Thursday, August 14, 2008

Brief Picture Summary of Denver

As I mentioned in my previous blog, last week I was in Denver for a statistical conference.  I think my presentations went relatively well (I got some laughs and my husband who was in the audience was highly amused when I mentioned that sometimes Adverse Event are not reported when people do not go to the hospital when health issues erupt and find out weeks, months or years later they had some issue...basically I used as an example when people have a heart attack and only find out later when blood tests show out of norm enzymes and my comment about this occurring was "Bummer"; I guess he is right perhaps this was not the socially acceptable response, but it is a bummer!) 

In addition to attending and presenting at this conference, my husband and I were fortunate enough to spend several days in the Denver/Rocky Mountain area which was great fun.  

We walked around Boulder a beautiful mountain town, we hiked extensively and were able to visit with some friends who live in Colorado.  Below you can see some pictures from this trip.  

The first picture I nearly froze to death while my husband set up the perfect composition of me standing in Boulder Creek.  We had considered tubing down this river but in retrospect we were ill prepared for the near freezing water temperatures.

The next picture is of me attempting to climb the Flatirons, a mountain range(?) right near Boulder.  They are beautiful mountains but after this hike I learned that 1) there are rattlesnakes along the path 2) there are potentially pumas, cougars or mountain lions along the path and 3) lightening seems to be following me no matter where I go.  Based on a recommendation of a local we met at the REI, we went to the Flatirons after a quick trip to Broadway Joe's Bagel.  Both recommendations were top notch!  Hiking up to the Flatirons was uneventful except for a slight addition to our hike because we missed a turn (it was a bit confusing how to get to the Flatiron that you could hike to the top).  I turned around earlier then Tristan because I am sissy.  This worked out well because towards the end of my hike a lightening storm arrived and I was able to book it the last mile or so (which was a very runnable trail).  

At the visitor center I was able to ask lots of questions.  This is when I learned of the presence of frightening wildlife.  I also learned that in Colorado the use of the word ranch does not necessarily indicate they are growing animals.  Near Boulder there is a park called Boulder Valley Ranch.  There was a picture in the visitor center of a prairie dog sitting up.  I thought it was very cute and would be cool to visit a ranch where they raise prairie dogs.  I asked the ranger about the ranch and if they raised any other creatures and got a very puzzled look.  The response was basically why in the world would this state raise/breed prairie dogs?  In my defense I think of a ranch as a place domesticated animals are bred and raised.  And yes, I do think Prairie Dogs could be considered domesticated creatures because they are so cute.

In addition to several trips and outings in Boulder, we also hiked in the Rocky Mountains.  One day we spent hiking at the Wild Basin section of the Rocky Mountains.  We climbed past Calypso Falls to the top of Ouzel Falls.  Because Tristan was attempting to summit Longs peak the next day our hike was only about 7 miles long.  We also went to Lily Pond and ran around this 1.4 mile loop.   I wish the trails in Maryland were as nice as some of the paths we hiked and ran in CO.  (actually we also really like the trails in Oregon and Washington, for some reason they are alot nicer and I stumble and fall considerably less out west).

We also were luck enough to hang out with some family friends which was really nice.  It is always nice to get to catch up with friends when we travel.  

At Boulder Creek, trying not to freeze to death

Attempting to climb a FlatIron in Boulder CO

Hanging with the Big Dogs in Longmont CO (he reminds me of Gilligan)

Running Lily Lake at Rocky Mountian National Park

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