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Daisypath Vacation tickers

Friday, July 23, 2010

Four U.S. States Down, Four to Go

By Katie

I know. I know. We are long overdue for a post. So, to start this one off, here are a few statistics from the trip so far:

States Covered: 4 (Utah, Colorado, Wyoming, Montana)
Next State: Idaho
Miles Ridden: 2,704
Friends & Family we've Seen or Stayed with: 17
Nights in a Tent: 16
Nights in a house: 24
Money Spent on Gas: $270
Tip-Overs on the Bikes: Mark- 2, Katie- 1
Best advice received from a random stranger: Ride fast and dangerously!

Since our last post we have covered a lot of ground. We finally made our way north, not to return south again until the end of the summer. We drove through Boulder, Colorado and stayed wtih Mark's old climbing buddy Brandon Walton on our way to Estes Park. We arrived in Estes on a Friday. I pushed for climbing the Petit Grepon in Rocky Mountain National Park even though it meant braving a crowded classic on a Sunday. We decided to do the climb in a day rather than camp at the base. This freed us up to spend Mark's birthday relaxing in Estes where a bit of Facebook magic happened. We took advantage of the free public library to check Facebook. I noticed that my friend Tracy had posted that she and her husband BJ were on their way to Estes. We met up with them for Mark's birthday dinner and Tracy treated Mark to birthday cake and ice cream.

Happy Birthday Mark!

The next day we woke up at 3:00 am to start the 30 minute (COLD) moto ride to the trailhead for our climb. We started hiking at 4:30 am and were at the base of the climb by 6:30. We made it one pitch shy of the summit and bailed. We were off route and the weather was rolling in. A summit photo is just not worth the risk.
P.S. For being a crowded classic, we only saw three other parties the whole time.

Hiking up to the base of the climb.

Mark showing how much he loves rappelling.

The bull elk that we saw on the hike out.

The Regier Family Reunion started in Estes the day after our climb. We spent the whole week enjoying time with family, hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park, roasting marshmallows, and making zip-lock bag ice cream. Mark played guide and we took Jacob, Ashley, and Tyler (niece and nephews) climbing for their first time!

Mark and his mama.

My favorite little monkey.

Mark using his muscles.

The whole family.

After the reunion we made our last stop in Colorado- Jeff and Kelly Cook and their brilliant boys Augie and Becket. They all took good care of us with good food, good conversation, and good times playing the Arthur game. I got to experience Greeley (Mark's college town) in all its glory thanks to the Cooks and Curtis (who was determined to have an Old School Will Ferrell experience..uh..Frasier Hall).

Augie and Becket on the way home from the water park.

Mark's college crew.

Curtis leading the way.

Do I look unsure about this? It's because I am.

Somewhere in the basement of Frasier Hall.

Our experience in Wyoming was quite the opposite from our leisurely stroll through Colorado. We blasted through the state in three days, staying just one night in Jackson with Jessica Baker. We were both pleasantly surprised by Wyoming though and thoroughly enjoyed the scenery, the wild horses, and the antelope (who outnumber the people in Wyoming by the way).

Sacajawea's grave outside of Lander, Wyoming.

Highway 130 in southern Wyoming. I highly recommend it.

PJ, Lydia, and Candace got up at 6:45 to come have breakfast with us in Jackson!

This is our newest traveling companion- Bernard. He was a gift from Mikey Schneiter, who we got to see on the roadside in Wyoming.

And now here we are in Helena staying with bro and my cousin Levi. We are getting ready to go to a pig roast at the fire house. Mark is enjoying the garage installing a fuel filter, changing the oil, and putting a new tire on my bike. Life on the road has been good to us. Much love until next time.

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

The Tamer Side of Travel

By Katie

Here we are almost four weeks into our journey. We have been experiencing a much more mellow mode of travel after our last two adventures.

We left Cal and Linda's house and made our way north to Parker where we stayed with Ryan and Heather Callahan. We stayed in Parker two days and were treated to pizza, movies, a pool party and the company of two small people: Naomi and Ben. Ben is only two months old so he was pretty quiet company, but Naomi is a bright, fun little two year old and we looked for bugs in the backyard, read some books, and watched Sesame Street music videos.

You will start to recognize this parting shot..

From Parker we drove the short distance into downtown Denver to stay with my cousin Abby. She made up the honeymoon suite (the apartment of a friend who just happened to be out of town) with satin sheets and all. We spent more time by the pool where I thoroughly enjoyed getting Deuce to jump in the pool. Deuce is Abby's adorable pug who thinks he can swim, but mostly he sinks. Abby took me to the posh salon where she works and I got the full treatment: wash, deep conditioning, cut, and straightening. It is unfortunate that we don't have a before and after photo of my hair because she really worked some magic.

With Abby the morning we left.

Outside the modern art museum in downtown Denver.

From Denver we wound our way through the mountains to the west. We found ourselves in the Vail area where we stayed with Mark's high school friend Nick Bergquist and his new wife Heather. Nick and Mark together are kind of like Naomi and I together--you can just tell they have been friends for ages. Heather took me on a great trail run and cooked us some amazing meals.

After Vail we decided that we needed some time in the mountains and so we headed south to Buena Vista. We thought "climbing" a fourteener might be a good rest day for us. We picked an easy one- Mt. Yale and started hiking at 6:30 am (apparently that is a late start by Colorado standards). Through the hordes of people we met along the trail I started to learn about the phenomenon of "climbing" fourteeners in Colorado.

Here is Mark taking a break to do some technical juggling on our way up Mt. Yale.

It was cold. I wore socks on my hands. Apparently if you are an experienced 14er you bring gloves. Who knew?

Needing a good meal after our climb we thought "who better to go spend time with than the amazing Bozeman family?" So we did. They whipped up a fabulous chicken korma the first night, and the food only got better from there. We spent much quality time with the six above-average Bozeman children who range in age from 12 years to 3 months. There was a lot of great conversations, a short but steep hike, some ice cream and chess playing. Hmm..and miraculously, out of nowhere, a $20 bill appeared. Any theories as to where this may have come from? We have some ideas..

Gabriel, 6 years old, teaching Mark how to play chess.

I'm always a sucker for the toddlers.

The wonderful Bozeman family.

Which brings us mostly up to the present. Yesterday we spent the afternoon in Manitou Springs with Curtis and Emily, more college friends of Mark's. Manitou Springs is a unique town just west of Colorado Springs. We looked at some neat Navajo stuff and did a "hike" to some waterfalls. It was at least 0.2 miles. Strenuous.

Street tough.

We are now waiting for the weather to improve so that we can head up to Rocky Mountain National Park to climb before heading to the Regier family reunion in Estes Park. At least we have a dry place to stay-thanks Masimers! And I hear there's a big football game to watch today..
So until next time. Cheers.