Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Baba O’Riley

Happy Birthday Carter!!! I haven’t spoken to Landon or Dale in a while, I’m sure they wish you a Happy Birthday too.

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Climb That Hill Again

My Thanksgiving hike was a repeat this year. I hiked up Midland Hill (9,556 ft.) which is located outside of Buena Vista. I did this hike 2 years ago. There was a bit more snow this time. It was quite beautiful. The weather was perfect. No wind! Here are the pictures.
Mt. Antero and Mt. Princeton
Mt. Columbia
Mt. Yale & Buena Vista
The trail
Soccer fields with views of Mt. Yale & Mt Columbia

Sunday, November 17, 2013

For All The Cows

Apparently, there is an interest for more pictures of cows. Here are a few pictures of cows that didn’t make the cut for my last post.

Saturday, November 09, 2013

City Slickers

Two weeks ago, I ventured into southeast Colorado. A friend of mine from Denver was down there looking after his parent’s cattle ranch while they were away. Since it was a place I have never been, I took the opportunity to go down there and check the area out. The Ranch was in the middle of nowhere between La Junta and Trinidad. There was hardly any traffic on the highway there. Once upon a time though, this was a “major” transportation route. The Santa Fe Trail went through the area. I made rounds with my friend Geoff on both Saturday and Sunday. Our rounds basically consisted of driving around the ranch and making sure the cows are alright. Thankfully, they were. I am not sure what we would have done if something was wrong. Even though Geoff grew up down there, he is very much a city slicker.
Geoff on top of a mesa on the edge of the property
Looking towards Fisher's Peak
Geoff
View of the ranch
Anybody seen Norman?
A windmill that has seen better days
Dry wash
Watering hole - The Spanish Peaks are barely visible on the right
The Santa Fe Trail
Along the Santa Fe Trail - The Spanish Peaks on the left, Mt Greenhorn on the right.
US 50 & a train

Monday, October 21, 2013

Leftoverture

Even though the US has already qualified for the World Cup, they still had some World Cup Qualifiers left to play. On the Friday of October 11, I traveled to Kansas City to attend one of those matches. I met Jim and Stacy there. I picked them at the airport; from there, we basically went to the game after a brief stop at the hotel. The game went well. The US beat Jamaica 2-0.
ESPN at the game.  Host Bob Ley (Half hidden), Kasey Keller, & Alexi Lalas (No shorts this time)
The US warm up with a Kasey Keller commercial playing on the big screen
Jim and Stacy
Victory
Tim Howard, Brad Guzan, Graham Zusi, & Landon Donovan
This year I have gone to 5 US soccer games. Four World Cup Qualifiers and one Gold Cup game. For the home World Cup Qualifiers, US Soccer “gave” everybody who attended those matches a scarf. So I got four of the five scarfs. It was a big year for going to US Soccer games. It will be tough to match.
The four scarfs
On Saturday, I played tourist with Jim and Stacy. We went to Weston Bend State Park in the morning. The park overlooks the Missouri River on the Missouri side of the river. We did a little bit of hiking there. For lunch, we went to High Noon Saloon and Brewery in Leavenworth, Kansas.
Missouri River - Looking towards Leavenworth, Kansas
During the afternoon, we made the trek into Kansas City. We went to the National World War I Museum at Liberty Memorial. The museum is real good.
Liberty Memorial

Looking up at the memorial
Kansas City from the top of Liberty Memorial
The ceiling of Union Station in Kansas City
After visiting the museum, we went to Kaw Point. Kaw Point is the confluence of the Missouri and Kansas River. The Lewis and Clark Expedition camped there for three days in 1804. It is safe to say Lewis and Clark would not recognize the place. It is basically a small park in an industrial area.
Kaw Point
On Sunday, I dropped Jim and Stacy off at the airport. I then made the drive across Kansas back to Colorado.

-MM

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Song Remains The Same

Dos a Cero!!! Dos a Cero!!! Dos a Cero!!! Dos a Cero!!! I guess it is more of a chant than song. Whatever it is, it is not going away anytime soon. Since 2001, the US has played Mexico in Columbus, Ohio every 4 years during the Hexagonal Round of World Cup Qualifying. The US has won all four games by the score of 2-0. I was in Columbus on Tuesday, September the 10th for the latest Dos a Cero event. This was my third time making this trek for this particular game.

I arrived in Columbus on Monday, September the 9th. US Soccer hosted a Pep Rally at The Bluestone in downtown Columbus that night. I went to that. It was pretty fun. US Soccer legends Brian McBride, Cobi Jones, and Frankie Hejduk were there. Current players Damarcus Beasley, Alejandro Bedoya, Jose Torres, and Michael Bradley also made appearances along with Coach Klinsmann.
video
A video of Frankie Hejduk doing a little song and dance.

L to R: Allen Hopkins (Host), Klinsmann, Beasley, Torres, Bedoya, Bradley
After the Prep Rally, I met up with my cousin Ray at the American Outlaws party at the 4th Street Bar. Finding Ray was hard. The size of the crowd was ridiculous. I came across former US Soccer player Alexi Lalas, Fox Sports-Soccer Host Rob Stone, and Sports Illustrated Writer/Fox Sports-Soccer Reporter Grant Wahl before I found Ray after about 45 minutes. It took some texting to find him. I also saw some people I know from Colorado. Later I saw John Harkes who is another former US Soccer player. Massive party but the beer they served in the outside portion of the party was not that good.

Tuesday was game day. I met up my brother and his buddies. They arrived that day. After lunch and checking into our hotel, we walked to the 4th Street Bar, which was one of two spots where the American Outlaws were having a tailgate. We met up with my cousin Ray again, and we sweated like crazy in the heat. It happened to be the hottest day of the year in Columbus. It was the stickiness that made it horrible. I hadn’t felt that much humidity in a long time. We hung out in front of a refrigerated cooler of beer to try and stay cool.
Enjoying the cool air from the beer cooler
The march to the stadium was epic. Nobody has ever seen such a large march by a group of supporters for US Soccer. The American Outlaws had sold over 9000 tickets to the game. Then there were people like us who hang out with the Outlaws, but prefer good seats. I don’t how many people were in the march, but there were US Soccer fans in both directions as far as the eye could see.
The march to Crew Stadium
My Brother plus two blimps over the stadium
Me and a bunch of other people
As for the game itself, it was mythical. The US has had a hard time getting a pro-US crowd for this game in the past. They definitely got a pro-US crowd this time. It was a sellout crowd of 24,584. I would say it was at least 90% pro-US. There was some green here and there, but you definitely didn’t hear the Mexican fans. The score line and the stadium have certainly gotten into the Mexican players and fans heads. I was actually happy that Clint Dempsey missed a penalty kick in the closing seconds that would have given the US a 3-0 victory. The missed penalty kick keeps the mythical score alive. Not only have the US beaten Mexico by the score of 2-0 in Columbus in the four times they played there, the US also beat Mexico in 2002 by a score 2-0 in the only time they ever met in the World Cup. So the song remains the same. Dos a Cero!!! Dos a Cero!!! Dos a Cero!!! Dos a Cero!!! Dos a Cero!!!
Starting line-ups
Tifo
More Tifo
Victory Lap
Jim, Hunter, Matt, Jason, & Mike

Tuesday, September 03, 2013

This Is Massive

On Labor Day, I summited Mt. Massive. At 14,421 feet, it is the second highest peak in Colorado. This mountain has been high on my list of 14ers to do since I moved to Colorado in 2006. It didn’t disappoint. I did what is considered the standard route that goes up the east slopes of the mountain. The route is 13.75 miles long. I decided to do this hike over two days. I got to the trailhead late in the afternoon. I decided to have my dinner at the trailhead so that I didn’t have to carry it. I then hiked about 3 and half miles to tree line. It rained a little bit on the hike, but it had stopped by the time I made camp.

I was on the trail way before sunrise on Monday morning. It was quite dark. Just a slither of the Moon was visible in the sky. I was above 13,000 feet when the sun finally rose. It was good to feel the warmth as well as see the beauty that was all around me.
Looking towards Leadville in the early morning light
The summit of Mt. Massive saw the sunrise before me
Sunrise
Hiking towards the saddle (13,900 ft).  From there, it is a right turn and follow the ridge to the summit.
View of La Plata Peak from just above the saddle.
I made the summit around 7:45 AM. There were a couple of other people right behind me. They started at the North Halfmoon Creek Trailhead and went up the southwest slopes. That route is becoming the more popular route due to it being shorter. That way is steeper and requires a four-wheel drive to get to the trailhead. While I didn’t get to have the summit to myself, it wasn’t that crowded. The view was pretty amazing. Mt Massive has more area above 14,000 feet than any other mountain in the lower 48. Mt Rainer in Washington is a close second.
The summit from the false summit
Looking back at the false summit.  Mt Elbert is just to the left of the false summit.  La Plata Peak is on the right.
The summit of Mt. Massive
Me on the summit
View to the west.  North Halfmoon Lakes are below
The northwest peaks of Mt. Massive
After spending about 45 minutes on top enjoying the view, I decided to slowly make my way down the mountain. On the way down, I picked up my camping gear at my tree line camp. I made it back to my car without any problems. I was tired but quite satisfied.
Looking back at the summit
Looking back at Mt Massive
On the way back to tree line
Mt Elbert & my campsite