Sunday, April 26, 2009

A great day with the Donaldsons

With Jamie and Morrison at the beginning of our walk/hike at Deer Creek Canyon. You will notice it is slightly foggy/misty but realistically the weather was perfect for a walk.
With Jamie and Morrison at our "turnaround" point. I think Morrison was ready for a 10-20 mile hike but alas word on the street is that Morrison is not a big hiker. I would politely disagree because he was constantly in the lead and really did not seem very tired during our walk. Gillligan would have been lying down protesting after about 5 feet!

Jamie, Tristan and Morrison taking a glance at the major hill we could have gone up. But alas everyone wussed out. Jamie had her 24 hour race (so she was excused), Tristan had just climbed Mt Elbert (so he was excused), but Morrison and I were so ready for some hill work!

This walk ultimately became pretty muddy so Morrison gets a small and brief bath/rinse. Morrison seemed pretty agreeable. I say this based on my perspective in which Gilligan who tries to scamper away when it's bathtime in the backyard.

Jamie and Morrison seeing us off after a great hike and wonderful afternoon. Jamie is so sweet, enthusiastic and just a great friend!
Morrison is a really good and friendly dog, but don't believe the Donaldson's when they tell you he is lazy:-) I think he needs a "Party Animal" collar since he seemed almost as active as Billy the Old English Sheepdog we babysit!

I have known Jamie Donaldson for well over a year (well in fact I have known her for 2+ years because at Umstead 100 miler in 2007, I would run into her in the out and backs and then get passed numerous times by her). She was always so friendly and upbeat throughout the entire race.

Last year at Umstead we had a chance meeting in the bathroom right before the race and since then have become very friendly. We both are mathematics people (Jamie is a math teacher and I am a "mathematical" statistician at the FDA). We also both have large dogs (although hers is bigger, I think mine is heavier). Last summer during a statistics conference at Denver we were able to go for a hike and have dinner with the Donaldson's which was great fun!

Yesterday because we were in Colorado, my husband and I went to Jamie's house again and had a GREAT afternoon! Our first activity was a hike at Deer Creek Canyon with Jamie, Morrison (their Newfoundland) and Tristan (who is all messed up from peak bagging and forgetting to wear glacier goggles...if you read any book about Everest/K2 or other mountains, after HAPE/HACE-altitude related injuries, the next most common issue is sunburned eyes...well Tristan experienced this since it was not too bright out during his mountain climb). Here you can see pictures from Jamie's camera within her blog, I will post some of my pictures later (which I was a bit disappointed in my sub-50 picture performance, although because of the mist/fog I knew my pictures might not be the greatest).

Jamie kept suggesting Morrison was going to be slow, not be about to power through the hike and was kind of lazy...during out hike, I would suggest Morrison is Billy's long lost sibling (Billy the insane Old English Sheepdog who powers through 15-20 mile hikes like they are Sunday Strolls). We were expecting a dog like Gilligan who after about 5 steps sits down and after 10 steps sits down and rolls over refusing to go foward. Morrison really powered through the hike and at times was dragging Jamie. This alarmed me a bit because Jamie is about to head to the 24 hour World championship in Italy and if he got out of control any disaster would be on my shoulders. Luckily nobody went flying but a few of us got quite muddy. Luckily Morrison was the only one taken to the backyard for a rinse.

After our hike we had a really nice BBQ chicken dinner that David started while we were on the hike. It was really yummy and lots of fun. Of course I provided Caramel Apples (the treat of champions??) for dessert:-)

We hung out for a bit but Tristan looked really tired. Apparently it took him 5 hours to get to the top of Mt Elbert (the state high point), but 10 hours to get down on Friday. (seriously even Gilligan might have been able to do this faster...and if not he would have just rolled down the mountain letting gravity do the rest).

We did get to see Jamie's "Wall of fame", which has grown since we visited last Summer right after Badwater. I had seen her award for her Rocky Raccoon first place finish, but Tristan had not. And neither of us saw her Javalina 100 miler first place award. Both awards are really unique. Jamie has not seen my perserverance rock or my Norwoodie, which are both unique and functional...the walking stick after a 100 makes walking to the car, around the house and getting up and downstairs so much easier. And the rock is good for whacking yourself in the head when you think of entering another 100 miler:-)

After our visit with Jamie and David, we headed back to the hotel by way of the "Old Maid Ice Cream Store" I will post a picture later, but essentially the building looks like an old milk jug. And the ice cream and Gelato they sell is really good and the portions are HUGE. I was a sissy and ordered a double...but today I will go for a triple!

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