Saturday, December 18, 2010

Ten

Happy Birthday Carter!!! Did you get snow for your birthday again? We got a light dusting the day before your birthday. Plus, Landon Donovan stopped by my place so that he could wish you a Happy Birthday. I couldn’t resist reminding him that Rapids were the Champions and that his team was eliminated easily from the playoffs by the runner-up. I probably shouldn’t have done that because he kept the ball that he had with him. So all I have to show for his visit is this picture. Happy Birthday.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Mike Versus the Leftovers

I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving weekend. I went for a blog worthy hike on Saturday. I hiked to the Pancake Rocks. The trailhead for the Pancake Rocks is north of Cripple Creek. The trail was a gradual climb through woods to an elevation of about 11,000 feet. The trail drops below 11,000 feet before reaching the final destination. I hung out at the Pancake Rocks for about 50 minutes. I ate a turkey sandwich while I enjoyed the view. Here are the pictures.



Me on a Pancake Rock





Me by a Pancake Rock




Looking south at the highway split for Cripple Creek and Victor




Pancake Rocks





Me and the Pancake Rocks






Zoom View





A touch of snow on the rocks

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Feeding Frenzy

Happy Thanksgiving!!! I enjoyed the day by going for hike, eating a lot of turkey, playing some games, and probably by eating some more turkey after I finish this post. My hike took me to the top of Fremont Peak at an elevation of 7,233 feet. Fremont Peak is in Royal Gorge Park. The hike starts in the campground/picnic area at the park. I hiked up an access road that leads to some radio and cell towers. From there I followed feral hiking path to the top of Fremont Peak. It is a short hike. The only steep part was the last bit. The trail is not maintained so it just goes straight up at that point. Fremont Peak has a nice 360 degree view at the top. Today was the coldest day that I have gone hiking so far this season. It was only really cold when the wind blew. It certainly doesn’t come close to the wind last Thanksgiving on top of Mt. Sniktau. Anyway, here are the pictures as always.



View from the Top






Me on top






Royal Gorge Bridge






Looking towards Pikes Peak






Looking towards CaƱon City






The top and the Sangre de Cristo Mountains





Happy Thanksgiving,

-MM

Monday, November 22, 2010

We Are The Champions

The Rapids are the Champions of the MLS!!! While I did not make it to Toronto to see the big game, I did make it down to the Celtic in downtown Denver on Sunday for the biggest viewing party in the Rapids 15 year history. There was lots of great singing, chanting, and celebrating. It was a special night and a magical season. Being a part of a supporters group this season made it that much better. I have had greater connection to other fans and the players this year. I look forward to next season when the Rapids repeat!!!

Here is a video of the final whistle. It is quite dark and shaky. I was celebrating and filming at the same time. It’s all about the moment.
video
On the day before the big game, I went for a hike at Dome Rock State Wildlife Area. It is located west of Pikes Peak and just south of Mueller State Park. I did a loop hike that took me around Dome Rock. It was a beautiful hike as most hikes are in Colorado. There are quite a few trails there. I’m sure I’ll go back there. I definitely need to go back during the fall color to hike the southern portion of the loop again. Anyway, here are a few pictures of the hike.




Me in front of a icy beaver pond.





A view along the Dome Rock Trail







Dome Rock








Note: Dogs are prohibited in Dome Rock State Wildlife Area. Also several trails are closed from December 1 through July 15th. This is due to the area being a prime calving ground for bighorn sheep.

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Rapids Wonderland

On Saturday Night, I attended the Eastern Conference Finals between Colorado and San Jose. The temperatures were probably in the upper 20’s by the end of the game. It didn’t matter. We were warm from cheering, and we’re thrilled with the Rapids victory. Unfortunately, I forgot my camera to capture some of the moments. Here is a photo I got off the Pid Army Facebook Page that has Pablo Mastroeni, the Rapids Captain, singing and drumming with the Pid Army.












The Rapids face FC Dallas in Toronto for the MLS Cup on Sunday, November 21st. I would go, but I don’t have a passport. Ugh! I didn’t realize the final was in Canada until it was too late. I guess I’ll watch at one of the viewing parties. That should be fun too.




Go Rapids!

Sunday, November 07, 2010

Raspberry Beret

No raspberries or berets were used in the making of this post; however, Raspberry Mountain (10,605 ft.) was hiked, and the song Raspberry Beret popped into my head on the way up. Ugh! The hike was great though. Raspberry Mountain is northwest of Pikes Peak and is near Mueller State Park. Go here for directions and more detailed information about this hike. That’s what I did. The trail follows an old road most of the way up. There is a rock outcrop on top that has a magnificent 360 view. The weather would have been perfect if it was not for the wind. I had to take shelter behind some rocks to eat my lunch. Here are some pictures from the summit.



Me with a view of Pikes Peak.





Me on top of Raspberry Mtn





North Catamount Reservoir behind me





Looking back on Raspberry Mtn.






On the way down, I had the song “Rapids Burgundy” going through my head. It is set to the tune of “Yellow Submarine”. I got the Rapids on the mind. The Rapids get to host the Eastern Conference Championship next Saturday despite being a Western Conference team. Crazy MLS playoff system, but I’ll take it. It is going to be fun.

I hope I didn't scare you too much with this picture. I meant to put it up last week, but I forgot.


-MM

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Halloween

I hope everyone survived all the little ghouls out in the streets this evening. There were quite a few of them on the streets where I live. I haven’t really done any major hikes the past two weekends. So here are some pictures I’ve taken recently just to keep the blog alive.



Fall view along the Arkansas River





Royal Gorge Bridge





Royal Gorge Bridge





Royal Gorge Bridge once again.






The Bridge is huge tourist trap. The bridge and gorge is quite cool by itself, but all kinds of junk has been built around it. It is way too expensive to visit. Fortunately, I have been given a pass so I didn't have to pay to see it. Otherwise, I wouldn't have made the stop.

Happy Halloween,

-MM

Sunday, October 17, 2010

Solitude

The Rapids qualified for the playoffs on Saturday!!! They still have a game to spare. The Rapids have missed out on the playoffs the past 3 years in heartbreaking fashion. It is a huge relief that they didn’t wait till the last game again. So I celebrated on Sunday by going hiking. I did a hike in the Sangre De Cristo Mountains near Westcliffe. I hiked up to the Dry Lakes. I parked at the Horn Creek Trailhead. I followed the Rainbow Trail to the Dry Creek Trail. The Rainbow Trail is open to ATV’s, so it is quite wide. The Dry Creek Trail pretty much just goes straight up the mountain. It is a good haul up to the Dry Lakes. Fortunately the trail is only 3.5 miles long. The Dry Creek Trail is quite wide as well. I bet it was open to ATV’s at one time. It is open to hikers and horses only now. I made it to the Lakes and back to my car without seeing a single person. I’m not sure if I have ever done that in Colorado. I know I’ve had some mountain tops to myself, but I would still see people on other parts of the trail. I was quite surprised not see anyone. The road to the trailhead was paved except for the last quarter of a mile. Anyway here are some pictures.



Getting closer to the Lakes





Me at the Dry Lakes







Lake





Looking back at the Wet Mountains





View from my lunch spot





The Fall color still hanging around on the road out.

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Chicago

I was scheduled to change planes and go back to Colorado after my Iowa trip; however, when I discovered that the US was going to play Poland in a friendly in Chicago, the thought crossed my mind to hop off the plane in Chicago and see the game. And that is what basically happened. Jim and Stacy decided to come out well. I met them in Chicago last Thursday, October 7th. We played tourist during the day. On Friday we did a bike tour of the city. It was quite interesting riding down the streets of downtown Chicago.


A stop along the bike ride. Oprah lives near by.








Jim and Lincoln







View from our hotel room











We went to a MLS game Friday evening. We saw the Chicago Fire beat the Columbus Crew 2-0 at Toyota Park. We joined a bunch of American Outlaws at Small Bar north of town and took a chartered school bus to the stadium on the south side of town. It was a long ride made shorter by the fact that beer was allowed on this school bus. Only in Chicago I guess.
video
Brian McBride scores a goal

We didn’t have any plans before the game Saturday so we basically walked around and saw the sights that were within walking distance of our hotel. Here are a few pictures from that.




The Egg a Millenium Park





Under the Egg





The side of the Egg







The Sears Tower





View from the Ferris Wheel at the Navy Pier.






On the way to game, we walked by the head-quarters for the US Soccer Federation.

The US/Poland game was a 2-2 draw. We stood in the US Supporters section for the first half. It was a little too crazy. There were a few people there who I doubt will remember being at that game. Jim and Stacy got nailed pretty good by some flying beers. It got me a little bit but not too bad. We had enough of the festivities in the supporters section by half time and moved to the nosebleeds so that we could pay more attention to the game. The majority of the crowd was Polish, and to our surprise, they spoke Polish. After the game, we watched the fireworks that took place at the Navy Pier from the top of Soldier Field.


View from the top of Soldier Field





Fireworks at Navy Pier







On Sunday, I returned to Colorado while Jim and Stacy returned to North Carolina.

Until next time,

-MM

Monday, October 11, 2010

Is this Heaven? No…it’s Iowa

Last week, I spent Sunday through Thursday in Dubuque, Iowa. I was there for classes and a conference. Dubuque is right on the Mississippi River in northeast Iowa near the border of Illinois and Wisconsin. Dubuque is quite scenic. I got chance to see town during my off hours. One of things I did was take a ride on the 4th Street Elevator. The Fenelon Place Elevator Company dates back to the 1800’s. Elevator is basically a cable car railway. It is described as the world’s shortest and steepest scenic railway.


The Mississippi River from the top of the bluffs above Dubuque







Top of the Elevator




The Elevator Car







The track










I also went out to the Field of Dreams. The movie site was only a 30 minute drive from Dubuque. It is a cool place to visit. It doesn’t cost a thing, although I did make a nice donation. People do come from all over to see this place. Some people from Australia and England were leaving as we got there. I’m not sure what they know about baseball. Anyway the place was pretty cool. It looked just like the movie with the exception of the power line going through the middle of the field.




Field of Dreams





I wish I had done the wave while I was here.





The view from foul territory in left field





The view from the corn






Rounding 1st Base





Batting practice on the field






If you build it, he will come.






The hotel I stayed at in Dubuque overlooked the Mississippi River. I did short walks along the river every day I was there.






Shot Tower



Prayer Booth. I prayed for Dubuque Star Brewery to reopen.





The view of the Mississippi River from my hotel room




The Mississippi River was a little bit high





I left Iowa on Thursday; however, the adventure continued in Chicago. Look for an update on the Chicago portion of my trip later this week.