Monday, July 11, 2011

Double Fourteeners

Among mountaineers, a 'fourteener' is a peak over 14,000 ft. There are 546 in the world, 53 of them in Colorado. It's a popular challenge among Colorado mountaineers to try to 'bag' all 53.

I had two under my belt before this hike -- Bierstadt and Quandary. Our latest hike allowed me to bag two (Grays and Torreys) on the same hike. It was a total 3,600 ft. elevation gain and 9 mile distance (round trip).

Starting out, the slope is very gradual, with streams and pretty wild flowers. (No trees, though, as you're already above the timber line):

Near the summit, there's very little vegetation and the slope is much steeper. Climbing this section of Grays, I decided there was no way I was going to make Torreys Peak, too.

Once on top, though, I got summit fever and decided it was a shame not to bag them both. Here I am on the summit of Grays Peak (14,270 ft.) looking toward Torreys Peak:

This is the saddle between the two peaks:

and that little blob in this picture is me heading up to Torreys, the second peak:

Here's my brother, BG, and I at the top of Torreys:

and here is the view from Torreys. You really do feel like you're on top of the world.

And best of all, we were heading down the mountain by noon (unlike our hike on Quandary where we started out too late and had a dangerous close encounter with lightning!).

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Back from Yellowstone

We've arrived back in civilization (i.e., Denver) after our camping trip to Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks. We had a great time and saw the most amazing things... but we also froze our tails off, with night-time temperatures in the 20s and 30s.

The fire ring at our campsite was buried under 3 feet of snow. (No fires for the first few days!) To add insult to injury, there was no hot water or heat in the bathrooms.

But despite the hardships, we would do it all over again in a heart beat. (At least Karl and I would - I'm not so sure about the girls!)

Here are a few of my favorite photos from the trip:

Riverside Geyser

Bottom of Lower Falls (from the Uncle Tom trail)

Mama grizzly with two cubs, after crossing the road

Brown bear in the trees

Palette Springs

Tower Falls

Fox running near the road

Bison grazing in a meadow

Bison along the road

Great Fountain Geyser

Grand Prismatic Spring

Yellow-bellied marmot who came out to wish us farewell on our way out of Yellowstone

Grand Tetons

Grand Tetons reflected in Jackson Lake

Friday, June 10, 2011

Off to Yellowstone

...and Salt Lake City, the Grand Tetons, Denver, and Breckenridge. I hope to make a few posts chronicling our adventures from the road.

In the meantime, here are a couple random projects from the past couple of months. First, a Mother's Day card. I found this sentiment (originally from Tiny Prints) on a the Holiday Snobs blog. I loved the saying so much that I turned it into a house card using stamps and scrapping supplies:

The next project was for my niece, who was a speaker at her high school graduation. I didn't get a photo of the final product (it looked much cuter with a title and some of these Ditto tabs sticking out). I really wanted to get a Smash Book, but they weren't available yet, so I just used a composition book. My niece is a writer and she seemed to truly like it.

There was one other graduation this spring: Charlotte graduated from her elementary school, where she has attended since Pre-K. She's moving on from her small charter school to the public middle school, where the just 7th grade class alone is as big as her whole previous school.

Here is Charlotte with her dad:

and my favorite shot, a candid of the girls jumping off the stage:

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Pinteresting Stuff

I have a new internet addiction: Pinterest. It's a virtual "bulletin" or "inspiration board", where you can "pin" all kinds of images that you find on the Web. But besides pinning your own images, you can see what others are pinning. It's the best visual feast on the internet!

There are lots of decorating images, like these:

Do It Yourself ideas like these:

Crafts like these:


And other just plain interesting or silly stuff like this:

You can pin your own finds (with a link to the original source) or re-pin others' finds. You can also "follow" people's pin boards.

Another interesting find (via Pinterest, of course) is TradHome online magazine:

It's a free, 344-page online magazine that is a collaboration between Traditional Home magazine and Lonny magazine. It's a more modern take on traditional style that is a pleasure to look at.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Back in the Saddle

I'm back in the saddle! Literally, because I've started horseback riding again after almost 30 years. Figuratively, because I'm finally blogging again after 5 months.

In fact, I've been spending so much time outdoors that I haven't scrapbooked at all. I want to change that, but realistically, it won't be real soon. Spring break is in a few weeks, then Karl has his every-seven-year sabbatical with Intel this summer. We're going to travel and visit some of the national parks, like Yellowstone and Rocky Mountain National Park. All in all, we will be gone for over a month.

Here's some photos of what I've been doing all this time. This is me on Annie, a 4-year old quarter horse:

Annie was a rescue horse that had been destined for the slaughter house at just 2 years old. She was saved by the Luv Shack, and trained by Taylermade Equestrian Services, where I am riding. The Luv Shack recently found Annie a permanent home. I hope it is a good one!

Here I am on the ground. If you look closely, I am wearing spurs, for the first time ever!

When I'm not riding or running, I try to climb Squaw Peak. It's a 1,300 ft. climb at a pretty steady incline. It's such a good feeling when you reach the summit, though. Here are a couple of self-portraits from the top:

Unfortunately, the yellow cloud hanging over the city in this picture is pollution:

Monday, October 4, 2010


I thought I would be safe mentioning my birthday after it was over. But I underestimated my sweet friend and neighbor, Alice. Six hours after she heard about my birthday, she was down with this deliciously decadent chocolate cake:

Alice has been taking a pastry class, so this tasted even better than it looks. I'm fortunate to have such a wonderful neighbor who shares her baking talent, even if it is hard on my willpower.

Scrapbooking has taken a bit of a back seat to starting a web design business lately. But I will be back at it soon -- I still have lots of photos of our Colorado vacation to scrap, such as these:

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

Christmas Gifts

With fall on the way (or here, in some places), I'm starting to think about the holidays -- even Christmas. I like to give photo gifts to grandparents, who really don't feel the need for any more "things".

Here's a super-fast mini album I did last year. I found a wallet size photo album at Michael's with the right initial and altered it a bit. Then I took scans of layouts that I already had on my hard drive, put them with some quick text inpsired by the Live Good book, and slipped them into the photo album. Voila! Done in about an hour. And if you make multiple copies, even less per album!

On a few pages, I slipped in just photos.

Now I need to decide what to do for this year. I think I may get out my soldering iron and try some photo jewelry, similar to this:

Calendars are also great gift, because they combine a scrapbook with something that is used daily. Designer Digitals has basic calendar grids (and is having a sale right now!) and Two Peas In A Bucket has some adorable mini calendars.
And if you really want easy, Heritage Makers has pre-designed calendar templates -- just pop your photos in, tweak the design (if desired), and the calendar is sent to you (or directly to the recipient). It doesn't get much easier than that!

Or you can roll your own and print them at home like I did a couple of years ago using 8.5 x 11 paper and a combination of paper and digital scrapping. One of the nice things about this is that when the year is over, you can take the calendar tops and slip them right into your scrapbook.