I spent the last week with 19 other members of my extended family, on vacation in southern Colorado, in the Spanish Peaks region (San Isabel National Forest). No bike riding all week, unfortunately, but I found that the bike riding I did in the month prior to this trip made a big difference in my strength and stamina for hiking in the higher elevations. We did this same trip three years ago, and I was a bit heavier and more out of shape, and there were certain hikes I just couldn’t complete. This year I was able to go further and longer and higher, and it felt pretty good.
As I write this from Lawrence, KS, there are severe thunderstorms all around, and the air temperature is a balmy 68 degrees Fahrenheit at almost 1:00am—very high humidity and windy, too. Three days ago I was hiking up the West Peak Trail at Cordova Pass with six of my family members. The air temperature was 30 degrees, with winds gusting 30-40 MPH, and driving snow. And yes, I was the only one wearing shorts. (Fortunately, my brother-in-law had a poncho in his car that I was able to use as a windbreaker, so three hours in the driving wind and snow wasn’t unbearable. (That’s me on the left in the photo.)
Anyway, I’ve been back two days, and it has been too rainy to ride—I’m hopeful that tomorrow will be nicer and that I’ll be able to get out on the bike for a bit. I believe I’ve mentioned that ever since my visit to the doctor about a month ago, I’ve been trying to eat a better diet, and I’m happy to report that my vacation week was also a successful dieting week, in spite of the presence of more junk food than you could shake a stick at all week long. The week before vacation, I was able to cinch my belt up a notch; the week of vacation, I had to cinch it up another notch. My scale at home is not terribly accurate, but today I couldn’t get it to read much more than about 279, and I know that I was somewhere around 300 around Christmas time, so that’s a good thing.