Monday, December 27, 2010

Snowshowing Floridian Style

View of my snow-less backyard.  Yes, my deck rail needs painting, and yes,
those are prayer flags on Brendan's tent.  The kid has aspirations to
climb Mt. Everest someday.  He camps outside every weekend -
even in the winter
So, what do you do when there's no snow in the entire Denver Metro area, you're actually missing it a teeny bit, and your "Crazy Floridian" friend is vacationing with his family in the mountains?  Well, you take one of  your sons and you venture to the high country to do some snowshowing with your favorite Floridian family, Floridian style, that's what you do!

A Beautiful day in the mountains near Frisco

Adam, the "Crazy Floridain" and I taking a picture break
Not sure how many of you follow Adam from the blog, Crazy Floridian, but he's a really great guy and an incredible runner (he's getting ready to do his first 100-miler in February.  Totally BA Adam!).  Adam and I "met" a little over a year ago when we both did a wee-bit of writing over at Runner's World.  We've only kept in touch here and there via emails and Facebook, but he inspires me with his never-weakening passion to run and I was thrilled when he emailed me he and his family were coming to Colorado for a little winter vacation.

Adam and his lovely family
Thursday, the 23rd, Brendan, the son who is always up for any sort of mountain adventure, went with me up to meet Adam and his family to do a couple hours of snowshoeing.  What stuck me as we started our drive up in the mountains was how there was absolutely no snow one minute and then the next, right around Silver Plume, magically there was a ton.  I mean, like avalanche danger ton.  Brendan proceeded to explain weather conversion mumbo-jumbo of the Colorado front range to me (which went in one ear and out the other) and how this is very normal, but still, this was very odd, despite his attempted explanation.  That child, the mountaineering man he so longs to be, watches the mountain weather like a hawk.
Brendan, totally in his element
Adam found a great trail from a ski shop guy in Frisco so that was the trail we took.  Not very technical, nothing to get your heart rate up too high, and we stopped to take a ton of pictures, so not a killer workout, but we shoe'd about 4.5 miles and had a blast every step of the way.



My new BFF.  He looks a little afraid of me.

The day was a little overcast, but man was it still pretty.  Probably about 30 degrees so actually a bit warm when you got going and I removed all 3 layers of gloves and mittens I had on (I always apologize in advance if my fingers or toes get cold, I definitely become whiny.  Sorry.  It's a huge reason why I don't downhill ski any longer) and had my coat unzipped half the time.  At the end of our hike, it started to flurry some - a sight I haven't seen in Denver in ages.


A White Arctic Ptarmigan - a very rare bird to actually see.  Brendan
spotted him nestled in the bushes and he instantly became a rock star
with our group.



King of the mountain!
After our 4.5 miles of shoeing (we could have done more, but Brendan and I needed to get back home to Denver before the onslaught of rush-hour traffic hit), Adam treated Brendan and I to some awesome Mexican food in town.  It was great to talk to his wife and son a little more and to hear more about Adam's 100-miler quest - as it is hard to really chat up a storm while snowshoeing (though it didn't stop me from trying :)).  I hope Adam and his family make it back out to Colorado soon, like in the summer, when I don't potentially whine about my cold fingers or toes!  Thanks, Adam, we had a great time snowshoeing with the Floridians!!

On our way back to Denver, Brendan and I stopped in Silver Plume (click on link to read about this cute little town) at this amazing little bakery in town.  This is such a crazy place for such a popular bakery; Silver Plume is an old silver mining town, totally left behind in modern times.  I found this bakery a couple years ago when my friend, Dennis, and I were running the trails high above.  We needed more water so we detoured to this tiny town in search of some sort of gas station or local store.  None were to be found, but we did find this bakery far removed from the highway, which is a pretty cool story in itself that we found it.  It has probably changed hands about 3 times in the two years I've been stopping by here for the most amazing fresh baked bread, but it continues to be one of our favorite little stops if we have a few minutes to spare.  Such a cool place, especially in the summer when we run up there and stop and stick our feet in the creek, which is frigging freezing, even in August (fresh snow melt is always cold).  Sorry you didn't get to experience our very brief stop in Silver Plume, Adam - next time!!!

Main Street Silver Plume, looking down the road from the bakery
Below is a pic of Clear Creek, which runs through the town of Silver Plume, during our summer runs.  Such an amazing place, and perfect for a mid-run break!

Me trying to be brave enough to dip the toes in the creek
I hope everyone had a fabulous Christmas and got everything on their Santa wish list!  Here in Jill land, we had a very nice time.  Amazingly, as your children get older, so does the price of their gifts so our tree seemed bare underneath compared to Christmas' past, but the kids were just as happy.  Me?  I got a couple local running store gift cards (must be a sign I will no longer have any heel problems, eh?) and this I know will make your green eyes pop out...but I got a new washing machine!!  I know, I know - lucky me!!!

61 comments:

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

What a great day spent with friends!

Your son must dream of the mountains. He seems so at home there.

Enjoy your New year and all the clean running gear from the new washer. ;-)

Patrick Mahoney said...

love love love the prayer flags on the tent...

Erin F said...

Yay for snow shoeing! Merry Christmas to you and your family!

Kate said...

Looks like a great day! I know exactly what you mean with the older kids' gifts. And that's IF they know what they want! Mine obviously need a hobby, because we got a lot of "I don't know" in contrast to my 7 year old's infinite list.

Paul said...

Hmm. We gotta try some other types of winter sport besides downhill. That looked like fun!

Terri said...

That looks like a blast - wish we had enough snow for that! Wait - no I don't!

Christina said...

The pictures are gorgeous!

And ... a washing machine - that's a present for the grown-ups!

Adam Culp (Crazy Floridian) said...

Thanks Jill. I will have my post up today also. Had a great time, and will definitely be back.

Glenn Jones said...

Brrrrr! Looks cold outside. You know - it's supposed to rain here again in Wednesday so you guys may have another shot at snow before New Year's day. It's supposed to by much colder this time too. Snow down to 2500 feet here in L.A.

Rose said...

A great washing machine can make life so much easier, so I consider it a pretty sweet gift. Maybe not glamorous, but you'll appreciate it for years to come.

Slomohusky said...

fun meet up! you look pretty happy! if i grew up in colorado - i would probably be like your son.

LMC said...

I love that picture of the Ptarmigan! That's the birder in me. All the other pictures are cool too. The washing machine reference made me laugh. It reminded me that I included washing machines on the list of things that I was thankful for at Thanksgiving. Not having one that works can be traumatic. :)

Christi said...

Great pictures!

Amanda - RunToTheFinish said...

wait you had a floridian that actually wanted to be out in the cold?! clearly they were not raised here

TX Runner Mom said...

Looks like a fun day trip! Mmmmm, fresh baked bread!

Abby @ Have Dental Floss, Wil Travel said...

What kind of writing did you do at runner's world?

Very cool!

Running and living said...

How awesome! Looks like a ton of snow. We are having a blizzard and it is so windy that we've been cooped up in the house all day, exchanging kid care with our neighbours!

Mamarunsbarefoot said...

Wow that looks like it was incredible fun Jill!!!

Petraruns said...

LOVELY LOVELY LOVELY Jill that looks amazing. How beautiful? How lovely? Aren't you lucky to have that bloggy meetup AND that great snow opportunity. I am SO jealous - I love being out in the snow. ANd your son seems amazing - does he really camp out every weekend? That is So interesting.

And hey - a washing machine doesn't HALF make life good when it works. So as long as it wasn't a hint, I bet you're happy with it.

Was going to email you but have lost your address - can you resend? SO much love, me

C2Iowa said...

Looks completely awesome. Love the pics. btw - A White Arctic Ptarmigan - once in a lifetime op!

Green with envy here. You have an amazing life - if you did not know it.

Meg said...

Ha, ha! I laughed about your son trying to explain the weather stuff to you..my son does that about everything anthropology!! I love it that your son is still camping outside every weekend.
I'm glad you had a merry holiday but, no, my eyes didn't pop with envy at the washing machine. Beth(suar) got an ipad, that's when my eyes popped with envy!
Still waiting on that email kiddo...

DRog said...

Fantastic outing!
Love the Frisco pic:)
Cant believe you guys have no snow in Denver still! very envious as I now have to shovel my roof to prevent any damage from more snow!
Glad you guys are enjoying the mountains.
Thanks for your words of encouragement!
HAve a great week
Derek

Adam said...

NICE!! Lots of things in this post:
1. Very cool that you used to be a RW writer. I think that you had mentioned that when we were in CO, but I had forgotten.
2. Hopefully you told Adam he needs to start posting more! :)
3. That is AWESOME about your son and his everest aspirations. DO IT!

HappyTrails said...

Deja vu! Were you guys on the Peaks Trail? Fun, fun, fun! And I agree - running store gift cards are a sure sign the heel problem is on its way out.... fingers crossed! Keep your toasty warm clothes handy as our mild weather may make a brief exit - that's ok. Have fun on your climb tomorrow - PR time!!! :-)

Beth said...

LOVE your snowshoeing pics! Silver Plume looks like a beautiful place to run. So happy to hear that you had a wonderful Christmas.

Aimee said...

That is soo awesome! It looks so beautiful up there! Do you remember the name of the trail you went snoeshoeing on?

I'm glad you had a good Christmas! We had a great day...just our family...it was perfect!

funderson said...

Oh my gosh, Brendan is awesome. I love that he "camps" out every weekend. Also very cool bird watching..

ajh said...

Love that your son camps out all winter. Impressive. Those pics are beautiful. Looks like a great way to spend the day. I am not a snowshoer and it seems like you did some major mileage. And yes your heel must be on it's way to being all healed.

Raegun said...

Great pics, as usual. This makes me want to get my shoes on again. :)

ERG said...

4.5 miles is a major trek with those on!

misszippy said...

At this stage, I'm wondering who you have NOT met from bloggy land! You are apparently the go-to, most sought after blogger out there! Looks like a great time and i just read Adam's blog; he enjoyed it thoroughly.

And hey, washing machines do make exciting gifts if they mean you can push more laundry through with every load!

jgf said...

I miss the snow, but not the accompanying cold toes and feet! Looks like a wonderful day!

Kristin said...

Looks fun! I love the prayer flags, that is so cute!

Amanda@runninghood said...

Ahhh, this post made me ache for my home in Colorado! We grew up near frisco.. Dillon. My mom also lived in Georgetown once I went off to college. I used to love coming home to visit her. I was half expecting you to write about a dinner at Bo Jo's pizza on the way home....my favorite pizza ever! Loved your pictures and words. So fun! And what is up with the drought in Denver?! Good grief, I forgot how Brown it can be there! One of these days soon I'm coming back to your neighborhood to stay with my coach and his wife (my second parents and neighbors to you) and we will have to go on a run together....because you certainly won't have heel problems by summer...I'm convinced!

Amanda@runninghood said...

And yes, I know that would be Beau Jo's...not Bo Jo's. ;)

Jason said...

I am not a person that gets jealous but those pictures make me want to move to Colorado. I mean how gorgeous are they?

And I just love that bakery. Those are my kind of places. A place I can go and sit and talk to the owner for hours because life stands still for a moment and you get to know the person behind the counter. That is a special little place.

Maybe I can talk my wife into buying it and then we can move to Colorado and I can twk to the guy behind the counter....loh wait that would be me so I'd be talking to myself.

Char said...

Your pictures are just so beautiful. Snow makes everything look so pretty. And that bird! I love little surprises like that.

Chris K said...

I love bread. How come you didn't take me to
Silver Plume during my visit? Oh, I get it, Adam the Crazy Floridian gets the "VIP" treatment. Whatever.

Okay, I'll stop whining. Your son is a frigging Stud. Mt. Everest? No way, Jose. I watch the documentaries on the Discovery Channel and I'd rather go get root canal five days in a row than attempt that thing.

Scott Keeps Running said...

I like your new BFF. :)

Great photos.

Wifey said...

How BEAUTIFUL! It takes me back to my childhood when we lived in Boulder for a few years.

This is my first time here. Looking forward to reading more.

Winks & Smiles,
Wifey

lindsay said...

Id be afraid of you too ;) Brendan is the coolest kid ever!

Julie said...

What a great time. I would love to snowshoe again this year. I've only been once and absolutely loved it!

That picture of the white bird was fantastic. Don't you love when you find something so beautiful like that and actually have a camera around to capture it??!!

Caratunk Girl said...

That looks awesome! Love the pictures!

Molly said...

I drool over the washing machines every time we go to Lowes, so I am completely jealous of your present!! think how sparkly your running gear will be now : )

love your adventure pictures, the snowman def looks scared of you...

Happy Feet 26.2 said...

We stayed in Frisco several years ago while "attempting" to downhill ski @ Breckenridge. I'm NOT a downhill skier, I found out. Skis in "pizza" formation the ENTIRE time. I enjoyed it, but too scared. I'm thinking I should try snow shoeing. More my speed, I think.

The pic of the White Arctic Ptarmigan is great. So pretty!

MuncherCruncher said...

I'm a new reader, and I love your blog! You are super inspiring, and you pics look SO fun! I've never tried snow shoeing before, but I'm thinking I should! :)

Johann said...

Fantastic! I would love to experience snow like that one day but then I would probably travel to race and would rather not do that in winter. I see more than one trip somewhere in my future...

Teamarcia said...

Some things never change...tent in the yard, for example, haha!
What a cool excursion and I can't believe you guys don't have snow! I should have sent you some!
Glad Christmas was nice! Hugs to all.

Lee said...

Just beautiful! Love the snowshoeing (been wanting to get me some, did it quite a bit as a kid on the old fashioned type), love the ptarmigan. It all makes me want to move back to the mountains. I lived in Calgary, Alberta for 10yrs.

Kovas Palubinskas said...

Before Everest he'll need to do the 14ers in his backyard!

Bethany + Ryan said...

wow, what a cool goal for your son! Ryan and i want to try snow shoeing so badly!! Hopefully soon. That bird is beautiful!! How cool to get to see one!! Happy new year! I won't let Ryan beat me next year! :-)

Harold said...

My friends in Colorado said it was actually warmer there than here in Florida earlier this week. Weird!!

Jenn said...

You mean snow can be pretty too....snow covered cornfields are not so pretty.... You really have it all Jill!!! BTW-you're kids are pretty darn lucky to have such an active fun mom!!

Score on the washing machine! Top of my list was a new coffee maker. The functional things make me happy these days!

Hope you have a great New Year!! Grandmas? Say yes!

Jamoosh said...

I think your new BFF wants a pastrami sandwich.

Sherri said...

Everything looks perfect...the pictures are all beautiful!
Have a great New Years!

Gillie said...

Happy New Year Jill! We took the dog up to Frisco on Christmas Day in search of snow ourselves. The dog had a blast running and playing in the snow, so it was totally worth it. I didn't even think about snowshoeing, but I'm sure on Christmas Day, no stores were open to get the snowshoes. I will have to try and do that this year. Take care and I'll be talking to you soon!

Julie said...

Hi Jill,
Yay for meeting Adam!! You always have so much freaking fun in Colorado:) I love the pictures...very pretty. You have a pretty cute new BFF and Bendan makes a very good choice for king of the mountain:)

Happy New Year Jill! I am still thinking about Grandma's...if I don't run I will be your cheerleader and will meet you along the course:) I just need to see how Wobegon goes.

Hugs and love!

Irene said...

I got cold looking at the snow pictures, then I got even colder seeing the picture of you in shorts (the last pic!) LOL.

Wishing you and your family the most wonderful 2011. :)

HUGS!

Black Knight said...

A beautiful adventure in the snow. Great picture of an unknown (for me) world. Here "only" sea....
Have a wonderful 2011.

Tara said...

I have sooo been wanting to try snowshoeing, wish I had been here, you guys look like you had a blast!!

Tim said...

Great pics. I'm jealous.