Larry Preston

Champion of Endless Optimization (CEO) at Digital Opera & Raceday. Happy stoic, aspirational minimalist, recovered big hair 80’s rock star. Author of “Star Fire Kids – Midnight Blue Express”.

Where Did Winter Go?

Yesterday, one of my partners at Digital Opera, Grant Klinsing, climbed “The Incline” in Manitou Springs, Colorado. We both just wanted an excellent workout, and we got it. Today I’m paying for it in sore muscles. It was my second time up The Incline, and I did it in two hours and nine minutes. It felt great, and it got me thinking about how my Colorado exploration and hiking had slowed down over the winter.

So today, I looked through my photos and realized I really had done quite a bit of hiking, and I certainly did a lot of travel. Here are some highlights:

Early in January – Nerissa, Grant, Kayla, Kyan, and I all went up Table Top Mountain in Golden, this time going up the parking lot side. Gentle, quick climb, with as much hiking as you would want to do at the top – on thankfully flat terrain.

Table Top Mountain

Table Top Mountain and Nerissa Hendrickson

Towards the end of January, I flew to Chicago and then rode with my friends up to St. Germain, Wisconsin, where we went snowmobile riding as part of a fundraiser for the Snowmobile Hall of Fame. Sadly, the only photo I have is of the plane taxing over the freeway in Chicago.

The riding was great, as it always is up there, and my hosts for the weekend are, I am convinced, amongst the most exceptional people on earth. As a bonus, I got to go to one of my favorite hole-in-the-wall restaurants in the world: McGregor’s Blink Bonnie. If you are ever in the area, go there, and go early. It’s usually totally packed by 5:00 PM.

I also got to ride some crazy machines, including a brand new 1000cc arctic Cat Firecat and a turbo-boost Yamaha that I got over 114 MPH!

Landing in Chicago

When I got home, the weather had warmed up again, so I re-visited Three Sisters hiking in Evergreen, Colorado, on February 14th. It was a beautiful day out, but there was undoubtedly some snow to trudge through.

Three Sisters Evergreen

Three Sisters Evergreen

Three Sisters Evergreen

Three Sisters Evergreen

On the weekend of February 21st, I continued my Colorado exploration trip to Fairplay and South Park. Yes, South Park is the basis of the Comedy Central cartoon of the same name.

The highlight of the trip, by far, was the people I met at the Hand Hotel. The weather was not great, so everyone hung around the fireplace, shared some wine, and chatted. I met two very nice families, just visiting, one that was working on building a house nearby and needed to hang at the hotel.

South Park was not open – and when it is, I would love to go back and take a look at the 1800’s town they have set up there, complete with the interiors all period-correct. The ice cream shop also has some old gear for running the shop. I brought home some hand-crafted tea and coffee mugs to replace my generic ones.

Abandon Cabin in Fairplay



The famous South Park

Fairplay ice cream shop

On March 7th, I revisited Green Mountain in Littleton. I just went to get some exercise on what was a beautiful, sunny day. It was a nice hike, but I took a wrong turn and found myself in butt-deep snow for about 4-5 blocks. Even with all that snow, I got my first good sunburn of the year.

Green Mountain

Green Mountain

Green Mountain

On March 21, I met Tom Metz, an old friend I know from the snowmobile world. Tom took me sledding way up in the mountains, on the Tin Cup Pass. At over 12,000 feet, this was some of the most beautiful snowmobile ridings I have ever done. I got to ride in a mountain bowl, something I wanted to knock off the bucket list, and I was not disappointed. I did manage to get stuck twice, and both times I was sure my heart was going to explode trying to get myself out of neck-deep snow.

At one point, we got stuck in a valley – the way we got in was incredibly steep and covered with rocks. The way out was worse. We wound up going back the way we came. It tested the limits of the machine I was on to get back up that hill, but it looked worse than it was.








On March 28th, I was invited to go with the Hendrickson and Enger family to hike south of Castle Rock, Colorado. This hike was a fantastic, gorgeous day, and having the kids be outside and having a blast making it that much more fun.







April 5th, I made a solo trek to Deer Creek Canyon Park. Gorgeous park, great day, the magnificent views. A pretty long hike; with the drive, it took up most of the day but was worth every minute.

Deer Creek Canyon Park

Deer Creek Canyon Park

Deer Creek Canyon Park

Deer Creek Canyon Park

Deer Creek Canyon Park

Deer Creek Canyon Park

Deer Creek Canyon Park

So that almost gets me caught up. I was also doing a lot of travel for work, giving presentations in Milwaukee and Minneapolis, and visiting with some of my Minnesota clients.

The weather is getting much better now, so I plan to seek out new and different experiences and share them here as it heats up. It turns out my hiking and exploring over the winter wasn’t really slowed down – just impeded somewhat by work travel and some adverse weather.

Larry Preston - South Park City

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