Sunday, September 23, 2007

What I did over my summer vacation

Well technically I didn't have a summer vacation but I've done a lot of fun and interesting things lately and haven't taken much time to write about them. In true engineer fashion I will recount much of the goings-on over the last several moths as a bulletized status report:

* I changed the title of my blog per a nickname I recently acquired from a co-worker

* We got a hot tub! It seats 5 people and has a gorgeous view of the hogback from our side deck. We're looking forward to using it when it's actually cold outside instead of 90 deg (though I'm not looking to getting out in the snow!)

* Steve and I hiked four 14'ers: Quandry Peak (+14,265), Mt Democrat (+14,148), Mt Lincoln (+14,286), and Mt. Bross (+14,172). Additionally we hiked one 13'er: Rosalie Peak (+13,575). Later in the summer Steve’s dad came to visit and we drove to the top of Mt. Evans (+14,264). On my 14’er list I’m 9 down and 41 to go…

* Went white water rafting on the Arkansas River through the Royal Gorge with a group of co-workers. Yes, Ferg stayed in the boat this time. Man I love riding up front!

* Steve and I took our dogs to Wyoming to go capming over the 4th of July weekend. Highlights were when the dogs took a nice mud bath in a shallow stream, and a close range thunderstorm that sent our fur-beasts into a frenzied panic (with mom and dad more than a little on edge).

* Went backpacking in the Mt. Evan Wilderness Area. This is a gorgeous spot just east of Denver, so close that you can actually see downtown as you roast marshmallows near a glacial cirque at tree-line. I love living here!!

* Rode over 430 miles on our new bikes. We have a map of all the bike paths in the Denver Metro area and have been highlighting our various routes. Since Denver has the most bike trails of any US city (something like 800 miles) we’ve seen a lot of the town we have a lot yet to explore!

* Volunteered at joint Lockheed-NASA booth at the Rocky Mountain Balloon Festival.

* Attended our friend’s wedding in Palo Alto. We rejoiced at the reunion with all our LA friends.

* Went to Steve’s cousin’s wedding in South Shore Tahoe, luckily a couple of weeks before the big fires hit.

* I had a photo selected for publication in a book on New Zealand National Parks. No money involved, but now I can say I’ve been published!

The hut at last

*We were lucky to receive visits from both of Steve’s parents while they were on separate business trips, as well as my grandparents as they took a scenic road trip.

I think that’s most of the highlights from the summer. Now the seasons are changing and although it may still be warm it certainly doesn’t feel like summer anymore. Today is the autumnal equinox and for the next six months the nights will be longer than the days. The afternoon thunderstorms have ceased and been replaced with howling winds, the harbinger of fall. Up in the mountains, seemingly overnight, the apens have turned to pure gold interwoven in the pine forest. It’s the swan song before the quivering leaves turn dull brown and carpet the forest floor. Outside people are hurriedly trying to get in the last bike rides of the season, and the last peak bagging, before the first snow of the year. It may be 80 degrees outside but I know we are only weeks away from the storms that will herald in ski season for the hordes of powder junkies. So farewell summer! It’s time to put the bike in the basement and tune up the skis; mama’s got to learn to do moguls.

Rocky Mountain Sunset


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