Let's be honest. We moved here for the winters. We stay for the summers. Yeah, yeah, I know summer in the Northwest is magical blah blah blah. But until you've experienced a mountain summer, well, you just haven't lived.
When there are outdoor concerts almost every night of the week and the river beckons just blocks from your house and the mountain singletrack calls your name on your lunch hour...
All you city-folk can have the city. I'll be right here, enjoying my mountain bliss for the very short months of glorious summer here at 7700 feet.
(we'll talk again next spring when the ski area is closed yet it is still snowing incessantly.)
I guess that summer kicked off with the Growler bike race. But it rained/snowed/snained the next day so NO. That was not summer.
The next weekend? THAT was summer. And while most folks are sitting back on their patio, cracking open a cold one, I'm all, let's take 4 5-year-olds (and 1 3-year-old) on a 3 day raft trip! Hell yeah! Let's do that!
So we did.
It was crazy hot and the river was crazy fast. Also, those little girls had a crazy amount of fun.
As did I. Is there anything better than floating down the river to the accompaniment of giggles and silly jokes?
I think not.
The two waterfalls we swam in didn't hurt either.
Then there is this. Crested Butte in the winter is magical. Crested Butte in the summer is OFF THE HOOK. AND IT'S ONLY STARTING. The wildflowers aren't quite out yet, but everything sure is green and that sky? It sure is blue.
I love when I have meetings in Crested Butte. The singletrack is so delicious.
AND I get to ride with Sarita!
It's 30 minutes of traffic-free driving to Crested Butte from my house and it always astounds me that millions of people drive that just to get to work. I drive fairly inconsistently for work and when I do? I end up in Crested Butte.
I will admit that was a total humble-brag but dude. It never fails to astound me. Seriously. I am blown away EVERY DAY.
When I can't make it to the trails in CB (or even the trails at Hartman for that matter), I take the paddleboard out on the lake.
Not cycling, I know. Also, not full of adrenaline.
But. BUT. Full of core strength and peace and lots of conversations with myself.
And sore shoulders the next day.
I love my lunch hour.
And here's what I'm really talking about. Besides multi-day raft trips and going to theater camp and science camp (in the mountain above Crested Butte. Dude. Really??), this girl is mountain biking in her spare time. Sort of. She's on a new, ferociously pink mountain bike and she's learning...the brakes, the gears...it's a process. But considering we live 10 minutes from trails she can ride, she will have the opportunity to learn.
What happens when Brian and I actually get to ride together for once?
We encounter thunderstorms on the Aberdeen Loop. GAH.
If you remember, we rode the entire loop last year in a big thunder and lightening storm. I was reluctant to repeat that experience, especially since I grow more afraid of lightening every year. So we rode to the trailhead and...turned around.
I was not super sorry about it. I love thunderstorms from the safety of my house but not while riding my metal frame bike in the middle of nowhere.
We did manage a 24 mile day on the singletrack during which I crashed spectacularly and basically rode like crap.
Good thing summer has just begun.
And then, you know, Crested Butte.
There's a reason it's a mountain biking mecca.
Because dude. MY LUNCH HOUR. THIS.
Oh yeah. I rode with Kenny, my Pilates instructor. During the ride, I crashed spectacularly...AGAIN. This time though, it was on a completely benign section of trail and I have no idea what happened.
Excuse me while I knock some freaking sense in to my head. UGH.
Summer in Gunny means the I Bar is open for business. Every Tuesday night, you'll find us biking the entire 1 mile to the I Bar Ranch for bluegrass, burgers, bonfires and good times.
Summer also means school is out. Awesome for the kids, not so much for the working parents.
Hazel has spent her time in theater camp and science camp but those don't even begin to cover every day. Lucky girl, she gets to spend many days with me while I struggle to work and balance the demands of a 5-year-old.
I mean, lucky for me too but it can be really hard to focus when your kid is sitting on your shoulder. Literally.
She does motivate me to get outside and enjoy all of the amazing activities we have 5 minutes from our house. Like paddleboarding on the river during lunch.
I have so many plans for this summer. SO MANY.
But first, I have to get through a week of teaching at the university, a 2-week Northwest trip WITHOUT BRIAN (I am sure I will die. If I don't answer my phone, I am dead.) and a work trip to La Junta. There better be a lot of summer left when all of that is over.