Balabanova All Over


[Estes Park / Rocky Mountain National Park, Jul 30, 2022] Finally, the day this entire trip was centered around arrived. It was time to run 13.1 miles in Estes Park, just outside Rocky Mountain National Park. The only problem? We were all tired from all the hiking, and severely undertrained! And with the course being at altitude with significant amount of elevation gain for 3 miles straight, we were in for a… Read More

[Rocky Mountain National Park, Jul 29, 2022] The crappy weather the day before turned our hiking plans around quite a bit. We did not intend to hike a strenuous 10.5-mile hike the day before our half marathon, but we didn’t have much of a choice. The hike to Sky Pond is one of the most popular ones in the park. Sky Pond is the ultimate destination but there are three more lakes… Read More

[Black Canyon of the Gunnison/Aspen, CO, July 25, 2022] The north rim of the Black Canyon of the Gunnison is remote and much less visited. It took us 90 minutes to get to it from Montrose. We knew we were in the middle of nowhere when the pavement ended and a well-graded dirt road began. For a lot of the drive around Crawford, the small town just outside the North Rim, we… Read More

[Black Canyon of the Gunnison/Ouray/Silverton, Jul 24, 2022] Black Canyon of the Gunnison protects the gorge the Gunnison river carved into the Precambrian rock surrounding it. It’s named after John Gunnison, who explored the canyon in 1853 while searching for a railroad route through the Rockies. He wrote the first description of the canyon, although it was obviously very well known to the Ute tribe, which was native to the area. We… Read More

[This blog post will be continuously updated with new information. Last Updated Jan 4, 2023] As more and more national parks institute timed entries, reservations and lotteries, planning your national park trip requires more advance planning than ever. I have yet to see all this information in one place, which inspired me to do it! To compile it, I visited each national park website in addition to relying on my own experience… Read More