Putting skid marks down out of the 801 tonight. I'm headed to Boulder for our first team event. I'm really looking forward to seeing all the teammates, riding the velodrome, and of course getting our sweet 2010 kits and Cannondale bikes! I'm rocking it old school staying with good friends and old teammates the Lanjinsks (Margell, Brian, Vin and Haydn).
I just need to get through this workday and then connect to the primordial energy sources for a 7 hour drive completely in the dark. Dear god. The Blueberry is fully packed so I can just lock and load when I'm done with work tonight. Can't wait!
Uncle Bud's hut, one of the 10th mountain huts. Reachable from the Turquoise Lakes Trailhead outside of Leadville, CO.
After our car debacle on Thursday, we finally made it to Johnny G's uncle's condo at Copper Mountain on Friday. We were met by Johnny G and Dave (Steve's bro) right at the condo. The hubs presto change-o'd into his ski gear to go ride some chairs and I booked a facial at the Copper Mountain Athletic Club. I really needed to unwind after the fray of dead cars, GJ hotels and car rentals.
We reconvened at the condo and Fritz threw together a lovely risotto as we tried to get our packs in order for the trip.
On the way to the group meet-up spot in Leadville, the realization of forgotten gloves (Johnny G) and forgotten sunglasses (me) came to pass. Luckily, a little shop down the road from the coffee shop had both. Johnny G got hooked up with some Swaney Toasters (probably not his 1st choice of gear) and I now own some sweet Paris Hilton shades. Totally appropriate for a hut trip.
After a big love fest reunion at the coffee shop with the rest of the 15-strong group, we headed to the trailhead.
Photographer and Sis-in-law Fritz. Rest of her awesome pics are here
In addition to the hubs and me, our group of 15 included various friends and family of the hubs' bro, Dave. On account-a my bum knee, I resolved to carry as little as possible. That meant not much in the clean clothes department and my dinner teammates (the hubs, Johnny G and Jen) ended up carrying most of the food and booze. I figured I'd be able to do a lot of the drinking at the hut so that would be my contribution. No one said anything about it but leave it to the ferner (Aussie Drewster) to give me both loud and public shit in the parking lot. Whatever. My knee ended up killing me on the skin in to the hut so there's my karma I guess.
I finally make it to the hut, in pain but still super psyched.
Jen and Drewster, starting in on chores.
View from the deck.
After regrouping at the hut, a bunch of the kids went out for a little ski in the waning daylight. The rest of us got the hut chi flowing with an impromptu yoga class. It was awesome.
As the sun set, we busted out the headlamps, lit some candles and started cooking dinner. We had been assigned "teams" for the various meals, and the OC kids (Johnny G and Jen) along with the hubs and me were on deck for dinner the first night.
Jen and Johnny G; Jen utilizes one of my essential cooking ingredients.
I love to cook and I love huts! I do have a somewhat irrational fear of propane cookstoves though.
We made quinoa and sausage and took the easy road with some prepacked indian lentils. Lots of alcohol too. Of course we made cookies for dessert (pre-made dough, don't judge us).
The hubs and Uncle Sid try to get the oven going for cookies.
Though my new sunglasses were not ideal for skiing, they did prompt some hut glam shots:
Hut gangster Hubs.
Hut diva Paquita.
Hut baller Drewster.
Hut super trendster Jen. Hey is that Versace polypro?
Hut boyband superstar: Johnny G.
The next morning we were treated to a delish breakfast by the team of Uncle Sid and Jane. They totally did it New Mexico styles and it was awesome. After yummy times, we motivated to go check out some of the skiing. A scary proposition since my calves were still on fire from the hike in. As we checked out possible skiing options, we were assailed by lots of whoomphing from the snow pack settling. As that meant the conditions were pretty dangerous, we stuck to lower angle terrain.
Group reconnoiter and Johnny G appears to be stabbing the hubs in the skull with his ski pole.
Even though we didn't get many great turns, we did have a lot of fun meadow skipping, skinning, laughing and enjoying having everything to ourselves. We were treated to an amazing dinner by the Fritz-Dave team along with Sake (yum, don't forget about it on that pan on the fire!) and my personal favorite: Wurpees (Whiskey + snow=whiskey slurpee).
Johnny G, Jen, the hubs and I left pretty early the next morning as the hubs and I had to deal with our vehicular situation and the JG's had to catch flights in Denver.
Leaving, sniff. P.S. its freezing so can we go?
We had a fun (though challenging) ski out and since we hauled ass on the way out we rewarded ourselves at the coffee shop back in Leadville. The hut was awesome, the company amazing, and the activities were pretty fun. The only bummer was that it lasted a mere 3 days. Sigh. I really love doing hut trips. There's something cool about carrying most of what you need on your back and having the solitude and beauty that come with the high peaks of the Colorado Rockies. Even though we had some stress with our car, experiences like this in amazing places with great friends where you just come out with nothing but sore muscles and a happy heart really do me some good rechargin' and rejuvin'.
The hubs and I have returned from a fantastic backcountry ski excursion into one of the 10th mountain huts in Colorado. However, on our way out there, our '98 green Subaru died on I-70 right at the Utah-Colorado border. Yes, I was the one driving...But it was not driver error.
Thank god for Triple A.
In the warm tow truck watching the deposition of the subie at a garage in GJ in the middle of the night.
I'm going to do a separate post on the actual trip...but wanted to give everyone the opportunity to CAST YOUR VOTE as to the car we should get. I'm not saying we (and by we I mean me) are too lazy/busy/whatever to figure out what to get...I just want to know what YOU think we should get! You can include a reason or not. Just looking for a little input here. It takes a village, right?
Hygration of bike racks and license plates at the Grand Junction Garage.
One of the mechanics offered us $100 for our beloved vehicle (hey we sleep in the back of that puppy). I was actually ready to pay someone to get it out of our lives---but this at least covers the $50 we spent to be told we'd have to spend $2000 to even figure out what the problem was. Yeah so we had to rent a car to get ourselves to Copper and to get ourselves home (with all our gear). But I'm pretty happy to be jalopy-free.
That's right. The hubs charged up the battery on the lights (since I go to and fro trabajar in the dark) and I f'ing went for it. Stoked not to drive. It was really beautiful and awesome on the way home. The hubs and I have to pack for a hut trip in Colorado tonight. The hubs is picking me up from work tomorrow evening and then we're busting out the drive to Copper. Luckily it will not only be dark, it will likely also be snowing. Since the hubs is a man's man I will probably not have to do any driving so that works. Plus I'll be the one that needs to call Triple A when our transmission goes (Cf christmas road trip saga infra).I'm pretty drive'd out right now.
The real stress is having to think about what one needs for a 3 day backcountry ski trip. It hurts my head a little. All this typing about packing is making exhausting. More chocolate pretzels please (Thanks Trader Joe's!).
The hubs is even less focused than me. All he can think about is new ski pants and new softshells. Many packages have been arriving at our house so he can "just compare all of them and decide on one. Maybe 2." In fact I need to go as there's a fashion show about to start. Here comes the hubs down the catwalk.
It will be a miracle if we a)make it to Colorado tomorrow night, b) with all our shite.
I want to be back in the desert doing nothing but riding with the cool chicks and hanging out. Sniff. However, I am very happy to be reunited with the hubs and to note that the nast-ola air has improved (thanks to the storm that jumped on my wheel in CA and followed me all the way to the 801).
I met up with Twila and ironchick Laurie to do the club ride. At 7:30 am. Ouch. It was mellow for about the first 15 minutes and then it turned into a serious hammer fest. Ok maybe that wasn't hammering for some people but I was fully on the rivet hanging onto the group for dear life. Things eventually separated into sort of 2 groups. Once we hit a climb it was curtains for me. Luckily a tri-geek came tt'ing by (there were a fair number of people on TT bikes on the ride, yikes) and I spent the climb staring at said triathlete's perfectly, tanned, shaved, emollient-ed legs.
Twila and Laurie, some of my fave chicks to train with
Because Twila is a big stud-ette, she was able to hang on the climb in the 2nd group but she still waited for me at the top. We rode the triathlete train down a rolly descent and reconnected with the whole group at a truck stop. We rode with the group for a while until we got close to the awesome coffee shop in La Quinta. We rejuved (yeah mate late! yeah cinnamon scone!) ourselves at the coffee shop and met up with Laurie and a few other riders before continuing on.
It was another big ride on another TOTALLY GORGEOUS day in the desert. Whew!
I finished the ride and then went to yoga with Terry, one of my parents friends who came out here from the NY. The yoga instructor was a drill sergeant and every pose had to be exactly to her specifications. She barked commands and contorted us until we performed the poses to her satisfaction. It was definitely not the mellow uvy groovy style I'm used to, but I still enjoyed it. I did find myself wanting to laugh a lot of the time. When I wasn't scared of her. But she did tons of hands on stuff which was really great--including a little adjusting in savasana--who doesn't love that??
One more full day of riding and then it sounds like the weather is going to turn. While this may mean bad things for my drive back on Monday, it portends good things for snow in the Wasatch. So if I have to take one for the team, so be it. If only I could get stuck here for another week or so. That would definitely not suck.
Sending out some of my happy vibes to all the peeps. Hope everyone is getting some quality time doing some quality activities with quality people. I for one, count myself VERY LUCKY for getting all 3 these past few days!
I'm continuing the love fest which is my time here in the desert (I love it so much I want to spell it with two "s"s).
I met up with Twila, Glenn and Laurie for some excellent coffee shop action this morning. We rode from Rancho Mirage to a sick java establishment in La Quinta. I rode back with these awesome kids to Glenn's sweet shop here in the desert: Velo Bum. Glenn hooked me up with a tire so I could heed Coach's advice to "just go ride 100 miles."
Me, ironchick Laurieand Twila's shadow
From the super cool shop, I headed out to the Whitewater preserve, or what the locals call the fish hatchery. The weather was insanely gorgeous....just the right temp for easy miles. It was a 5 mile mellow climb up to the preserve. I read about the history of the preserve, talked to some of the retirees (that are everywhere) and then headed back. On the way back through Palm Springs, I hit up a little coffee shop/mediterranean establishment. Fueled myself with some Mate (I know there's an accent), wrap, and baba ghanouj...I got back to the villa and hung out to wait for the rest of the fam to return from their various activities.
Incidentally, I don't know if I really rode 100 miles. I was out for many hours though. Even including coffee shop, bike shop, preserve enjoyment and baba ghanouj--it was still a lot of hours of riding.
My mom did a pretty sick hike. There was scrambling and some major fear factor. But she rocked it (they were out for 8 hours!) and then she went swimming when she got back. You think you're all hard core with your 6 hours of riding till your mom comes back from 8 hours of hiking and then heads to the pool. Pretty awesome.
There is a group ride on tap for tomorrow. Should be interesting given my riding in the past 2 days about totals all my rides put together since Thanksgiving. Not like I really care---miles are miles AND (more importantly)---riding in shorts is riding in shorts. That's what I'm saying.
After working and a million other things, I finally peaced out of the 801 late yesterday afternoon. I arrived in Palm Desert at Idon'twanttotalkaboutit o'clock. I got a few z's and then woke up to the smell of the coffee my dad had made.
Got some GREAT hang time with the 'rents and their friends Kenny and Terry this morning before heading out on my first real ride of 2010.
It had been f'ing forever and a day since I'd ridden more than 90 minutes. And most of those stupid rides have been indoors. It felt WEIRD to be riding outside after such a long time of no real rides. Good thing riding a bike is like....riding a bike. Got the beta on where to ride from my awesome desert peeps Twila and Laurie. Since it was really windy I stayed close to the mountains. Started out riding and thought hey I haven't lost too much fitness after all, and then on the way back I got the headwind. Anyway, it was a fabulous ride and it was glorious to be riding in shorts. 3 hours and it nearly killed me. And I was riding slow.
Beautiful desert mountains and blinding glare from my exposed skin.
Whatever, I'm stoked. I'm hooking up with the cool kids at the best bike shop in the Desert which will include a stop at the best coffee shop ever in Palm Springs tomorrow. Group ride and a possible mountain bike ride on the weekend.
I think the mountains here have more snow than the Wasatch. Sorry.
Additionally, the caretaking I receive my parents also rules. I am in the happy place right now. There is talk of yoga with the moms and Terry tomorrow (Terry just provided me with a sched.
Tiff - SLC+ parents+sun+desert friends =totally stoked If we could add the hubs to the equation the result would be UBER stoked. But I'm exceedingly grateful to be permitted to crash my parents vacation right now.
While money might change everything (in addition to being the Cyndi Lauper song I can't get out of my head right now thanks to Woody), not bringing the inhaler on the ski tour also changes everything.
Before we get to that, let's talk about the delish fun times that was dins at Richie and Renee's last night. The hubs and I (along with Brad--buddy of the Glennbro that lives in the 801) walked over to Richie and Renee's for a fabulous dining and social experience. We were joined by Grant--my new favorite--and the Sturges. Richie cheffed up le coq sportif (or was it coq au vin). Either way it was fancy and delectable. It was agreed that Brad is the doppelganger-stunt double of a combination of the Justino and Lechefski. Kimo--if you're reading this--you will have to see for yourself. I don't think he can cook gluten free but I believe he loves cheese as much as lechefski.
Along with insalata di Tiff, Grant made some yummy bread to go along with dinner. He also brought doughnuts. While I had to call my sponsor--I was able to just say no to that gateway food. Oh, it helped that I baked an apple crisp--or apple brown betty as I know it from the Sals.
We eventually made our way home and to bed and managed to successfully NOT set our alarm for this morning. In the mad scramble to get ready, I neither remembered to use my daily inhaler nor to bring my rescue inhaler (yes I'm like a walking recessive gene). We were ready (for the most part) when Woody showed up at 08:30--but about 5 minutes into the skin up--there was a lung-ular revolt. I wasn't bent over on the side of the trail wheezing--but I had a nice tightness in the chest that resulted in a snail's pace hiking speed. Dumbass.
Woody--starting to get fired up
We skinned up Mill D to Desolation--across some fairy meadow (sparkly magic surface hoar makes it seem that way!) and up a ridge to ski the shots known by the Woodies as Bad Boys. While it was a BEAUTIFUL day, I wanted to die on the hike up the ridge. The ski itself was ok--but the snow was a little funky. Note to self: learn how to do correct alpine turns to avoid beater or knee injury status on funky snow slopes.
At the bottom, I parked myself on a log while the hardcores took another lap. They must've run up the thing because I felt like I had just sat down when I saw...
a Woody speck on the ridge!
Followed by a hubs speck on the ridge!
I was happy to be sitting on a log in the sun--not moving.
I wanted to get some pics of the hardcores shredding up Bad Boys---but the sun was right in my face and trying to block the glare with my glove just didn't really work.
After the boyz 2nd lap, we made our way down the luge run back to the car. While I feel like an idiot for not dealing with my lungs, it was still a great day (it helped that the snow wasn't spectacular--I would've been real bummed then). I should also note that even with my inhaler, I'd have no chance of keeping up with these guys. So maybe its good I sat out the 2nd lap--because I think it gave them the opportunity to basically RUN back up the skin track and to ski one of the steeper, harder to get to lines.
Recovery beverages back at the car.
Our drive down the canyon into the valley was a descent into shit soup. Mexico City, amigos. That's what it looked like.
Nonetheless--it failed to mar the funtimes that it is backcountry skiing in the Wasatch with Woody.
That's what I got from riding outside for exactly 90 minutes today. And there was no ice cream. Heading to So Cal next weekend for some famiglia Pezzulo and SHAMMY time. Oh, and of course some "if you can't tone it, tan it" time.
Microwaves are evil. They zap the nutrients from your food. They are evilness squared when stinky things are cooked in them...especially in the work place.
I'm sorry to say that I not only succumbed to the convenience of the microwave this morning at work (to cook a tuscan veggie burger). I feel even greater remorse at the fact that this evil carcas impostor stunk the shit out of our whole hallway. If someone else had committed the offense I'd be audibly remarking how smelly it was and how bad it is to use a microwave. And how the odor was preventing me from being able to work. Giving me headaches, constricting my breathing, that sort of thing.
Someone just walked by and asked who threw up. It really is gross.
Sis-in-law Fritz sent me her amazing pictures from our New Mexico-Colorado extravaganzacation. In addition to appreciating her awesome abilities--it made me wish I was still on vacay! That was a great trip.
Here are a selected few:
There are 4 people in this pic
Yeah touring in the San Juans!
Yeah touring in the San Juans part deux!
3 Depth Hoars and a Surface Hoar
Depth Hoar Goddess and Fritz
Couch Potato! The kitchen is just one of the arenas in which HE RULES!
Durango-Ridgway-Boulder-Salt Lake hut collision of awesomeness! So many of my favorite people in one of my favorite places! I was exploding.
People explosion on skins
Danika and Avellana: The pair that beats a full house
The hubs and I are back from our 9 day vacay. We returned late Saturday night (late on account-a the slight issue resulting in a tow truck ride to springville, I don't want to talk about it). We threw our stuff out of the car and did a quick road grime rinse-off so we could join the Woodies and DB's for some last minute Ginza sushi. It was super fun to see our friends and to enjoy the offerings of the bait shop.
However, let me just complete the time-space continuum with a little recap of the rest of our trip.
Post Christmas involved some lovely walk/ski-abouts and yoga with various members of the hubs' awesome fam. In a super bonus, I got to spend a little time with teammate Lins and her husband Miguel, as Miguel is also from Los Alamos.
On our last night in Los Alamos, Fritz, Uncle Sid, Jane, and George/dad hit up an awesome yoga class at a local church. It was super fun to downward dog with the fam, and I even saw people from other classes I had been attending. I'm your source for yoga in the LA. After yoga, Sid and Jane hosted dinner for the whole family.
Scrabble Nemises (Dave and Gram/Steph)
Can I get a what-what for pomegranate seeds in the salad
Jane and I post-yoga hydrate with vino
It was a GREAT way to end a fun trip to Los Alamos. The following morning we departed for Ridgway, CO. We convinced Dave and Diane to join in the adventure.
After a somewhat harrowing drive over a billion seriously snowy passes, we finally made it to Couch Potato's in Ridgway. He had just "thrown a little dinner together" including amazing lasagna, fresh bread and totally delish salad. It was a yummy dinner and an excellent 1st night. Couch Potato has done a serious job on the decor of his house. Its more impressive considering the kid is either working Telluride ski patrol or his other job. His 3rd job is turning his pad into something out of the pottery barn catalog. No joke.
We connected with Goddess of the Depth Hoars (aka Debby W) and her bf Kinsey for our first day of skiing. In a random collision of worlds, it turns out that Kinsey is actually a buddy from the Durango cycling arena. Depth Hoar Goddess had some uber badass chicks joining us for the tour: Charlotte and Heidi. These girls are studettes and they basically fight over breaking trail. We had a super fun day touring off Red Mountain pass before heading down to O'Briens in Ouray for some refreshments. Having just finished guiding in the ice park, Danika (one of my dearest chicky pals from Ridgway) came and joined us.
After hydrating appropriately, we came home to another ridankulous meal cheffed by Couch Potato: a spaghetti squash carbonara (gluten free!), pork tenderloin with a raspberry chutney and a pear/feta salad. OMG.
We had lots of vino from a Trader Joe's stop, and Debby and Kinsey brought over some anti-muffin top white wine (also known as tequila). Dinner turned to drinks, which turned to more drinks which culminated in dirty martinis which motivated us to head out into the elements to see Fall Baby at the Sherbino (a local Ridgway band).
Oh my joyfulness. We piled into Debby's car for the short jaunt to the Sherbino. Instantly ran into MonkE (no that's not a misspelling) and Anglia--some of my favorite humans. The music was awesome and we boogie'd in the New Year (it was New Year's eve). Who knows when we got home--but it was worth it....Until I tried to ski the next day.
New Year's day started off slightly disaster-ful. I didn't think I was going to be able to get out of bed. We eventually motivated to head over to Debby's before heading back up Red Mountain Pass. Fritz and I were really hating it in the car up to the pass. It has about 60000 switchbacks.
In a total surprise turn of events, Danika pulled up next to us at the pass--she had finished work a little early!! And we were starting to ski very late! We skinned into one of the huts off the pass to see all the Durango kids who were staying up there. It was a super love fest and did wonders for the hateful physical situation I had started out with.
We posse skied a little shot by the hut. I got some awesome hang time with Moira and la sorella Mapellina as we skinned up. Good laughs from Jimmy K and Kenny--and just a general all-around splendid time. We said goodbye to the hut dwellers and then skied one more fun shot before calling it a day.
Danika (the best ever) and me
We had one more dins with Couch Potato and were treated to some entertainment by MonkE. It was a mellow night but a great one nonetheless. The next morning D&D headed for Boulder while the hubs and I made our way back to the 801. There *may* have been some car trouble occurring on Hwy 6. All I can say is thank god for Triple A. Everyone should have that.
I was sort of thinking we would have Sunday to deal with life--before the grind started up again. But that was easily thwarted by an invitation from Woody to go backcountry skiing on Sunday. What I thought would be short didn't finish up till dark. And it was awesome! The hubs+Woody=tour de force on skis. I have some GD hardcore people in my life. Thank god they're so patient since they have to wait for my slow ass all the time.