I'm sitting at Amante sipping a glass of wine and uploading photos to facebook with my Lala.
I'm sure going to miss her when she leaves on Tuesday.

I have been feeling so thankful for so many moments this week.
It's a beautiful thing!


This weekend was full of friendship and decadence and joy. Friday afternoon after work, I headed down to Boulder to play with my dear dear friend Sigel who was in town for a few days only enjoying Colorado with her new and marvelous friend Annie. Upon Sigel's arrival to Boulder, she deemed it "the land of soymilk and agave nectar" rather than "land of milk and honey" and that juxtaposition rang through my head throughout the weekend. We went out for Ethiopian food, which was a new and delighfully fun experience for me. Saturday we participated in my absolute favorite Boulder activity-- a full shop & sample-taste of the Farmers Market. As always it was an overwhelming and beautiful festival of fresh flowers, fruits, vegetables, breads, cheeses, granolas, soaps, herbs and of course, tamales. We enjoyed a blissful day, and then I hopped back in the car and drove straight to Stagecoach for a night with the Bretts.
My timing was perfect because Sunday morning (after a fairly successful manual driving lesson), the most anticipated alpaca of the summer was born! Carol's top alpaca (techinically world champion grey...) was bred to a top female (named Barefoot Contessa) and so this baby was expected to be primo. We returned from our driving lesson to Ken's calls of "hurry, the head and shoulders are out!" and made it down in time to see the slithery little creature arrive into this great world.

Sigel slacklining

Annie slacklining

minutes old, still figuring out those legs

two hours old, looking much more comfortable (and cute)

three peas in a pod of fun

Green Mtn Reservoir, on the drive home from Boulder

Avett Brothers

Thursday night marked the last free concert of the summer in Steamboat, and it may have been the best one yet-- the Avett Brothers at the base of the ski area. The brothers put on a lively, beautiful show... the weather was clear, cool and the stars eventually shined above... the company of both our landlords and closest friends Ken and Carol as well as our "new friends" (yes, we are finally making friends!) was delightful. While summer is far from over, it was a perfect finish to a summer of wonderful free shows in town.
oh hey, blue eyes...

the core crew of summer 2009

avett brothers!

b & e, k & c


Gilpin Lake, August 15-16

This past weekend we were joined by my friend Kat from Aloha and four of her friends from Denver for a camping extravanga. We headed back up to Clark for another hike in the Zirkel wilderness- to Gilpin Lake. It was my favorite hike that I did when I worked at Vista Verde. We knew that there was a chance of storms, but the clouds didn't look too daunting driving up. We hiked for several miles before claps of thunder urged us to turn around. Within moments we heard a "whoosh" sound roll over the mountain and hail that was bigger than quarters began pelting us! I have never felt or seen anything like it in my life. We ran back down the trail to a giant boulder and huddled under its small shelter. I put my backpack over my head and could hear the hail plunking my nalgenes! My left hip was somewhat exposed and I now have at least five round bruises from the hail. Kat had a perfect bruise on her hand as well. The storm lasted at least three minutes, and then stopped entirely. The trail was covered by two or three inches of solid hail, and we weren't sure what would come next, so we high-tailed it back down the trail until the sun came out. We stopped for a trail lunch (yum) and assessed the situation before deciding to continue up to Gilpin Lake. We speed-hiked up, took a pee and some pictures before another storm rolled in and we all raced back down the trail. We ended the trail with 44 degree temps, drizzling rain and very chilly hands. Luckily everyone was in good spirits and had plenty of warm dry layers left, so we still camped off of Seedhouse Rd. The sky cleared off completely and the stars were incredible, although extremely chilly. I firmly believe in bluegrass music for camping or driving in the mountains, and I'm pleased to report we enjoyed Yonder Mtn String Band and Sam Bush for our background music for toasting s'mores and hot dogs.
with sky like this, we should have known...

moments after the hail subsided.

two to three inches covered the trail!

it was giant. and painful. i have bruises exactly this size on my head, shoulder and hip.

pinecones and twigs also got knocked down

we walked about ten minutes back down the trail, stopped for lunch,

and along came the blue sky!

hiking back up, we passed our savior rock.

kat and i at gilpin lake, before the next storm rolled in

the whole gang

sunday morning, much better weather

Gold Creek Lake, August 8-9

We decided that the best way to welcome Brett Schmeltz to Colorado would be to take him camping, and one of my summer goals was to get back into the Zirkels. We had a wonderful, sunny weekend hiking a new trail to Gold Creek Lake, camping, and laughing over s'more creations. Enjoy the pics!

Hello Hello!

I've fallen off the bandwagon a little bit again over the last two weeks. I've known for months that August was going to be a busy month at the Community Foundation- particularly for me. "Busy" is an understatement-- I have been reading grant proposals and contacting Donor Advisors for their support since the day I returned from my July vacation. I finally made it through the proposals in time for our Grant Committee meeting on August 12th, where we made the decision to grant out $114,836 to Routt & Moffat County nonprofit organizations! This will be combined with the Community Cares Grants (grants to organizations that are able to aid individuals with emergency rent, food, medical etc expenses due to the economy) as well as Environmental Grants. So, this is the amazing part of my job-- where I am truly making a difference and doing exciting work! Of course, its hard to remember how exciting it is when I am working late and early and stressing over the details. So I am constantly trying to remember how incredible my job is!
Now that the grant decisions have been made, I have a lot of follow up work to do prior to our Board meeting on Wednesday, where they will approve all of our committee's decisions. After that I need to get agreement letters and checks to the organizations. Additionally, the other aspects of my job such as Scholarships & filling our empty Passport Club memberships have been entirely brushed aside in the past couple months and now I really need to get back on the bandwagon with those. So to sum things up, my job is exciting and busy busy busy. One more week then things should start quieting down a wee bit.

In other news, we have been hiking & camping the past two weekends. I will now post some visuals from both. Our trips have been in the Zirkel wilderness in Clark, which is where Vista Verde Ranch (where I worked and lived for my first year out here) is located. I haven't spent much time up north since I left VVR, so it has been really wonderful to reconnect with those incredible mountains and landscapes.


A wonderful "Classic Steamboat" weekend. Friday night was the Freddy Jones Band free concert at Howelsen that we had all been eagerly waiting for. Thunderstorms and downpours filled the afternoon and we anxiously awaited the evening weather. The rain stopped just in time for a brief show-- far fewer people than typical due to the chilly wet weather. But those of us who were there had a fantastic time dancing, hoola hooping, and either avoiding the muddy spots or re-creating a Woodstock-esque mudpit. The band rocked, the moon rose... it was a memorable evening.
Saturday morning Brett's friend (the "other Brett") arrived from Indiana to his new home in Steamboat. We rode bikes downtown to the farmer's market, showed him around town, and enjoyed a gorgeous day. We drove out to the alpaca estate (where the Bretts will be living together for the month), saw Ken and Carol, met the alpacas, walked up to the yurt and cooked an incredible feast made mostly from farmer's market purchases.
On Sunday we floated the Yampa river in inner tubes. It's a classic Steamboat summertime activity, but the timing has to be just right. It flows too fast and too cold in the spring and early summer when all of the snow is melting off the mountains, and by August it is too shallow and full of rocks. We caught it just at the last possible time, and enjoyed a sunny and leisurely float.

Weekends like that remind me why I live in Steamboat.

alpaca pasture in the sunshine
light-up hoola hoops!

cousin dancing

freddy jones band, howelsen hill, moonlight


I just became aware that I have a new reader-- my dear friend Lexie. Lex has been my friend since preschool, when she would come over to my house and run around wrapped in curtains eating the best grasshopper cookies that her mom would pack. Lex is a twin and I love her sister Kate just as much! Both of them moved to Boulder shortly after I moved to Steamboat and I enjoyed sharing the state with a few of my longest friends. Lex moved to Oakland, California about a year ago for grad school & I miss her a lot. Welcome to the blog, Lex!



"I held out my hands & asked where I could help & somebody grabbed me & pointed me towards the future & said, You've got your work cut out for you & I said, isn't there anything easier? & he laughed & said you could dig around in the past, but it's just busywork & that made perfect sense so I shrugged & started right where I was, along with everyone else."