Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Gettin' Older...

Last Friday was my birthday, or more properly the anniversary of my birthday. Last year I decided working on this day was unacceptable so I took the day off from work. As I am wont to do, I slept in and planned the day in an impromptu manner. I knew the weather would be questionable but upon waking up I realized that a short hike in the foothills would be possible.

By 10:30am I left the house and headed up the Rocky Canyon Road into the eastern foothills hoping to get close enough to my goal, little known Aldape Peak. We haven't had much snow since New Years and I was astonished that I could drive the Escape all the way to Aldape Summit. I stopped a little bit short (not wanting to push my luck) but hiking the road proved it would have been no problem. Highly unusual conditions for mid-February!

I, perhaps foolishly, didn't even bring snowshoes but fortunately they weren't really needed. I hiked the main road to Aldape Summit and had intended to follow the Boise Ridge Road to the summit. However this road was gated as private property, which I didn't remember from my last hike in the area in 2003. I thus took a detour and hiked to the summit. From there I followed a jeep trail to the vicinity of the peak. Despite fairly deep snow, it held my weight pretty well in most places. It appeared this path had been snowmobiled awhile ago which is probably why it was sufficiently compacted for boot travel. With minimal struggle I made it to the summit in just over an hour, taking in partially obscured views of the surrounding area. What surprised me the most about this peak was that it had a great view of downtown Boise, something not possible in many parts of the foothills. I had a quick descent and got back to my car in just under two hours. On the way home, a passing storm dumped snow over east Boise and made for an interesting scene.

After getting home and cleaned up, around 5PM I headed to Cafe Ole to meet some coworkers for our usual "beer thirty". I stayed for about an hour and then met Katie at The Front Door in downtown Boise for a birthday dinner featuring quality beer and delicious pizza. The pizza was half pepperoni and half artichoke and impossible to stop eating! The beer list at The Front Door is extensive and unusual and provided me the rare of experience of not knowing what many of the beers were. Fortunately, I took advantage of the situation and expanded my beer vocabulary by trying the Kostritzer Black Lager, an IPA whose name escapes me, and the Bridgeport coffee porter.

In short, it was a great birthday and while I'm not excited about being older, I wouldn't mind every day being like this one!

Hike statistics: 4.17 miles, 1360' elevation gain, 2 hours

Aldape Peak Pictures!
GPS Track


Cathy said...

I have always contended that one should not be required to work on one's birthday. So far I have only had to work on two (of my 29?!) birthdays!

zdv said...

Impressive. I know there are some companies that give you your birthday as a holiday. I must say I would appreciate such a benefit!