Thursday, October 29, 2009

Let It Snow (Part Deux)

It's almost 6:00 P.M. on Thursday, and it is still snowing. It has been a light snow all day. It should stop soon. I measured the snow depth at 15 inches near the spot that I measured yesterday. It looks like it might be a few inches deeper in other spots near by. I found a drift that was 2 feet deep. The roads look to be in good shape in my neighborhood. Anyway, I thought I would give another update of the storm. It is a big storm for October. It should melt quick though. 50 degree weather is expected by Saturday, plus it should be in the 60's next week. Here are a couple of pictures from today.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Let It Snow

I wasn't planning on doing a post this week, but Denver is getting a pretty good snowstorm this week. The previous snows this month have been glorified rain, but not this one. The rain switched to snow at about 9:00 P.M. last night (Tuesday). It is a little after 3:00 P.M. on Wednesday, and it is still snowing. It is not supposed to stop until Thursday afternoon. I will need a yard stick to measure snow tomorrow. I got a foot of snow at my place now.

Looking out the back of my apt. this morning

My car around 3 PM on Wed.

Out the back of my apt around 3 PM on Wed.

Ruler in the snow

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Already Gone

Charles is on his way home now. It has been fun to have him out here all week. From the great tunes of WPA, to the hiking, and to all the beer stops. I also appreciate the beer he left in my refrigerator. Charles’ beer review on my blog yesterday was excellent. It should also be noted that we did not have Odell’s 90 Shilling at the brewery (we goofed there), so it didn’t make Charlie’s notes or write-up; however, it should be noted that he had 90 Shilling at my place and thought that it was a very good beer. As for his favorite styles, hopefully he’ll make a comment about that inquiry.

I didn’t take notes like Charles, so I don’t remember everything that I had. I generally liked or didn’t mind (there were exceptions) a lot of the beers that Charles liked. The IPA’s were usually the worst of the beers we sampled. I recommend Z Lager by The Fort Collins Brewery. Fat Tire has been a favorite of mine for a while. It was great having it only 10 minutes old at New Belgium. The tour of the New Belgium Brewery is a must. Reservations are recommended. While waiting for the tour to start, I had an Adam’s Ale (I think that was the name of it). It was very good; however, I don’t see it listed on their website. So I don’t know what their plans are for that beer. Odell Brewing Company has some good beers. 90 Shilling is still my favorite of theirs. I need to try the rest of their regular beers. I’ve been to Tommyknockers several times now. Maple Nut Brown has always been a favorite of mine. Ornery Amber Lager and Rye Porter rated well for me this time. I also recommend a stop at Walnut Brewery in downtown Boulder. My favorite of theirs was a specialty beer that unfortunately I can’t remember its name. Anyway, that is it for my beer ramblings.

As for having a new post every day as it has been this week, don’t expect it. This is a unique occurrence for this past week. I have no idea if that will ever happen again. As for now, I’m ready for a break in writing the blog. If you haven’t checked my blog in a while, I suggest clicking on some WPA tunes, then scroll down and enjoy the pictures from the recent barrage of posts.
<a href="">Always Have My Love by Works Progress Administration</a>

Here’s a video that was shot to try and show the wind on Colorado Mines Peak that we were dealing with yesterday. It is a lot worse than what the video shows.

Until next time, whenever that may be.


Friday, October 23, 2009


Today, we have a first for my blog. We have a guest blogger. Charles is doing the the write-up for today and a review of some the beers we've had this week. Pics at bottom. Enjoy...


I am privileged to spend time in this Rocky Mountain state and I thank Mike for this opportunity and his knowledge of the area. It is an honor to be his guest blogger today. We have hiked close to twenty miles this past six days, each one being different and exciting. I like the wide open spaces and the distant views when on top of a mountain. Today, only hiked a mile up Colorado Mines Peak starting at Berthoud Pass. Half way up is 12,000 feet, which is as far as we got. Just too windy, blowing snow, and temperatures likely in the 20’s. Not every enjoyable. Afterwards we went to Tommyknockers and tried their beer sampler.

While I did come out here to visit Mike and to do a little hiking - I took advantage and sampled many of the fine craft and micro beers. Mike and I sampled about sixty beers, taking notes about each ones’ brewing technique, ingredients, and flavors. Each sample was about four ounces. I admit to sampling some two
and even three times. It is these specifically (and a few others) that I would like to briefly describe.

First, some good tasting beers:
ODell Brewing - Town Pump Pale Ale 5.1% dry hopped, whole flower hops gives a fresh flower and an interesting middle taste. St. Lupulin 6.5% pale ale, dry hopped gives a medium hops flavor and a dry quick finish. Isolation Ale 6.5% their winter beer is very malty with a long finish, a little heavy. Strong Golden Ale 11.5% soft tannins and toffee like malts give scant aroma, reminds of cream sherry toffee at end, good sipping beers on a cold day, do not drink much.

Fort Collins Brewing - Z Lager 5.4% hops is dried over beach wood fire gives light maple smoke and a light sweetness of caramel. Chocolate Stout 5.4% this is not heavy, rather velvet smooth, chocolate is scant to none, a very slight smoke taste. Harvester Lager 5.3% gives mild hops, slight honey tones, a mild beer.

Left Hand Brewing - Sawtooth gives mild hops, clean. Jackmans Am Pale Ale 5.2% give flower taste, some lingering bitterness. Black Jack Porter 6.5% gives malty then chocolate taste, bittering late and only slight. Snowbound Ale uses cinnamon, ginger, orange zest, cardamom, cloves, honey giving smell mostly of cloves, long cinnamon taste at end, makes a good Christmas time beer.

Tommyknocker Brewing - Ornery Amber Lager has good hops balance, very drinkable routinely. Maple Nut Brown Ale has a light woody maple taste, quick finish, hints of caramel, maybe chocolate.

New Belgium Brewing - I leave this to you. I really enjoy their beers including Fat Tire, 1554, Abbey, Sunshine Wheat, 2 Below, and La Folie. Some, others may enjoy, but not myself include Trippel, Hoptober, and Mighty Arrow. Give them all a go, and follow your folly.

Walnut Brewery - No Notes for this brew pub; however, it has good beer, good food, and even better prices.

There are beers that I would be happy, and even thankful, to never taste again. ODell IPA Nitro 7.0% hops, hops, hops smell and taste, make you squint. India Barley Wine 9.7% smell of fruit, like rotten peaches, bitterness is mild. Fort Collins Kidd Lager 5.4% little bitter, smoke, like smoked fish. Left Hand -Expreso Milk Stout, smell coffee, taste coffee, not drinkable, sipable at most. These beers do have their place. They give and bring up aspects of brewing that can be used by us individually in forming our opinions and descriptions of beers. Also, by the brew masters, so they will -- every so often, create that one outstanding beer that we might enjoy tasting.

Now, I suggest that everyone go to the refrigerator, get a beer, and taste what is in that bottle -- enjoy! Once again, thank you Mike. Thanks everyone and remember to follow your folly whether it is beer, hiking, or -- heck, anything!


The climb up Colorado Mines Peak out of Berthoud Pass


Thursday, October 22, 2009

Left Hand

Today, we hiked Lily Mountain (9,786 ft.) The mountain is just outside of Rocky Mountain National Park near Estes Park. It is a four mile round trip hike. It is not particularly hard. There is a mild rock scramble at the top which leads to a spectacular 360 view. Longs Peak, the Keyhole, Andrews Glacier, Moraine Park, Estes Park, etc. are all visible from the top. The weather was nice and sunny.

Charles on the Lily Mtn Trail

Me on the Lily Mtn. Trail

Longs Peak

On top of Lily Mtn.

Zoom view of Longs Peak and the Keyhole

Zoom view of the Keyhole

View of Moraine Park

Charles on Lily Mtn.

After the hike, we drove to Longmont and visited Left Hand Brewing Company. We sampled their beer. There were some good brews and some bad brews.

Charles at Left Hand Brewing Company

After Left Hand, we went to Pumphouse Brewery and Restaurant. It is also in Longmont. We sampled some of their beers and had dinner. They were out of the beer that I really wanted to try. They had some ok stuff. It is worth another visit. As far as favorite beers from this week, stay tuned…

Sampling the brews at the Pumphouse

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

The Beerhunter

Charles in the wet snow in Lakewood

The weather changed from rain to snow this morning. No big deal to me. This was a pretty wimpy storm. It was more like rain. In fact, as we traveled north today, it was rain. With the weather being on the soggy side today, we went to Fort Collins to see what the town had to offer. The first stop was Odell Brewing Company. We sampled their fine brews and toured the brewery. The Odell Brewing Company is small, but they are expanding. Construction was in progress while we were there.

Odell Brewing Company

Life on Easy Street

First sample of the day.

Line them at Odell's

After lunch, we went to New Belgium Brewing Company, the home of Fat Tire. New Belgium is becoming a large brewery. We did the tour at New Belgium. It is an hour and a half tour. You get to sample beers along the way including Fat Tire that was only ten minutes old. It looks like a cool place to work. They got ping pong, foosball, volleyball, slides, etc. not to mention the beer. It was a very relaxed tour.

Going for a bike ride in Fort Collins

New Belgium tour stop

Fat Tire

The next stop was The Fort Collins Brewery. It is a very small brewery. I overheard that they are moving. They do need a bigger place. We sampled their beer there. They have some fine brews. After that, we called it a day. We got a place to stay in town and had dinner.

Outside The Fort Collins Brewery

Maybe I can drive this truck for a living

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Walnut Grove

Today, we hiked to Bear Peak (8,461 ft.) on Boulder Mountain. I had done this hike before. This time I did it without the snow and dangerous ice. It is a tough hike. I believe Charles got a good work out. Round trip is around 8 or 9 miles, and there is an elevation gain of about 3,000 feet. Pops, do think you could do this one:) The weather was pretty good at the start of the hike. Shortly after we got to the top of the peak, the clouds started rolling in. The temperature dropped a good bit. We didn’t stay on top too long because of that. After the hike, we enjoyed some fine brews at Walnut Brewery in downtown Boulder.

Charles with Boulder down below

Almost There

Look, the top of Bear Peak

On top of Bear Peak

Looking towards the Continental Divide

Going down Bear Peak

Monday, October 19, 2009

Close To The Edge

Today’s adventure took us to Roxborough State Park. In a strange coincidence, I was there exactly one year ago. We did a hike on the Fountain Valley Trail through the red rocks. We also did the South Rim Trail. The elevation was around 6,200 feet. It was an easy day. The weather was on the warm side. It was around 80 degrees.

Charles on the Fountain Valley Trail

The Finger

Lyons Overlook

Yellow tree

Good As Ever

My buddy, Charles, is in town this week. He arrived in Denver on Sunday the 18th. We went to see Works Progress Administration (WPA) at the Soiled Dove Underground on Sunday night. Great band, here is their album if you want to check it out.
<a href="">Always Have My Love by Works Progress Administration</a>

There are even a few songs that Pops might like. WPA’s core consists of Glen Phillips (Toad the Wet Sprocket), Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek), and Luke Bulla (Lyle Lovett). The core band is what we saw tonight, and they put on a wonderful show. There are other cool members in the band on the album, but logistics makes it too hard to tour with the full band. That’s alright, the core turned out to be pretty good all by their self. Ryanhood opened the show. They are a duo and were impressive as well.

Earlier in the day we made a trip Tommy Knockers for some beer and food. It is an excellent brew pub in Idaho Springs. We took the scenic way back via Squaw Pass Road near Mt. Evans. It shocked Charlie’s sea level system. 10,000 feet elevation gain for one day is tough. The beer at lunch probably didn’t help.

Charles at Juniper Pass near Mt. Evans

Monday, October 12, 2009

Africa (Part II)

I haven't found any pictures that were taken outside the British Bulldog on Saturday night. However, I have found a picture and a video of what it was like inside the bar. Their write-up says "75 or so fans never made it in the door", I would say way more than that. Fans were constantly showing up outside, most of them didn't hang around very long because it was obvious they were not getting in.

Sunday, October 11, 2009


Four years ago, I watched the US clinch a 2006 World Cup birth in Crew Stadium in Columbus, Ohio. The US beat Mexico 2-0 in that game. It was great experience, and it was also my first US Men's National team game. Last night, the US clinched a spot in 2010 World Cup that will be played in South Africa. I didn't get to go to the game for this clincher. The game was in Honduras. The TV rights for the game were held for ransom. The game ended up only being available on closest circuit TV for a couple of grand. So there weren't too many places across the country that showed it. The Colorado Rapids split the costs with the British Bulldog (a soccer bar in Denver). I got to the bar an hour before game time. The line was out the door and around the corner. I was shocked, Denver fans are not supposed to be this dedicated to soccer. Like a lot of fans, I was not able to get into the bar. A lot of the people left, but I hung outside with a group of at least 20 people and watched what I could through the window. During the second half I watched by standing on the outside bar. It gave me a better view of the TV. The atmosphere was great. I'm not use to that in Denver. These were the dedicated soccer fans of Denver. I was outside with fans willing to watch the game with a limited view in 20 degree weather. Yes, 20 degree weather. There was supposed to be a baseball game in Denver last night, but it was apparently too cold for the baseball wimps. It was a unique experience. It was great to see the fan support in Denver. Best of all the US clinched a spot in the World Cup with a game to spare.

Wednesday, October 07, 2009


I went back to Kenosha Pass today. I hiked in the opposite direction on the Colorado Trail this time. The Pass looks a little different. The leaves had fallen off the trees. That was not unexpected. The elevation of the Pass is 10,000 feet. The Colorado Trail was just as easy as it was on the other side of the pass. There were lots of great views of South Park and the town of Jefferson. I didn’t see Kenny, Cartman or any of the other foul mouth kids from this side either. I did see a few relatives of Mr. Hanky in the trail though. Thankfully they weren’t fresh. Anyway, it was beautiful hike and a beautiful day. Unfortunately, that is supposed to change tomorrow. Tomorrow, the temperature is forecasted to drop 30 degrees from today’s high. There is also the possibility of snow. Oh dear, I guess I better make sure I have milk and bread:)

The Colorado Trail

Trees & mountains

The Colorado Trail

Me at my lunch spot

Looking at South Park and the town of Jefferson

Another view, taken from the same place as the picture above