July 16, 2007

More Visitors

After threatening for a few months, Jason and Kelly finally came to visit us from Seattle. They'll be here for a total of about 10 days, last weekend being the only weekend overlapping with their stay. As such, all the working members of our household took Friday off and we ventured to Buena Vista, Colorado for a weekend of rafting and car camping.

Prior to leaving on Friday morning, Ashley, Melanie, Jason and I went for a run on the trials behind our house. As all of us with the exception of Jason are training for a marathon, and this run was to fulfill the training requirements of a weekend long run, we ended up running about 14 miles on a very hilly trail. Miraculously, Jason completed the entire run with us after traveling to Boulder from sea level. He claims he's never run farther than 5 miles at once in his life, but I'm not sure I believe him.

After the run it was into the car and off to the Arkansas River near Buena Vista. We made it in time to run the "Numbers" section of the Arkansas, which included 7 cleverly named rapids over a 5 mile stretch of water: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. With Keith as our guide, we styled the Class 4 run without mishap. That night we drove around for about 2 hours looking for an unclaimed campsite, only to end up camping at the takeout of the "Numbers" section, where we began our search 2 hours earlier.

The following day we rafted the ever-so-popular stretch of the Arkansas known as Brown's Canyon. With Keith guiding, this stretch would have been pretty mundane and boring. However, he handed me the guide stick for most of the way down and I got to practice running into rocks in a consequence free environment . . . okay, so there was the consequence of embarrassment in front of all the other rafters. I slowly figured out what to do with Keith giving occasional pointers and had a great time learning how to maneuver a raft. The beer we brought with us came in handy every time we got stuck on a rock.

For a variety of reasons, the group was wanting to lie low on Sunday before driving home. I, on the other hand, thought it silly to be camping at the base of so many of Colorado's 14ers without hiking to the top of one. I woke up at 4 am, drove to the trialhead, hiked up Mt. Yale, and met everyone else in Buena Vista just before 10 am. The hike up was on the Colorado Trail for 3.2 miles before gaining a 2.2 mile long ridge leading to the summit. Perhaps the best part was when I saw a doe and two spotted fawns while driving to the trailhead.

Overall, it was a fantastic weekend in the presence of superb company.

1 comment:

Ian said...

Paddle captaining the drunk boat can be a little difficult some times.