Many photos…

This week has been another travel and hiking week.  There are many stories but also quite a few words…sorry Benno!

Monday was a quiet day, I think I only had an afternoon of meetings! The first was with not-the-boss and his posse, seems they realise they’ve spent six weeks debating a budget, asking me to change things, and resulting in a $3M spend still. Great use of company time that. I estimated my time on this little aspect, and let’s double it to cover theirs, and I estimate about $15k was spent on justifying a budget.  When I mention this to one of the posse the response was we’re not charging to the budget. Sure you’re not, you’re still spending the time, company time. The concept didn’t stick.  The second meeting was one that was a follow up to one a week ago where no one had done anything they said they would, loving that. Made the meeting longer than necessary.  Yay.  Monday night I took Red for a wash, got some giant blister prevention bandaids for the weekend, and chilled.

Tuesday was a bit different. I started the day with an 0830 meeting, dropped off that call at 1100 for another meeting, issued the minutes from that second meeting then drove to the airport.  Getting in at Minneapolis it was cold, really quite cold.  But of course I’d checked that and had my goose coat, gloves, and beanie, all necessary.  The rest of the night was quite uneventful, dinner at Crave, the place we’d been to previously, and a night at the Hilton.  I guess there was the greatness of this email that I read after dinner…I have to say being one of ENRs top 20 under 40 for the Mountain states is quite an honour.  Mark did most of the hard work, writing all the silly stuff for the nomination.  I recall him asking me about work life balance…I told him there is no balance.  He submitted a photo of me sleeping on the ‘job’ on a plane with the caption something about it being my idea of work life balance.

Snow in Minneapolis from my hotel window. It never amounted to much thankfully.

When I woke up on Wednesday morning, it was snowing.  There was also an amusement (to my early morning brain) at the hotel.

This is the fancy way to say ‘don’t slide down this bannister’.

The rest of Wednesday was relatively uneventful.  There was a successful wander through the Minneapolis skyway system, only two u-turns, Mark still gave me guff which I guess is fair.  Even with the map its very easy to wander around the wrong sort of route without the benefits of the sun/shadows, roads, and landmarks.  After the adventure through the skyways and avoiding all the snow the rest of the day was as boring as an be, meetings from 0830, through lunch, until late.  Yay.  Then dinner with the crew and finally off to bed, I was tired.  Wednesday someone sent the word out to all sorts of people about the award, so my inbox was flooded with congratulations.  Its nice and all, but so many to reply to!


My favourite congrats making me laugh while on the bike in the morning.

This is a big one, from the CEO. Very big thing for me.

Thursday was another meeting day. Started a tad earlier but that is rarely a big deal for me, I got up at 0500 and spent some time in the gym.  Got home at 2200 and crashed out, the return trip is late!  Friday was my flex day but of course I had work to get done so I slept in until the neighbors got up (0600) and headed to work for a few hours.

So getting to this point in the blog was super easy. I had the time to (mostly) do it as the days went. Then the weekend happened and all pause time disappeared. Just *poof, gone*. So let’s get to it!

Friday we headed to the DU game. I went via Dr Ryan and had another adjustment as Fridays seem to be the day for it (mostly).  It was another good one, nothing much different to last time but still provided relief to my back and neck which had started to tighten up again on Thursday morning.  I wonder how long it will take my muscles to stop dragging my spine out of place.
Then to the hockey, a DU vs Nebraska-Omaha game.  And heaven forbid you confuse the Omaha campus with its brother Lincoln…they don’t get on I guess. So we went to the game with Chad, Kat, and Nick.  Chad had got super front row seats on the glass on the corner by the goals, great seats! Those boys smash into the walls quite often and man its cool!

We were so close to the glass it was great fun!

Saturday we got up nice and early and adventured up to the Rocky Mountain National Park, Jaclyn, Earl, and I.  The initial goal was to snowshoe into Chasm Lake at the base of Longs Peak.  We had a few concerns regarding the remoteness of the stroll and combining that with the fact that there isn’t terribly much interesting between the trailhead and the lake, we decided to aim for Sky Pond instead.  Sky Pond was a little further but a lot flatter, about 1800ft gain over 8.5 miles return instead of 2800ft gain over 7.8 miles return.  There was also a string of interesting things along the way to Sky Pond, so if we bugged out it wouldn’t be a dull walk in the snow.


Thanks Jac for capturing sunrise while I drove, it was a nice and early morning.

When we arrived at the parking the area was about half full with snow and cars and the wind was blowing madly.  We were freezing our butts off!  And our fingers.  I think I saw my first moment of frustration from Earl when he was hunting for his hand warmers, good to see he can get grumpy occasionally.  We managed to convince ourselves that it would get less windy when we got moving, so we did.  And it did.  Thankfully.  We didn’t get as far as sky pond, with the cold and the lack of sleep for Jac (meaning that she dragged all the way up the hill), we gave up when we got to Loch Vale.  That was a 5 mile return trip and was sufficiently tiring for all.  Here are all the photos!

Falls? Where? What falls?  Snow!!

Snowshoeing means you can walk anywhere, this time up the creek, though we avoided the thin spots of ice.

Looked like the trail should be about here but it was just snow on the side if the hill.  Our return we walked down the creek instead of on the hillside.

Made it to Loch Vale. Pretty and very iced over lake.

The crew; a photo of Jac and I with feet; Earl and I too, waiting for Jac in the wind.

Jac in the middle of the lake, there was no fear of that ice cracking; the sun didn’t help a whole heap with the cold, but it was trying.

Walking up and down the creek, I guess the trail was up on top of one of those cliffs (the one in the middle of the compilation).

I was appreciating the way the snow clings to everything.

Oh yeah, we were there!

Following Jac down the hill, she goes super fast down!

Yay! Made it back to the carpark alive!!!  You cannot fathom how happy we were to get into the warm and not-windy car.

This little video tried to demonstrate the sound of snowshoeing but I think the wind drowns it out a bit too much.  Its only 10 seconds long Pa so it won’t break your data allowance.

After that adventure we were positively starving thanks to the exertion and the cold.  Earl recommended Smokin’ Daves, which was brilliant.  I had a two-meat platter which included two side, but avoided eating the sides – I just wanted the meat!

One of those newspaper style menus, always a good giggle.

We had a big list of things to do Saturday but managed to miss one of them, Casa Bonita.  Chad and Stella were heading to Casa Bonita, a Denver thing that must be done, for a farewell not-dinner.  Its not-dinner because all reports say that the food there is horrendous.  Like a comedy club you have to buy something but you should never expect that to be even vaguely edible.  You go to see the show, they have a big indoor waterfall and do a whole diving show and apparently its quite the amusing.  While eating lunch I informed Chad that we weren’t going to be able to get there, then it turned out that the waterfall and show were shut down for the winter season, so no one went.  Pity – we’ll have to go another time.

We got home, had a well needed warming shower and a brief nanna nap then got ourselves moving again.  Earls mate was having a not-a-NYE party…apparently Cameron had a NYE party but few people could attend because most were out adventuring (e.g. us in Wyoming), so he was having it again.  Seems most people could make it this time so we headed over there.  It was supposed to be an early night but we all got distracted playing Never-Have-I-Ever , a card game similar to Cards Against Humanity but more dirty.  Fun times.  I finally got to take Earl and Gina home about 0030.

After the late night we had a nice little sleep in then Earl made bacon and eggs for breakfast.  After this yummy breakfast and some relaxing watching the Grand Tour, we popped into Qdoba for a quick lunch on the way to another nice long walk – this one flat!  We headed to the Cherry Creek Reservoir for a 6.5 mile walk around the lake.  It was a perfect stroll on an amazingly sunny and warm day with some great views.  Yep – here is a whole host more photos.

The sandy beach, not quite the same…

Sandy and icy! (I warned you)

The creek into the reservoir was sprinting!  I guess all this 60 degree heat has been melting upstream.

So blue. Plus people ice fishing on the lake.  I think they’re bonkers, but the ice must have been thick enough.

This is a view that mum and Steve had when here, the ice makes it look quite a little different.  Oh, and Earl slacking off half way around the lake…tying his shoelaces 😉

While walking around the lake I realised that the sunset would be quite the great over the mountains and the lake, so we finished our walk, had a shower, then returned to the lake for sunset.  I was not disappointed.

After the awesome sunset we returned home and Earl and I cooked dinner for Uma.  It was a nice simple meat and veg affair but scrummy.  The best thing was finally catching up with Uma, it has been quite a while since I’ve seen her, and she got to grill meet Earl.

So it was a short weekend jam packed with activities.  One day I’ll learn and slow down, but I suspect next week will be about the same.

Some fun updates from home.  Thank you Benno for painting the front door!  I guess he must have been bored of the mission brown/green and changed it up while doing the windows.  I think it looks awesome!

And everyone meet Lacey.  Mum went to stay with Fiona to go to a one-day-event.  Turns out she returned with not just Lulu but also Lacey.  Crazy woman.  This is the person who was told that she’d never ever ride a horse again…instead she’s not just riding and competing but also training a two year old.  Because that is a super clever idea *shrug*  Mothers.  🙂

Amazing door!!! Love it.

Mum in her ‘L’ phase, meet Lacey.














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