Thursday, December 18, 2008

Eight-Eight?

Happy Birthday Carter!!! Since I know you love NASCAR, I was hoping to get the driver of the number 8 car to stop by and celebrate your birthday with me. Unfortunately, the driver of the number 8 car was not available. I had to settle for the driver of the number 88 car. I hope that is all right. Hopefully two eights will be better than one. Here is a picture of him in my kitchen.

















I wanted to take him out to your birthday sign by the creek. The sign should be up. But I didn’t think my knee was up to the walk. So I wasn’t able to see the sign this year.

I hope you are having a wonderful Birthday,
-Uncle Mighty Mike

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Getting Better

If you don't know, I had my knee scoped last Monday. I'm able to get around and take care of things with just a slight limp now. It feels better each day. I would like to thank Pops for staying the week out here with me. It was good to have him around despite him complaining about being really cold all week when the temps were not that bad. Well he got out of town just in time. It really is cold now. It is currently -15° F at DIA. Based on the reports I'm seeing, the temperature is probably in the 0° to -2° range currently at my place. While it is not as cold as the airport, it is cold enough.

I didn't take any pictures of my knee right after the surgery. The swelling has gone down but is still visible. Here is a picture of what it looks like today.


As cold as it is today, the bandages should not melt.





Thanks for the get well wishes. I'm getting better. No Worries.

-MM

Sunday, December 07, 2008

108

My number one fan is out here for a week. Pops flew in Saturday. We went driving around the mountains today.


Pops climbing around at an overlook at Juniper Pass near Mt. Evans




I even got him to go on a short hike. We hiked up Mt. Falcon at an elevation of 7,851 feet.




This is the results of the drive and hike.

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Out In The Cold

Colorado got a lot of snow this weekend. I hear Loveland Ski Area got 43.5" over the past 3 days. It snowed Friday night and Sunday at my place. There maybe 6 inches of snow on the ground locally. It is a wet snow, which is good for snowballs. Too bad Carter is not around; I could throw snowballs at him. Here are a couple of pictures of the snow on Sunday.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

In Reverse

Happy Thanksgiving! I had a laid back Thanksgiving. No ski trip this year for multiple reasons. Even without those reasons, I doubt there would have been a ski trip. The snow conditions are not that good this time of the year at least from the standpoint of someone who lives here. Anyway, this year I brought back the old Thanksgiving tradition of climbing a mountain and eating a sandwich on top. I climbed the Brother. It is an easy hike near Evergreen. I did this hike with the family this past summer. To make the hike a little different, I did the hike in reverse and hiked by the Sisters before climbing the Brother. It was a bit chillier this time around as well. It was about 32° F and overcast. A front has come through bringing cooler temperatures.




Me and a sandwich







Happy Thanksgiving,

-MM

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

With My Own Two Hands

I attended the US v Guatemala game tonight with my buddy Mark and some of his friends. The US won 2-0 with goals from Kenny Cooper and Freddy Adu. We had seats in the front row behind the Gatorade next to the US Bench. It was quite fun being down that low. Mark had fun giving Guatemala’s fans the business. We had a loud group a few rows back from us. Overall, the crowd was disappointing turnout. All things considered, the game was mid-week and meaningless to the US. There was absolutely no advertising for the game. The tickets were the most expensive of the three home games this round. I’m not sure why, they had to expect this game would be meaningless. I hope US Soccer Federation considers all of this when thinking about future games. Anyway I had fun at the game. I even got my hands on the game ball. The ball bounced my way about a minute before the half, and I caught it.

As for the game, I think the US did well. Guatemala did not offer much. I was surprised; I figured they would go all out since they had to win. They sat back more then I thought they would. The US defense was never really tested until late in the game after it was already decided. US soccer fans got their wish of having Altidore, Cooper, and Adu in the line-up. They did well after settling down after some bad touches early on. Altidore assisted on Cooper's goal. Adu nailed a free kick. He did have quite a few poor dead ball kicks before that though. I thought Adu looked dangerous overall in the run of play. Overall, I was happy with the team's play considering that it was a mix of the "C-Team" with "A-Team" hopefuls.

I attended the American Outlaws Tailgate Party before the game. It was cool. Nowhere near as big as the one in D.C. It was still a good atmosphere. Free Beer and Food. I got to meet Captain America, Abe Lincoln, Neil Armstrong, Rocky Balboa, and Paul Revere. They are from Pennsylvania. They were the same guys we saw in D.C. last month. Here are some pictures from the tailgate and game.




Neil Armstrong plays soccer

video





Warm-Ups





Brian Ching and Conor Casey getting ready to go into the game.




Cooper, Adu, & Altidore on the bench after getting the job done.

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Smile

Greetings all. Not much in the way of new adventures to report this weekend. However, out of the blue, my favorite nephew sent me a picture in the mail. He shared his picture with me, so I decided I would share it with the rest of the world.













Thanks Carter! It put a smile on my face.

-U.M.M.

Sunday, November 02, 2008

Breakdown

It has been a rough couple of weekends for my sports teams. Last weekend the Rapids were kept out of the playoffs by a 90th minute goal by Real Salt Lake. That was a heartbreaking event that I attended. And of course this weekends event, which I’m sure more people are aware of, my Bulldogs were nothing more than pure swamp lizard food. Just about everything that could go wrong, went wrong. I’ll leave it at that because I don’t want to make this an “R” rated blog. Thank goodness, I was able to find solace in the mountains.


Idaho Springs Reservoir: View towards Mt. Evans, & Mt. Spalding.















I can’t say I really wanted to post anything today, but I figured I better let people know I hadn’t jumped off a cliff after Saturday.

-MM

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Repeat

I stuck close to home this weekend. I guess I didn't feel like traveling far after going to D.C. last weekend. I ended up going back to Roxborough State Park and climbed Carpenter Peak. I did this hike two years ago. It doesn't feel like I have been out here that long. I did enhance the repeat hike a little bit. I took a side trail (South Rim Trail) that looped back into the main trail. It was scenic speed bump. Anyway here is a picture from the hike.













After getting excited about the Rapids (soccer) in September, they have fallen apart again in October. However, they have gotten back into the playoff race today by beating Chivas USA on the road. One game left. If they win, they are in the playoffs. If they lose or tie, they are off till March.

Go Rapids!

-MM

Monday, October 13, 2008

Screaming Eagles

This past weekend was an extended weekend for myself. I took Thursday and Friday off from work and went to Washington, D.C. Thursday was basically a travel day. On Friday, I met Carter and my real brother at the Washington Zoo. We saw lions, tigers, and bears. And climbing orangutans too. After lunch, Carter and my brother went back to Maryland where they were staying, while I went to the National Museum of Natural History. The first exhibit I wandered into was the mammal’s exhibit. This wasn’t very exciting, I had already seen a bunch of mammals this morning, and they were alive. I got worried that this museum would not be any good, but I soon found fossils and other cool stuff. The museum was well worth the visit.





Teeth









Bones







After spending several hours at the Natural History Museum, I went wandering around the National Mall taking photos. I worked my way up to the Capitol and then turned around walked to the World War II Memorial, which is between the Lincoln Memorial and the Washington Monument.




Thick Traffic in front of the Capitol








Washington Monument







Lincoln Memorial from the World War II Memorial





Saturday started out by meeting up with several crazies from North Carolina at my hotel. We then went to World War II Memorial where we met up with Jim, Stacy, Carter, and Cara. We all took in a world wind tour of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, Lincoln Memorial, Korean War Veterans Memorial, Thomas Jefferson Memorial, and the F.D.R. Memorial.







Carter and Cara at the Lincoln Memorial







Korean War Veterans Memorial









Washington Monument and the White House from the Thomas Jefferson Memorial







Stacy and the kids went back to Maryland after all of that. The rest of us visited the outside of the Washington Monument and White House. We then went to the National Air and Space Museum and did a quick tour of some of the exhibits.




Me with the North Carolina Crazies





After some goofing off in the National Mall in front of the Capital, we worked our way to RFK Stadium. We were going to a tailgate party for that US National Team soccer game versus Cuba that evening. All you can eat and drink for $8. They even had good beer for back east too. The Screaming Eagles put on the tailgate party, which is the supporters group for DC United. The Rapids supporter's group needs to learn a thing or two from them. Here is a set of photos of the tailgate party by the Screaming Eagles. This photo and this photo in their set will have some interest for some.




American Outlaws







Next up was the game. Carter and Stacy rejoined us for the game. The U.S. took care of business for the most part. They won 6-1. Landon Donovan scored to the delight of Carter. Jozy Altidore, Freddy Adu, and José Torres got into the game to the delight of the U.S. Supporters. It was nice to see new blood get into the game. Best of all, the U.S. have qualified for the next round of qualification with two games to spare.




Game Time!






Sunday was spent traveling back to Colorado and then crashing on the couch watching Georgia football on tape and the Rapids in the evening. I was too tired to do anything else. Busy weekend and 6:30 A.M. flight can wear you out. I will put up some more photos on one of my bonus picture sites at a later date. I got a few good shots. I need to decide what I want to put up.

Cheers,

-MM

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Turn Of The Century

Ouch! My Bulldogs got whooped Saturday night. I was worried about the mistakes they had been making. I knew they wouldn’t be able to get away with it if Alabama was on top of their game. And of course, Alabama was ready and then some. I did like the Dawgs spirit in the 2nd half. At least that was positive. With a few more weekends of upsets, the Dawgs can get back in it with their schedule if they fix their mistakes. They still control their own destiny in the SEC. So I’m hoping for a rematch in the SEC championship game. But that is a long ways away.

The Rapids gave me solace after the Dawgs game. The replay of the Rapids game started right after the Dawgs game so I was able to watch it without knowing the score. The Rapids beat New York on the road 5-4. Wild game, there were 7 goals in the first half. Looks like the Rapids new coach has gotten thing sorted out. They are 3-0-1 in their last 4 games.

On Sunday, I hiked off my football frustrations. I climbed another 14er. This time it was Mt. Sherman, which has an elevation of 14,036 Ft. Mt. Sherman is located between Fairplay and Leadville. I got on the trail at about 8:00 A.M. The trail starting out is a 4-wheel drive road. If I had a high clearance vehicle, I could have driven to a trailhead further up the mountain. As it was, I estimate my hike to the top was only about 3.5 miles. The trail passes lots of old mines. I reached the top at about 10:00 A.M. I actually had it to myself for about 10 minutes. There were not that many people hiking this 14er compared to the other 14ers I’ve done. It is an easy hike for a 14er as well.
Mt. Sherman is straight ahead. Hilltop Mine is on the left.
The ridge that leads to the top of Mt. Sherman
Me on top of Mt. Sherman
Mt. Elbert is visible to the right of me and the yellow trees. Mt. Massive is on the right. It is in the shadows of the clouds.
View of Mt. Democrat, Mt. Cameron, Mt. Bross, Mt. Lincoln, Torreys Peak, Grays Peak, and possibly Quandary Peak
View towards Leadville and Mt. Massive
One of the buildings at Hilltop Mine
Some fall color along Fourmile Road, which is at least 11 miles long.
There is a Wow factor to the fall color in the South Park and Kenosha Pass area. I went through Kenosha Pass at about 1:00 P.M. on the way back, and there were cars parked everywhere. People were checking out the colors. It was pretty spectacular there. Too many people for me though.

By the way, this is my 100th post. Cheers,

-MM

Monday, September 22, 2008

Volume 3

Last Saturday was my 2-year anniversary of becoming a Colorado resident. I spent it by knocking off a 14er and watching football. In the morning I drove up to Guanella Pass and hiked up Mt. Bierstadt. The weather was perfect. There was snow on the ground, but it wasn’t that cold for the elevation. The day was sunny, and there was no wind. I was in short sleeves on the way down. Guanella Pass has an elevation of 11,669 feet, and Mt. Bierstadt is at an elevation of 14,060 feet. It is 3 miles up, and the first mile is easy. The hike felt longer, but it was ridiculously easier than Longs Peak. There were quite a few people going up. I got to the summit a little after 10:00 A.M. The top has a great view of Mt. Evans and surrounding area. Here are the pictures from the hike.
Mt. Bierstadt in the morning

Looking back towards Guenella Pass
The slopes of Mt. Bierstadt

Mt. Evans & Abyss Lake from Mt. Bierstadt
Me on Mt. Bierstadt with Mt. Evans behind me
Artsy shot to the southeast from the slopes of Mt. Bierstadt
The Sawtooth - the ridge that connects Mt. Bierstadt to Mt. Evans.
The evening was spent watching the Bulldogs and the Rapids. The Bulldogs got the job done, but they will need to play a lot better this coming Saturday when Alabama comes to Athens. The Rapids tied the Revolution. The Rapids would be in the playoffs if the season ended today. It doesn’t, but they are back in contention so I happy about that. I also watched a little bit of the Noles game. Sorry Pops, Wake Forest is a little better than the Noles previous opponents.

I see that the Dolphins won a game on Sunday. I’m thrilled that they didn’t wait till the end of the season like last year. Anyway, volume three of life in Colorado is off to a good start. I’m looking forward to what’s to come.

-MM

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Fire

On Saturday morning, I went for hike on Green Mountain in Lakewood. The mountain is about 10 minutes from my place. I've been there before. There was a fire on the northeast side of Green Mountain during the first week of August. I hiked past the edge of the burn area at the top of the mountain. The Burn smell is still there, but the new growth has taken a hold already. It is actually green in the burn area. The mountain is usually only green in the spring.


The burn area on Green Mountain near the top.





After the hike it was college football time. I watched my Bulldogs beat South Carolina 14-7. After the game, I was watching ESPN and their so-called analysts were shocked that the game was close. The Georgia-South Carolina game is almost always close and low scoring. South Carolina won last year. I guess ESPN didn't get the memo. I knew it was going to be close, and I am quite happy with the win.

On Sunday, I went to the Colorado Rapids soccer game vs. the Chicago Fire. Former US National team star Brian McBride plays for the Fire now. It was cool getting to see him play. Former Mexican National team star Cuauhtemoc Blanco also plays for the Fire. There were quite a few Mexican fans to see him. Overall the crowd was disappointing. The Broncos and Rockies were in town and playing at the same time. I guess they took away some of the fans. It looked like there were quite a few no-shows. The good news is the Rapids won 2-0. They are a tiebreaker out of a playoff spot now. A couple of weeks ago they were dead last in the league.



Brian McBride (Fire) and Cory Gibbs (Rapids)

Monday, September 01, 2008

Rain

Ah, Labor Day Weekend and the start of College Football. I watched my Bulldogs Saturday morning. It went about as expected for a first game. Unfortunately, they lost one of their starting defensive linemen for the season due to a knee injury. After the game I went down to Pagosa Springs to try and find Flat Feet. Flat Feet is hiking a section of the Continental Divide Trail from Grand Lake, CO to Grants, NM. I hiked with him back in July when he was starting out. I found out where Flat Feet was staying in Pagosa Springs and met him there.

Sunday morning I took Flat Feet and another hiker to the trailhead at Wolf Creek Pass. I hiked with them out of Wolf Creek Pass. The trail out the pass was well maintained and wasn't too steep. However, the weather was not cooperating. It was raining off and on. It was an all day rain instead of the usual afternoon showers. It seems like every time I go to Wolf Creek Pass, it rains. Once we got about 3.5 to 4 miles in, the trail became less obvious. We hit a stretch for a mile to a mile and half where we were not sure where the trail was. However, we were sure that we were in the area of the trail. We eventually found the trail again. The rest of the day was spent walking around blow downs in the rain. We only did about 8-10 miles. We got a late start. It also didn't help that we had to wander around looking for the trail. I spent the rest of the day in my tent while it rained.


Flat Feet hiking along the Continental Divide Trail above the Wolf Creek Ski Area.



On Monday morning, I packed up a wet tent, left Flat Feet, and went back to my car. It was not raining when I packed up, although the trees were raining with the wind. The mountains were in the clouds still, and there was the occasional misty rain shower. I took a shortcut on the way back that followed some old roads to the Wolf Creek Ski Area. I then had to do a 1/2-mile walk up the highway to my car. It was worth it. My feet were soaked and ready to get out of the boots. It wasn't the greatest of hikes, but that’s how it goes sometimes...

-MM

Sunday, August 24, 2008

Walk To The Water

I went for a hike this weekend. I know, that is no big surprise. However, it has been over two and half weeks since my last hike. That is a long non-hiking stretch for me especially considering that I don’t have any injuries at the moment to slow me down. I went the Arapaho Lakes in the James Peak Wilderness. The trailhead is at the East Portal for the Moffat Tunnel. I’ve been to that trailhead several times. I actually attempted this hike last November, but I had to call an audible due to the snow. I made it to the lakes this time. The hike was steeper than I expected. I was wishing I hadn’t taken two and half weeks off from hiking. The effort was worth it though. Here are some pictures of the Arapaho Lakes.





One of the Arapaho Lakes with the Continental Divide behind it










Me and one of the Arapaho Lakes.









The Arapho Lakes









Same lakes, different view

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Epilogue

I have finally gotten around to posting the fifth and final post of a two-week vacation I took with my family. I blogged my self-out with the four previous posts. The Longs Peak hike was definitely the climax of the vacation for me. A couple of people have wanted to know if I would hike Longs Peak again. Immediately after the hike my answer would probably have been no. But now after reflection, I would say it is possible. It would have to be a situation where somebody asked me to go up with them. I don't see myself as the person who would initiate another hike up Longs. There are too many other mountains in Colorado that I have not climbed yet.

Tuesday, August the 5th was an easy day. The whole family went to Bear Lake. We did the half-mile trail around the lake. I think that was the slowest half-mile that I have ever walked. We then hiked to Nymph Lake. The rest of the day was hanging out at the Inn if I remember right.





Bear Lake









Fire weed, Bear Lake, & Longs Peak











Carter and his squirrel at Nymph Lake









On Wednesday, August the 6th we went Sprague Lake. Everybody did the short hike around the lake. Afterwards we went Hidden Valley Picnic Area so that Carter and Cara could watch the ground squirrels perform again. The afternoon was spent eating and beer tasting. That evening it looked like there may be a dusting of snow on Longs Peak.




Sprague Lake













Where's my "other" brother?













Everybody






The next day Jim, Stacy, Carter, and Cara flew home. I got up early and took them to the airport. I went home after that. My parents made it to my place by mid-afternoon on Thursday. We went for a drive on Friday. We went up Fall River Road. Then we drove over to Breckinridge and drove over Boreas Pass. My parents took off on Saturday. Since then, I've mainly been sitting around not doing too much. I've watched a bit of the Olympics. Usually the morning soccer and whatever I can stay up for at night. NBC wants me to feel like I live on the East Coast again. They don't show the coverage Live even though it still says it is live. They delay the coverage an hour. One of Michael Phelps races got spoiled because of that. I have written NBC saying that they should continue using this logic and delay Sunday Night Football in the West as well. I haven't heard back from them. This weekend was a wash in Denver. It rained all day Friday and Saturday. It was more rain then the three previous months combined. There were reports of snow in the mountains above 10,000 feet. I am not sure how much. I didn't make to the mountains this weekend.

That's all for now. Until next time,

MM