Short Weekend Hike in Front Range: Lookout Mountain

It’s confirmed – the Lookout Mountain trail from Windy Saddle in Lookout Mountain is short-term visitor approved. Not too long, not too high in elevation (reaches just over 7k feet), and has some of the best views!

Seriously the best views for such a short hike! DenverSpeax, April 2015.

Continue reading

Advertisements

Snowshoe Adventures on Squaw Pass

Trees Brown DS

Hiking Squaw Mountain. Click on the picture to check us out on Facebook. Make sure to hit that Like Button! Photo Credit: Denverspeax, 2015.

Once again, we rented a few pairs of snowshoes from REI (roughly $25 bucks per pair for the weekend) and made the run from Denver to Squaw Pass.

These are the same directions for heading to Echo Lake, however we stopped about 12 miles early at a parking area off of the Pass in front of a large, open grassy area.

We parked, got our gear on, (visit our first Snowshoeing Adventure post to learn what gear will keep you warm and happy!) and headed across the Pass from where we were parked, and picked up a trail in between the cabins that lie a little off of the pass (you can see them from the road).  Continue reading

Denverspeax’s Response to the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge

The PR and Marketing team for the ALS Association have to be jumping for joy; and why the hell not? They’ve raised nearly $80 million US off of the viral Ice Bucket Challenge campaign.

Kids are begging their parents to nominate them. It’s the “in” thing right now.

Who knew spreading the news about charity would be the “in” thing at school? Hey, way to go, ALS team! We feel you surpassed the goal of any of your wildest dreams.

 

In response to multiple nominations from amazing people that we love (I Get Down Clothing & Apparel being one of them!), we have decided NOT to pour clean water over our heads as many households throughout the world suffer from water poverty. Again, this is our stance, and doesn’t need to be yours. However, we have donated to the ALS Foundation, and decided to start a new challenge… Continue reading

14er #2: Mount Bierstadt

biers sign

Trailhead sign for Mount Bierstadt. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2014.

Last Friday, a few co-workers and I received a random day off. With summer coming quickly to an end, we decided to hike Mount Bierstadt, a Class 2 difficulty, 14,060′ mountain in Colorado. This only being my second 14er, I was just as anxious as the first!

Out of the three of us who hiked, 2 of us were on our second 14er and for one of us, Bierstadt was the first. I would definitely recommend Bierstadt for first-time 14ers for a few reasons: 1) lower class of difficulty, 2) no incredibly steep inclines, 3) the trail is clearly defined and consists of wooden planking (beginning), dirt, and boulders – you get a taste of everything! 4) if you can park in, or close to, the parking lot at the trailhead, it is only about a 7.5 round trip. For directions to Bierstadt, click here.

 

Luckily, the weather last Friday was incredible! We had a few scary clouds once we hit summit, but no rain or hail the entire afternoon. Amazing, right?! It was nice to hike on a Friday and beat the weekend crowds also – if you have the chance to go on a weekday, take it!

 

lake

A hidden lake during mile 1 of Bierstadt. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2014

path and sunshine

Sunshine and a two-track trail – how beautiful is that view?! Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2014

 

We began hiking the trail at about 7 am and made our way across the two-track path; wooden decking also consumed a portion of the trail early on in the first mile, leading us over marshy land and through tall grass.

view1

view2flowers

Beautiful meadows and wildlife. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2014

 

view3flowers2

Beautiful meadows and wildlife. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2014

 

The views of the valleys  and meadows were breath-taking. Beautiful wildflowers are present along the majority of the trail until about the 3rd mile (guess-timate). Marmots and little chipmunks were everywhere! It was really fun to see wildlife in addition to the beautiful plant life on our hike this time.

view pf path

Check out how far we’d come! Looking back at the trailhead below somewhere between mile 2 and 3. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2014

 

Although the trail is pretty tame, the last mile or two are definitely more rough. The higher up, the rockier it gets!

 

view4almosttop

View from somewhere around mile 3. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2014

long way up

Rough terrain in the last mile. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2014

Check out the sweet “Stairway to Heaven” pic from summit:

stairway to heaven

Cassy summitting Bierstadt. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2014

 

The views from the top were incredible, but with the clouds rolling in we were only able to stay up there for about 10 minutes.

 

viewfromtop

View from the top of Mount Bierdstadt. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2014

Just enough time to get a picture with the conveniently placed, home-made signs that are waiting for you at the top!

kirstensign

Kirsten at the top of Mount Bierstadt. Photo Credit: Cassy H., July 2014

lonesome bagtop

Lonely backpack at the top. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, July 2014

Something we need to mention – 14ers are hard. They truly test your physical and mental abilities to the max. When I hear people say “It’s an easy 14er” or, “Hey, that one’s an easy one!”, it annoys us as this is not necessarily true for you and your abilities. Know your limits. Yes, the 14ers are classified, and this is a good guide in order to pick out which mountains to start on and which mountains will be more challenging than others; however there are no “easy 14ers”.

Research your mountain before you go – 14ers.com is an amazing site with a TON of information including classifications, directions, trailheads, and pictures. Figure out which mountain is going to be right for your skill level. There are 54 to choose from! We definitely recommend Bierstadt as a first-time 14er, but remember that it is still a physical feat to accomplish! There’s no doubt in our mind that you can do it. 🙂

Have any questions or want to accompany DenverSpeax on an upcoming 14er? Comment below, or email us at denverspeax@gmail.com.

 

 

June Hike Challenge – Hike #1: Deer Creek Canyon Park

Since moving to Colorado, we’ve really developed a true love for hiking. Luckily, there are plenty of beautiful places to explore all around the state. To reinforce this new passion and work on staying in shape, I (Kirsten) decided to challenge myself to hike 50 miles in Colorado by the end of June.

Image

Photo Map courtesy of Jefferson County Website – Click on the Map to be brought to their site for more information.

Yesterday evening, I took off to meet a friend after work at Deer Creek Canyon Park in Jefferson County, CO. Because it was so hot (over 90 degrees F still after 6:30 pm!), the 3-mile loop we took was a great mix of sunshine and shade, winding through rocky hills with plenty of wildlife.

picstitch

Check out the amazing views along the hike! Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, June 2014

Many others had the same idea to get outside yesterday – we ran into hikers, trail runners, and mountain bikers along the different paths. Dogs are allowed as long as they are leashed, so of course, I brought Moguls. As usual, Moguls was a trooper regardless of the heat.

moguls

Furry friends are allowed as long as they’re kept on a leash – make sure to pick up after them as well! Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, June 2014

The hike yesterday knocked off 3 miles, so 47 miles left to go in order to complete the June Hike Challenge. This hike is an easy-to-moderate trail. At times the path narrows and more rugged terrain is present; nothing too difficult, it is just important to wear proper footwear.

path1

View of one of the trails at Deer Creek Canyon Park. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, June 2014

 

path2

View of one of the trails at Deer Creek Canyon Park. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, June 2014

 

Check out all of the great shots I got on our hike! I especially loved the variety of wild flowers along the trail – very nice to see that summer is in full bloom.

rockridge

Neat Rock Ridge! I wonder if anyone has Mountain Biked down THAT before? Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, June 2014

 

flowers

Beautiful wildflowers growing alongside the trails. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, June 2014

view1

Sometimes it’s still hard to believe what a beautiful place we live in. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, June 2014

 

Over the next few weeks, we’ll be posting hikes for the June Hike Challenge; I hope this motivates you all to get outside in our wonderful state and explore!

Have a great hike to share with us? Comment below! We would love more ideas.

You can also follow our adventures on Twitter & Instagram: @denverspeax
We also have a Facebook Page! 🙂

Be Inspired: Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs

Yesterday, Steve and I (Kirsten) journeyed to Colorado Springs for the first time since moving to Colorado a year ago. Equipped with snacks, water, cameras, and a little dog, we hiked for a few hours throughout Garden of the Gods.

Image

Steve & Moguls, checking out the view. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

Image

Garden of the Gods. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

Image

Garden of the Gods. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

Image

Garden of the Gods. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

 

Garden of the Gods is a registered National Natural Landmark located about an hour south of Denver on i25. There are about 15 miles’ worth of trails throughout the park, all of which outlined on a FREE map provided by the Visitor & Nature Center Information Desk. For our first trip, we stuck to the paved walkways and took note of interesting looking trails for next time. We couldn’t have asked for better weather!

Image

Garden of the Gods. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

Image

Garden of the Gods. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

Image

Garden of the Gods. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

 

Climbers are allowed in designated areas of the park with proper permits and equipment. Honestly, one of the coolest experiences at the park was watching climbers clench to the side of these massive, jagged rocks.

image 7

Garden of the Gods. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

 

 

image 16

Garden of the Gods. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

image 15

A Boy and his Nikon. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

 

 

Garden of the Gods is a great place for all ages! The views are spectacular, and the hiking is amazing. There are all levels of trails throughout the park with maps posted throughout. Also, it’s a great workout for you and your furry friend, just remember to keep them on a leash at all times.

image 14

Garden of the Gods. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

 

 

image 13

Steve and Kirsten exploring Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, CO. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

 

image 12

Garden of the Gods. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

 

image 11 - steven and railing

Steve looking for the best shot in Garden of the Gods. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

 

 

image 10

Garden of the Gods. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

 

image 8

Garden of the Gods. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, May 2014

If you’re ever in the mood for being inspired by more of Colorado’s natural beauty, check out Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. Visit their Visitor and Nature Center, climb the massively jagged rocks, or hike one of the several trails.  They have tons of events relating to geology, tours, and more. Also, check out the other sights in the park, like Balanced Rock.

Kombucha, Bamboo Bicycles, Juicing, oh my! – BambuCycles

 

Image

Check out BambuCycles in the Highlands – stop in and slam a green one for us, Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

Healthy, scrumptious things to consume and cool bicycles are two things that Denverites go bananas over; it’s not hard to see why Denver, Boulder, and the Loveland areas made top 10 on a recent study’s slimmest cities! Check out this local business that’s helping us reach such lofty fitness goals – Stop #2 on the March 2014 Denver Dishcrawl, BambuCycles.

 

Using a masticating juicer (that means no blades, my friends) the fruits and veggies juiced by the guys at BambuCycles leave nearly all of the vitamins and nutrients in tact, extracting all of the pulp and fiber; the process uses a slower, crushing and squeezing method than other commonplace juicers. Another cool fact: BambuCycles in LoHi succeeds at extracting about 90% juice instead of the typical juicer’s 60% return. They make our Jack LaLanne juicer look like a joke! Check out the differences between masticating (more expensive) and centrifugal (more common, less expensive) juicers here for an easy run-down on the two.

Image

BambuCycles doing what they do best! Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

The guys at BambuCycles juiced two, glorious samples for us- one green, and one made of fruits including pineapple, cantaloupe, and watermelon. Ever wondered about how juicing works, or wanted to take advantage of the many health benefits juicing provides? Stop in and chat with Angel and the guys; not only a wealth of knowledge, the staff are happy to assist you with customized juice orders, detoxes, and cleanses.

 

Image

Bright and full of flavor – The Mexican Salad at BambuCycles. Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

Some of the fruit was saved from juicing and chopped into small salads with a spicy twist (pictured above).

Try a rendition of this vibrant, flavorful melon salad:

  • Take your favorite melons (cantaloupe, watermelon, etc), and chop into 1” chunks – we like to fill a standard dinner-bowl full of the fruit to split between two people.
  • Drizzle lemon juice (to taste). We prefer a TON of lemon juice simply because the tangy and sweet combination of the lemon juice and the fruit is incredible.
  • Dust some cayenne (we prefer) or chili pepper throughout the salad – be careful! (also, to taste)
  • Sea Salt (to taste).
  • Mix the fruit, lemon juice, salt, and cayenne / chili pepper together, making sure each piece of fruit gets this crazy combination of ingredients for the best variety of flavors in every bite. Seriously, it’s like a party in your mouth.

 

Image

 

Another great experience provided on this Dishcrawl stop? Kombucha on tap! If you’re not familiar with Kombucha Tea, let us explain: Happy Leaf is a well known Kombucha producer, pulling from multiple types of tea in their brewing: green, white, and black. Benefits of Kombucha per The Food Renegade:

#1. DETOX!

 

#2. Helps with those pesky joints

 

#3. Digestion & Gut Health

 

#4. Boosts the Immune System

 

Check out The Food Renegade for more great info on Kombucha.

 

 

BambuCycles offer a stylish ride that stands out in a crowd. Not only are they cool looking, but they also provide natural shock absorption that simply can’t be replicated by other machined bikes. Stop in and check out these sweet rides!

 

Alright, alright… juicing, healthy & delicious snacks, Kombucha, AND bamboo bikes? Does BambuCycles NOT do anything awesome?

AnneliseStop2

Annelise, enjoying some juice and Bamboo Bikes. Photo Credit: Kirsten Ebey, Mar 2014

The answer is obviously no. They offer some serious benefits to the LoHi community, and definitely have a blast doing it. We look forward to stopping in again soon and learning more about their interesting business.

 

 

 

Gociety – Get Outside with Awesome People

 

Image

Gociety hooks you up with people of same outdoor interests – what a great platform to motivate more Coloradans to get outside and mingle with like-minded, awesome people! Check out Gociety on Facebook by clicking on their logo above – Photo Credit: Gociety Facebook Page, April 2014

Gociety is a site we’ve been watching for a while, and for good reason; their concept is fresh and new, and provides a GREAT service to the Colorado community. With Gociety, you can meet people from all over Colorado getting outside and doing what they love!

For example, we are avid bikers and appreciate meeting new people to bike all over Denver with – Gociety is a platform that will help us out with this.

Image

Road biking lets us exercise and see new parts of town; on Gociety, I can meet new people that love to do the same. Click on the picture above to check out the Gociety Facebook Page. Photo Credit: DenverSpeax Archive, 2013

Creating a Gociety profile is super easy – we just made one! By visiting Gociety, you can join via Facebook profile, OR email. Fill out  info about how you get down in the great outdoors of Colorado, and BOOM! – you have a Discovery Feed outlining multiple outdoor activities in areas all over Colorado. From Cat Skiing to to Fly Fishing to multiple runs and triathlons, there is a TON to do – and what better way to find it than one, organized Discovery Feed via your personal Gociety profile. Search options on the right-hand side make it easy to limit the feed to your interests only.

all the land

Get outside and hike Mount Evans! Photo Credit: DenverSpeax Archive, 2013

 

With an easy-to-use platform, it’s no wonder more and more Coloradans are catching on to Gociety‘s awesome idea. We can’t wait to sign up for a few events (aka, Gocieties) and meet new, awesome people that love getting outside. We’ll be sure to give you an update as well as an inside look of our experience. Stay tuned!

For the meantime, go check Gociety out on the web or on Facebook and see what they’re all about for yourself.