Saturday, November 03, 2007

It's snowing in Colorado. Well, that's not entirely true, but it has snowed - a lot. In fact, four ski resorts are already open; winter is upon us. This is only important to me because I haven't done much more than see snow from a distance for a long time. I've missed it...

Near Fremont Pass.

I've missed a lot during the past year or so, actually, and transitioning back to the "real world" has been a balancing act I sometimes feel like I'm struggling to master. Between a new job, a new female friend, and a strong desire to see and do everything, I find myself only making brief stops at my apartment to change clothes, pick up and/or drop off books, shower, and occasionally sleep. I wish I could pay rent based on actual occupancy time. I think it'd be about $54/month.

Step Out to fight diabetes.

I'd like to thank all of my friends and family who helped me raise money for the American Diabetes' Association's annual Step Out to fight Diabetes walk. I'd also like to thank the aforementioned "new female friend" - her name is Jacque - for showing and signing me up for the walk, as well as for supporting me by choosing to walk with me. It was a bittersweet event for me; at times I felt near tears, at others excited to be part of a fight to end something that's played an enormous role in my own life. Again, thanks to everyone who chose to support this cause.

Loveland Pass.

(Just an aside. I've received about 5 text messages while writing this blog reminding how great Nebraska's defense is playing this season. Thank you, I hadn't noticed. I think Big Tom is going to re-tool the Big Red after this season, and tackling may again become part of the agenda, right after he fires everyone on the coaching staff.)

We're not as tough as we look.

After the walk, Jacque and I headed west to Grand Junction on the western slope of Colorado to get out of the city, visit her aunt and uncle and hike around the Colorado National Monument. Between baseball and football games, we cooked Indian food and enjoyed being inside when the weather outside wasn't so hot. We finally made it onto the monument late Sunday as the skies cleared. It was cold but clear, crisp but beautiful. It was the first time I'd really been out of a city for a long time, and it was great.

Colorado National Monument.

We left Grand Junction Monday around noon and decided to take the long route back to Denver. Instead of traveling I-70, we headed south toward Aspen and the Maroon Bells, which were covered in snow after the weekend's weather. Independence Pass was (remarkably) still open, so we headed up and over and through a lot of snow. The sun was out but it was still well below freezing on the summit. Of course that didn't prevent us from taking a few pictures... We ate dinner that night at The Beau Jo's pizza in Idaho Springs. Just a recommendation, stay away from the gluten-free wheat crust. It ruins the pizza.

I'm just that happy to be at the Maroon Bells again.

At Jefferson County, I feel like I'm finally being paid to act like the 5-year-old boy I once was. This week we had bulldozer training and I spent an entire afternoon pushing dirt around a construction sight. The previous week I helped clear a clogged culvert with a backhoe. When we're not driving heavy machinery, we've been repairing some of the damaged trails and spending a lot of time outside - and it's been a great few weeks to spend outside.

World Series game 3. Photo courtesy of Andrew Schaefer and Schaefer Photography, LLC.

As some of you know, the Colorado Rockies made it to the World Series this year. While they didn't perform as well as anyone'd hoped, I was fortunate enough to attend the first World Series game in Coors Field history, thanks to my good friend Andrew Schaefer. Due to his flexible work schedule (he's a wedding photographer, if you know anyone getting married soon), he was able to sit in front of his computer for three hours one afternoon last week and get tickets to each of the scheduled three games in Denver. While the Rockies were swept from the Series, the experience was unmatched. Our seats allowed for wide-angle viewing of the game, which was exciting until Brian I-Don't-Ever-Want-to-Pitch-for-the-Colorado-Rockies-Again Fuentes did what he does best, which is not keeping a close game close. The loss was disappointing, but it was well worth the $101 ticket (yeah, Andy, I swear I'm good for the balance of my ticket. I get paid Monday.)

Plans are starting to come together for a trip to...

Check these guys out, they used to be the Refreshments. Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers.

Maroon Bells, mid-October.


Andrew said...

Those are some awesome pictures from your trip to Grand Junction. I have never actually been to the Colorado National Monument, I'll have to get there someday. And you are right, the Nebraska defense is horrible. Talk to you soon.

skmckay1983 said...

I still cannot believe that you guys climbed the bells a few years ago. Judging from these pictures and those, I will continue to assess this effort as "crazy".