Welcome to week 55 of the Burho blog, coming to you after another amazing and beautiful week in Colorado! This week may be a little shorter than usual as it’s been a very productive work week and we’re starting to feel as though we’re exhausting the “Colorado is fabulous” rhetoric now that we’ve been here for almost a month.
Last week we left off having an “adventure day” in Boulder, hiking the Flatirons and wandering around the Pearl Street mall. We decided to actually have a back-to-back adventure day (which we rarely do) and to head to Rocky Mountain National Park on Wednesday. Part of that decision was that it was meant to be the nicest day of the week, with no rain in the forecast. We got a later start than planned but eventually loaded up on the motorcycle, armed with cold-weather gear for the elevation gain we were anticipating. But boy was that rough at the start…it was an 80+ degree sunny day and we were bundled up in wool socks, sweaters, and black jackets to boot. It was a hot ride to the park and even as we entered into the beautiful, protected land, it was still quite warm at the bottom. But the views were spectacular! We were suddenly up close and personal in the middle of the Rocky Mountains! The main road had actually JUST opened for the season after being closed due to heavy snow and has since re-closed due to a big storm over the weekend, so we considered ourselves lucky that we got to see what we did. We cruised up the mountain range, starting at around 8,000 feet and made our way up to almost 12,000. The change in landscape was amazing; there were a few patches of snow on the ground at the bottom, but by the time we made it to the top we saw piles of snow many feet high! We sat up at the top taking in the views until Heather’s fingers were numb from the cold, before making our way down. By the time we made it back to Bertha, we were covered in sweat – talk about extremes! Jim, of course, took the opportunity to fly Jerome the drone around the park a bit, looking like he was part of Daft Punk (parents might need to Google that one). It was a treat going on a weekday, as the park wasn’t at all crowded and we were able to have a lot of space to ourselves. Oddly, however, neither of us really felt like taking off down a trail for a hike as we normally would…perhaps the back-to-back adventure days had us feeling a bit lazy. You can really see the change in snow and elevation in the panoramas – the lower elevation being all the way to the right in the top photo, and the highest point being all the way to the left in the bottom photo.
The following few days were heavily focused on training and working. We’re less than three weeks out from our Half Ironman race in Costa Rica, our first race of the season, so we’re into the heavier phase of training. We’ve also been doing a bit of a detox in preparation, not having had coffee or alcohol for the past two weeks. If you know Heather and her insatiable coffee addiction, you know this is a big deal! But it’s been great to wake up feeling fresh and ready to start the day without the aid of caffeine. We’ve been trying to eat nice and healthy as well, though we certainly slip up in the sugar department regularly and having DQ gift cards (thanks, Mom!) on hand makes it hard to say no if we happen to be near one. At least we only indulge in the mini-size blizzards so it can’t be that bad…
Work-wise, things have been very exciting in Jim’s coaching world lately! He’s spent time on developing marketing materials this week (business cards and promotional transition cards) as he’s getting extremely close to officially launching his coaching website. He’s also started the process of creating instructional videos for all things triathlon that will be a big part of what he’s building. Finally, he listed his bike fitting services on Craigslist this week and met a client just yesterday who paid him for a professional fit! He’s been working so hard for so many months now, it’s nice to see the fruits of his labor growing!
Another cool item of note that we mentioned a few weeks ago…we were interviewed for an RV Entrepreneur podcast by another full-timer. His objective is to teach other people how to live this nomadic lifestyle and to profile the very different and very creative ways people have found to make a living on the road. He released our podcast this week; we talk about a variety of topics including how we started our life on the road, our Vegas elopement, and how Jim’s business is growing through this experience. If you want to check it out, you can listen here: http://heathandalyssa.com/rve-66-networking-road-triathlons-nomadic-newlyweds/
After completing our long runs for the week separately on Saturday, we decided to set out on our final long ride together on Sunday. After this race, Heather will be taking a little break from triathlon, so Jim will be riding and training solo for the remainder of the year while Heather begins training for her first 50k trail run (not a typo and yes, that’s further than a marathon!). What better place to get in our last long ride together than in Colorado?? This has to be the busiest and most bike-friendly city we’ve ever ridden in. We set out along a very crowded bike trail and for some reason we were surprised it was so busy, even though it was sunny, 70 degrees, and a holiday weekend. What did we expect?? Eventually, we found a section of the trail that ran along a highway and the crowds thinned out. We rode a hard 40 miles, stopping only once at Bear Creek Lake for a photo op. This was a perfect spot as it overlooked the lake but also, as you look left, you can see Red Rocks Amphitheater and as you look right, you can see all the way to downtown Denver. We seriously can’t express enough just how gorgeous this state it and how awesome it is to ride bikes here! The altitude continues to add the extra challenge in training, a factor we hope will still help us when we race at sea level!
Yesterday we kept with our usual Monday routine – Jim working on training plans and Heather doing the cleaning and laundry. Once the work was done, however, we were lucky enough to be invited to dinner at the home of Amber’s family (Amber is the bride from two blogs ago). She grew up here and her family invited us over to partake in a feast of ribs, chicken, potato salad, cheesecake and more hor d’oeuvres than we could possibly eat! Amber’s sister, brother, and brother’s girlfriend were able to join as well and it was a lovely time with the Alley clan. They’re so warm and welcoming and even let us ship a few packages to them while we’re in town.
That’s about it for this week, stay with us as Heather heads to Vegas this weekend for her next bachelorette, leaving Jim to his own devices in Bertha. Thanks for reading!
Total RV Trip Miles: 17,187