Wednesday, June 11, 2014


Both Brian and I have long been wanting to get to Vail for the Climbing World Cup event held at the GoPro Mountain Games.  This year we were finally able to do so.  I flew into Denver Thursday evening and we made the drive to Vail.  Brian had to work remotely on Friday, so I offered to retrieve breakfast and made the first of many long jaunts from our hotel to the downtown area, where all of the gear/goody tents were set up and the climbing was taking place.  I did a bit of exploring before returning, but in the afternoon we ventured downtown together.  And while Brian was doing his computer thing after lunch, I had my nose in a book.   We then made our way through Gear Town and to the climbing wall to watch the women's qualifiers. On the way, I made a discovery.  While there were a number of events taking place - kayaking, climbing, slack lining - the best was dock dog jumping.  As Brian so eloquently stated, I love dogs, and jumping dogs are even better.
He's no dock dog, but he is about as cute as they come, and I wanted him! 

After the competition, where I was able to grab a front row seat thanks to Brian and our friend Jon's media credentials, the three of us, who were also roomies for a few nights, went out for our romantic group dinner.  We had a fabulous meal, perhaps one of the best I've ever had, which we followed up with a half-mile walk back to our hotel, the decision to have dessert, and another walk directly back in the direction we came from.  The walk eased the guilt of indulging, and the taste of the cheesecake (and the sight of watching a giant group of people in a closed restaurant dancing to an accordion) made the $7 price tag a bit more tolerable.

Vail - lots of shops, and restaurants people, in the streets, and mountains 

We spent the majority of Saturday at the climbing wall watching the semi-final round of climbing and then the World Cup finals.   For any person who is looking to find motivation to be active or challenge himself in any way, I recommend spending a bit of time with a climber. These athletes' willingness to push their physical and mental limits is unparalleled. It's this "I won't stop" attitude that keeps me coming back to climbing (and despite the broken ankles). Thanks to climbing, I have discovered that I am a lot stronger than I ever knew I could be, and I am much more willing to challenge myself; thanks, Bri, for not giving up on convincing me to climb and for encouraging me to be a better me.

Anyhow, back to the Mountain Games....Later that evening, much later, it was time to party with the pros, pro climbers that is!  We went to one of the dingiest places in all of Vail, Semana's, and that's no overestimation.  In that underground dive, we drank, got spilled on, nearly melted - and danced until our feet were stuck to the floor.

That's our Colorado landlord getting it done at the comp! 

Sunday was definitely a late start kind of day.  After all, I wasn't in bed until after 2am Colorado time (3am at home).  After grabbing some breakfast, Brian and I headed back to the venue to check out a bit of the citizen's competition. We also decided to take advantage of the tickets we'd received for a gondola ride.  While it was certainly overcast and chilly, the rain held off until we reached the top of the mountain. We basically stepped out of the gondola and into the rain.  Despite that, it was beautiful atop Vail. Later, we drove to Frisco and met up with my Uncle Dan, Aunt Barb and cousin Sean.  I knew they were heading to Colorado around this time, but it was a pleasant surprise when I discovered they were already in Colorado and so close to us.  Per usual, Sean and I had an amazing conversation.  We're one in the same, so we always have a ton to share with each other and laugh about.

If I ignore the heinous experience that was my journey home -- delayed flights, running (literally) through the airport, turbulence --  this weekend was a fantastic one.  I'm glad I finally made it to the World Cup event, and I'm glad I got to spend time with family and my Colorado friends and my adventure buddy.  Soon, my summer in Colorado, my fabulous life in Boulder, will begin.  I cannot wait.

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