Saturday, April 29, 2006

Anniversary Trip

Our whirlwind 5 year anniversary trip has been a furious sprint all across Arizona.

We are staying in Sedona, but have taken an amazing flight in a biplane, hiked 6 miles into the Grand Canyon, explored Antelope Canyon, went to a wild animal park and tomorrow are doing a horseback ride through the Coconino National Forest. Its been a hectic, but very enjoyable couple of days. Below are a couple quick snapshots of some of the amazing country we've seen. Tons more pics to come here and on our PBase account when we stop long enough to go through them. On to the teasers....

Antelope Canyon near Page, AZ
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Sedona, AZ where we are staying

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The Grand Canyon looking at the Kaibab Trail we hiked down
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Monday, April 24, 2006

80s to snow, I saw dead people and road bikes.

The crazy weather pattern continued as Saturday was a perfect 70deg day light winds, Sunday was warm and windy and now today is cold (40ish) with rain/snow. We certainly needed the moisture, so I don't mind a day or two of cold.

A pretty slow weekend by our standards, but you need those sometimes to get caught up. We went to the Denver Museum of Science and Nature on Saturday morning to check out the Body Worlds 2 exhibit. The exhibit shows real human cadavers who have been through a process dubbed "plastination" where they are preserved in a particular pose. It was very interesting to see the inner workings of the amazing human body and it was certainly a unique experience. But quite frankly it really freaked me out at first, but then I got desensitized to it and found it pretty interesting. Jill was excited to see it, so we compromised and I went to that with her and then she went to the IMAX movie "Wired to Win" with me that centered around Tour De France racers and their body's struggle to deal with the continual pain.

I decided that I'm going to get another bike. I absolutely love my Yeti 575, but I decided to get either a road bike or more likely a cross bike to do some roadie type events. Right now this Felt is the bike that has peaked my interest, but I'm checking out some other ones as well. I think a cross bike is the way to go for me as I could use it to commute to work, ride the dirt road Poorman Loop here in Boulder at lunch, but then still do some true road rides.

This was all started by my thinking that I would do the MS150 this summer with my sister. I think I'd be able to finish just fine on my 575 with slicks and the travel locked down, but a 6 inch travel 30lb bike is definitely not the norm on a road ride like the MS150. It would also be really nice to have a bike that worked a bit better with my trainer in the winter months, as the full squish mountain bikes just don't feel at home (nor should they) on trainers.

My true love will still remain riding the trails, but having a pseudo road bike to spin some "easier" rides on would be nice for those days when I just don't have the time to make it to a trail.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

Busy Easter Weekend

Well the extended weekend came and went in a hurry. Good thing I've got this desk job to allow my rapidly aging body to recover during the week.

On Saturday, Jill & I headed up for the swan song on our ski season. With the warm conditions and lack of moisture we expected yet another spring ski day where we would be stripping off layers by noon. However we were quite surprised to see about 4" of powder on the slopes with more falling when we arrived. The Mary Jane parking lot was a party atmosphere, with lots of grills, dogs and people. We hit the slopes for a while, stopped and had one last hot chocolate (sans Baileys sadly), and skied some final runs for the year. We called it quits early as a layer of freezing mist and fog rolled in and made visibility a real problem. I couldn't ski more than about 20ft in front of Jill without losing site of her in the fog.

Saturday night we had BK, Amy & Ty swing back through town briefly. They stopped in long enough to meet up and have some dinner in Boulder and then they headed off to an Easter party then back towards Oklahoma. Ty had a big time chasing our dogs around, and became especially fond of Molly. He kept finding Molly sacked out on the floor and laying down beside her mimicking her position on the floor.

Sunday I decided to get up early and hitch a ride with John & Amy Perry along with the Blue Sky Cycling guys down to Buffalo Creek near Pine, CO. I've been wanting to ride this trail since moving here, and even though the timing wasn't right I decided this was an opportunity that I just didn't want to miss. Buffalo Creek has miles and miles of tight, twisty singletrack that you dream of and the maze of trails could be hard to navigate if you didn't have a guide.

The ride was a mixed bag of skills and endurance levels, but everyone kept together pretty well. Off the front of the pack was Abrahm (I'm sure I just butchered that spelling) on a singlespeed hardtail with Rob from Blue Sky close in tow. John & I held down the middle of the pack. I was very pleased with being able to hold John's wheel through about 1/2 of the ride on the climbs as he typically drops me after about a mile. Amy, Noel & Tim held a steady pace on the back of the pack, which was impressive considering Noel was riding a Maverick ML8 and it was Amy & Tim's first ride of the season.

After about 10 miles the group split, sending Amy, Tim & Noel back to the car on the shortest distance. Abrahm, Rob, John & I headed out for mileage and a whole lot more climbing. I really started to bonk on the extended ride, which I think was mainly due to not eating enough & needing more water, but I mustered up the will to keep turning the cranks. The downhills & flats were a blast and I dug deep to find something to keep going on the climbs. I was just thrilled to have been in the "fast" group for a big ride, which tells me all the riding at lunch and after work is starting to pay off. I need to keep hammering out climbs, but at this point in the season I'm very pleased with how quickly my fitness is progressing. I'm not out to win any races, I'm not even close to that kind of shape, but I want to be able to pound out some long rides with big climbs this summer so this was a great start.

Totals for the ride were 3 hours saddle time, 25 miles and somewhere around 3500 feet of climbing. Forgot my camera, so no pics but I'll see what John's pics look like and maybe post one of those up soon.

Big rides are good for the soul.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Finally some snowshoeing!

My sister, Sarah, got Jill and I some snowshoes for Christmas. We both were thrilled to have gotten such a cool gift, but every time we tried to go snowshoeing our efforts were thwarted. Several times we found too little snow, and a couple other times it was just too damn cold.

But today under 50 deg temps and a blue sky you had to see to believe, we did some snowshoeing up near Bear Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park. I am continually amazed at the incredibly gorgeous panoramic views presented in RMNP, regardless of how many times I've been there.

So from today here is a pic of Jill standing in front of Hallet Peak showing her snowshoeing best. The other pic is from the Morraine Lake area looking back towards Hallet and Flattop.

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Another day, another ride.

Hit up Hall Ranch today, but took the easier side (Antelope Trail) as my legs were pretty burned up, I was short on time and the wind was fierce. I really love the view of Long's & Meeker from the loop at Hall, you really get a sense of their enormous size.

Wednesday, April 12, 2006

Nice day for a ride

Quick spin at Heil Valley Ranch today. I'm not crazy about the riding at Heil, but it was nice to get out and Heil isn't very crowded so I decided to hit it today. This is from the scenic overlook at the top of the climb, looking back towards the Continental Divide. Spring is here and I am thrilled about it.

I was so excited today when a woman in my office building told me I looked like I had lost some weight. That comment alone was enough motivation for me to drag my tired legs out for another ride today.

Tuesday, April 11, 2006

More family passing though.

Ty, the offspring of Brandon & Amy Kerr, chooses cherries over the pizza at The Sink in Boulder last Saturday night. Amy & Ty preceded BK (he was likely shaking hands and kissing babies somewhere in Oklahoma) on the way to Beaver Creek for some skiing this week. They stopped through town and met Jill, Sarah and myself for some dinner. Ty was on good behavior, and showed off some of his tricks for us.

Friday, April 07, 2006

1825 days of wedded bliss

or 5 years if you prefer.....

Today 5 years ago Jill & I got married in Estes Park, CO. In a strange twist we never saw coming, we now live about 30 miles from the very place we got married. Its been a great 5 years, in fact I'm not sure how it could have been any better. Some events/trips/milestones we've hit over the last 5 years:

1. Added Molly to our family
2. Traveled to San Diego, San Francisco, all over Alaska, all over Colorado, all over Utah, Houston for the Alamo Bowl, San Antonio for the Final 4
3. I left Solarc & Tulsa for Outlaw Technologies and Boulder County. Jill left Ryno for Hunter Douglas
4. Skied a whole lot of days, done some scary white wafter rafting, biked a lot of cool trails, and hiked some gorgeous terrain all over CO and Utah.
5. Stayed as smitten as we were 5 years ago in Estes Park, which I consider to be the biggest accomplishment of all.

We've got lots of things to look forward to in the next 5, 10, ...or 50 years as well. Every year of our live's seem to get better, so I can only await the glorious times to come while I enjoy the current day. And to answer the proverbial question of "what did you get Jill?", well you'll have to wait for another day or two as she doesn't know yet. I've got a strong hint that my gift comes in the form of some REI Gift cards, a perfect gift for me as I spend lots of time in REI.

I think we'll celebrate day 1 of our 5th year with some spring skiing at Winter Park. Day 2 looks like mountain biking....