Monday, July 07, 2008

Fourth of July in the Snowy Range

Kevin & I had a really nice camping weekend. We headed up to Medicine Bow National Forest just outside of Centennial, WY.

We weren't too quick about getting out of town on Wednesday morning. We drove through Cheyenne on our way up thinking it'd be cool to stop at the Sierra Trading Post. We were both pretty disappointed and figured we should have just stopped at REI in Fort Collins. Oh well, now we know. We found a dispersed camping spot that was pretty close to some of the National Forest campgrounds. So, we got to camp for free and were close enough to some water and vault toilets. We found a site that was next to Libby Creek and it was very nice.

Thursday morning, we got our mountain bikes out and rode all over the area. We had a few hills we couldn't go up, or down, due to the rocks, but it was fun otherwise. The mosquitoes weren't too bad and we REALLY enjoyed trying to figure out all the flowers and shrubs we saw. Kevin bought a rocky mountain plant life book. So, we were pulling that out quite frequently. We probably logged about 15 miles throughout the day. We had a nice evening by the fire and he taught me how to play backgammon.

Friday, we head up to the pass and the views were absolutely wonderful! WE wanted to do some hiking, but a lot of it was cut short because there was still quite a bit of snow everywhere. They didn't even open up a lot of the roads or campgrounds because there was so much snow and they don't have enough funds to plow everything. They just have to wait for it to melt. We ended up going on a few short hikes and to some of the observation points. We then drove down to Saratoga Springs. We were going to go to the free Hobo Hot Springs but decided it was too darn'd hot. So, we paid $2/each to use the municipal pool and showers. It was so nice to cool off after such a hot day. We ate some food in town and had a margarita before heading back up over the pass. Oh, on the way down to Saratoga, we did see a moose! :) We got back to the site and enjoyed the campfire for quite a while. We had one neighbor that just got a new chain saw. He decided to use it Thursday night, all day Friday. He was a little weird. He also decided to thump his music the entire time. Dah.

Saturday morning, I was pretty lazy while Kevin read his book. We finally decided we'd had enough of thumping base from our neighbor and packed up camp about 2:00 or so. We headed up to a trail where we tried to do some more mountain biking. I think we ended up walking more than riding on the way up. There were about a half dozen trees or so that covered the trail. I was pretty tired of lifting my bike over them. It was pretty rocky too. Since we're not very experienced mtn. bikers, it was a bit tougher. Coming down was pretty fun though. Probably more so for Kevin since he loves downhillls. We ended up going about five of the nine miles of the trail. We then decided to just head back to Loveland. We drove back via 287 from Laramie to Fort Collins. That road is so beautiful and the scenery was amazing. We headed to Adalitas for some margaritas. It was a nice evening.

Yesterday, we just took it easy and got things cleaned up and regained our bearings before heading back to work today. We got some breakfast before picking up the dogs. I ran into Travis from college! Couldn't believe it. He had his little girl with him and their expecting a second pretty soon. They now live in Loveland. I told him we should get together soon. What are the chances of seeing him at that coffee shop? Aspen & Zula were pretty happy to be with us yesterday. Aspen's still wigging out from the fireworks, but she'll be back to normal once the banging & popping stops. Kevin & I also managed to go to the nursery for some new plants and then we grilled out hamburgers and enjoyed the evening. I headed home and unpacked all of my junk.

It was a great weekend even though the pollen was out of control. I felt pretty claustrophobic because I was so clogged up in my nose and throat. EVERYTHING had a nice yellow hue. It was crazy!

Wednesday, June 04, 2008

My favorite NOT REALLY!

I'm not sure why this occurred this past summer, but it did. I have NEVER seen so many snakes in the "wild" until this summer. They were all in my yard. I had one afternoon when I saw three of them within a 10-20 minute period. I am very lucky that I made it through the summer without a heart attack. I'm also wondering if my neighbors will just simply ignore my terrifying screams if it really counts in the future. On more than one occasion, my neighbors have saved me by removing the pesky little things from my yard. I've had some doozy greetings. Here's a few stories..

I, often times, leave my back door open to let the breeze through and to allow easy access to my deck and yard. One evening I was a little freaked out but figured I had nothing to worry about since Snakes can't climb up onto a deck, right? WRONG! One morning I saw something coming up between the cracks in my deck. No way, I thought. Sure enough, it was a tinty gardner snake trying to come up through the snakes. LIttle did he know that he was too big and got stuck. Therefore, ended up dying via squished body and sizzling between the heat soaked boards of my deck. It took me three, yes three, days before I even went outside. I wasn't about to go anywhere outside until I new it was dead. What a joy it was trying to put it into the trash.

Another incident occured while I had a few of my close friends over for a barbeque. I was showing them my great and finished backyard from my upstairs windows. About the same time I looked out the window was about the same time that Aspen grabbed a hold of a snake from the fence, pulled it out to the yard, and proceeded to slam her body into it as she rolled in it. I think she wanted to play with it. Fortunately, my boyfriend saved the day be removing it from my backyard.

I believe I had a whole snake family in my yard and hopefully they won't come back next year. I don't think I can handle another year of snakes, ugh. My local nursery swears by the "Snake Repellent" that I purchased from them. I would love to put a huge border of spray around my entire yard..problem is.. if they're in your yard and you spray it, they're then stuck in your yard. Sounds like a party... wait, I don't think so!!

To make things even more interesting, my neighbor put in a water feature. Gardner snakes love water... guess it will be a while before I'm rid of them!

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Am I in Seattle again?

I was all set to welcome the sun back into my life this morning when I awoke. What did I see? A bunch of puddles! How am I supposed to enjoy my week off by working in my yard when it continues to rain? Maybe this is mother nature's way of saying, Kristine, you have too many indoor projects to work on before you continue outside. I would love to be digging in the dirt, but I'm sequestered to cleaning my house, hanging up towel racks that have been sitting on the ground for over six months, painting, filling in holes (why didn't Dad get all those?) Oh yes, it's because I created four more holes yesterday when I thought I had an 18-inch rack, not a 24-inch rack. What's the saying, measure twice, cut once? Something my brother lives by, I should probably take a lesson from him. So, this morning I'll be painting, hum.. Hopefully I'll be digging by the end of the day!

Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Kick off to summer

Ahhh... summer is finally on the horizon, Memorial Day has passed... where did the 80 degree temps go? It's been rainy and in the 50s the last couple days, bummer.

Last Friday was my last day working for Loris & Associates. Next Monday, I start my new position as Boulder County's Regional Trails Planner II. I'm going to be a planner! Can you believe it? I can't. It's a new position and a new opportunity to experience the planning side rather than the detail side of creating bicycle trails. Yeah for me.

I'm taking the week off in between jobs to work on my place and debrief. I have been prepping my yard for the sod and top soil treatment to be placed later in the week. Yesterday afternoon I was able to lay my flagstone along my backyard/side of the house in between the rain. It rained a bit too much yesterday afternoon and evening that I won't be able to work outside until at least tomorrow. No sense making everything a muddy mess. I guess I'll have to work on my indoor projects. I seem to be doing a pretty good job of procrastinating those projects. One of them is cleaning, go figure!

I am also enjoying watching the robin family grow in back yard. A pair of robin's nested in my backyard. I noticed the baby birds a couple weeks ago. Yesterday & today is their day to learn to fly. Unfortunately, one of the four died in my hands yesterday morning. It was quite traumatic for me. I was trying to figure out why the pair of robins were dive bombing Zula, my boyfriend's dog, when it finally dawned on me, too late, that the baby was out of the nest. Zula found out and just went haywire. She got a hold of it and I was screaming at both her & Aspen to get out of the backyard. Nature is nature, but it sucks that it was our domesticated animals as part of that. :( Aspen has been sequestered inside all day today so the birds have a bit more room. I hope they'll be doing awesome in the next couple days!

So, my house projects continue!

Sunday, April 20, 2008

I've Been Tagged

I have been been tagged in a game of Blogger tag by my new friend and old college acquaintance, Jen, who just moved to Longmont! Here's a link to her blog in case you'd like to check it out:

Part of Blogger tag is to list 7 random facts about yourself so here goes:

  1. I have discovered in the past year, how much I love gardening, and boy do I have the yard to go bonkers on.
  2. I will never hang seven doors by myself again. Ugh. What a nightmare and I'm lucky most of them are hung straight.
  3. My dog Aspen is a sweet heart and I love that she is a part of my life.
  4. I am head over heals for a great guy in Loveland. :)
  5. After six years of my Mom begging to do Long's Peak with me, we're finally going for it in August. This shall be interesting, fear of heights galore.
  6. I just got to watch an 80,000 lb bicycle bridge that is 180' long be set for one of the projects I helped design.
  7. My Dad is a saint for helping me with my Dad To Do list. It's a biggee!!