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eagles nestI wore out my family yesterday.  The consensus for today’s hike is a ride up to Eagle’s Nest on the Eagle Bahn Gondola to hike the Fireweed Trail.  Sounds like a going-out-of-business sale at a dispensary.  I count a win for getting them out of their 500 count thread sheets and over-stuffed pillows before noon.  Perfect weather on top of Vail Mountain.  Full sun with a cool breeze.  Only a two mile loop, the Fireweed Trail might not be long enough to enjoy such a perfect day.

rope courseFireweed Trail is actually quite nice.  The sort of soft dirt and pine needles I love to run on.  We see several deer up close too.  We are all pleased with the hike but it is indeed too short.  We decide to stay in the area for some of the activities.  Ellie surprises me by going on the rope course.  I thought she would be too afraid.  She does well but it is extremely athletic and strenuous.  She has just enough strength afterward for a zip line.

zip lineI zip with Ellie – my first ever.  The guides are all supportive of me taking pictures, but also seem quite confident that I’ll drop my phone.  I don’t.  We finish the morning with lunch at the Bistro at Eagle Nest and return on the Gondola to Lions Head.  I decide on the drop down the mountain that I will return later to run back up.  The trails are chock full of mountain bikers.  They’ll have to yield for me.

sistasKaren and I lift some weights back at the hotel.  Then I return to Lions Head to run up the mountain.  Following the ski trail maps is like trying to use a phone book map for city streets.  Quite a bit of detail is missing and the drawings are only rough approximations.  The trail signage is possibly worse.  My uphill pace is slow enough that I actually can read a map.  This doesn’t help me much though given the poor quality of the maps and signage.  Still, I manage to nearly reach the top of the gondola run before I have to turn around from fatigue.  I take some of the steeper biker trails on my descent.

In spite of the short hike to start the day, I’m totally spent now.  I learn that Brit has arrived once I return to the hotel.  She plans to do a massive hike with me tomorrow.  We finish tonight with pizza at the Blue Moose.  Spent and stuffed.