Beat the Heat 2006


Home Up Photos Beat the Heat Diary

What is "Beat the Heat"?:

Sometime towards the end of summer 2005, we got to talking about some of the things we missed from the Bay Area, including hiking, green trees, fishing, etc.  We were also probably complaining a bit about the heat.  Imagine that!!  So we got this hair brained idea to spend some summer time in a cooler climate where we could enjoy some different activities.  We are VERY fortunate that we both work from home so work location really does not matter.  After much discussion, and surprisingly little research, we decided to spend a couple of months in Breckenridge, Colorado.  We had been there together once and Don had been there two other times for snowboarding.  It's a cute town and seemed to fit the bill.  We figured we can look at other towns for future summer getaways.


Below you will find a diary of sorts of our trip.  We'll try to keep up as best we can .... but not at the expense of having fun :)  Should we call it a BLOG instead so we can be more in touch with the times?  We will also post pictures from time to time.  If you want an e-mail update when we post, please send a request to

Our Photos (click here to see more):

Utah state line.  This is the best look at our packing job. We got to see a long train at a rest area in the Rockies. Nice little kitchen in our rental place.  Ethan calls it "my new house". The working end of a snow blower in town. Ethan's first fish of the trip.

Our Diary:

June 9 and 10: Frantic packing, combined with efforts to get rental properties in order.  We had the misfortune of water leaks on each weekend before the trip.  Ugh.  Packing for 2 months is no small chore.  We filled our work trailer, the back of the truck, and the truck topper.  We may be forced to leave some things behind in Colorado so we can shop!!

We finally got underway at about 5:00 on 6/10.  We almost left two sets of important items.  There was a tub of office computer supplies (cords, networking equipment, etc.) that got left in the office initially.  Then we were just about to drive away when we remembered a pile of stuff (tent, roller blades, Simon leash, etc.) in the garage.  Since the trailer was secured (or so we thought), we had to cram all that stuff into the topper and the truck.  The start time was much later than planned, but at least we were moving.  We did not get far though before a forced stop.  The tarp on the trailer was flapping.  The smaller bungy cords had given way.  After a Target stop, we officially got underway about 5:30.

We ate in Flagstaff and then drove the northern border of Arizona.  We stayed at a Holiday Inn in some small town.  Interestingly, they are on Navajo time, where they recognize daylight savings, unlike the rest of Arizona.  So it went from a late 12:30 to an even worse 1:39 in an instant.  We hid Simon since the hotel does not allow pets.  Don is generally paranoid, so we unloaded the entire trailer and much of the truck.  There is just far too much stuff (home computer, networking stuff, 4 laptops, 2 monitors, bikes, multiple cameras, etc.) to risk leaving the stuff outside.  Besides that, Don would not sleep knowing the stuff was out there.

June 11: Have to pick this up another day.  Too tired :)

June 12: To-Do

June 13: To-Do

June 14: Ethan had short day at camp.  They went swimming at the rec center and then had lunch in the park.  When Dawn picked Ethan up, he was raging about riding the bus to and from the center.  "I like riding the bus", he said.  He also said, with great animation, "a girl was sleeping on the bus.  She just FELL ASLEEP!  When the teachers woke her, she was like 'where am I?'".

After work, we went fishing.  This is our first time out since we got here.  We started with Ethan doing some bobber fishing.  He landed a beauty  (Beware: large file ~10MB).  After one fish, he just wanted to take pictures instead.  And he wondered a lot if the worm was still moving.

Don got in some fly fishing from the same lake.  The guys to his right seemed to be doing well.  They may have some more skill.  After quite a while, Don hooked up a fish, but it got away.  A while later, Don finally got on the board with a small rainbow trout.  The fish even performed it's own catch-and-release program once Don got it in hand.  Don told Ethan that his fish was bigger than Daddy's.  Several minutes later, Ethan asked, "But Dad, why was my fish bigger than yours?".  Ouch.  All Don could tell Ethan was that he must be a better fisherman than Daddy.

Don took Simon for a little walk after we got home.  As they came back into the driveway, something scurried from the bushes.  It was a big ole fox.  It ran away a bit, but then turned around and inched closer.  The fact that it was not scared is a little disconcerting.  We managed to get a very dark picture.  As big as the fox was, it was much smaller than the one we saw yesterday walking down the street.  Dawn called it a grizzly fox.

June 17: Don went on a half-day guided fishing trip to get the rust off.  He really wants to catch a bigger fish than Ethan.  The guide took him over the 11,500 foot pass to the South Platte River.  The river runs through a beautiful, seemingly flat valley in South Park.  Yes, there really is a town of South Park and it's in a large area known as South Park.  The river was not very large, but it was beautiful.  There were countless holes with fish.  Don did a lot of dry fly fishing, with and without a dropper.  He also did a bit of 'nymphing' in a deep hole.  It was great shake off the rust and get some guidance.  Don landed 11 trout, and could have easily had 20 with more skill.  One landed fish was larger than the rest and was taken on a sweet cast into a side channel (can you guess who is writing this?).  He also saw some antelope and a large elk trotting through the field.  We may make a family trip to the same spot on the coming weekend.

We tried some Ethan fishing (small pole with worms) in the evening, but we struck out.  We did find a nice trail where we can take Simon some other time.

June 18: We planned to go sailing on Lake Dillon for Fathers Day.  They had a promo going where you could go out with a captain for donations to support animals.  When we got there, they informed us that 'kids' meant 12 and up for sailboats, so we could not go.  It was pretty disappointing.  After much deliberation, we decided to head north to check out the Colorado River.  The drive was about 45 minutes, with a drop of over 2,000 feet.  The scenery was beautiful, as the road followed the Blue River (much larger at this point than in Breckenridge) through a large lake and on to the Colorado.  After lunch, we stopped at a beautiful spot on the Colorado.  We were there about two minutes as the mosquitoes ate us alive.  We have not had many mosquitoes in Breckenridge.  The elevation difference much help.

When we got back to Silverthorne (along I-70), we spent some time at the factory outlets.  It's a unique location.  There are three pods of stores.  You cross under Highway 9 to get from A to B and then under I-70 to get from B to C.  The Blue River runs right through the stores and along the path between the pods.  There was a guy fishing right at the outlets.  Now that's shopping!!

June 20: We went fishing after work at Lake Dillon.  Took Simon.  The first thing we did was get Ethan setup with his little family fishing pole and a worm.  He was off playing with sticks in the mud.  We were about to give up since we got no bites.  Then the bobber dove about 20 feet from shore.  Ethan ran over and grabbed the rod.  He pulled in the best fish (by FAR) of the trip.  We think it was a brown trout, but we do not know our fish that well.  It was absolutely beautiful.

After that success, Don headed out in waders to try his hand.  He got a strike while the fly was laying in the water and he was getting ready to start fishing.  A good sign!  He caught two rainbows in about 10 minutes.  At one point, Don actually heard (from 75+ feet away) Ethan say, "Daddy just keeps catching the small ones".  He is making it really hard on Daddy!!  The wind dies down and the water went to glass.  Fish were jumping everywhere, but nobody was getting much.  Perhaps the fish see better in glassy water and they can spot the line.  Don tried for about an hour after the two fish and finally headed in.  Simon had some good romps through the water, mud, and weeds.




E-mail Us