Friday, July 16, 2010

Colorado Spectacle ... Cody Zeller ... Hula Hoop Girl

In response to a couple of comments, my Colorado trip was great. I have a good friend who lives just outside of Denver. We hiked to Flattop Mountain and Hallett Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park. Both of those are just over 12,000 feet.

We also went white-water rafting on the Arkansas River at the Royal Gorge. It was spectacular viewing. However, I was more focused on surviving the Category 3 and 4 rapids. People die on this river. In June they were at Category 5. For a while, the river was at Category 6, which means they close it down to commercial rafting.

My friend, Matt, kept asking why I wasn't smiling while going down the river. It was because I was too focused on rowing through the rapids and listening to instructions from the guide. Three people got tossed from the raft. Somebody besides the guide had to get this raft home.

Overall, though, it was a great experience. The view through the Royal Gorge canyon was breath-taking, although that also might have been from all the rowing I did was everyone else was smiling.

We also hiked to the top of Mt. Elbert, the tallest mountain in Colorado at 14,433 feet. Both of these photos are of Elbert.

Along the way we met a priest, a 66-year-old guy who made it to the top, a bunch of good guys from Evansville, several dogs, and a couple of IU basketball fans. We talked prospects, recruiting and Cody Zeller, the Washington standout who lists the Hoosiers as one of his favorites, but who won't decide until the fall.

Coach Tom Crean is recruiting Zeller hard, of course, but he also spent the last day of the 10-day evaluation period in Orlando checking out the 14-and-under nationals. That's the Class of 2014, which has some in-state studs with Indianapolis' Trevon Bluiett and Trey Lyles, and Fort Wayne's James Blackmon.

Amazing, isn't it, that the power of Indiana basketball can surface even on a mountain a thousand miles from Assembly Hall.

As far as Mt. Elbert, in a unique twist, there also was a 22-year-old girl who, once she got to the top, took off most of her clothes to reveal a lot of tattoos, among other things. I should note it was extremely windy and probably in the high 30s. Then she took out a hula hoop and began, well, performing. Apparently she performs the hula hoop at various events.


I was, of course, appalled and disgusted, and focused on the spectacular mountain scenery.

Oh, yes. I was smiling.

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