On September 26, I ran the Rahr Oktoberfest 5K for the first time. It was so much fun, and I got a PR! In fact, I was having so much fun that the only photo I took was the one of my watch when I finished. My official time was 32:09. I was surprised I ran that fast, because it was already warm by race time. Instead of a finisher medal, you get a finisher pint glass, which you can fill 3 times. I tried an Oak beer (I didn’t catch the full name), and the Oktoberfest beer. The Oktoberfest was my favorite. There were a lot of people in costume, but I wasn’t one of them – maybe next year. We’ve already decided we must run this 5K again next year.
I love waterfalls! I love taking photos of waterfalls! So, our last day in Asheville, we visited waterfalls. We drove to Whitewater Falls, near the South Carolina border.
I had never visited South Carolina, so, in my quest to visit all 50 states, we drove across the border to hike to Lower Whitewater Falls. While driving to the parking lot for the trail, this deer ran across in front of us and paused long enough for me to snap a photo.
According to my phone, we hiked 4.21 miles out and back.
According to my FitBit, this day was 7.09 miles and 129 floors.
Since I haven’t mentioned food for this trip. Our favorites were Central BBQ in Memphis (The brisket nachos and pork ribs were delicious!) and Moe’s Original BBQ in Asheville. We found Moe’s the first time we were in Asheville. This trip, we picked up food from Moe’s twice and had leftovers for lunch one day.
We decided to do a short hike at Graveyard Fields to a waterfall. I will admit, I was a little cold here when we first got out of the car. The elevation is 5120 feet, and I was wearing shorts. We heard that the upper falls trail was closed, so we set out for the lower or “second” falls. More stairs were involved.
I’m finally getting around to writing about our vacation we took in June. We decided to drive back to Asheville, NC, and do the things we didn’t get around to doing the last time we visited. At the top of that list was Chimney Rock State Park. We got a later start than planned, because we were afraid it was going to rain. We finally decided to take a chance. If you like stairs, this is the place to be.
My Fitbit said we did 101 flights of stairs. We decided to take it easy for the afternoon, and went to see a movie. A thunderstorm hit Asheville during the movie, and briefly knocked the power out. That was our second movie in a row to be stopped in the middle due to a thunderstorm.
After a relatively mild winter, north Texas decided to try to cram an entire winter into about a week and a half. On Monday, February 23, we had ice and sleet, which closed schools for two days. Then, on Friday, February 27, we got snow. It took me over an hour to drive home from work, and I left before the mad dash that occurred when most of the area schools released early. We ended up getting about 2.5-3 inches of snow, followed by ice. I took this picture of my favorite holly bush while we were getting snow.
It partially melted and re-froze, causing my 5K to get canceled Saturday morning. We didn’t get above freezing until late Saturday night, and our neighborhood streets were still icy that evening. It was so bad everywhere, Cowtown ended up canceling all races for the weekend, except for the half marathon on Sunday morning. This wasn’t even good snowman-making snow. It was dry and powdery, and ended up coated with a glaze of ice.
And, finally, Wednesday night, March 4, we got more snow. This is the closest we ever get to a blizzard.
Thursday was another school snow day. I measured 4 inches of snow in a few places, but with the wind the night before, I don’t know how accurate that was.
The kids finally got to build a snowman before it all melted.
I was able to run my 5K “virtually” on Saturday morning, so I’ll still get my finisher’s medal.
I’m finally getting around to posting the final post of our 2014 vacation. Before we started on the Emerald Lake trail, we took the loop around Bear Lake.
I was surprised at how much snow was still around this lake. It was a cloudy morning, so I was afraid we weren’t going to be able to see much on our hike.
After the loop around Bear Lake, we hit the Emerald Lake trail. I loved this hike! The scenery is beautiful! My one regret is that, in the interest of saving some weight in my backpack, I left my ultra-wide lens back in our room. I really wished I had that lens when we got to Emerald Lake.
We briefly lost the trail just before Dream Lake. Dream Lake was absolutely beautiful, and this is probably my favorite photo of our entire vacation. Hallett Peak is the peak to the left and Flattop Mountain is to the right.
I am slow, slow, slow to post. We spent one morning of our vacation driving over Trail Ridge Road from Estes Park to Grand Lake. A word of advice to Texans visiting in early June – wearing shorts is a bad idea.
Before we started out, we make a quick stop near Moraine Park so that I could take some photos of Longs Peak.
Our first stop on Trail Ridge Road was the beaver ponds.
This is the view of the beaver ponds and alluvial fan from Rainbow Curve. This is also where I started to notice that I was a little chilly.
The views were beautiful!
We hit a small patch of ice just before we got to the Alpine Visitor Center. We stopped here for a minute, even though it wasn’t open, yet. Based on the temperature when we stopped here again on our way back, I’m guessing it was somewhere in the 30s when we stopped the first time.
The Never Summer Mountains on the western side of the park
We saw a deer grazing just off the road.
Some elk grazing near the Grand Lake entrance.
We stopped to get gas in Grand Lake before heading back. This was the view from the gas station.
On the way back, we saw more snow-covered mountains.
And a frozen Forest Lake.
This was a beautiful drive! Next time, I won’t wear shorts, so that I can spend more time outside at some of the higher stops.
If you hike this trail, I recommend you start early. We parked at the Glacier Gorge trail head before 8 AM. It is a short ways to Alberta Falls, and this is the main reason I say start early. There were about 5-6 people here on our way up, and it was a traffic jam on our way back.
Once we passed the falls, we started seeing more and more snow.
Near the Loch, the hiking trail started looking like this.
The Loch was beautiful!
We had planned on going past the Loch, but, unfortunately, we kept losing the trail in the snow, so we turned around.
This is one of the views on the way up/down.
So…the 52 week photo project kind of fell apart. In early June, we took a Colorado road trip. I decided to try taking driving photos in addition to my regular photos this time. The driving photos are compiled in this video.
We spent 1 day in Colorado Springs our way to Estes Park. First, we went to Garden of the Gods. It was a cold and dreary morning.
We went back and forth all morning about driving to the top of Pikes Peak based on the clouds in Colorado Springs. Finally, we decided to go for it, and I’m so glad we did. The clouds started clearing as we drove up the mountain. But, they started rolling back in after we got to the top.
On the way down, we saw a tornado. We found out later, it hit Lake George. It did some property damage, but no one was injured.
That night, it was stormy in Colorado Springs and snowed on Pikes Peak. This is a photo from our hotel the morning we left.
I crashed yet another hard drive, so I have been slow to upload and post.
Week 7: We went hiking out at Eagle Mountain Park. It was a beautiful day!
Week 8: A selfie for my LinkedIn profile.
Week 9: Another beautiful “winter” day! We walked down to the lake.
Week 10: This one was taken the day after the previous photo, and after about a 50-degree temperature drop. Gotta love Texas weather!
Week 11: We went hiking out at Eagle Mountain Park again. I was afraid it was going to rain on us, so I didn’t take my Nikon. This one was taken with my phone. I’m standing where the water should be.