Tuesday, June 22, 2010

I'm engaged!!! Plus Snowboarding, Mountain biking, hiking update! Summer fun galore!

Wow, have I been busy so far this spring/summer! This seems like a good time to update on all of my activities at once. It has been great! I left my job at GNC for a position as a sales associate at Performance Bikes. It has been a lot of fun. I am learning a ton about bikes and bike accessories, and it is wonderful to be able to help people choose an awesome bike that they will love to ride! Everyone in Boulder should have a bike. I could not imagine living without one. When the weather is good I ride my bike everywhere. There is just no reason to drive in a town with such amazing bike paths. When someone comes into the shop and tells me "I haven't owned a bike in 20 years, what do you have?" and I am able to hook them up with a cruiser or hybrid that they are comfortable on and will want to ride around town, it is a great feeling.

But on to adventures and engagements! I will go over the main adventures of the summer, and from now on I must update more often for some in-depth trip reports. Skip down to July if you want to read about my engagement!! :D

In March we had an awesome weekend snowboarding in Breckenridge with a bunch of cool people. We all rented a condo and had a blast for the weekend. The weather was sunny and glorious with some good snow still left on the slopes. We spent an afternoon shredding the half pipe, soaked in the hot tub, and ate lots of good food. Excellent times were had by all!

Later in March, Erik and I tried to escape the lingering winter and head to a warmer climate. We drove out to St. George Utah for some camping, mountain biking, and national park time. The campsite we found was great. We stayed at Quail Creek State Park, which is located on a huge reservoir. We spent the first day poking around in St George and relaxing. We had a ton of gear and were definitely comfort camping. The next day we rode Church Rocks. This ride is 12 miles or so of fun flowey single track with some slick rock and technical sections. Some sections of the trail were pretty sandy, so I would think this is best in the early season. The weather was perfect, and the ride was awesome!

Quite comfy in an erosional feature.

On the way home we booked it to Zion National Park. Zion never ceases to amaze. The spectacular canyon walls on all sides are dizzying. The park was packed but since we have a National Park pass we got to skip the line! We decided to hike Angels Landing, as it is one of the most spectacular hikes in the park but is still pretty short. It hike straight up a huge spire in the center of the park. The view from the top is breathtaking, and the climb can definitely suck the wind from your lungs. It was amazing.

A dizzying perch atop Angels Landing in Zion National Park

My birthday was at the end of April. My family came to visit Boulder over my birthday. We watched prairie dogs, went out to some fabulous restaurants and I finally had tea at the Dushanbe Tea House. Jen and I had a joint birthday party out on the town. It was definitely a rager, ending with all of us riding the mechanical bull at Shooters. I woke up with some bruises!

We are taking advantage of the Boulder Open Space trails and did Gregory Canyon on a rainy morning a little bit ago. The water was so high the trail was a creek in places. This is a great loop. We started at the Chataqua parking lot and hiked along baseline before continuing up into Gregory canyon. The Gregory canyon lot is a fee lot, but Chataqua is free! Afterwords we decided to stuff our selves at an all you can eat Indian Buffet. Maybe not the best idea... :P

On Sunday the 20th of June we planned to summit our first 14er, Mt Bierstadt. But sadly the road to the trail head was closed. To salvage the day we decided to hike around Echo Lake near Idaho Springs. This is on the Mt Evans Scenic Byway. We had a great hike out towards the Chicago Lakes and did a little bit of exploring on the National Forest Service land.

4th of July we returned to the area for a three day backpacking trip out into the wilderness. It was simply amazing! We hiked in on Saturday night and camped along the trail to Chicago Lakes. In the morning we discovered our stove fuel was leaking and thus had to cook all of our food and make coffee on an open fire for the rest of the trip. The next time we go backpacking with a working stove it will feel positively luxurious. We packed up our gear and continued on the the lakes themselves on Sunday morning. The views from the upper lake are incredibly spectacular. We found an excellent place to camp nestled in a grove of pine trees off the trail. This protected us from some of the variable weather that came in on Sunday evening (rain, hail, lighting, etc.). Before the storm we had a chance to hike up a cascading waterfall that fed from the upper to lower lake. It was definitely and adventure!

A view of Erik above the Lower Chicago Lake in Mount Evan Wilderness area.

The waterfall that connects the upper and lower Chicago Lakes

After the fourth we set of on a cross country epic in the van. We loaded our camping gear and mountain bikes up and set out to drive from Boulder, CO to the Bay Area in California (with no air conditioning). Erik had booked some hotels along the way, which was nice. We were so sweaty and disgusting after spending a day driving across the Nevada desert without A/C that I think I would have died if we were camping in the desert. The thermometer in the van read 100+ at the hottest. I was taking ice from the cooler and wiping down our necks, arms and legs so as not to overheat. It was pretty brutal to say the least.

When we arrived in California we decided to make a little side trip to Tahoe City, where we met. We cruised down to the Dam Cafe (our favorite coffee spot in town) and got some breakfast burritos. Erik decided it would be nice to eat them down by the lake, and i agreed. He grabbed his backpack and the burritos and we walked down along the crystal blue water admiring the gorgeous views. After finding a nice spot on the sand, I plopped down and started getting comfortable, but before I had a chance Erik pulled me up to standing. He put some music on his iPhone (Jason Mraz: I'm Yours) and bent down to grab the burritos from his pack. But instead of handing me a burrito, when he turned to me he dropped down on one knee and asked me to marry him. Of course I said yes with tears in my eyes! It was the most beautiful moment I could have ever imagined. We are now engaged and planning an outdoor beach wedding for next summer! I have yet to upload the pictures from that day, but they are forthcoming! :)

In California Erik did a 24hr Mountain bike race with some of his old buddies. It was really cool! I was support crew, along with another accompanying girlfriend.

I then spent some time in San Fransisco and and had a chance to catch up with my old friend Christine. We went to San Carlos to visit some of my extended family and announced our engagement!

Erik then left for a friend's bachelor party in Tahoe, and I went and spent a week in Mission Beach with my family basking in the ocean and feeling the soft air against my skin. We are both now back in Colorado. I am working at the bike shop and Erik is finishing school this semester. It has definitely been a full and exciting spring/summer!

This coming weekend we plan to hike Longs Peak. Woo 14er!

Till next time when i manage to sit down at the computer for long enough to post! It's been real.