In Which the Gorge is FINALLY Run!

And you get an early post. Don’t get used to it.  I guess I left you in an odd little spot. I was very aware that I’d kept you all waiting for almost three weeks, thanks mum.  So I’m going to consider that we ended on Monday, though I touched on the rest of the work week too.  The details are not really that interesting, but here you go anyways.  During the week I had fun with my new weather app, yep, I have it on full profanity 🙂

A selection of the amusements from #whattheforecast app. I avoided the most profane, promise!

Tuesday I was invited to a fancy client dinner downtown (no relating stories of hilarious weather apps at that!).  The hydrovision conference, the reason Andrew was here, brought a whole lot of other hydropower related dignitaries, from AECOM and afar. Mark had a couple of events but was unable to get to a dinner with a client in Tuesday night, so the host invited me. Just to even the numbers out. I finishes work and headed into the city, it wasn’t too bad, the people at my end of the table were more about a good chat, the business happened the other end, winning!  Wednesday was as dull as expected.  Thursday was Bens birthday, another year older and firmly into his 30s! I’m so proud of him when I hear all the things he’s having to do, the situations he’s negotiating, and the way he’s handling his new job. Hearing about it I feel like he’s working hard (as well he should), learning lots, and actually being challenged towards his potential. 

I’m not sure which of us is most punny.

Friday I took my flex day.  Earl and I headed off medium early (he got back from his conference in Boston late Thursday so had some packing to do) towards San Isabel.  I doubt you remember but that’s a lake I discovered this time last year, stunning little national forest with this lake and campground.  It’s about 20 mins west of Pueblo.  we got there early enough to have a choice of three camp spots, we chose one by a small family with a slight view of the lake (best you could get from the campground).  We pitched the tent to claim our spot then headed up to the Royal Gorge to FINALLY raft that at high water!  Seems the fact that I’d rescheduled five times made me a celebrity, everyone knew of me, hilarious.  The water was at 2000cfs, so not as high as possible (I’ll try again next year for the 3200cfs run), but much more fun than last time I did it. So exciting. Heck I’m getting giddy just recalling it. There aren’t words to describe the fun of that run when combined with the views etc!

Coming in sideways; apparently I sit way out on the side, which they tell me is a good thing; we nearly lost Earl – the importance of locking in your feet.

Earl had been waiting two years for that. He, TJ, and his dad went too it in 2015 and water was too high so they did an alternate. I don’t think he was disappointed at all. I know I sure as hell wasn’t.  After that adrenaline rush we headed back to camp for my first ever attempt at the hobo dinner. It was over cooked but otherwise yummy. Not to self chop the veges smaller and maybe also pre cook them a little so the meat isn’t overcooked.  The evening was relaxed and perfect for camping!

My view out the door in the morning ; this is the Colorado Columbine, state flower, quite elusive, I finally found one!!!

Saturday Earl decided on more rafting, even though the next option was a cruisey one for us and nostalgic for me. We headed to rock’n’row, where I spent a lot of last summer. Many of the guides are the same, a few newbies.  The place is the same shit show, though Gene is selling up so a new bloke and his son were trying to run it for the season, as a tester I guess. Gene is still a grumpy bum even tho it seems to me he should be trying to be on his best behaviour to promote the sale. Ah well.  The run we did was he same as I did a few times last year, good fun in the couple of decent rapids but long sections of flat and dull. Our raft guide decided to put us through the black hole which is rarely run with tourists unless the group can swim. We didn’t swim. I suspect I should quit rafting now, as much as I’ve done and yet to (unintentionally) swim makes me think that when I do it will be epic. We didn’t get the photos, they weren’t that interesting.  We did stop at Barrys Den for lunch. I love that burrito with green chili, love it!

I enjoyed the final third for Sunday lunch.

After filling up we headed down to Bishops Castle.  On the way we stopped in at another couple of campgrounds, just to scope them out for future use.  The one at Davenport creek, the first ever US forestry campground, looked quite pretty too. Anyways, Earl hadn’t been to Bishops Castle so we just had to do that! I loved it, crawling about the thing is great fun. He thoroughly enjoyed himself, after we were back on the ground. Huge kudos to him for going to both of the towers despite that fear.

Smiling (grimacing?) through the fear; he did go up to the top of the other tower too, I got a boring photo of his foot…

We then headed back to the lake for the night.  Unfortunately the nice and quiet family we had next to us Friday night was gone, and replaced with a group of already drunk and rowdy (at 1600) 20 somethings. Given it was only 1600 and 2.5 hours from hone we just packed up and shipped out. I took a load of stuff to the car and returned to Earl packing and four blokes talking at him, all feeling bad that they’d run us off. They paid for our site for the night (which helped them because hey had too many people and tents on the one site) and we were on our way.  We had a shitty moment though. About 10 minutes from my place Earls car started tapping, then the oil light came on, then allure dash lists started playing about. We took the next exit and pulled up.  The dipstick was say so we crawled to the closest servo, filled her up with oil and tried to limp home. Five minutes froom home and there was a big clunk and she shut off. She started again briefly (after much cajoling) and had a horrid rattle going so we pulled into the next car park and abandoned ship. Uber took us home. Red retrieved the camping gear. She sits there still (Mondays problem).  We got home, had a shower, and collapsed asleep.  We believe the engine is fucked and Earl needs a new car. On the plus side the hail had already written it off and Earl has that cheque already.  So in this state there is an interesting law where a car can be written off for hail damage, they pay you out, and you can keep the car. Hell I’d take that!

Sunday we had breakfast at Egg&I, best juice I’ve ever had! I then took Earl and his camping gear home, via the supermarket so he doesn’t have to walk home laden this week. Then I had one of the most relaxing afternoons I’ve had for what feels like forever. I had a nap for a couple of hours, then sat on my chair on the porch for hours, planning Ireland, planning gym, writing this, staring into space. So nice. Off to gym and work tmo.

Recipe for watermelon juice, for future reference

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