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getting in touch with my inner colorado girl


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December Updates

I really can’t believe it’s December. Christmas is in 23 days?! I have no idea where this year has gone. In other news I have finally joined the 21st century and embraced online shopping. It’s the best. I will probably never go Christmas shopping in an actual store again. Traditionally I have waited until the week before Christmas and then scrambled around trying to compile decent presents for my loved ones (sorry guys!). This year? I’m basically done with my shopping thanks to the interwebz! And it has all been done in the comfort of my PJs while laying in bed.

Besides catching up with the times and using technology what else have I been up to lately?

Hanging out in Breckenridge a bit.

IMG_7830Evening sky over Breckenridge resort.

IMG_7826Morning walk with the dogs in Carter Park.

Graham is working up in Breckenridge for the next year, and so I visit whenever my schedule allows. It’s funny, Breckenridge was previously not my favorite town in the world, and I thought the mountain was always way too crowded for skiing. I’ve gotten to see a different side of Breckenridge thanks to Graham and I will say it has grown a lot on me. And hey, the free parking in the gondola lot after 2 p.m. is actually quite handy if you’re a local!

I recently had a fun time eating at Session Kitchen on Thanksgiving Eve with a group of girlfriends.

It’s a new place on South Pearl Street in Denver, and it really set the bar high for actual Thanksgiving. Favorites included lamb collar, french fries and a delicious beet salad.

IMG_7841Denver friends go immediately!

I scored some Patagonia beer.

I like Patagonia gear. I like beer. When Patagonia recently teamed up with New Belgium to make a limited edition beer I knew I had to find some. I tracked some down in Denver at Argonaut and was pretty impressed with the beer! It’s a mighty fine lager. And the cans are just the coolest!

IMG_7802Patagucci beer.

I laid around at a cabin for a weekend.

After spending Thanksgiving with Graham’s family in town I reluctantly headed to work on Black Friday. Luckily, I don’t work in retail, so it was actually just a quiet, productive day in the office. Plus I was heading up to Grand Lake after work for a relaxing weekend at the cabin, so I had that to look forward to!

IMG_7797Lake Granby a few weeks ago.

I mostly spent my time drinking margaritas, reading in front of the fire and going on dog walks. On Saturday afternoon, Graham, his sister and I headed to ski Mary Jane for the first time of the season. MJ, which is the best part of Winter Park, had just opened earlier in the week, and we headed there with pretty low expectations. We were all kind of shocked when we found tons of terrain with huge moguls already developed.

IMG_7856Crazy good bump skiing for November 30.

I had my first two falls of the season on some moguls, naturally. No pain no Jane!

nopainnojane-2Breckenridge, Session Kitchen, Patagonia beer, and cabin time…I guess that really sums up life lately! I’m not upset that’s what my life consists of right now. I’ll leave you with Cooper, my current cell phone background. That dog! He should have been a model.

IMG_7857Happy December!


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Fall camping in style

Fall is one of my favorite seasons in Colorado for a reason that I can sum up in two words – golden aspens. There is something magical about seeing my favorite mountains carpeted in yellow leaves. Although the Golden Leaf Half Marathon was not my most enjoyable race ever this year I still got to camp in the midst of the changing leaves in Aspen this past weekend, which was a huge win.

On Friday night Graham and I cruised up Castle Creek Road in the dark and found a campsite by oh 10 p.m. I wish I could say this wasn’t typical for us but we have definitely done some late night campsite picking in our day! Anyway, the Golden Leaf was on Saturday morning so we didn’t worry too much about finding more than just a flat place to throw our tent for one night. After the misery of the Golden Leaf was over on Saturday and I had sufficiently drowned my running woes in french fries Graham and I headed back up Castle Creek Road to find a campsite for the rest of the weekend.

photo-1Glamping.

We found an awesome campsite around 10,700 feet that was nestled in the woods off the road and right by a creek. Graham is well stocked with all camping supplies ever, so we had a pretty swanky camp with complete with a hammock, collapsable table, and a huge canopy that we affectionately nicknamed “The Pagoda”. Of course Cooper was a huge help gathering firewood while we were setting up camp.

photoOh hey Cooper. Thanks buddy!

We had a lazy Saturday afternoon setting up camp and cooking dinner. I was glad we were by a creek because that gave me a chance to clean up after running. Who needs a shower when you have cold mountain water and Camp Suds?

For dinner we made pasta with italian sausage and vodka sauce with additional fresh veggies. It was delicious! I definitely eat better while camping than in real life. I was exhausted (probably from waking up early and running a half marathon?), and we headed to bed around 9 p.m. Got to love going to bed at grandma time in the mountains!

It absolutely poured rain on the tent all night, and in the morning I was worried that we were going to have to take down all the camping gear in cold September rain. Luckily the rain cleared eventually and we were excited to find that what had been rain for us had materialized in the form of snow 800 feet above us. The mountains tops had a dusting of snow which looked beautiful against the backdrop of the half golden aspens.

noname-1Our campsite? Meh it was kind of pretty.

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Awesome shot by Graham.

noname-4Half golden, all beautiful.

noname-3Snow and aspens, does it get better?

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Reusing extra italian sausage from the night before (genius) we had scrambled eggs with mozzarella cheese, potatoes with green peppers and onions and sausage for breakfast.

aspen1Yum.

The clouds looked kind of questionable above the surrounding mountains so we worked on taking down camp following breakfast. We almost made it and got everything down but the Pagoda before the rain.

After packing up camp Graham and I were not quite ready to leave the area just yet. We headed further up the 4WD road, and the rain seemingly cleared. We parked the truck and decided to hoof it up the road. It was still cloudy but the clouds just made the surrounding mountains look mystical.

noname-6Hiking with my boys.

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Engulfed in the clouds.

noname-7We started feeling some raindrops and figured our luck was running out so we headed back to the car. It was kind of just in the nick of time as it started hailing on the drive down the road.

aspen2Hail while driving through this tunnel o’ aspens

Reluctantly we headed down Castle Creek Road back towards civilization, and a great weekend in the mountains came to an end. Hail, snow and rain, all in one day! That’s fall camping in Colorado for you – gorgeous scenery and unpredictable weather.

Speaking of snow you know what the very best part about golden aspen season is? Winter is just around the corner…!