14er Happy Hour – Cogstone Brewing

At the last Happy Hour I’d vowed to make sure I wore hiking
clothes at the next one. 
Well, I just
didn’t feel like changing into hiking clothes just to go out.
  But I’d promised myself…  So I asked the girls if I looked ok in my
jeans, work blouse, and heels.
  Yes, I
did, but they reminded me I was supposed to wear hiking clothes.
  We went back and forth on this a few times
  “Mom, you actually look good in
hiking clothes, you should wear them”) and in the end I just wore what I’d been
wearing all day.
  I was short on time and
wanted to get going.

I’d never been to the Cogstone Brewing Company before, but
my directions placed it right near the old Girl Scout Shop (kind of by Tees n
I got there just a little after
6:30pm and backed into a space up front.
I loved how the parking here was so much better than at the last HH!

As I walked up the front steps I met Scott again, who I will
forever remember as the “Cisco Guy”. 
There were a bunch of people already there, standing in the back corner
with their beer.

I went to get a beer of
my own at the counter, which wasn’t really set up for ordering that way.
  I got a red, and it came out to $5.41, which
I thought was a really odd number.
are you supposed to tip on that?
  Then I
remembered this wasn’t a bar, it was a brewery, and they did things a bit
  Still though, shouldn’t it
have been wither $4 or $5 so a $1 tip would have been appropriate?
  Are you even supposed to tip at
  I did, but now I’m wondering…

I digress.

When I got back to the 14er table they announced it was “Geek
Night” at the brewery, so it was going to be busy. 
It was basically a bunch of people who like
beer and geek trivia who meet every Wednesday at this particular brewery.

We made the decision to just go outside onto
the patio.

Just as a side note, Nate Pittman brought his dogs.  Adorable!  Oh, and these photos aren’t mine.  I stole them from Stephanie’s post on the 14er page.  I don’t feel comfortable yet taking photos at this event, but that will soon change. 

It was cold, so someone tried to turn on the heater but
couldn’t get it working. 
I stood there
with Scott and Bill Anderson, who has the same tattoo I want to get on his arm
(hmmm) and works in the summer repairing trails above treeline on 14ers.
  He’s from Minnesota, has no kids but does
have a wife and dog.
  We discussed a way
to get to the Barr Trail through Green Mountain Falls, and then they brought
out the Pikes Peak Atlas.
  Which I need
  Like, yesterday.   It is a very detailed topo map of the Pikes
Peak region, including Mueller State Park.
Most of the information it has isn’t available online (Stanley Canyon
still eludes me due to online directions).
I was fascinated and we spent about 15 minutes pouring over it. 

See?  This is why I go
to these events.
  Apparently everyone
knew about this map and I didn’t.
  I don’t
know what I don’t know. 

The conversation kept turning to Pikes Peak.  I’m not sure why, but it did last time
  Maybe because it’s the only peak I
have reference to.
  That needs to

It was so cool listening to everyone else’s
At my table three people
were discussing their upcoming trip to Little Bear.
  They’d all climbed it before, but wanted to
try a different route.
  They were going back
and forth on dates, equipment, timing, weather, etc.
  I asked if it was ok if I just listened in as
they talked and they agreed.
  I couldn’t
help but be fascinated by their conversation.
They were having the same discussions I have internally with myself
before going on a hike.
  I try to
describe this decision making to other people, but they just don’t “get it”.
  However, these were my people.  We spoke the same language.  Now I just need to find a way to get invited
to go along with them.

I went back inside to get a second beer (and had the same
tipping problem). 

When I came back outside there were a few new people
One woman was from Southern
California, so we discussed some of the peaks there.
  I feel like I spend a lot of my time at these
events trying to prove myself.
  She’d done
Cactus to Clouds, but for some reason was sure it brought her to the top of Mt.
San Gorgonio.
  I assured her it was Mt. San
Jacinto (with views of San Gorgonio) and agreed it was a very challenging
  I hope to see her again because we
seem to have similar hiking abilities.
She offered to share her pizza, multiple times, but even though I was
hungry I didn’t feel comfortable saying yes.

I overheard Yin Ling mention she was doing Rim to Rim next
week and tried to talk to her about it, but she was deep in Little Bear
When I was finally able to
snag her for details I didn’t get much:
she was just a tagalong on the trip and hadn’t actually planned
  She didn’t realize the details
of the hike were so difficult to plan.
can I be a tagalong?

Oh, and I shouldn’t have worried about what I wore.  Sue Kim was there and she looked nice, so I
didn’t feel overdressed.

It felt like I left early but it was actually late when I
got home. 
I’d spent 3.5 hours there and
it had only felt like one.
  There is so
much I don’t know.
  So much to
  But what I really need to do is
just get out there so I can contribute to conversations and get some
  I’d love to be invited along
on some climbs, but I don’t think that’ll happen until I gain more
  I don’t feel like I made
much progress in the “hiking partner” department.
  I need to work on that.  I also need to spend some quality time on
the14er site, getting to know how it’s used.

Author: Laura M Clark

Laura has summited over 500 peaks above 13,000' solo, including being the first woman to solo summit all of the Colorado 14ers, as well as the centennials. After each hike, she writes trip reports for each one and publishes them on her blog, which is read by fans all over the world. Author of Wild Wanderer: Summiting Colorado’s 200 Highest Peaks, which is available to purchase on Amazon.

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