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Hard Core; Elevation Fatigue; Stinky? New Buds; Exploding Catsup; “Minnow? What Minnow?”

As many of our readers know, Suzanne and I both like to run. I might even suggest that we are pretty “hard core” runners for our ages. We were walking on the Blue River Trail today in Silverthorne, Colorado, when we were passed by a young man who really fits that appellation. He was running barefoot. Like, with no shoes. Okay, admittedly this was a pretty smooth paved path, at least at the point we saw him; but it is still unusual to see a young guy running sans shoes… there is actually a renaissance in barefoot running occurring these days, especially among twenty-somethings in California, Washington State, and Colorado, but I have not caught the bug. 

Speaking of physical exertion at altitude, My Lovely Bride has been affected by the 9,000 plus foot elevation here in the Rockies more than I have. She has felt more fatigued after workouts since we left the Denver area, which is at a mere one mile (5,280 ft.) elevation. While giving a reading by Skype this morning, she could not tell if the fact that she was suddenly having difficulty breathing was a symptom of the person she was tuning in to or the lack of oxygen in her own system.  We were talking to a lady my age today who hooks up to bottled oxygen at night to reduce the load on her heart and increase the oxygen levels in her blood, even after living in the mountains for over 30 years, and she swears that half of her friends do the same and that it helps.

While on our walk, we noticed numerous houses in the upscale Silverthorne area with logs incorporated into their design. This house was one example, and we remarked how lovely a view the owners had of the mountains from their deck. 

In this same development, we noticed a sign for two local “Adopt-a-Trail” supporters. I’m sure Karen is a lovely person, but you have to suspect her good judgment in marrying a guy nicknamed “Stinky”… he might be a terrific guy, but would you want to make a trans-Atlantic flight with him sitting in the seat next to you?  

This particular trail, which runs along the Blue River, was subsidized by proceeds from the Colorado Lottery. It is well-maintained, and has dozens of benches strategically placed along this lovely stream for resting, meditation and reflecting about the Mysteries of Life. This young hiker is making good use of one bench… but what is she thinking about???? (Her deranged husband, perhaps?)  

I am not knowledgeable about horticultural or floral subjects, but I did note today that Spring has yet to come to the alpine areas we are now visiting. There is still a lot of snow above 9,000 feet, and trees are mostly leafless, except for the evergreens, of course. 

Along the Blue River, these were some of the few buds making their appearance. Regrettably, I cannot identify the bushes they belong to. Is there a botanist in the house?

I have always admired log fences, and this one caught my eye. What a backdrop!  

One of the funny events related to the altitude here happened today when Suzanne was making lunch. She had made hamburgers, and when she opened the catsup bottle, a spray of red burst out of the top of the bottle. It was a bit of a mess, but fortunately she didn’t make a direct hit on Your Faithful Correspondent.

As of Tuesday afternoon, we have moved west on I-70/US-6, past beautiful (and pricey) Vail, Eagle and No Name, Colorado, to a lower elevation (around 6,000 feet) in the town of Glenwood Springs (where Suzanne can breathe again). In talking to one of the local residents, we learned that we are near Storm King Mountain, where 14 firefighters lost their lives in July, 1994 when a forest fire exploded in high winds and tinder-dry conditions. It is still brisk here, but whereas last night’s temperature dropped to 33F, we are only expecting a mild 39F tonight. Here is Suzanne in her ski parka with the puppies on our last walk of the day, with scenic Red Mountain in the background. 

In closing, I have to acknowledge one of our Minnesnowtan readers, Terri of the Frozen North, who commented on my recent fishing success. Terri wrote, “Congratulations on that minnow… um… “fish”… that you caught! Hopefully that’ll start a lucky streak for you, and by the time you come to Minnesota (note the correct spelling on that) you can catch some real fish. Oops, sorry… I mean some BIGger fish!” Terri, Terri, Terri… you do not cast aspersions upon the Blogmeister and escape unscathed. Every real fisherman knows that rainbow trout are one of the most challenging fish on the planet, and indescribably tasty to boot. 12-14 inch rainbows are considered the tastiest. This is one case where size does not matter. 

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