Getting humbled, one way or another

Prodigious Powder, Season 2 February 5, 2012

Filed under: Skiing — sarahallen24 @ 7:56 pm
Tags: , ,

This is the second season of my campaign to replace the word “epic” with the word “prodigious” in ski/snowboard vernacular. The e-word has been growing in popularity the last few years to where now, just about anything can be “EPIC.” Forget that its actual intent is to describe things of heroic or grand scale.

Odysseus is allowed to use this word.

Joe Schmo is not allowed to use this word when talking about a burrito.

While powder days are some of the most fun moments in life, still….not epic. Unless you have a powder day that lasts for 10 years, requires the survival of several massive avalanches and jumping crevasses that have monsters that try to snatch you and drag you in. All while trying to save an entire mountain town from total annihilation. I suppose that would be pretty epic.

Prodigious is a much better fit. Especially this season since it refers to abnormal happenings. With storms less frequent than typical, a powder day is prodigious indeed. Here are some pictures from a few I’ve been blessed to enjoy recently.

A foot of new snow at Snowmass

Ann Driggers in afternoon pow at Snowmass

My pal Carrie enjoying the trees and boulders at Powderhorn

This wasn’t a powder day, but the other night a few of us hiked up Powderhorn under a nearly full moon and enjoyed some night skiing.


Home for Christmas January 6, 2012

Filed under: Skiing,Uncategorized — sarahallen24 @ 7:59 pm

For the first time in years, I got to spend Christmas in Sheridan with my family! The new job enabled me to take off for 11 days to hang out with family, ski and ride crash snowmobiles.

We’ll get to that.

But first, check out the awesome Christmas sunrises from my Mom’s back door

And God finished the day off with an evening show as well.

My Stepdad & Mom have the Honda dealership in Sheridan. They also have all the fun powersport toys. The day after Christmas, my stepdad put me on a fancy new snowmobile from the shop and we buzzed around the Big Horns.

I’ve only snowmobiled a few times and they were in high school. So I watched him and tried to follow what he did, jumping one side to the other to turn and keep it on the trail. Besides a couple dumps here and there, it was going well. Then, on our way back on Red Grade road, I was trying to keep up…I had just glanced at my speedometer and I was going 30 into this curve. Why? I have no idea. You would never take a corner in a car at 30. Duh Sarah. Well it turned out to be even sharper than I thought. I quickly realized it probably wasn’t going to work out. I tried to put my weight on the right side but it was too late…the thing was going over. So I let go and slide on my head then hip across the road and into the snow. Thank God there wasn’t a barbwire fence there. The shiny new snowmobile completely rolled and ended up upside down.


My Dad, brother and I took Kiaya, my 6 year old niece, skiing for the first time. She did amazingly well! No issues standing, turning and no fear of the chairlift.

In fact she was all about speed. Better get your skis on dad!

Ski Meadowlark is definitely the smallest ski area I’ve ever skied, but it has great views of the Cloud Peak Wilderness Area. There’s also a big log lodge with giant fireplace. I would guess there were only about 50 people there. It was honestly my most fun ski day yet this season!

Allow me one more sunset shot. This one on the way home from skiing.

This was the first time in 7 years that our entire Allen/Weber family was together for Christmas. A complete family photo was almost an endangered species, so we saved it.

And now to end it with one random picture. One of the buffalo that live in Sheridan.


What the blog? December 13, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarahallen24 @ 5:49 pm

I haven’t checked into this here blog thing for a few weeks. It’s still getting lots of traffic every day…why? Shucks that makes me feel guilty for not coming here myself.

Things I’ve been doing rather than visit my blog:

Desk Jockey-ing. And they said December was supposed to be dead…psh.

Playing outside. My bike is officially trashed from this riding season. With all the sounds it’s making, it has its own one-man-band going like Dick Van Dyke’s character in Mary Poppins.

Reading Dietrich Bonhoeffer’s biography. To sum up what I’ve learned: most of us are theological pansies. It’s challenging me and I love it.

Watching The Godfather trilogy. I’ve wanted to see these classic American movies for years but the time commitment…wow! Each movie is at least a few hours long. I’m through Part II and now understand where all other gangster-style references originated. However, it gets in your head. Like the other night when I let the dog out, I wondered if someone was in the backyard ready to shoot me. And when I saw a house for sale in my neighborhood and thought, “I would love that house but its way out of my price range.” My next immediate thought was, “maybe I can find someone to make them an offer they can’t refuse.” What the heck? Time to take a Godfather break.

Which brings me to the next time-filler: Househunting. Ugh. I don’t like adult decisions.

Finding Grand Junction’s Clark Griswold. I love Christmas lights. And I love neighborhoods that really go all out. I’ve been riding my cruiser bike around at night checking out the displays. Found this one recently, the best so far!

I’ll be outta here soon on an 11 day break. I hope to ski Montana, Wyoming and Colorado in that time. And most importantly, spend Jesus’ Birthday with my family for the first time in years! Have a great Christmas everyone.


Things I would rather do that watch “The Tree of Life” again November 15, 2011

Filed under: Pithy attempts at humor — sarahallen24 @ 7:00 pm

Have you ever been completely mislead by a movie trailer?

The trailer makes the plot look clear, interesting and it has some very good actors in it. So you make the purchase and settle in. Afterwards you feel like that time was hijacked and you have that terrible knowledge that you’re out 5 bucks and 2 hours of your life.

That, my friends, is the movie “The Tree of Life.”

If you watch the trailer you’ll think it’s about a boy growing up in the 1950s in Texas. It’s not. Well random, fleeting parts of it are but without any plot and therefore no plot resolution. And when you’re expecting it to be about a Texas family in the 50s and a random Discovery Channel Planet Earth section cuts in with DINOSAURS you’re wondering if you accidentally sat on the remote. What the ?? If you’re like me, you’ll be a poor sap that clings to ever smaller shreds of hope that something will make the movie make sense.

I’m sure there are the few masochistic people who like this movie. However, here are the things I would rather be doing than watch this movie again.

Stare directly at the sun for a full minute.

Listen to a four hour lecture on the belly button.

Follow Carrot Top on a world tour.

Drive across the U.S. in a Smart Car with 2 other people.

Watch all 12 Land Before Time movies without a bathroom break.


Photo Dump November 14, 2011

Filed under: Hiking/Backpacking — sarahallen24 @ 3:29 am

I’ve been anti-computer lately…at least in not wanting to use one after work. So here’s the random photo dump from recent adventures.

The view from Upper Cascade Falls above Ouray

Tree roots

Crazy trees

Happy Dogs

The bunkhouse at Chief Ouray Mine

The lady that lives in the mine

Just liked these leaves


November 9, 2011

Filed under: Pithy attempts at humor,Uncategorized — sarahallen24 @ 9:45 pm

To Mr. Bill Gates,

I’m really feeling the financial pinch right now as most are (about 99% to be exact). From what I see in the news, it sure seems like you have plenty of money. I would like you to send me a check to cover my holiday expenses this season. I’d also appreciate it if you would pay off my student loans and my house. I don’t plan to pay you back, or purchase any of your products for that matter. I just know you can afford it. I think it’s your responsibility to help.

Thank you for a quick response in the form of a check.

One of the 99%


The Half Eaten Enchilada October 17, 2011

Filed under: Biking — sarahallen24 @ 12:03 am

The Whole Enchilada is a trail in Moab that starts high in the La Sal Mountains and ends 4,000 feet below in the canyon along the Colorado River. A few of us finally scheduled a weekend to tackle the enchilada, but due to recent snow we couldn’t start from the very top. Instead we started a few miles below the trailhead and rode the remaining 20 miles. So rather than officially getting The Whole Enchilada, we got the half-eaten enchilada…which is exactly how I leave my plate at mexican restaurants.

We arrived in the Moab area around 4pm on a Friday…and it being October…we were fighting every other Coloradan for a campsite. We hit all our usual spots first. It was like those kids in Forrest Gump, “seats taken.” As we rolled through the campgrounds I could see what they were saying with their eyes: “can’t camp here.” Sometimes you can see the pity in other campers eyes: “aww poor saps…good luck gals.”

After the usuals, we drove out to some outskirt sites on the other end of town. People were gobbling up every spot of legal camping ground available, diving on it like it was the last bite of food for days. As we approached 2 hours in to the hunt, the competition grew. An older couple snagged the last spot up Kane Creek just seconds before us. I even saw the guy mark the spot like a dog then kick the dirt around to make his point. Ok that didn’t really happen. But it was that serious for sure.

Finally we drove up to a slightly secret area that I’ve always had good luck with. It’s got a great view and it’s FREE…which is a very rare word around that area. As we drove along the highway, approaching the unsigned dirt road that led to our last hope, we saw a Subaru ahead of us that was clearly on the same desperate hunt. We were alarmed…what if they get the last spot? They slowed, spotted the dirt road…..but missed the turn! Here was our chance, “Carrie punch it!” we yelled as the Subaru turned around. We flew down the dirt road, letting the Subaru eat our dust. Hey it’s every man for themselves here. We reached the secret camping area and thankfully found several open. So we snagged a great spot and were also glad that the Subaru folks got a spot too.

Sunrise over the La Sals the next morning

As Carrie puts it, we slept “like the cowboys” out under the stars…actually under a huge moon. I wore my headband like a blindfold to sleep.

We took a shuttle to the trailhead with a bunch of smelly guys that were already 2-3 days into Moab with no showers. I was shoved in the back where the van had extra bounce and the air was extra ripe. Hello nausea. Being green is not the best way to start a ride. But the view made up for it!

This ride launches you immediately down the mountain, shooting through colorful aspen groves. I got up close and personal with one particular aspen, hitting it with my right handlebar. A great Superman impression (if I do say so myself) immediately followed. Thankfully nothing hurt and I went and found Carrie and Emily who were wondering what happened. I swear, whenever I wear my knee pads that just guarantees I’ll crash. Crash #1

Me and Em before leaving the mountains behind

The trail flirts with the edge of Castle Valley at least a dozen times. So at least 12 times I held my breath and everything puckered until I passed the death zone.

Narrowly-avoided crash #1 involved me not seeing a 3 foot drop, riding through and punching myself in the stomach with my handlebars. I did avoid the front flip though. Had there been gum in my mouth, I estimate it would have flown at least 15 yards.

Carrie enjoying one of the 10,000 ledges on Porcupine Rim

If you look close you can see what we’ll call Emily’s “YIPES” face

Riding along in the wonderful shade on Porcupine Rim

Crash #2 saw a part of my body, located in the northern region and of which there are two, colliding with a large tree branch. Owweeee.

Anyhow, it was a great ride and I’d love to come back next spring to ride The WHOLE Enchilada!