Although Friday was a work day, it kicked off in a special way – I woke up early enough to take Sugar for a trail run at Eldorado State Park, a few miles away, rather than just on the neighborhood trails!
This is one of my favorite trail runs in the area – it’s 1000 vertical feet of gain on the ascent, but about half of that is totally runnable (and I hike the rest). Sugar and I have done this run together a few times, and she loves it!
I was expecting to be a lot slower with Sugar than on my own, since we need to pull off the trail anytime someone approaches thanks to the one-two punch of both COVID19 and Sugar’s fear of strangers. But surprisingly, we finished in about 80 minutes, which is only 5-10 minutes slower than my normal time! Running with Sugar is the best.
She’s pretty fearless, too.
After that solid run, I settled in for a solid day of work (and Sugar settled in for a solid day of napping). Friday was a busy day for me, though I also had some stretches of unproductivity where I got distracted from work. I think that’s just one of the challenges of working from home, but in my view, there is plenty of time I put into work late at night or on the weekend, so it all evens out and I’m still getting everything done. On the bright side, one way I procrastinated was by rearranging my home office, and I’m so much happier with the new layout – it’s much more open, and it also means I won’t have a window right behind me throwing off the lighting on my video calls.
To kick off my weekend, I had a first date where we went for a walk in one of the local open space areas. We wore masks most of the time, but otherwise, it wasn’t too different from how the date would have been in non-COVID19 times, which was lovely. As I’ve written about before, it’s pretty weird to date right now, so this was a nice way to feel like things were “normal”. Plus, I definitely got my quota of mountain views on Friday!
That didn’t stop me from wanting to hit the trails again on Saturday morning, though. This time, Sugar and I stayed in the neighborhood, hitting some more solid hills on our run. When I got home, I popped some morning glory muffins into the oven – my first time trying out a baking with whole wheat flour. These were definitely darker in color and more dense than I was used to; they were decently tasty, but I not quite as filling as I wanted. I find the baked oatmeal recipes so much more filling than things with flour – a good reminder for me for future! I met up with another friend late morning to go for a walk, then knocked out a bunch of chores in the afternoon.
But the highlight of my day was actually a Zoom call at 2:30pm – to celebrate my neighbor Dani’s 40th birthday! We surprised Dani with about fifty people on the Zoom call, and her husband had also hired a musician to play one of her favorite songs. It was awesome 🙂
The rest of my night was pretty low-key… lots of time texting back-and-forth with a friend, making this summer turkey chili for dinner (sooooo good, especially with a lime IPA tossed into the pot), and a ton of time reading. In all, this was a pretty perfect day – a mix of trail time, getting stuff done, seeing friends, and relaxing!
Sunday morning started, once again, with some trail time. This time, Sugar and I headed out on a big hike – to tackle South Boulder Peak!
This was Sugar’s longest and steepest hike with me to date, and she handled it like a champ.
The hike took us about 3.5 hours roundtrip, so now that I know she can cover this kind of vert and distance (8 miles and 2800 feet of elevation gain), I’m psyched for all the summer hiking we’re going to get to do together 🙂
After that long adventure, I was pretty tired when I got home, so mostly laid low and took care of some cleaning and chores around the house. But then I had a friend over for dinner, and cooked this cocoa roasted pork tenderloin, which I served with sweet potato cornbread and arugula salad. Yup, a very similar menu to my dinner at Kirk and Heather’s house the week before! Kirk’s tenderloin was so amazing that I asked him for the recipe, and while I don’t have a smoker like he does, I thought it came out really well roasted in the oven instead. Super simple dinner menu, but really delicious! And it was a lovely way to wrap up the weekend, talking long into the night.
It’s hard to believe that Sugar has been with me more than a month now – she is really settling in and I’m loving that we’re able to hike together! I was not expecting to have her through the summer, but now, I’m rather looking forward to it 🙂