Fun Zone
This is a fun zone.  No jocks allowed!  The object is not to prove something, but simply to enjoy what you're doing.  Like Hobbes, I like to play, and I love games.  I live in a great place for outdoor fun.  I enjoy hiking in the mountains, biking, rollerblading, skiing, snowshoeing, gardening (I grow roses), and playing soccer.  So I'm kind of a jack of all trades.  That sounds pretty great, but it really means that I do many things not very well (still, I have a fun time doing them!).

"People do not quit playing because they grow old.  They grow old because they quit playing."
 -- Oliver Wendell Holmes

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Spinning Soccer Ball

"There's no crying in soccer"



I've been playing soccer for about 10 years.  It's great for staying in shape, and as a side benefit, I've developed great legs (single women, take note).  I started by joining an outdoor, coed recreational soccer league for those over 30. We play in the spring and fall.  Our team has a great attitude about playing for fun.  Our name is the Beer Nuts (our cheer is "Go Nuts!").  As you can tell, we're a very serious bunch <grin>.  To the right, you can see some of us at a summer cookout party (I'm standing behind the gal in the red shirt).

The Colorado Soccer Net has information on teams and leagues in the area, including rules, coaching, and refereeing.

Soccer Team

Since I was having fun with the outdoor soccer, I starting playing indoors with a group from my outdoor team.  (Indoor soccer is actually similar to hockey -- it's played on a smaller field with 6 on a side counting the goal keeper, and the walls are in bounds.)  This has been great for providing a workout each week throughout the winter.  I've also started playing year-round with a coed soccer team sponsored by my company.   The minimum age for the indoor soccer leagues we play in is just 18, so we "more experienced" (okay, older) players get a workout.  My thought when playing the twenty year olds is, "Age and treachery will win out over youth and energy."

Flying Soccer Ball




Colorado Skiing

I had never tried skiing until I moved to Colorado, but I had a great time.  The Colorado ski resorts that I've visited so far are Arapahoe Basin, Beaver Creek, Breckenridge, Copper Mountain, Crested Butte, Keystone, Loveland, Monarch, Steamboat, Vail, and Winter Park.  I've also tried snowboarding, and I had a blast.
Keystone Downhill View


Ken at Keystone Ski Resort


Maroon Bells

Hiking in the Colorado Rocky Mountains



One of the great things about living in Colorado is the opportunity for hiking, everything from an afternoon hike in the foothills to climbing Colorado's "fourteeners" (peaks over 14,000 feet in elevation), and snowshoeing in the winter.  Colorado has the proud distinction of being home to 54 of the 68 fourteeners in the United States, and more than a thousand two-mile high mountains.  Trivia Fact:  75% of the land in the U.S. that is over 10,000 feet is in Colorado.

To date, I've hiked to the summit of 29 Colorado fourteeners.  It's worth the effort, as the views are spectacular.  I hope to eventually visit most of the state's fourteeners, but the window for safe high altitude hiking is only about three or four months out of the year, due to the threat of sudden storms (I've been hailed on).  The Colorado Mountain Club provides information and instruction for safe hiking, and the Colorado Avalanche Information Center lists news and updates for off-season hiking. 

I've posted photos in my Hiking Photo Gallery.

Colorado Fourteeners Visited




Total Elevation
Gain (feet)

Total Distance

Mount Lindsey 30 Aug 1998




Uncompahgre Peak 22 Aug 1998




Castle Peak 16 Aug 1998




Humboldt Peak 1 Aug 1998




Mount Yale 27 June 1998




Mount Antero 20 June 1998




Mount Harvard 6 Sept. 1997




Mount Columbia 24 Aug. 1997




Tabeguache Peak
Mount Shavano
3 Aug. 1997




La Plata Peak 5 July 1997




Mount Princeton 28 June 1997




Long's Peak 7 Sept. 1996




Missouri Mountain 18 Aug. 1996




Mount Belford
Mount Oxford
11 Aug.1996




Pike's Peak 28 July 1996
16 Aug. 1997




Mount Huron 13 July 1996




Mount Democrat
Mount Lincoln
Mount Bross
6 July 1996




Mount Elbert 3 Sept. 1995




Mount Evans 29 July 1995




Mount Massive 16 July 1995
22 Aug. 2004




Quandary Peak 20 Aug. 1994
15 Aug. 2004




Mount Sherman 30 July 1994




Mount Bierstadt 16 July 1994
22 May 1998
14 Sept. 2002




Torrey's Peak
Gray's Peak
13 July 1991
6 Sept. 2001




Note: Multiple dates indicate more than one successful ascent.

I've had a few strange things happen to me on my hiking trips.  I've documented these stories in "The K-Files".  Paranormal activity, or just another day in Ken's World?  You decide.

In August '97, I took part in the Pikes Peak Ascent, a run up Pikes Peak (for the truly sick, there's the Pikes Peak Marathon, a run up and down the mountain).  I had the opportunity to make this hike last summer on my own; taking part in the event just sounded fun (and where else can you climb a mountain and get a cool shirt for your efforts?).  The climb starts at an elevation of 6,295 feet and gains 7,815 feet before reaching the summit at 14,110 feet.  The starting line is located closer toward the center of Manitou Springs, adding about a mile and a few hundred feet of climbing compared to starting at the trailhead at the edge of town.  The atmosphere was very festive, despite the 7:00 AM starting time.  The event was very well organized, involving 400 volunteers, with 7 water stations along the route.

With over 1500 runners, I was happy to be in the second wave, with the slowpokes.  The first mile is fairly easy to run, but when the course reaches the dirt trail, it narrows and becomes steeper, reducing the pace to a fast walk.  It took about 50 minutes for the runners to disperse enough so that we were no longer packed toe to heel.  There are two check points (see the trail map), one at Barr Camp (about halfway) and the other at the A-Frame shelter (about 3/4 of the way up), which runners must reach within designated time limits, or be turned back.  The Barr Camp limit is 3 hours and 15 minutes.  The A-Frame cutoff is 4.5 hours. I was pleased to reach each check point an hour before the limit.  I took two rest breaks, 15 minutes for lunch at Barr Camp, and 5 minutes at the A-Frame.  After Barr Camp, I had 2 hours to cover just 3 miles to make the check point, so I slowed my pace a little to "Enjoy the ride" and appreciate the beauty of the trail.  Just after the A-Frame, I began passing a few stragglers from the first wave, which was gratifying.

I finished in 5:00:22.  Yes, if I'd known it was that close to the wire on the 5 hour mark, I'd have pushed a little more at the end, but that's 45 minutes better than my time last year to hike up, and the race course is a mile longer than the hiking trail.  This year's first place time was 2:10:41, which is amazing.  I was happy just to finish!  If you'd like to read more about running events in the Pike's Peak area, the Pike's Peak Road Runner's Page provides current information.

Fun Facts

  • The Rocky Mountains are the longest mountain chain in the world.

  • Due to the steepness of the last section of Pike's Peak, the trail switchbacks sharply.   Although the last water station is 1.4 miles from the summit by trail, the water is supplied by running a 2200 foot garden hose straight down from the peak.

  • The oxygen concentration of the air at the halfway point of the route up Pike's Peak is about 2/3 of that at sea level.   At the peak, it's about half that of sea level.



Humor in National Parks




These are questions that people actually asked of Park Rangers around the country, proving once again that there is no known limit to the depths of human stupidity. (Source: Outside Magazine, May 1995, pp.120-121)

Grand Canyon National Park

Was this man-made?
Do you light it up at night?
I bought tickets for the elevator to the bottom - where is it?
Is the mule train air conditioned?
So where are the faces of the presidents?

Everglades National Park

Are the alligators real?
Are the baby alligators for sale?
Where are all the rides?

Mesa Verde National Park (Colorado)

Did people build this, or did Indians?
Why did they build the ruins so close to the road?
What did they worship in the kivas, their own made-up religion?
Do you know of any undiscovered ruins?

Denali National Park (Alaska)

What time do you feed the bears?
Can you show me where the yeti lives?
How often do you mow the tundra?
How much does Mount McKinley weigh?

Yellowstone National Park

Does Old Faithful erupt at night?
How do you turn it on?
When does the guy who turns it on get to sleep?
We had no trouble finding the park entrances, but where are the exits?

Yosemite National Park

Where are the cages for the animals?
What time do you turn on Yosemite Falls?
Can I get my picture taken with the carving of President Clinton?

U.S. Civil War

Why were so many Civil War battles fought in National Parks?
Who had more airplanes, the North or the South?
What role did the United Nations play in the war?
How come the Indians didn't use the war as a diversion to escape from America?
In what battle was President Lincoln killed?
How many of the Civil War battles were fought in Europe?
How many dogs and cats were killed during the war?
Which side had control of the Pentagon?
Which side was Hawaii on?
Why didn't the North use missiles against the South?
What kind of car did U.S. Grant drive?
Are any of the scenes in the movie "Gettysburg" real war footage?

Carlsbad Caverns National Park

How much of the cave is underground?
So what's in the unexplored part of the cave?
Does it ever rain in here?
How many Ping-Pong balls would it take to fill this up?
So what is this, just a hole in the ground?

Rocky Mountain National Park

At what altitude do the deer become elk?
Hurry, all the elk are leaving the park and running away, you have to close the gate!
Why do you have a cast on the elk's neck?
(Ranger's answer: "That's not a cast, that's a tracking collar.")

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