08 Aug

Fourth of July Trail – Nederland, Colorado

Looking to get outside this weekend and get away from the annoyances of city life? If so, a day hike on the Fourth of July trail is a great way to do it. Its a 5.3 mile loop just outside of Nederland, Colorado that provides hikers with some breathtaking scenery. It’s one of my favorite hikes in the Denver/Boulder area and I think you will agree.

 

Fourth of July Trail Details

 

The trail starts at the Forth of July trailhead and ends at beautiful Diamond Lake. The trail is moderate difficulty and there is a lot to see along the way. As you make your accent toward the alpine lake, you will pass a wide variety of scenery including including waterfalls, streams and creeks, and in the summer, an incredible amount of colorful wildflowers.

The highlight of the trail for me is the serene Diamond Lake. It sits at the base of the Continental Divide and the views are spectacular and powerful. It’s a great spot to sit down and enjoy an afternoon picnic or take some time to relax in the cool mountain air.

Instead of writing a long description here, I created a video of the trail for your enjoyment. You can watch it below:

 

Considerations

 

Though the trail isn’t difficult, there is one spot in particular that you need to be aware of, especially if you are afraid of heights or are bringing small children with you. On a day in July, I saw several people turn around because they were intimidated.

Toward the beginning of the trail, there is a waterfall that crosses your path and you need to use step stones to cross it. There is quite a drop off on the south side and it can be intimidating to people afraid of heights. I would recommend bringing trekking poles along with you if you have them.

Finally, this trail gets busy in the summer. If you want to find a parking space, get there early. You also want to make sure you drive a car that has enough clearance underneath it as the road to the trailhead can get bumpy and there are good sized rocks in the road.

Directions

Resources

ProTrails Details of Fourth of July Trail 

 

 

Hiked the Fourth of July Trail before?

Have you hiked the trail before? Let me know your thoughts in the comments!

 

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12 Oct

The Giant’s Causeway Tide Pools

The Giant’s Causeway rock formations are amazing.

40,000 basalt pillars sticking up out of the ocean and fit together like a puzzle.

Legend tells that a giant built this in Ireland so he could cross the ocean to Scotland and beat the crap out of another giant.

Look at it’s names in Irish: Clochán an Aifir or Clochán na bhFomhórach.

Boom.

Giant's Causeway Tide Pools By now, you’re probably sold on how awesome it is and your right, it’s pretty freaking awesome.

But wait! There’s more!

Tide Pools

The cool geology of the Giant’s Causeway provides some very interesting environments for tide pools to form.

The pillars vary in height and this allows for the water to collect in the geometrical patterns of basalt.

It’s almost like the tide pools are individual fish tanks and with their own ecosystems.

Instead of writing a bunch of descriptive babble about it, check out the pictures below and enjoy these bad ass tide pools.

Wikipedia

29 Jul

Walk the Highlands

Walk the Highlands – The West Highland Way

So you want to walk the highlands of Scotland? Good choice. It’s a beautiful place and it should be on everyone’s bucket list.

I wanted to walk the highlands so I decided to hike the West Highland Way. It’s a 100 mile trek through some of the most beautiful country in the entire UK, ranging from farmland to lochs and mountain ranges.

Walk the Highlands of Scotland

I got the 100 miles done over 6 days and it was a blast. I got to meet a ton of awesome people and the nature and peace the hike brought were incredibly rewarding. I highly recommend this walk to anyone that loves the outdoors.

If you decide to walk the highlands, choosing to do so over 6 days on the  West Highland Way is a great option. Doing the 100 miles over 6 days makes the trail very enjoyable and doesn’t put a lot of pressure on you to make it to your daily destination. It ensures that you have enough time to enjoy a few pints at the end of the day and not be exhausted.

This guide will help you plan your adventure and get the most out of your walk. It’s broken down by segment so you can easily hop to any segment of the trial you want.

All of the days of hike area available below. I hope it is useful in your trip planning!

West Highland Way Review and Photo Guide

Milngavie – Drymen – 12 miles
Drymen – Rowardennan – 15 miles
Rowardennan – Crainlarich – 20 miles
Crainlarich – Inveroran – 15 miles
Inveroran – Kinlochleven – 19 miles
Kinlochleven – Fort William – 16 miles

Other Links

Official Site of the West Highland Way – Useful background information for the walk.

Guidebook  for the West Highland Way – This book was super helpful and was great for planning my walk and also for reference along the way. I recommend picking one up and carrying it along with you.

Share your comments below!

08 May

Finding Inspiration in Rocket Launchers

id Logo
Every once in a while something comes along that lights a fire under our asses. Something that re-connects us to our inner passions, the things we forgot or hid away long ago in order to be “responsible” adults. The things that connect us back to our hearts true desires.

This happened to me recently. The fire under my ass got lit.

It was a book that did it for me. It reminded me of why I studied what I did in college and why. It broke away the layers of bullshit that had caked over my eyes from business school and the last 10 years of shitty office work.

That book was called Masters of Doom and it is fucking awesome.

Essentially, this is a story of the two guys, John Carmack and John Romero, who formed Id Software and created the bad ass games like Wolfenstein 3D, Doom and Quake which took up a shit ton of hours of my life as a kid shooting rocket launchers at nazis and demons.

It detailed out their passion for the emerging technologies of the time and their love for gaming. It showed how this passion strove them to go after what they loved. It detailed how, if you know what you want in life, there are just simple steps in front of you to take you to where you want to go.

I loved that these were two guys who had a disdain for boring office culture and didn’t want to live their lives stuck to a desk like. They were irreverent to the idea of the traditional worker and they pushed to always create things on their own terms.

How many of us feel this way? How many of us don’t want to be tied to a desk in a crummy office somewhere? How many of us want to live on our own terms?

Things didn’t work out for the two Johns and they each went their separate ways and had some big successes and some huge failures. The important thing though, was that they kept working toward the things they loved and didn’t stop when shit hit a wall or life changed.

This book helped to remind me why I went into studying computer programing: Because you can make cool shit on a computer and technology is awesome.

How simple is that? That was the initial feeling that I had when I first played Wolfenstein 3D back in the day. It blew my fucking mind. I loved it. I knew from that moment that I wanted to do shit with computers.

Then, over the years shit covered up my reasons for why I was studying computers. Business school taught you how to make databases and program user interfaces for stupid financial software. Shit for other businesses. It was boring as fuck.

I pushed through that with some passion still intact because I worked with other people with the same interests and passions as I did.

doom

That all changed when I got my first “real” job in a big corporate office with a whole lot of people that were older than me with none of them had the same drive or interests. The work sucked, it was boring, there was nothing in it that spoke to my soul on any level.

I got bitter. I was so mad at my job that I forgot the things that made me happy and I tried to wash the bitterness away with happy hour.

Over the last months I have been putting in time meditating, every day, and asking myself important questions and listening to the emotional responses that come up from them. What gives me energy and what takes it away? I opened up my self to listen to the responses.

Once I did that, I was in a place to feel the well of excitement and power wash over me when I read Masters of Doom. My soul was ready to re-emerge into this world with some excitement and energy.

Now, with a renewed sense of self and drive, I am on a much clearer path to finding how I can turn this passion into something fruitful.

I am ready to be free to live the life I want and not be held to the bullshit standards of American society.

If you love games, computers, both or just like a good story about people with a dream and realizing something, Masters of Doom is a great read and I highly recommend it.

Maybe it will light a fire under your ass too.
18 Feb

Quit “Sittin’ on a Nail” and Change Your Life

I read a great book called The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer and came across a great story relating to how we stay in painful or unhelpful situations longer than we should.

Here it is:

A farmer is sitting on his porch in a chair, hanging out.
A friend walks up to the porch to say hello, and hears an awful yelping, squealing sound coming from inside the house.
“What’s that terrifyin’ sound?” asks the friend.
“It’s my dog,” said the farmer. “He’s sittin’ on a nail.”
“Why doesn’t he just sit up and get off it?” asks the friend.
The farmer deliberates on this and replies:
“Doesn’t hurt enough yet.”

How many of us show up to a job doing something that isn’t meaningful or interesting that is causing pain in their lives?

Why do we keep doing the same things that are causing us pain over and over?

Because it doesn’t hurt enough yet.

This is exactly my situation and here are some ways it is causing me “pain”:
– My job doesn’t align with my personal interests or passions and I’m just wasting my time.
– It doesn’t allow me to live a free life, creating my own schedule and workplace.
– I waste 2 hours of my day just getting to and from the office.
– I am only given a small amount of time off each year to pursue the things that matter the most to me.

And why have I kept doing it?

Because it didn’t hurt enough.

The steady paycheck and the nice people I work with gave me enough comfort that I haven’t pushed myself to make changes.

I just kept pushing forward in the nice, cozy environment.

Things were painful internally to me, but they didn’t hurt enough for a long time to make any changes.

I’ve finally realized that it does hurt enough. I’ve been “sittin’ on a nail” for too many years and if I don’t make any changes now, I feel like my whole life will be wasted.

I’m getting off the “nail” and moving on with making positive changes in my life.

I’m still not sure what that is exactly, but I know its not what I have been doing.

What is it that doesn’t hurt enough yet for you?

Are you ready to get off your “nail” and change your life?



The Art of Asking by Amanda Palmer – on Amazon