giraffe in Nairobi

Things to Do Around Nairobi


Getting to Africa from the United States is a trek, but once there it is a wonderful experience.  Even Nairobi, the capital of Kenya with a population of 6.5 million, has a lot to offer.  During our travels around Kenya as well as quick jaunt to Rwanda for a gorilla safari, we used Nairobi as a connecting base.  As such, we stayed in a few different places and visited a handful of sites, most of which were located in the Nairobi suburb Karen, named for Karen Blixen the renowned Danish author.


3 Hikes on the West Side of Rocky Mountain National Park

I got lucky and Dan and Lori, who I housesat for in June, let me use their house in Grand Lake for a few days.  As such, I explored the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park.  This side is less crowded than the east side though it still attracts many visitors in search of moose.  It also features several long trails.  Below are three hikes in the 10-12 mile range.


The Sneffels Traverse – Day 4

Morning Coffee

Our fourth and final day on the Sneffels Traverse took us 8.1 miles from the Ridgway Hut to Ouray.  We skipped staying at Burn Hut for another night as it was only 4.1 miles away.  With the final hike being mostly downhill and not too long, we voted for a later start…8:30 am.

As usual, Tina was the first one up.  She turned on the propane and got the water boiling.  Normally, we would have left the propane on overnight, but there was a leak outside the cabin. Given a leak can cause an explosion and even emit carbon monoxide in certain instances, I, being the worry wart, turned it off.

blue columbine with blue lake in background

The Sneffels Traverse – Day 3

Wake Up Call

For our third day on the Sneffels Traverse, we planned a 6.6 mile side hike to Blue Lakes before trekking 5 miles to Ridgway Hut.  Due to speculative weather, we planned an early departure.  Tanya’s phone alarm rang at 5:15 am.  She was in such a deep sleep, she couldn’t even find it! 

I wish I could say the same.  I was up before my alarm.  Though it was kind of funny, when Tanya commented, “I’m used to Karla’s 14er hikes, when a chorus of phone alarms chime.” I know!  Fortunately, Tanya’s alarm worked for the whole cabin, and we began quietly preparing our day packs while waiting on the pot of water to boil for our much-needed tea and coffee.


The Sneffels Traverse – Day 2

Pre-Hike Departure

On our second day of the Sneffels Traverse, a deer made a brief visit to the meadow by our hut as Tina, the first to rise, got the water boiling. Half the group poured their coffee and tea and walked out to the beaver ponds to watch the sunrise while the other half the group packed up and ate breakfast.


The Sneffels Traverse – Day 1

Planning the Sneffels Traverse

I’ve always been interested in a summer hut trip but wasn’t familiar with the hut system process which can range from entering a lottery to simply making a reservation depending on the ownership and operation of the hut.

In June of last year, I stumbled across the Sneffels Traverse in 5280 Magazine.  The Sneffels Traverse is a 29.4-mile trek which begins at Last Dollar Pass near Telluride and ends near the quaint town of Ouray.  Along the way are four backcountry cabins operated by the San Juan Huts System

Since 5280 mapped out the traverse and included all the necessary information about the traverse, I thought this is a trip I could do.  A few months later, I mentioned it to my hiking friend Tanya while in Aspen admiring the fall foliage.


Staycation: Colorado Dragon Boat Festival

The Colorado Dragon Boat Festival is being held this weekend, July 27-28th.  I’ve always wanted to attend, and this weekend I finally did.  My friend Danelle joins Adaptive Adventures in the boat races, so I went to cheer her on.

The Colorado Dragon Boat Festival is free and is held at Sloan’s Lake Park.  Parking is not allowed, so it is best to find other means of transportation or to use the festival’s free shuttle which transports festival goers from the Auraria Campus regularly.  I coupled my visit with some exercise, rode my bike to the lake, and utilized the bike corals.

blue columbine

Eight Hikes on Guanella Pass Scenic Byway

Guanella Pass Scenic Byway

Guanella Pass Scenic Byway stretches 22 miles between Georgetown and Grant and takes about one hour to drive. The road climbs through an evergreen forest and aspen stands before it tops out above treeline offering expansive views of the Rockies. It’s north end is only about one hour from Denver, thus it is easy to reach a variety of hikes from the metro area.

Here are eight choices that rank from easy to difficult on AllTrails:

reflections on the lake and ice

Roadtrip to the Rockies: Three Hikes in Breckenridge

What a nice few days in Breckenridge!  I got out of 100° heat in Denver, hung out with my friend Cat, and hiked three trails.  With the frigid winter, many of the trails above 12,500 feet still have a lot of snow, thus I had to be selective with my trail choices.