Monday, June 8, 2015

Chalk Art 2015

Every year Jay and his buddy Nate get down and dirty at the Denver Chalk Art Festival.  They flex their serious artistic skills and brave the heat, sun and yes, rain to put down some awesome temporary chalk art. There are so many amazing artists that come and show off as well, and it is truly one of my favorite things to do to kick off the summer months!

This past weekend, the artists showed up bright and early Saturday morning and got right to work.  Jay sent me a text about 2pm to tell me it was POURING rain... and all their hard work had gotten washed away!  Oh no!!!! But he and Nate, along with so many artists, persevered and hunkered down to finish their pieces by Sunday afternoon.

Check out some of the pictures and of course the beautiful, colorful finished piece:

the finished product!!

Old friends are the greatest friends

I find myself lucky enough to have some absolutely amazing friends.  In my world, my friends are my family!  This past weekend I was able to reconnect with my good friend Miranda.  We've known each other now for 11 years. 11!  Which only seems like a lot because it doesn't really feel like 11!  We met in Scotland when we were there studying abroad and have been friends ever since.  She's getting married in just a few weeks in Seattle and was out here to spend some time with her CO friends before it happened.  And I am glad she did!!!

It was great to reconnect, have a few drinks, catch up on life and just spend some time together.  I miss her like crazy.  But as she said, maybe when we're "older" we'll figure out how to live in the same state again. :)

pic from this weekend
a pic from college graduation (circa 2006) 

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Steamboat Camping

This past weekend, Jay and I went camping up at Steamboat Lake.  Anne and her fam were up there too, staying in a cabin.  It was a quick turnaround for us, since we came home on Monday and headed out for camping on Thursday!  Regardless, it was lovely to get away again.  And we had much better weather this time around.

The spot where we camped was gorgeous.  But the whole area was a lot more commercial and populated than we would typically choose for camping.  That being said, we will probably not go back.

We set up camp Thursday night, had a quick dinner and went to bed.  We had originally planned to go hiking Friday morning, but we woke up to a grey sky and rain!  We slept in a bit instead, made a yummy warm breakfast, hung out and relaxed and then eventually met Anne and her family in town for lunch.  Afterward, we headed to Strawberry Park Hot Springs for an afternoon of relaxation.  That place is amazing!
our campsite
beautiful day!
looking down at the hot springs
The next day we got up early and went for a long hike.  6 miles!! It was a beautiful day and borderline hot.  Both Jay and I got some sun for the first time in a while!

That night we had a combined dinner with Anne and family.  Hung out, talked, etc.  It was really nice.

very calm lake

mountain sunset

The next day we packed up and headed home!! We'll have a bit of a break before we head out on our next camp adventure.


Camping season begins!

Memorial Day weekend.  For Jay and I it typically kicks off our camping season.  This year was no exception, although things didn't go quite as planned.  First of all... we've been having a LOT of rain.  I mean, A LOT.  Not just a lot for Colorado, but in general, a lot of rain.  Which means that while its raining in the good 'ol Mile High city... its snowing in the mountains.

Because Memorial Day weekend is a huge weekend for camping in Colorado, we always try to pick a campsite that can be reserved.  Colorado is great about allowing dispersed camping in National Parks and National Forests. However, on such a busy weekend, dispersed camping spots can be taken on Thursdays before the weekend starts. So we usually avoid them.

However, this year... with all the rain/snow... I had a bad feeling about the campsite we reserved.  So I called the ranger district where it is located before we left and found out it wasn't opening until the second week in June at least!

Regardless, we jumped in the car after work on Friday and set out to find camping spots.  And we did! The first spot we found was beautiful.  Just off of 285 on the road to Lost Park Campground are a few amazing dispersed spots.  They would actually be great for groups too!  The evening was beautiful.  The night got COLD.  The next morning we woke up to sunshine and blue skies.  But that didn't last for long...
view from our campsite
our great spot

watching the storm move in

snow during breakfast

and now we're camping in winter wonderland

So we packed up the tent and kept on driving.  We headed towards Buena Vista with the intent of heading to Mt. Princeton hot springs.  We never made it there, but we found a campground at the base of Mt. Princeton that was perfect for the rest of our weekend.
view from our second campsite

look, no snow!

From there we were able to get out and do some adventuring!  Driving around checking out the area, getting some short hikes in... so lovely!

the trees have eyes!

me at Cascade Falls

my mountain man

Chalk Lake

last morning view from camp