camping

Semi-Hiking Mt. Huron

Although my bum old lady knees kept me from completing several of the hikes I wanted to this summer, that doesn’t mean I didn’t try. Well… at least it doesn’t mean that I didn’t go along for the ride. Late July Matt set his sites on Mt. Huron, at 14,003 foot peak just outside of Buena Vista and Granite, Colorado. While he got up at sunrise to set out for the summit, I slept in an extra two hours (maybe the only silver lining of these knee problems, if it can even be considered a silver lining) before attempting whatever portion of the hike I could do before my knees started to hurt.

I wasn’t sure how far I’d make it, but as it turns out, it wasn’t far. I got about a mile before the throbbing began and I made the decision to sit and wait in the sun until Matt started his decent and reached me. But, what I did get to see was absolutely breathtaking. What pains me so much about having to stop, is Matt reached the peak and told me it was the most beautiful view of any 14er he has climbed. #fomo #megafomo

When I’m sorted I’ll have to go back to see for myself.

Here’s the view we were met with driving in the night before:

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It was a gorgeous day – maybe the best weather I experienced all summer. Which obviously completely rubbed in the fact that I couldn’t fully participate. But I got to enjoy the coolness of the tree cover and climb over several creeks and brooks that lined the trail.

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I realize these just look like big rocks, but their colors and their imposing size were something to take in on a summer Saturday.

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Don’t let my smile fool you, I was saddened on the news of the views from the summit. But I guess it’s not a huge surprise. Fortunately my discovery of newly bloomed wildflowers and their bumble bee counterparts colored the mood. And then of course there’s the photo of the victor post mountain conquering.

It’s also worth noting that the drive to the trailhead is full of fantastic Colorado moments. From killer camp spots – to historical ghost towns that used to be booming mining metropolises – to a crystal blue lake that was incredible for hawk-spotting, the trek is worth the views.

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moments from telluride

It’s almost time for mid-July paycheck (I – in every way – measure time based on how close it is to my next paycheck), and I’m yet again taken aback at how quickly summer is flying by. This time of year used to be “slow season” at work, but somehow “slow season” has gone missing and anxiety has taken its place.

The ongoing goal is to replace anxious thoughts with not-so-distant memories of summerfuntimes. Last night I flipped through some of my photos from Telluride, and I thought I’d share a few more.

Driving Through Buena Vista

Buena Vista and the Collegiate Peaks continue to fight for front row in my heart. Just love the gorgeous view we got on a clear day driving through BV to Telluride.

On our way to Telluride

These colors are real. I’m not even sure how to express how insane this view was. Matt grew roughly 27 new gray hairs as I drove him through this – swerving (nearly) off the road in shock and awe several times.

Driving up to Alta Lakes

The first night we got to Telluride we camped at Alta Lakes. Which allowed us a crisp, tranquil, and (most importantly?) free place to rest our heads at 11,000-something feet. On the road up to the lake, enjoy the totally creepy ride through the abandoned mining town. Memories of Deliverance are shiver-inducing.

Alta Lake Camp Spot

Matt is one of like, 10% of humans who have this special blood that is essentially the equivalent of heroin for bugs/mostly just mosquitos. I can sit right next to him for an entire night and have zero bites, and he’ll barely have any blood left. Poor guy. Needless to say, our lake-side camp spot was a bit too much for him to handle, so sleeping in ole Subie was a must.

That being said, we parked WAY too close to the shoreline, and spent the night waking up in panic mode that the car had slipped into the water. But, if you’re a smart camper who doesn’t have heroin blood, this is an amazing place where I would have spent the whole weekend.

Telluride Bluegrass

(festival goers and the food that fuels them)

TBF Painter

(we watched this poor girl get continually hit on – and more and more sunburned – by dudes all day long. lady just wants to paint!)

Festival Goers

(the scene at the telluride bluegrass festival)

Moscow Mules

Bluegrass listeners beware – this is a hot day. Wear a sun hat… and lots of sunscreen. But note, just when it gets to a point in the day when you’re feeling too hot and dehydrated to go on, the sun begins to set behind the mountains and the Moscow Mule vendors magically appear to supply freshie lime goodness. These people have this down.

Matt at Telluride

I mentioned this festival is the most laid back place on earth, because it is. People wake up at 5 a.m. for the “tarp rush” where the gates open for the day and they run in to grab their spots. I guarantee I will never participate in the tarp rush. No bueno. But! even though we spent the day toward the back of the crowd, we were able to get basically front row for the people we really wanted to see. The family atmosphere of the festival is the reason why. Ask someone if you can come stand on their tarp for a minute, and the answer is almost always yes.

Feist at Telluride 2013

(my lady of the day, Feist. she tore it up with remixed versions of older songs, and i loved it.)

telluride bluegrass

Still recovering from the colorful weekend in Telluride. Since Sunday, I’ve been poorly fueling this body machine – leaving me with a constant state of feeling lethargic, heavy, and boo boo tummy. It’s time to stop pouting about leaving Telluride, and start planning the next adventure.

That said, the weekend is one I will undoubtedly repeat next year and encourage everyone to do the same. I’m not a huge bluegrass fan, but the Telluride Bluegrass Festival is a beast of its own – with festival goers setting up camp villages surrounding the venue tucked into the mountains, and honestly a festival culture I have never experienced before (one that seems to be based solely on politeness and gratitude for time spent). Just a joy, people.

Camera photos are not yet uploaded, but wanted to share some quick snaps from the weekend.

Drive to Telluride

It’s a solid 6 hours to Telluride, so make a playlist and pack some snacks – this drive is totally worth it.

Friday night camping spot at Alta Lakes - at nearly 11,500 ft. Deep breaths!

Friday night camping spot at Alta Lakes – at nearly 11,500 ft. Deep breaths!

Posted up for the day with all the festivies necessities.

Posted up for the day with all the festivies necessities.

Tucked away into the mountains, soaking up the rays.

Tucked away into the mountains, soaking up the rays.

Downtown Telluride, just outside the festival gates.

Downtown Telluride, just outside the festival gates.

Thumbs up = psyched.

Thumbs up = psyched.

The Ladybug Parade. Random, yes, but a colorful way to break up the day.

The Ladybug Parade. Random, yes, but a colorful way to break up the day.

Arguing heritages downtown.

Arguing heritage seniority downtown.

buena vista bust

I took Friday off of work to get a jump start on Memorial Day weekend fun. Matt and I headed up to Turquoise Lake in Leadville to set up camp, but were met with what looked like the scene in The Lion King when Scar and the hyenas took over the pride land. That is to say, it was barren and utterly depressing. Hardly any water in that beautiful lake! So we ventured south to Buena Vista for the night. Unfortunately, again, all the hikes we wanted to do are covered in snow because of a ton of late snowfall. So we’ve retreated to Denver for the time being to regroup and re-strategize our weekend plans. Here’s to part two of the weekend!

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turquoise lake adventure

To kick off my 25th year I headed up to Turquoise Lake just outside of Leadville, Colorado. I had no idea it even existed, but was more than pleasantly surprised with my camp spot. We got a lot of snow this season, so although the day was warm and sunny, the tent was surrounded by piles of snow and I could literally see my breath at night. Excellent times all around.

Packed some “Mama’s Little Yella Pills” and hit the water.

I was trying to take a serene photo, until I saw Penny taking her first leap into the deep blue.

Penny & her new friend raced around the beach, in and out of the water, and didn’t get dirty at all…

Keep the change, you filthy animal.

Popping bubbly at a quarter century. A must.

Sunset. Gorgeous, but the resulting cold was brutal.

Literally fell asleep, terrified, to the sound of wolves howling. Made it through the night! Onto year 25. It’s gonna be a good one.