wintermooning.

20 Oct

While fall colors are just reaching their peak in most parts of the country, fall has come and gone up in the High Country and we are on the verge of welcoming winter. In fact, Summit County won the “race to winter” when Arapahoe Basin opened for the season on Friday. Speaking of which, anyone interested in an afternoon “shred sesh” on Tuesday…sure it’s only a half a run, but shredding is shredding brah!

Anyway, in an attempt to soak up the last bit of summer sun before Mother Nature buries us in snow, Mr. A and I escaped down to Moab for a few days in the desert. We camped, we hiked, we bombed around the desert in a UTV and we ate far too many s’mores. By the time we packed up to head home to the mountains on Wednesday morning, we were thoroughly caked in red dirt.

We’re calling it our “wintermoon” and a fabulous “wintermoon” it was.

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Colorado River from “Wall St.”

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Hurrah Pass selfie

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Mr. A and his new favorite toy, the UTV

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Abbs pondering her next squirrel ambush.

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Go fast, take chances.

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Lower Drinks Canyon campsite

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Colorado River from the Lower Drinks Canyon campsite

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Lower Drinks Canyon campsite–camping just off Route 128, aka “the river road”

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Red rocks along the Negro Bill Canyon

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Hurrah Pass snack break

fall at the summit.

19 Oct

fall

“my heart is tuned to the quietness that the stillness of nature inspires.” –Hazrat Inayat Khan

quandary, 14,265.

10 Oct

A snowy start with besties…

start

And one week later a sunny solo summit!

quandary summit

FIVE.

8 Oct

FIVE.

It’s a good number, a solid number.

It’s a number that has some weight behind it but has a whole lotta life left to look forward to.

You know why else I like the number FIVE?

Caitlyn, one of my very best girlfriends (VBGFs), is celebrating FIVE years cancer free and in just FIVE days she will be finishing her FIFTH Bank of American Chicago Marathon.

Over the last FIVE years, Caitlyn has proven to be a hero and one of the strongest, spunkiest chicks that I have ever met. She works hard and plays hard, drives her friends and family to be the best that they can be and has one of the catchiest giggles around.

Not only that, but each year that Caitlyn has run the Chicago Marathon, she has run it as a member of Team in Training; working hard to ensure that every mile she pounds into the pavement, every GU she downs on a run and every black toenail that inevitably wiggles itself loose from her toes, goes towards raising an enormous amount of awareness for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

This year, after FIVE years of showing support for those battling blood cancers and inspiring each and every person that has had the privilege to envelope themselves in her sparkle and spirit, Caitlyn has been selected as one of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s (LLS) Honored Heroes and I could not be prouder to call her my friend. She is a true hero whose passion for life is infectious, a runner whose determination to find a cure makes her a beast of a competitor (believe me…she has dragged me across many a finish line) and a young woman whose beauty outshines any hurdles that get in her way.

Please help me in honoring my HERO in a celebration of life, of courage and of course, of FIVE years of good health, by helping her to raise $10,000 for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. Click here to donate to Caitlyn’s Team in Training fundraising page and feel free to share Caitlyn’s story–awareness is everything.

http://pages.teamintraining.org/il/chicago14/caitlynsuse

GO TEAM.

 

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macro.

6 Oct

A hike is a form of meditation for me.

A chance to move from big to small in my observations and my thoughts on daily life.

I often find myself beginning a solo hike taking in big picture views. No sounds and no smells. Just views.

As I meander down the trail through rushing springs and crunching over piles of fallen leaves, I begin to observe the beauty in the details.

The curvature of each leaf as it floats lazily down from its bough, drifting slowly, idly to its resting place in the chalky dust.

The tranquil flow of water down a hill, rushing over fallen logs, winding though the green river grasses.

The gnarled roots intersecting trails as they fight and push their way through the mineral rich mud.

The roughness of the bark, the heady scent of its needles and the sticky sweetness of its sap.

The taste of the sweet mountain air on my tongue.

The whistle and creek of the crisp mountain wind blowing through a graveyard of fallen trees.

The shapely crags in the hillside, the crunch of fallen leaves, the beauty and wholeness of this majestic landscape, it is my yoga. My reflection time. My here and now.

ghosts.

29 Sep

I am a weenie. Ok not just a weenie, the heebie-jeebies are, in fact, an everyday occurence in my life.

Ghosts, ghouls, goblins, zombies? They freak me out.

Creepy crawlies? Sick.

Bats with their beady little eyeballs? No way Jose.

So naturally, when my friend Matt mentioned that he was hosting a walking tour of “Haunted Breckenridge” on Saturday evening with the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance, I couldn’t pass up on the opportunity.

Mr. A was working so I decided to treat myself to a romantic date-night in the company of some of Breckenridge’s spookiest residents. I met Matt and the rest of my fellow tour-goers at the Breckenridge Welcome Center at promptly 7:15pm where Matt filled us in on some basic Breck history (did you know that a 13.5 LB gold nugget was found in the south branch of the Blue River in 1887?!) before heading out to explore some old haunts around town.

Throughout the 90 minute tour we wound our way across town leaving calling cards at various buildings up and down Main Street, Ridge Street and Harris Street.

We met such figureheads of Breck’s past as, Ms. Sylvia, a miner’s widow who lives on the second floor of the building that now houses the new to town, Apres’ Handcrafted Libations, and has the tendency of making herself known to “unattached, handsome young men”, as well as, the ever-proper example of a well-bred Victorian lady, Ms. Katie of the William Harrison Briggle House and finally the infamous (and not very friendly) Ms. Whitney, of The Historic Brown Hotel, who was shot by her lover after he discovered that she was just using him for his money.

Matt did a wonderful job of keeping the creep factor down during the tour and although I was a bit fearful of entering the Briggle House in the event that I might have a face-to-face meeting with Ms. Katie, who definitely would not have approved of my not so proper attire of skinny jeans paired with fringe Minnetonka boots, I loved exploring her home and learning about the Victorian Era, complete with a glimpse of some hair art and an original Singer sewing machine.

All in all, it was a fabulous Saturday “date-night” with Matt and the Breckenridge Heritage Alliance. I guess ghosts really do make for some interesting company…although the heebie-jeebies returned on Sunday when I wandered into the Black Bear Grill kitchen after everyone had left for the morning and boy, was it dark!

I guess some things will never change.

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fun in the mountains with the chicago sims.

28 Sep

My family is the best. I mean, literally the best.

Last Saturday, my mom threw an epic bridal shower for HB, then the next morning, like 3:30 the next morning, she, my dad and the Gnar left Wilmette for an 18 hour roadtrip out to Summit County. They picked me up at the hotel after HB’s hen party and dropping me at Midway airport for my 7:00am flight, on their way out-of-town. Fast forward 18 hours, my road-weary parents and the not so weary Gnar, swung by Andrew’s birthday BBQ dinner, just to say hello.

Now if that’s not dedication, I don’t know what is.

Anyway, Tommy and I were lucky enough to be able to bomb around mountains with our parents for a few days, before Tommy moved back down to Flagstaff (boohoo) and our parents continued on to Fort Collins for a short visit with Erik and Clair, the FoCo Sims’s.

We had a fabulous few days chock full of fall colors, Buffalo Mountain attempts, gourmet dinners and nonstop chit-chat. Unfortunately the Gnar proved to be “not-so-Gnar” after she boycotted the last mile of rock hopping to the summit of Buffalo Mountain. Nonetheless, a good time was had by all.

Now if only all of us could be in one place at one time. Now that, would be truly epic.

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