get the wall perfectly vertical again. He doesn't want to compromise the integrity of the frame or joists.

He'll probably call someone at the Carriage factory again tomorrow and see what solution they suggest for an owner fix and ask about the best way to get the wall vertical again.

Iíd also like to get a sturdier tank if they make one, and have Carriage or Fox RV strengthen the supporting wall like it should have been done in the first place. The earliest we can do that is in the fall on our way back East. The good thing is that Carriage admits this is a design flaw and they will pay for it.

THERE'S OUR BUDDY BILL!

In the afternoon our ultra running friend Bill Heldenbrand came over for a couple of hours and we caught up on each other's news. One of the best things about hanging out in Leadville before the LT100 is seeing friends who run the race. Like Hardrock, runners who have the time come out for at least a couple weeks to acclimate to the altitude.

Bill got to Leadville before we did so he could train on the race course for several weeks. He's signed up for the Grand Slam this summer; LT100 is the third of four races in the series. He finished Western States in June and Vermont in July. Wasatch is in September.

Two down, two to go!


These two sections of trail (above and below) are on the LT100 Run course.


Trail between the Tabor boat ramp and Mayqueen

After supper Jim drove around Turquoise Lake in the truck to see if he wants to ride his bike on that road tomorrow. He was discouraged when he got back because itís pretty hilly. He might be able to do parts of it until he works up to doing all of it.

He also plans to investigate the route on the southeast side of the lake that is used in the LT100 bike race. Some of that is on dirt roads and we aren't exactly sure where it goes.

It's been a good, mostly relaxing day. We're glad to be back in Leadville.

Now, I think I'll go turn the heater on again . . . it's chilly here this evening!  <wink>

Next entryhiking a section of Colorado Trail Segment 10 (part of it is on the LT100 Run course)

Happy trails,

Sue
"Runtrails & Company" - Sue Norwood, Jim O'Neil, and Cody the Ultra Lab

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© 2011 Sue Norwood and Jim O'Neil

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