Wednesday, May 27, 2015

Big Bend and Guadalupe Mountains pictures


Big Bend entrance
Casa Grande from our Chisos Basin campsite
Window from our campground campsite
Jeff (in the middle of the pic) on Oak Springs trail
The Window view
Starting the backcountry hike, Laguna Meadows trail. We estimate Jeff's pack weighed about 50 lbs and mine about 35 lbs, both 10 lbs more than we should ideally carry, mostly due to 3 days worth of water.
Mexican jays were everywhere, this one begged for our snacks
Jeff relaxing after the long uphill hike with heavy packs
Deer at our Colima backcountry campsite
Juniper Canyon trailhead sign
Southwest rim we watched for peregrine falcons, may have seen a couple
Emory Peak from the Boot Canyon trail
Emory Peak, closer to the top
Chilling after hiking up to Emory Peak
Sunset at our Toll Mt backcountry campsite
didn't see any live mountain lions, but we did hear a couple at Toll Mountain
Clouds rolling into the Chisos Basin
Ready to hike down the mountain on the Pinnacles trail
the packs are MUCH lighter now!
The only showers in all of Big Bend are at Rio Grande Village, so we drove 30 miles each way to shower, totally worth it! Had to get a pick of the Rio Grande while there, that's Mexico behind us.
Santa Elena Canyon, the other side of the park from Rio Grande Village, again, totally worth the drive!
Cattail Falls trailhead
Cattail Falls
Longspur columbine and maidenhair ferns in the background, didn't expect to see those at Big Bend!
Guadalupe Mountains entrance
view from campsite
sun rising over the Apache plumes
Devi's Hall trail
Devil's Hall
Guadalupe Peak trailhead
rocky trail
we counted 41 switchbacks to the top
cool wooden bridge
just past the bridge
El Capitan behind us
made it to the top!
Highest point in Texas 8751 feet
Smith Spring
I had to taste the water at Smith Spring
Carlsbad Cavern entrance
Rainbow near Van Horn
Veranda Inn Ft. Davis
Veranda back yard
Veranda dining room
Tipster the pet pig at the Veranda
McDonald Obseratory
Harlan J. Smith 107 inch telescope, I even got to make it move!

Wednesday, May 6, 2015

Rookie Triathlon 2015

 The Rookie was my first tri of the season and the first of the 4 race entries I won from Austin Fitness Rentals. I wasn't at all stressed about this race, just excited for a morning of fun & friends! The Rookie is a 300 meter swim, an 11.2 mile bike, and a 2 mile run. I was a little worried the water would be cold especially since I wasn't wearing a wetsuit, but I figured for 300 meters, I could just suck it up and be cold. Pre-race was mostly chatting with friends and giving hugs to those I hadn't seen in a while.
Tri Zones pre- race. photo credit: Melissa Dubbick
 Time trial start this year, which I don't actually dislike (I was always a big fan of mass swim starts- I know, I'm a little crazy). I got in the water, it felt pretty cold at first, but after a few fast strokes, it felt pretty comfortable. By the time I got in my groove and started passing people I was already to the final turn buoy and almost finished! swim time: 7:40
finished with the super short swim! Photo credit: Melissa Dubbick
 My transition was slowish, but not terrible for me at Decker 4:19. I got on my bike and tried to remember to push hard since I only had to run 2 miles after the bike. Up and down and all around Decker Lake, it's a hilly bike course, but I had fun and enjoyed it, even made it up Little Tard with minimal huffing and puffing. Of course the faster and older Tri Zoners were passing me along the way, Nancy, Red, Judy, Rhonda, Katie, Linda, Kendra...I expected that and enjoyed their encouragement. Except Rhonda who yelled at me for coasting down the hill after Little Tard :) Then on 130, Eva passed me, I yelled something encouraging to her about kicking my butt even after bilateral knee surgery, but inside, I was disappointed that she was able to pass me...she wasn't even supposed to be riding those hills yet, and she still passed me after just having bilateral knee surgery?!?

After I finished I was hanging out with Linda and Laura and they asked me if Eva had finished yet. I said "Ha! she finished a long time ago, she passed me on the bike" They replied, "I don't think she passed you" and then "oh look, there she is finishing now" and yep, Eva was finishing the bike right then. So who in the world passed me on the bike??? I maintain that IT WAS EVA!! Of course Linda and Laura started asking "well, was it Judy? Katie? Kendra? etc" "No, IT WAS EVA!"  I have no idea what happened out there, either some mystery person who looks just like Eva passed me or I hallucinated the whole thing.
Eva who did not actually pass me on the bike :)
 My bike time was 45:42, my second fastest ride ever on the Decker bike course, and my T2 was 1:45, not bad for the first tri of the season.

The run felt pretty good, I tried to keep up a good pace since I only had to run 2 miles. I passed Linda, but that wasn't as much fun as it would be if she wasn't injured. Run time was 20:43 for my fastest run pace ever at Decker.
Finish line! Photo credit: Melissa Dubbick
 Overall time was 1:20:11. I had a great time, enjoyed the race and enjoyed the beautiful weather and fun with friends post race. Next up is Skeese Greets on June 7th, the exact same course, so I'll try hard to beat my Rookie times.
Tri Zones post race Photo credit: Melissa Dubbick
Laura, Justin, me, Eva, & Linda at the beer/bloody mary tent