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No One Parties Like a 90 Year Old!

We all want to see our 90th birthday and celebrating with family makes it fun.  I asked my Mom about lessons learned as I wanted to know the secrets so I too can make it to 90. My Mom is happy and friendly and generally does what she wants with who she wants to do it with. That being said, she still claims not to have any secrets to tell so I have none to share.

So, how does a newly minted 90-year-old party? We played some cards, went for walks and played shuffleboard. And just who do you think one most of the card games? You guessed it, the lady of the day!

We went to a fun restaurant in Bentonville called the Holler, where they allowed us to bring in our own birthday cake. We used two shuffleboard courts and had a fun time playing. Mom did well on the courts.

Other highlights:

We did enjoy the Walton Arts Center and saw a very good performance by the symphony of Northwest Arkansas. We really appreciated the talented pianist Andrew Tyson playing Chopin with the symphony. One benefit to living in a retirement area is that they arranged a bus to transport us down to the symphony and back. That made the travel very nice for all of us.

Lessons learned:

Be nice to everyone. Take care of others and keep the house clean. The lake looks inviting, but it is cold in the winter!Mom 90 at the lake

We did not go bike riding on this trip. I flew through the Atlanta airport on the way home. It was great to see the city getting ready for the super bowl. I did enjoy the festive atmosphere and was sorry I could not stay for the game.

Hike in the Snowy Mountains

We spent our time after Christmas in Colorado.  It was exciting for us to spend time with our kids in Colorado Springs.

Hike 1 CS 2018 Glen Winter

At the trailhead to Mr. Cutler near Colorado Springs. Ready for a cold hike!

We did get out for a few hikes and planned more, but the weather became too cold to hike for more than a few minutes in the mountains. The next time we visit in the winter, we will plan on snowshoeing or skiing or both.

Hike 1 CS Springs 2018 Winter--Ice on path

One of the early lessons we learned was that an investment in micro spikes makes a big difference on icy trails. We did not have any on this hike, but the kids did. After hiking 2 ½ miles up over 700 feet in snowy 16-degree weather, we decided we should get some as well. We did enjoy our first hike in the mountains and the trail, although with ice patches, was manageable.

Hike 1 CS 2018 GSPBK on the way to the top

Getting near the top of Cutler with our hiking group. Kids have the spikes and we do not!

Our elevation started at 6500 feet above sea level, much higher than normal for us and went up from there to the top of Mt. Cutler (over 7,200feet). And yes, it was cold!

Our second hike was colder than the first from the start as we climbed up Raspberry Mountain.

Hike 2 CS 2018 Getting ready to go

All bundled up and getting ready to go for a hike–just over the bridge and up the mountain.

We started the hike at 9,500 feet above sea level and went for over 5 miles reaching the peak at over 10,500 feet above sea level.

The hike started at 30 degrees and grew colder; the hike ended over three hours later at 9 degrees as the sun was setting.

Hike 2 CS 2018 Getting back near sunset

I was happy to be the owner of new micro spikes, as my footing was secure on the assent and decent. Hike 2 CS 2018 Glen likes the micro spikes

We chose to get this hike in early in the visit before the anticipated cold front came into the mountains; it worked. Although at times our warm clothes were sometimes too warm, we were better off with the many layers we had on the hike.Hike 2 CS 2018 GK on the hike

It was good that we went when we did, as we spend a few days indoors playing cards and enjoying our new years celebration.

CS Bridge hand--what would you bid

Bridge hand–what would you bid?

Other highlights:

Enjoy what nature has to offer—make snow angels Hike 2 CS 2018 Snow angels

Trip by the numbers:  We hiked over 8 miles and had an elevation gain of almost 2,000 feet. Not too bad for a couple who live at almost 900 feet above sea level visiting Colorado.

Hike 2 CS 2018 View of Pikes peak from the trail

No bike rides in the cold and snow.

Bike End No Ride

 

 

 

Square 2 Square

My travel to Arkansas was supposed to culminate in the semi-annual square 2 square bike ride with my sister. Over 1,900 riders were signed up and ready to go. The ride was scheduled for Saturday morning and although it rained all day Friday, Saturday looked clear.

Bella Vista Gina-Glen-MomI received a call from the ride organizers at 5:30 on Saturday morning that the ride was cancelled as several of the tunnels were rained out from the day before.

My sister rode anyway, riding around the tunnels, unlike about 1,899 other riders. I took the opportunity to drive back home.

I am happy to say my sister and I did a tune up ride at Pea Ridge National Military Park. We have been to the park before. It was a good ride, some hills and no traffic! The ride was not too long, a good almost-8-mile loop around the park. The focus of the park is the Civil War battle at Pea Ridge. The stops along the way reveal Civil War history and the two-day battle. If you have not been to the battle site, it is worth the stop. Over 26,000 soldiers struggled in Northwest Arkansas in the battle that would decide the fate of Missouri.

I enjoyed riding the Razorback Regional Greenway Trail in Northwest Arkansas. I only took one ride during the week along the trail and this trail is part of the square 2 square ride. I wanted to re-familiarize myself with the trail. I expected to be riding that weekend the same course with hundreds of others and I enjoyed a less populated trail ride.

I was able to take advantage of a new disc golf course near my mom’s house. My mom joined me on the first round and I did another “solo” walk around the course while I was down for the visit. I had played golf (with a ball) on this same location years before with my family. The old golf course was a 9-hole course. I can see that I hit the golf ball much further than I can throw a disc. It was fun to play the new disc golf course. The designers of the course had a good idea and layout. I enjoyed teeing off of a golf tee pad to hit, I mean throw my disc.

A quick stop in St. Louis and another bike ride on Grant’s trail was a warm up for the ride I was expecting to do in Arkansas. I enjoy the ride along Grant’s trail and found the balloons along the route to be a fun addition. I am looking forward to riding the expansion coming next year as well.

On a prior trip to St. Louis I was able to visit, along with my wife and in-laws White Haven, Grant’s home (also a National Park) in St. Louis. Grant’s trail, where we like to ride in St. Louis, goes along the home. It was great to walk around and learn more about this famous Civil War General and President.

When I got back from my travels south, a friend of mine from India was in town and we got to spend a nice day together in Cincinnati catching up on old times.Cincinnati Glen and Praveen

Before going to Arkansas I had a visit from a college buddy and we enjoyed Cincinnati and Cleveland play baseballmike-and-glen-at-cincinnati-versus-cleveland.jpg

I also have been able to take in a local hike or two and get back to the local Arboretum to see how the plants are doing. It is good to get out and hike among the trees and flowers.

 

Since the organizers of the square 2 square ride cancelled their ride, all riders were allowed a “substitute” 30 mile bike ride in order to receive their medal.

 

I was happy to ride with my wife on the Loveland bike trail in Cincinnati to complete my Arkansas ride. I receive the medal in the mail and I will look for another time to ride the trails.

A few lessons learned:

Take a chance and ride when you can. I was all ready for the square 2 square ride and was disappointed not to be a part of that ride. I did go on several rides the week before. It was enjoyable to be outside riding the different trails even though I did not make it for the event.

Bella Vista Lake View

Keep your mind busy. Here is a look at the jig saw puzzle table. My Mom works on puzzles daily. When she is all done, she donates the used ones to a local charity.Bella Vista Puzzle pictures

Enjoy the area where you are. The Pea Ridge bike ride was a last minute thing. It was enjoyable for the scenery and that the only other traffic on the road was a few others on bike. We had the entire park to ourselves. This was better than a simple bike path because of all of the history and stops along the route.

 

When a friend calls up to say hi, have them over or spend the day with them. Local plans can wait.

Trip by the numbers: Here is a picture of my substitute 30 mile bike ride. It could have been in Arkansas and I did the ride in Ohio. The result was the same—I had fun riding.Little Miami Bike Trail bike road map

It must be time for another ride!

Glen with Sq 2 Sq Medal

 

Colorado Springs

We went to Colorado Springs to visit with our kids who recently moved into the area. The views from their house are amazing. I can see why they enjoy living out in this area. We spent more time with the kids and some of the boxes than we did sightseeing.

One of our highlights was hiking at The Garden of the Gods Park in Colorado Springs. The free park is awe inspiring. I was in the park about 8 years ago and it is a must visit when you are in the area.

We enjoyed hiking along the Ute trail in the mountain biking area. The magnificent red rocks are jutting out of the ground are quite the contrast with the rest of the mountains in the area and the green vegetation along the trails.

The beauty in this area is so different than our home state. It was wonderful to see. After our hike on the Ute trail we hiked around the main area. We followed the good tenants for getting acclimated to altitude, not over doing it on the first day or two, limiting alcohol and drinking plenty of water.CS GG KGB

Our other big hiking adventure was in North Cheyenne Cañon Park. If you go in the summer, it is probably best to avoid Saturday or Sunday visits as it was crowded when we went. We had to park away from the main parking area, which was fine for us as we enjoyed hiking up to catch the visitor’s center and the starting point for the trail up to Helen Hunt Falls.

Colorado 7 bridges hike to trail head

The hike up was beautiful.

The visitor’s center was fun with a map where hikers noteColorado 7 bridges hike to trail head--Hellen Hunt falls where hikers come fromd where they were from.

This is another park owned by the city of Colorado Springs.

Colorado 7 bridges hike to trail head--First trail up 6 G-K-S-B view from top of silver cascade

 

From Helen Hunt Falls we continued our day by hiking up the Seven Bridges Trail (although we only made it over 3 of the bridges). We found ourselves in the middle of an ultra-marathon (they were running 50 miles). Our kids had read a comment online about this trail that you should dance over each one of the bridges and do a different dance for each. That was fun and I am not posting the videos! We also managed some non-technical boulder climbing after bridge #3.

Other highlights:

We went bouldering. The kids have been enjoying a local past time, climbing rocks. It is fun to do so indoors in a controlled environment and even outside. Our daughter and daughter-in law enjoyed the outdoor rock climbing as well.

We will be back before too long and have more to share. We did hike over 10 miles and I rode a bike one day 5 miles in the neighborhood. We also recycled boxes and helped out around the new place in Colorado.

I managed one bike ride in the neighborhood. I had not ridden in an area with wild cactus plants growing before this ride.

Colorado mountain bike 2018 cati

View from the path near the kids house

I only managed 5 miles, but it was a fun 5 miles after I put the bike together and got it in working order.

We will be back soon!

Garden of the Gods G-K

Walking in the Garden of the Gods

Bike

Bike from my ride. This is in the driveway. What a view!