Sorry about that! I went home for about 10 days for Christmas. My parents sold their house recently and are living in a 550 square foot cabin on our friend’s farm, so internetting and blogging was not really gonna happen. But it was a great break from reality – fun to be home spending every waking (and non!) with my family. We skied, baked, watched movies, ate (a lot!), went to a play and generally enjoyed living out of town. and on the night before Christmas eve, my sister got engaged! Her boyfriend (now fiance) was visiting for a week before Christmas and he popped the question the night before he left! So excited to start planning her wedding!
Here are some photos from my time at home:
Mt Blackmore from our Christmas tree hunt.
The Elephant Spring in Yellowstone.
Bull elk staring us down in Yellowstone.
The Christmas Spiders that are hung up in downtown Bozeman every year.
The three dogs we were taking care of on the farm.
And then I flew to California to meet up with Kyle and his familiy in June Lake. Here I got to reunite with Jewell, visit some of my favorite places from a past life (www.bigwidewesternworld.blogspot.com) and have an exciting outing of my own!
My happy dog and I when we were reunited!
We went of an a skiing adventure but Kyle’s boots and bindings didn’t fit together 😦
Kyle at the sand tufa – some of the coolest geologic formations I’ve ever seen!
Down at the lake’s edge…I had no idea what was coming…
Carson Peak from the front yard.
Deserted ski resort. We skinned up to the top!
Looking downhill to Mono Lake. A gorgeous day for a ski!
Pub crawl shirts – June Lake The Lost Season.
These people are staying with us for a few days:
Jeff, one of the founders of PUA.
Laura and Jane, two PUA volunteers that travel the country picking up litter.
Pick Up America is “the nation’s first coast-to-coast roadside litter pick-up across America. The youth initiative encourages zero-waste and environmental stewardship through education, art and outreach. We are not only picking up trash, but also bringing long lasting solutions to litter besides removal. We aim to bring cultural consensus and empower citizens to make zero-waste principles a reality for businesses, schools, community centers, municipalities, and homes all across America.” They are made up of volunteers that travel across the country is a school bus, and volunteers the pick up along the way to help where they can. So far, they’ve traveled over 3,000 miles from Maryland’s Atlantic coast to Tonopah, NV picking up over 176,000 lbs of litter along the way. This fall, they will cross over the Sierra Nevada mountains and reach their final destination of San Francisco, CA. Learn more about them on their website or check out their Facebook page for some photos of the
crap treasures they’ve found along the way.
The backstory is this: Jeff and I met a few summers back in Lee Vining, CA when I was interning for a great non-profit and he was working on a video for the Forest Service. He just happened to be passing through my part of Colorado this week, and found out from a mutual friend that I was here. He and his crew needed a place to stay for a few nights, and we have a guest room, so we invited them in! It’s been wonderful to catch up with Jeff, hear the crazy stories of walking across the country picking up trash, and make some new friends. And the timing couldn’t have been better. I’m house-sitting for a friend with a pretty impressive garden and Kyle and I are having a hard time keeping up with the veggie production. So I sent them over yesterday to harvest any and all that they were interested in. They did some damage!
PUA volunteers helping me harvest from this impressive front yard garden.
Then they went back to our house and made us a delicious dinner of eggplant parmesan with homemade tomato sauce and breaded/fried eggplant. So tasty! Check out the awesome harvest:
Unusual, I know. Usually it’s the weekend in picture, but my boyfriend took our camera to Las Vegas with him to visit his high school friends and their one year old daughter. Let’s just hope he took tons of adorable pictures of her!
This weekend was really fun! I’ve recently started working 4-10 hour days at my job, so I have three day weekends every weekend. This time around, my dear friend Nora who I met during my time at Mono Lake (which you can read about here) was driving to Fort Collins and stopped to spend 24 hours with me! This is a major treat. The time I spent in Le Vining, CA is easily the best time of my life. I had just graduated from college, was relatively stress and commitment free, was completely carefree and not at all worried about the future. I was able to be 100% committed to where I was and what I was doing, no outside distractions and no wishes for the past or future. One of my biggest challenges is really being where I am, and for two years I was able to do it without a second thought.
Nora is a person I was destined to know. We went to the same college for a year and even had a class together, but missed the opportunity to get to know one another until we both had summer internships with the Mono Lake Committee. Nora is a person who loves unconditionally, and is so enthusiastic about life it’s hard not to be happy around her. Since I moved away from Lee Vining, Nora has come to visit me twice in Grand Junction and I’ve been back to visit her once and it’s always a wonderful time.
Friends from Lee Vining, Nora is in the middle.
This time around, we chatted about what’s been going on in Lee Vining since my visit last winter, went paddle boarding on Highline Lake, a small state park near town, made delicious food (more on this soon) and played cribbage (a tradition of ours). It was so lovely to catch up with Nora, and to be completely re-energized by her infectious enthusiasm! Nora, I love you so much! Thanks for taking time to come see me, and I can’t wait until next time.