Monthly Archives: October 2014

4th of July and Colorado

Taking advantage of not having to drive up to the Finger Lakes.

Taking advantage of not having to drive up to the Finger Lakes.

We bought Bri-guy a very patriotic outfit for the holiday.  He wore it with pride.

We bought Bri-guy a very patriotic outfit for the holiday. He wore it with pride.

It was good ski'n weather.  I won't bore you with the video.

It was good ski’n weather. I won’t bore you with the video.

After a solid weekend of sausages, fireworks and beer, it was time to head back out west.  I’d never been to Colorado in the summer and it was time to rectify that.  I flew out to hang with Casey from 7/7-7/11.

Our first adventure was camping, so we made a supply run.

We found some awesome coozies at the grocery store.  Mine is the one with the shark (of course).  The full message is: If ya messin with my drink, ya might sleep with the fishes.  Odd threat in land-locked CO.

We found some awesome coozies at the grocery store. Mine is the one with the shark (of course). The full message is: If ya messin with my drink, ya might sleep with the fishes. Odd threat in land-locked CO.

We set up shop in Golden Gate Canyon State Park, which was quite close to Casey's house.

We set up shop in Golden Gate Canyon State Park, which was quite close to Casey’s house.

The park featured some great hikes.  We did one on Monday and a long one on Tuesday.

The park featured some great hikes. We did one on Monday and a long one on Tuesday.

We treated ourselves to some roasted vegetables Monday night.

We treated ourselves to some roasted vegetables Monday night.

Tuesday afternoon we headed back to civilization so we could do some additional adventure planning.  Casey had never been white water rafting, so we had to fix that.

We went with Clear Creek Rafting Co. on a half-day trip through class III and IV rapids.

We went with Clear Creek Rafting Co. on a half-day trip through class III and IV rapids.

Casey and I managed to get front row seats for the second half of the trip.  Invigorating stuff!

Casey and I managed to get front row seats for the second half of the trip. Invigorating stuff!

We dogged some buffalo burgers at Backcountry Brewery in Frisco afterwards.

We dogged some buffalo burgers at Backcountry Brewery in Frisco afterwards.

After lunch, we decided to drive up to Mount Evans.  I had never heard of it, but it’s the highest paved road in North America.  It opened in 1931.  The original plan was to link three 14,000-foot peaks, as part of a Peak to Peak Highway system, but it proved too ambitious.  So, from the comfort of a car, we got to ascend from 7540 ft to just under 14,130 ft in about 45 minutes.  The brochure was full of fascinating facts, like:

*Every 1000 ft gained in the mountains is equivalent to traveling 600 miles north in latitude

*Temperatures drop 3.5-5 degrees F for every 1000 ft of elevation gained.  The average summer daytime temp is around 42 at the top of the road, and it can snow any day

*The sun is 5% stronger every 1000 ft of elevation gained

*The Alpine zone is the treeless land above 11,500 ft.  During the 8 months of alpine winter, most animals hibernate or head down the mountain.  Even the wildflowers have special adaptations; the leaves of Alpine Avens contain anthocyanin, an antifreeze-like pigment that converts sunlight to heat

*The Mount Goliath Natural Area (11,540′) contains Rocky Mountain bristlecone pine, wich are the oldest single living organism on earth, capable of living for thousands of years

Our first stop was Summit Lake Park.  It's the highest park in the Denver Mountain Park system.  The environment mirrors the arctic.  Luckily, we had our rain jackets in the car.

Our first stop was Summit Lake Park. It’s the highest park in the Denver Mountain Park system. The environment mirrors the arctic. Luckily, we had our rain jackets in the car.

 

We made it to the top!  We took the trail from the parking lot, and we could see most of the Continental Divide.

We made it to the top! We took the trail from the parking lot, and we could see most of the Continental Divide.

 

I was tickled by the mountain goats.

I was tickled by the mountain goats.

The views from the top were mind-blowing.  We also checked out the highest observatory in North America.  There used to be a restaurant called the Crest House, but it burned down in 1979.  We walked around the ruins.  I hope they bring it back.  What a place for a cup of coffee!

The views from the top were mind-blowing. We also checked out the highest observatory in North America. There used to be a restaurant called the Crest House, but it burned down in 1979. We walked around the ruins. I hope they bring it back. What a place for a cup of coffee!

One of my friends saying bye as we made our way back down the mountain.

One of my friends saying bye as we made our way back down the mountain.

The next morning we did a fitness class on Stand Up Paddleboards.  This was a first for me.  I made it until about the last 2 minutes of class before falling in.

The next morning we did a fitness class on Stand Up Paddleboards. This was a first for me. I made it until about the last 2 minutes of class before falling in.

That afternoon, we went to the Denver Botanic Gardens, where a Chihuly exhibit was going on. He's known for his glass work and the installation was seamlessly throughout the gardens.

That afternoon, we went to the Denver Botanic Gardens, where a Chihuly exhibit was going on. He’s known for his glass work and the installation was seamlessly throughout the gardens.

We finished out the day by lounging at the roof top pool, riding the Denver equivalent of Citibikes, having a delicious dinner at Root Down and drinks at Linger.

We finished out the day by lounging at the roof top pool, riding the Denver equivalent of Citibikes, having a delicious dinner at Root Down and drinks at Linger.

We packed a lot into 4 days.  I can’t wait to do it again.  The losers at Frontier Airlines wouldn’t let me on my flight Friday morning, but there was no way I was going to miss this:

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June Highlights

Early in the month, I headed down to FL to visit with my folks.  My aunt and uncle were there as well.

We went out on the Pastime Princess for a day of fishing.

We went out on the Pastime Princess for a day of fishing.

Uncle Rog did the best.  Here is he with a keeper snapper.

Uncle Rog did the best. Here is he with a keeper snapper.

Collecting our bounty.  We had enough for a fine feast.

Collecting our bounty. We had enough for a fine feast.

One of the more exciting aspects of the trip was Uncle Rog's new boat.  Here we are in the intracoastal.

One of the more exciting aspects of the trip was Uncle Rog’s new boat. Here we are in the intracoastal.

I did my first dives in this region of Florida with Sea Dogs.  We did two different wreck dives about 10 miles offshore.  The visibility was only about 40 feet (I’m spoiled), but I did see my first goliath grouper.  I also saw some giant cobia, a few turtles and a sting ray.  Two other divers were spearfishing and they brought in some beautiful flounder.  I forgot the GoPro, so stay tuned for future dives there.

One weekend Noah and I went out on a head boat off of Captree State Park.

One weekend Noah and I went out on a head boat off of Captree State Park.

I caught a goofy looking thing called a stargazer.  We had to buy our fish for dinner that night.

I caught a goofy looking thing called a stargazer. We had to buy our fish for dinner that night.

It was a very boat-y month.  I went to SUNY Maritime Academy and got my safe powerboat handling certificate.

It was a very boat-y month. I went to SUNY Maritime Academy and got my safe powerboat handling certificate. I now have an anchor on my driver’s license!

We trained on 18-20 ft. center console boats.  The docking practice was particularly useful and the high speed maneuvers were quite fun.  The 10 year old in the class (pictured here) made me feel like less of a badass.

We trained on 18-20 ft. center console boats. The docking practice was particularly useful and the high speed maneuvers were quite fun. The 10 year old in the class (pictured here) made me feel like less of a badass.

One night we went on a dinner cruise in the East River called the Water Table.

One night we went on a dinner cruise in the East River called the Water Table.

The Revolution is a 62' yard patrol boat that was built in 1944.  It was used by the Navy to teach seamanship.  It has also served as a fire boat and as a ferry boat in Boston.

The Revolution is a 62′ yard patrol boat that was built in 1944. It was used by the Navy to teach seamanship. It has also served as a fire boat and as a ferry boat in Boston.

In addition to drinks and dinner, we went on a 2.5 hour cruise.

In addition to drinks and dinner, we went on a 2.5 hour cruise.

It's always nice to see where you live from the water.

It’s always nice to see where you live from the water.

A lovely early summer evening.

A lovely early summer evening.

Eager to keep our boating fresh, we took the ferry to Atlantic Highlands and rented a boat one day.

Eager to keep our boating fresh, we took the ferry to Atlantic Highlands and rented a boat for the day.

Another day when we'd be buying our dinner instead of catching it.

Another day when we’d be buying our dinner instead of catching it.

Always fun getting these guys off the hook.

Always fun getting these guys off the hook.

Our ride back to the city.  This ferry will always be one of our favorites.  Super fast, great views and they sell beer.

Our ride back to the city. This ferry will always be one of our favorites. Super fast, great views and they sell beer.

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Bridesmaid Detail Memorial Day 2014

May saw the girls back together again, to celebrate Sarah’s wedding.  We’d be in our old stomping grounds, in the Finger Lakes.

Noah and I headed up a few days early to visit with our buddies.

Noah and I headed up a few days early to visit with our buddies.

The action kicked off Friday night with a rehearsal dinner.  The weather was fairly ominous during the day, but ended up clearing.

The action kicked off Friday night with a rehearsal dinner. The weather was fairly ominous during the day, but ended up clearing.

We had our own little photo session since the light was so eerie.

We had our own little photo session since the light was so eerie.

After practicing our positions in the processional, we sat down for a meal.

After practicing our positions in the processional, we sat down for a meal.

Casey and Carroll anxiously watching the speeches at the evening's welcome party.  We were next up.

Casey and Carroll anxiously watching the speeches at the evening’s welcome party. We were next up.

We nailed our speech.  I know this because it was mentioned multiple times throughout the weekend, including during the ceremony.  If I can find a video of our delivery, I will post it.

We started bright and early on Saturday morning with a yoga class, before moving on to the primping stage.

We got the full treatment, including air brush make up.

We got the full treatment, including air brush make up.

We got ready in a house right on the lake, with great views.

We got ready in a house right on the lake, with great views.

We got the party started back in our room, with a little Champagne.

We got the party started back in our room, with a little Champagne (and some dirty jokes).

Backdrop for the big day.

Backdrop for the big day.

Don't we clean up nicely?  Yes, I am wearing clothes.

Don’t we clean up nicely? Yes, I am wearing clothes.

If you’re interested in checking out the professional photos of the event, click here.

Things definitely got silly as the night progressed.

Things definitely got silly as the night progressed.

On our way back to the city, we tricked our friend Scott into stopping at The Farmland Animal Park.  Always trying to broaden his horizons, we convinced him to do some animal feeding.

It was quite a successful weekend.

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