Tag Archives: summit county

modern-day cowgirl.

10 Jul

 

When I was a little girl, I liked to pretend that I was a cowgirl.

I would spend hours getting lost in daydreams of wrangling cattle and of strapping on my chaps and spurs and riding off into the sunset on my lively steed.

I so badly wanted to live the life of adventure that was so often the main vein running through the stories that recounted the days of the wild west.

Stories of heroic cowpoke protagonists, of miners living high atop the Rocky Mountains, of straight shooters and showdowns.

And though I don’t partake in any high noon showdowns or spend much time around horses,  I like to think that I am living out my childhood dreams of cowgirl adventures via elk jerky and apple picnics at the top of high mountain summits. Through wandering drives up old access roads in search of snow in July. Through the twangy stories told during a private blue grass show on a deck overlooking Telluride and the San Juans. Through evenings spent on a wobbly, spider-ridden kayak watching fireworks cascade over Lake Dillon. Through hidden campsites that provide an unobstructed view of the stars and the sun rising up above Cataract Falls. Through the eyes of an eight year old as she learns the ins and outs of the world around her. And through the joy felt when close friends and family come together for an evening of ongoing laughter over charred ribs and corn on the cob dripping with melted butter.

 

 

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spring has sprung.

6 May

We had our first thunderstorm of the season today.

Over the last month or so, we’ve had some “thunderstorms” sweep through the county, but each of those bouts of thunder and lightening were in the company of snow; needless to say I was surprised to see that this particular thunderstorm was accompanied by RAIN, not snow.

It didn’t last long, a mere 5 minutes or so, much like our typical summer afternoon rainstorm, but in those five minutes, I stopped what I was doing and sat quietly at my desk, office window cracked, and let the cool breeze blow over my bare arms, goose bumps prickling across my skin. I breathed in the scent of rain and listened to the thunder rumble over the mountaintops and realized that though I am thrilled to get a sneak peak of summer, the deluge of rain means our soft spring snow is going to melt faster, thereby bringing the ski season to a fast approaching end.

Sick, you say?

Perhaps, I say.

Though, that just means you haven’t yet had the opportunity to ski in bikini weather 🙂

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back in action, but first a month worth of photos.

22 Sep
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A Summit Cove sunset

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Grays and Torreys trailhead

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Mayhem and Rome soaking up the sun

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Summit of Grays Peak

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Fall at the Summit

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Summit of Torrey’s Peak

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Mayhem at the summit of Grays Peak…first two 14ers!

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Grays Peak views

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Paper Birds/Hall and Oates at Red Rocks

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Mayhem.

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Summit Cove strolls

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brother/sister bonding in Erik’s new ‘hood

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Paper Birds/Hall and Oates at Red Rocks

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Torreys Peak

july, a montage.

25 Jul

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730 days.

2 Dec

Believe it or not, it’s officially been two years since my dad and I arrived in Summit County and met Erik at this “awesome little lunch spot'” (A-Cafe) for a celebratory sammie.

Coming into this little adventure, I truly believed I would be in the mountains for a season; just a quick hiatus from the “real world”, a chance to play and be “irresponsible” for a winter.

Well, about six weeks into my “hiatus” I knew I was in it for the long run.

I was hooked.

Hooked on the hot pinks and dreamsicle oranges that paint the sky with the early morning sunrises, hooked on the breathlessness (from the beauty and the altitude…) that washes over you upon reaching the summit of any one of the local 13ers and 14ers that stand guard over The County, hooked on the terrifying thrill I get when I looked down the chute that leads into the wide open bowl from the top of Mayflower Gulch and hooked on the people that live their lives without regret, like they have but one more day left to live.

“I’ll just stay for the summer and THEN I’ll get back to my career, to the real world,” I told myself, time and time again that first winter.

Well, after that first summer of sunshine, 14ers, long training runs and sailing on Lake Dillon…ok a few promotions at work helped too…that summer turned into my second winter season, which then evolved into my third winter and second Coloradoversary.

To this day, 730 days later, I am unceasingly astounded and unbelievable grateful that I have ended up where I am. I have been provided with some amazing, once in a lifetime career opportunities, met an incredible group of people that have developed into a fabulous little family-away-from-family and I spend my days doing what I love and living in a place that challenges me physically and stimulates me emotionally.

Colorado, it’s been a fabulous journey thus far, and I can’t wait to see what year three brings.

2 years

let it snow!

13 Nov

ONE INCH. 

That’s all that NOAA, AccuWeather, heck even Joel Gratz from OpenSnow, predicted that Keystone, CO would receive Tuesday night. So when I wandered sleepily into the living room at 5:40 on Wednesday morning and peeked through the blinds, you can imagine my surprise when I was greeted by white-out conditions and four inches of snow caked onto my windshield. I did a quick happy dance (squealed, jumped around the living room, you know the drill…) turned on Eric and Kathy (yes, even mountain women such as myself enjoy little snapshots into former city-girl lives…) and then hustled to get ready for work.

My typical Wednesday consists of a marathon of meetings. They start at 8:00am and generally go on and off until about 3:00pm. I spend a lot of time driving across Keystone from one building to another. But this particular Wednesday?

This particular Wednesday, the snow never stopped falling. This particular Wednesday, the plows couldn’t keep up. This particular Wednesday, all my meetings were cancelled and I spent the day staring dreamily out my office window as 12 inches of snow drifted down towards Earth and piled up in fluffy pillows of white pow.

November, I’ve never been so happy to see you.

LET. IT. SNOW.

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phs, buffalo slayer.

26 Oct

Third time’s a charm, right?

Wrong, at least in the case of reaching the summit of Buffalo Mountain. Before finally reaching Buffalo’s summit on Friday afternoon at promptly 12:05pm, I was thwarted not twice, but three times.

First by Gucci.

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Second by the goats.

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And third by Gnarly, who aptly earned the nickname of Gnot-So-Gnar.

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So when Mer suggested a fourth attempt at Buffalo’s summit, I was all for it. Minus dogs and goats and frankly anything else that would get in our way.

For those of you familiar with Summit County, Buffalo Mountain is the dimpled peak that marks your arrival in Summit as you approach, heading west on I-70 or Hwy 6.

Mer and I trekked through a thick Lodgepole Pine forest, negotiated our way up an expansive boulder field, stumbled across a wind-blown tundra and trudged through shin deep snow fields before doing a happy dance at a modest 12,777 feet above sea level, Buffalo’s summit.

Although only five-some miles roundtrip, you gain about 3000 feet in vert in about two and half miles, and the boulders and wind make it tricky to stay on the trail. But if you’re looking for a challenging hike with a reward that’s composed of breathtaking views of the Tenmile Range, Copper Mountain, Lake Dillon and of course the surrounding east side of Summit County, this is your hike.

Just watch out for the goats…their pointy hooves and beady little eyes are unforgiving.

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