Monday, August 29, 2016

To the Bubble...



Boulder is a second home for us, especially for Brian, and Colorado - and its monumental peaks - is always on our minds.  Summer would have been incomplete without a trip there. We were very excited when schedules aligned and we were able to make a real adventure of our trip; that is, our cousin Annie, a person made for adventures, and Becky, who has helped me survive more than one trip westward, were able to join us for a full week of fun in that great square state!

We spent a full week in Colorado, arriving after what was surely one of the most prolonged bouts of turbulence I have ever experience....and I've make the trek to DIA many, many times!  Our to-do list included hiking, celebrating Brian's birthday, and sampling the local flavors (Whiskey Wednesday, the Dark Horse, Movement Climbing + Fitness, Chautauqua Park, the Flatirons, Lucky's, Whole Foods, basically everything Boulder).  And we did it all.  And that included surviving or strange and very full house, which we fondly referred to as Shady Acres - seriously, if you need a basket, and antique, or a few dozen of any one item, it's the place to stay in Boulder.

Welcome to RMNP
making our way around Bear Lake
celebrating the birthday boy 
Thursday: recovery/altitude treatment
ginger chews before we drove up Mt. Evans

Friday: like I said, the park ALWAYS delivers
Mills Lake

three girls at bear paw 3
the end of our journey...and we only got rained on a bit 
The crowning achievement - other than surviving Brian's birthday meal, which happened to be about 90 degrees thanks to some very powerful lights overhead, and multiple specials at the Downer - was summiting Mt. Bierstadt.  Brian's eyes lit up when he heard that Annie wanted to hike a 14er, and he immediately got to planning our adventure.


Sunday: up very early to get hiking and capture the views
We woke up at 2:00am on Sunday, or final full day in Colorado, to make our way to the trailhead.  While it was still dark (and cold), we put on our layers and started the 4 mile trek toward the summit.  While our party of four disbanded a bit, Annie, Brian, and I summited Mt. Bierstadt as most people - you know, typical people who don't count hiking for hours on end as part of their favorite things to do - were just waking up.  Per our guide, we kept a good pace and pushed through the most challenging parts of the trail like champs.  We earned our celebratory cheese-its and gummi bears (our summy gummis)! Hiking is not for everyone, and hiking to 14,000+ feet takes real grit.  Annie was a pro.  And she kept us laughing, which may have been the only thing keeping us all going more than once or twice. I'm so proud of her, and I'm really glad we got to spend the week together exploring some of my favorite places.  In all, the part of four made a really great crew!

See what I'm talking about? 
capturing the summit - we did it
and then we sent Brian off for another hike
our 'we're pretending to feel great, but get us to the car' faces  
what post-14er hikers look like

Colorado will forever be a very special place for Brian and me; it is a place where, truly, we can be ourselves and enjoy what matters most to us in life. Getting to share that with family made this most recent rip all the more enjoyable. 

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