In my effort to enjoy the decline before either I die or the country declines so much I must don my Mad Max gear and set forth, I made the 6 hour trip to Rocky Mountain National Park. I didn't get there until the afternoon on Saturday so I drove around the entire park, and entered into Denver from the west on I-70 wherein I found a sushi joint, a cigar bar and a salsa club all within 1 mile of each other.
To quote Eddie Izzard, "Fantastico!"
I was particularly impressed with the salsa ladies of Denver because 70% of them said yes to a dance. In Minnesota you can expect a success rate of only 30% because, well, it's Minnesota and the women always presume you're trying to get with them instead of you just simply and honestly asking them for a dance. It's a foreign concept to them, "hey, I just want to dance, I don't want to get with you." But then again, if I grew up on a regiment on 90210, The Mall of America, billions of dollar's worth of daddy's money, and Sex in the City, I might be a bit presumptuous too. Regardless, the ladies of Denver, I salute you for using that horrible word, "yes."
Regardless, the next day was to conquer a real mountain, Hallet Peak, a short 5 mile hike up to the peak, all of which could be done in an afternoon. I took pictures and I am happy I brought my windbreaker because not only was there wind, there was a ton of snow.
I will brag now and mention that this hike took me a total of 4 hours and 15 minutes. That included looking around, taking in the view and hiking behind piles of rocks at the peak to shield me against the wind and maintain a normal body temperature. Enjoy the pictures!
This is Hallet's peak form across the valley you hike up.
This is the sign that tells you you made it to Flattop Peak. Hallet's peak is in the background. It's actually no more than 1/2 a mile away, but the lack of oxygen gets to you and that little jaunt took at least 30 minutes.
I got lonely and made myself a friend.
Hallet's Peak about 1/2 the way up the climb.
These are mountains to the East of Halley's peak, I have not yet consulted the map to find out which peaks they are.
There was this young 25 year old punk kid that actually passed me near Flattop. I thought I was doing a pretty good clip and this young guy with all of his youth and everything SLOWLY passes me (he too was suffering from a lack of oxygen). Anyway, we inevitably hit the peak at the same time so he was kind enough to take the picture. He (ahem ahem!) did not decide to move onto Hallet's peak, once again cementing my status of "30 something guy with 25 year old body Awesomeness."
If you jump juuuuuust right, you might land in Emerald lake.
I will post videos later that will explain why the icicles form horizontally at the top of the mountain once I compile them into one youtube video.