Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Downhill Again

Armed with a trail map and old sneakers, Mr. Palindrome and I put the wuss in wussy by riding the Gondola to the top of Mt. Werner.
I was sore and somewhat tired after full days taking in the rodeo and tubing down the Yampa River.  While there were times that I was less than thrilled to be in a tube on the river - like when I was flipped out of my tube, when I jammed my ankle on a river boulder, when I flipped out of my tube the second time, or when my my neck got a crick in it because the tubes were so small - the scenery and Mr. Palindrome's company were well worth the 2 hour ride. 

So we didn't hike up Mt. Werner.  We hiked down.  Ridiculously, the hike still whooped us.  I'm blaming it on the altitude. 
Me: Honey, go point at the sign of the trail where we got engaged!
Mr. Palindrome: Do I have to?
Me: J-bear, it's for the blog!
Mr. Palindrome: Ok, fine. 
Mr. Palindrome: Are you done yet?
(Note: He's pointing to the trail, "Why Not" - insert ironic marriage joke here)
Mr. Palindrome and I aren't, how shall we say, outdoorsy people.  There's this episode of Monk where Tony Shaloub's character is holding his hands out, asking for a wipe, and Sharona asks what he's touched.  "Nature!" he cries.  I didn't bring handi-wipes, but there ended up being a fearful moment when I thought that my lunch was going to catch up with me.  A wipe would have been very handy.  Very handy indeed.
Despite our lack of oneness with nature, we both remarked several times how enjoyable it was hiking and observing the natural beauty of the mountain.  We particularly liked observing the seasonal differences between ski season and hiking season.

There's a reason why I freeze up and don't want to ski down some hills.  Even with soft, fluffy looking vegetation, that slope is steep!
We contended with several elements of nature on our hike.  Altitude, the call of nature, intense UV rays, and even a trail blocking felled tree.

I also took full advantage of the cloudy skies and tried to run my new DSLR through the paces.  It might have run me through the paces, but I'm fairly happy with some of the results.  While my manual lenses from my film SLR are compatible with my DSLR, I lose all of the function tied to the automatic lenses (including limited light metering and auto-focus).  After playing with it over several days, I think my next camera investment will be a new lens.

These ginormous dandelions blew my mind.  I saw them all over when we did the Kitchen and Garden tour, so I couldn't resist a childish wish when the opportunity arose.

Are you an outdoorsy person?  Would you have hiked up, done a jig, then hiked back down? Where are some of your other favorite hikes in the West?


  1. I love the "why not" trail - that is awesome. I also love the recap of West pictures.

    I normally ban the word 'hike'; 'walk' is so much less stressful a word, and I am about as outdoorsy as Monk! But we went camping AND hiking over the weekend, and I survived. But you always bring wipes. I may have overpacked, having brought a first aid kit, TP, purell, energy bars, a fleece, sunscreen, bug spray, and about a million other things - but I was prepared like no one else, and it was totally worth it.

  2. Those giant dandelions are awesome! The Mister and I definitely aren't outdoors people, should be interesting on our safari honeymoon next month!

  3. The Mr. is outdoorsy to a point. He likes to hike but can't do the camping thing for more than one night. I am not outdoorsy, or should I say thatI like my outdoors to be beaches? We are going to the Grand Canyon later this year (but staying in a hotel), so I guess that will be my next test of my limits.

  4. @ Emily - Energy bars! That would have been brilliant. I'm also considering a camel back . . . lol.

    @Big Apple - gah! Africa - so cool. Can't wait to hear all about it.

    @Terri - yes . . . we'd be hotel partial ourselves :)