5.28.2004

Happy Memorial Day!

Well okay, its not until Monday, but I wanted to wish you all a happy Memorial Day! I have my first visitors from Chicago coming out this weekend, Vallary and Kate. We should have a great time, hopefully the weather holds up. There is a chance for some rain on Sunday. Tomorrow Beaver Creek opens its summer operations, meaning the biking/hiking trails, mini-golf, chairlift rides, and the first festival of the season. The Brews, Blues and Barbecues festival. There are 100 microbrews available for tasting, live Blues music, and Kansas City style BBQ vendors around the village. Sounds good! I hope the weather back home is good too, I'm sure you all would like to head out to the parks and the lake! I've heard about the north shore flooding out there, I get WGN, so I can watch the news... of course I really want WGN for the Cubs and Sox (and Bulls in winter). So far they both lost the games I got to see. Oh well, but they are both doing well, and hopefully will stay contenders all season long! Two seasons in a row! What an exciting time for Chicago Baseball!
Well have a great weekend, I'll tell you all about mine next week!

5.23.2004

Game Creek Trail

Well now that I got paid from my new job, I have joined the digital camera revolution. I'll have to try and get myself a web address so I can post pictures for all to see. My first hike with the new camera took place on Saturday. I hiked the Game Creek Trail, which rises out of the north end of Minturn, on the back-side of Vail. The trail starts out along the creek through a narrow canyon with aspens on the left, and conifers on the right. There are a few steep sections, but for the most part the trail along the creek is pretty mellow. As you rise you start to get views in front of the Game Creek Bowl at Vail (which still had a little snow), and behind you are some of the trails at Beaver Creek. At about 9,000 feet the trail takes a quick left and quickly rises. After about 1,000 vertical feet of lung burning hiking (after all, I am still adjusting the altitude), the trail reaches the ridge at about 10,000 feet. The ridge opens up to a beautiful meadow that in a few months will surely be crawling with wildflowers (and picnic-ers). There is even a picnic table at the top, perfectly positioned for maximum views. The view from the ridge is spectacular, you can see the aforementioned ski resorts, as well as Grouse Mtn and Mt of The Holy Cross (14,005 feet). You can also see all they way down to the valley and the towns of Avon and Edwards. From here, you can continue another 1/2 mile to the Eagles Nest, which is the top of Vail ski resort. At this spot you also get some great views of the Gore Range, which is across the Valley from Vail.

The hike took a little over 2 hours to go up, and about 1 1/2 to get back down. On the way down, the trail lived up to its name, I saw 3 mule deer having an afternoon snack of meadow grass. If the climb is too much, you can get to the same ridge via the Eagle Bahn gondola at Vail in the summer, just hike down to west of the gondola and you'll see the meadow! I think of the hikes I have done so far, this one had the best views, and I would highly recommend any summer visitors to give it a try!

5.18.2004

Welcome!

Well on the advice of one of my friends who has one of these, I have decided to create a Blog to let you all follow in all the events and activities of my new life. As you know, I just moved in a little over 2 weeks ago to my new apartment in the mountains of Colorado from the hustle and bustle of Chicago. The drive across the midwest by U-Haul truck was pretty smooth, but at times extremely boring. If you think Illinois is flat, check out Nebraska! There was a stretch of road that was over a hundred miles and had no curves or hills - just cornfields. Finally the last hundred miles of driving were in the mountains and there was something actually worth looking at out the windshield.

Mostly these first few weeks have just been spent settling in - the usual unpacking, finding ones way around town and stuff. I also have started my new job, which has been good so far. The attitude is definitely different, my old company was quite corporate, but the new one even has a "dog of the day" policy where they let people (one per day max.) bring their dogs to work. Those of you who used to work with me, could you EVER imagine that in the old office? I am working on a ski resort building actually, a condominium at the base of Crested Butte. Right above our building they want to cut trails for a new World Cup run, so in a few seasons you may get to see my building on TV at the end of the races! I am doing most of the consultant coordination, and going over our details right now, as the building gets built I should get to do some of the construction administration work and visit the site! Hopefully I will be impressive enough on this project to get some of my own in the future!

Of course it hasn't been all work, this is Colorado after all, and there are tons of great things to do outdoors. Arapahoe Basin ski area is still open, I've gone twice so far since I moved. The last time it was starting to get a little too melted in some spots, and a lot of the terrain had been closed. I also went on two hikes, both of which I ended up turned back because of snowed in trails. A lot of the higher country here hasn't melted yet, so I guess the lakes at the ends of those trails will have to wait. I did get to see a really great waterfall, Booth Falls, just north of Vail. 60 feet tall, and surrounded by sheer rock cliffs. The hike is very scenic, with great views of Vail and a meadow that I'm sure will be blooming in all sorts of wildflowers in another month or so.

Well I don't want this first post to get too long, or else no one will want to read it! I'll keep you updated with all of the interesting things that are happening out here, especially the weekend hikes! Take care!