Sunday, June 21, 2015

Summer Solstice 2015

Here we are at the summer solstice. Halfway through this new year of change. It has been quite the whirlwind of things happening in the past 6 months. Today is a day for reflection on what went well and worked as well as thinking about what didn't go as well and what didn't work. The past month and a half up here in Alaska has given me lots of time to think about life and where I want to go in the next 6 months and laying the foundations of how I am going to get there.

The major theme this year has been change and family. It's been a year of learning how to adapt to change and make change happen when I am unhappy with my current situation. Furthermore, it has been a year of stepping back from my extremely poor work life balance and letting my family back into my life and not being utterly consumed by what I do every day. So on this Summer Solstice and Fathers Day, take a moment to appreciate your family, your friends, and embrace the change and challenges that lie ahead while recognizing the ones in the past that have shaped you into who you are today. Then get outside and have some fun!

Year of the Otter!

Friday, June 5, 2015

May Day 2015

So now that it's June, I suppose it is time for an update for May? Well then, May was a pretty busy and intense month to say the least. I spent some time in Utah, a little time at home in Golden, and then some time up in Idaho before bouncing to my current location here in Alaska. Where to begin... Let's start at the 1st of the month!

I was out in Utah for field stratigraphy which was the last class I need to wrap up this degree. We spent some time in Dutch John, Utah which is pretty much just Wyoming as far as I am concerned. We looked at some great rocks and spent some time hiking and getting pelted by rain and a bit of sunshine. Although it was enjoyable, it was also just as enjoyable to get home and take care of life before the big move.

While home in Golden for those few days it was a blast getting to see friends and spend some time together before we were all scattered to the wind for the next several months. Got to see a fantastic bluegrass show at the 1-UP on Colfax with some pretty great people and remembered why I love well thought out music played by true artists.

After the late night at the show, I rallied on 45 minutes of sleep to hop in the car and head out on the next adventure to Idaho. I spent 9 hours driving across Wyoming and Utah in the rain and the snow before my windshield wiper motor finally gave me the finger and decided to be done working after not stopping from Golden to Ogden. Luckily the skies opened up at the Idaho state line like a sign that I was meant to be there. Drove into Boise and got to see Josh and Amanda and spent the evening catching up and discussing life choices over the past 7 years.

That seems to be a theme for this year, revisiting quality friends that I haven't seen in years and discussing how we are doing, what we have changed, what we have experienced, and where we are headed and our priorities in life. Seems like the underlying theme for the year of the otter is that high quality relationships are very much more important than a lot of other things I used to prize in life.

Regardless, it was great to see Josh and meet Amanda, they are too cute together. If you get a chance to go to Boise you have to see them and their super sweet house. Good times.

After the evening in Boise I headed up the North Fork of the Payette River to McCall, Idaho to see my dad and Denita. It was a terrifying drive, but after 14 hours of driving and 36 hours awake (minus my pseudo nap) I finally made it into my destination with family at the end. I spent the weekend in McCall with my dad riding bikes and exploring all that the beautiful location has to offer. If you get the chance to visit I highly recommend as it is beautiful and pretty quiet if you hit it at the right time of the year. Lots of biking, water activities, and hiking to be had.

 It was sad to leave my puppy in Idaho, but the rest of my life was calling for the summer, so with a sad heavy heart we headed down to Boise and I flew home to Golden for a few days. Those days were filled with fun and adventure with friends and exploring Denver in all its glory for the last time for a few months. I really had a blast.

So here is where things start to get fuzzy. I came to Alaska on May 15th, I don't think I have really slept since then, just periods where I am less awake than others. Seriously, the long days have fucked me up like no other. It never really gets dark any more and I kind of miss night right now. But that being said I love being able to go do outside activities at 10 pm if I want and not have to worry about it getting dark for another 4 hours. And by dark I mean twilight. It never really gets dark right now.

 In this fuzzy haze I have seen about 20 moose so far, hiked up some mountains, rode my bike lots of places (don't tell the fatty I got another knobby tire bike), and just have been out exploring in general. Maybe the bike crash concussion is adding to the fuzzy haze, but nonetheless its been a whirlwind. Very hard to describe this place in words, just take in the photos and know that they don't do it justice either. Literally every time I see a new set of mountains I say the same phrase "Holy fucking shit". So enjoy the beautiful scenes from Alaska brought to you by the year of the otter. Hopefully this month I will get a mid month update in before all my memories get even fuzzier by the lack of sleep.

 Start of the black eye from the concussion

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

April (Quarter 1 update)

It seems like I am about a month behind in updating this blog at this point. Hopefully getting all of May together doesn't take so long. April, I have to think about what all has happened! So I am full of shit, we went hiking up by Leadville in early April (not March). Needless to say April was a pretty uneventful month with the chaos of moving to Alaska looming on the horizon. I did lots of biking in the Front Range, watched the beard grow, visited Brandon in Houston, and then cut off the beard, did more riding, and explored Capitol Hill in Denver. I think the photos are better than my lame summary for the month, so have some photos. My May update will be better at the end of this week I promise!

Saturday, April 18, 2015

Time Marches on (March 2015)

March this year has completely flown by before I knew it. I have been staying busy by keeping active physically and mentally. I made two different trips out to Utah this March for a week each. One for work and one for play. I saw lots of amazing rocks with fantastic company on both trips. The first trip we went down through Capitol Reef where we spent a few nights, then headed up through my second home Green River. Some people say home is where the Wi-Fi connects automatically, if that is true then Green River is definitely a "home" to me these days. After a brief overnight stay there we headed in a round about way to Grand Junction and gave the students their "final exam" at Colorado National Monument. The following day the group jettisoned me in Glenwood Springs, where I went on a fantastic hike up to hanging lake, a hike I have been wanting to do for some time now, with a beautiful lady friend. We eventually made our way back to the front range after that.

Round two was out to Utah for fun, and the details of that trip I will leave to your imagination, but we saw some gorgeous empty country with few people. Spent lots of time hiking and wandering through the desert for several days. It was a great way to decompress and enjoy some quality time away from the masses here in the Front Range.

On the biking front, I have continued to race the fatty as much as possible. Winter Park and Leadville have played host to the races, and it has been so nice to get back up into the hills as much as possible. We went up for the Crystal Festival in Leadville and got to watch ski joring which was definitely on my list of things I wanted to experience here before this next winter. Spent some time up in Nederland for frozen dead guy days as well, you can never go wrong with the weirdos out in force at an event like that.

April is well on its way to being half over, I have been hiking and biking as much as possible. Trying to get out and enjoy what I have here while I am still in Golden. Trips to Houston have been interspersed into this month, presenting research and starting to wrap up this degree feels so good. Soon I will be headed off to Alaska for the summer. I am very excited for all the new experiences I will have up there and all the new people I am going to meet. The future is still very uncertain at this point, but it certainly is bright. There will be some tough choices ahead of me with what I want to do with my life and where I want to go and who I want to be. It's a bit terrifying, but I have to face them head on and decide what type of man I really am. Hopefully this summer I will be better about updating this blog, but no guarantees! With that, enjoy some photos!

Getting after it with some big storms in Golden

Racing in Leadville

Staying warm in Utah on round one

Hanging Lake, nuff said

Utah Round Two for some fun

Finally, some hiking up towards Leadville a few weeks ago