December 22, 2014

Early season SkiMo

The early season snowpack in the Wasatch is thin (Dec 17 Snotel)Thin is good in running... not so much for skiing! We're not alone - the entire West is hurting so far (although several feet of wet, heavy snow is coming down as I type this, so hopefully I'm not jinxing a reversal of our fortunes).

So while we haven't been skiing any deep powder, Andrea and I have been out a few times with the local SkiMo crowd - Tuesday night races at Brighton and Sundance's Alpe D'Vert. These have been a fun way to log some vertical and start getting our legs under us for when the backcountry season really ramps up.

I keep saying I'm not getting into SkiMo racing... We'll see how long that statement lasts :-)

Alpe D'Vert at Sundance

Andrea and Amiee after Alpe D'Vert

A little ski tour on December 14th... searching for winter

December 8, 2014

Moab in December

Delicate Arch is fantastic place to finish the day

Andrea and I would rather ski on a big fat snowpack (in t-shirts) in May/June than on a shallow snowpack, scuffing up our bases on rocks in December. With WARM temperatures (high 50s) in the forecast, we decided to drive down to Moab after work on Friday afternoon for some more fun in the desert. Southern Utah has treated us very well this Fall.

I got in a pair of runs on a favorite route (Kane Creek Road). We hiked around Arches National Park (had the place to ourselves). We rode our mountain bikes on the M-O-A-B brand trails (fun!). We stumbled across the Moab Christmas Electric Light Parade (who knew such an event existed?!). We went out for some good food (we highly recommend the Moab Brewery).

Winter is coming. I don't know when we'll be down south again, but I'm itching for some ski mountaineering in the La Sal range next spring.

The clouds parted just in time after an overcast day

Another shot of Delicate Arch

Turret Arch

Andrea under the North Window

Balanced Rock

Running on Kane Creek Road

Andrea biking on the Bar-M loop

Christmas Electric Parade in Moab. Surprisingly entertaining!

November 30, 2014

Still ticking... Thanksgiving in Connecticut

Family turnout for the Commodore Hull Road Race

It dawned on me over Thanksgiving that I haven't posted anything about running here since Chicago. At that time, I was planning on running CIM... but the hamstring that was bothering me leading up to and during Chicago didn't bounce back quick enough, and I decided to just jog my way through November. I posted some of my thoughts on my training log on November 3rd. Essentially I've just been run-commuting (my forte!) and enjoying the relaxed and no-pressure running. I'll start ramping it back up soon, and will post something about my spring 2015 plans shortly.

We had an excellent Thanksgiving back east in Connecticut, highlighted by a nice family turnout at the Commodore Hull Road Race, bingo, hot tubbing, Christmas sweaters, and plenty of good food / wine.

With my parents and cousin Andy at the Turkey Trot

Running (slowly) with flowier hair

Drone view of the Commodore Hull Road Race

Ammunition for an excellent multiday Thanksgiving celebration

Andrea and I

Krong family

A white, snowy Thanksgiving in Connecticut this year

Grandma is partially proud of us, and partially scared of us

We spent a lot of time in the new hot tub

November 11, 2014

Everywhere you look, there is something awesome! (Another weekend in the San Rafael Swell)

Temple Mountain in the twilight

Two weeks ago we spent a weekend camping at the wedge area of the San Rafael Swell (photos, more photos). We had such a good time that we had to make another desert camping trip before it got too cold. This time we ventured a bit further south and camped near the intersection of the Temple Mountain Road and Behind the Reef road, just 10-15 minutes away from Goblin Valley State Park.

We really have fallen in love with this area of Utah. I think we'll be spending a lot more time down here in 2015.

Sometimes we debate (usually on Thursdays) whether it's worth getting in the car and driving for a few hours on Friday afternoons. The answer is always yes!

On the way home, as we were talking about the hikes we did and admiring the landscapes, Andrea said - Everywhere you look, there is something awesome! I think that is very true of the San Rafael Swell region... and it's a heck of a way to view life in general. Sometimes the awesome things are really obvious, and sometimes you have to search for them... but they are almost always there.

Lots of photos from the weekend...

Our campsite near Temple Mountain

Nights were cold - so we needed lots of fire

Running on the Temple Mountain Road. I'm down there, barely visible.

Andrea and Amiee heading into Crack Canyon

There are so many cool hikes like this one in the swell

Roo had fun exploring

Running on the Behind the Reef road

Andrea biking along... she obviously takes all the running photos, so I stopped for a second and took a picture of her for once.

Mining ruins from the days of Uranium prospecting

The girls (and Roo) approaching Ding Canyon

The yellow rocks in this area really stand out

This little guy crushes slot canyons

Sometimes... you just have to jump

Roo getting some help from Andrea and I

The textures and colors in these canyons are really hard to capture on camera