Getting humbled, one way or another

Learning the Ropes October 10, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarahallen24 @ 1:50 am

Due to weather and a pulled muscle in my foot, my weekend plans changed..and changed…and changed again. But I did end up dangling from a suspiciously small rope in the Colorado National Monument. My adventure buddy is on the Search & Rescue Tactical Team which means she’s the one who comes and picks you up off a cliff after you’ve done something stupid.

My only rappelling experience up to this point was at Camp Thunderbird in Wyoming when I was about 11-12 years old. At camp we rapelled off a boulder. I’m sure it was about 10 feet high but I was terrified…and my camp counselor did a terrible job of “counseling” my butt¬†down that rock. He generally told me to buck up and quit being a baby. Add the pressure of all your friends watching and the biggest wedgie of your life…not a huge confidence booster.

But this experience was much better. I wasn’t concerned about it until we walked up to the edge…..considerably higher than I thought was necessary for a sissypants like me.

Carrie practicing with some homemade ascending apparatus thingy

The marks of a death grip

I learned a lot, got comfortable (with that height at least) and we caught a great sunset


From my cold dead hands October 5, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarahallen24 @ 1:11 am

I spent last weekend at a big family gathering in Laramie, WY. My uncle and grandparents both live there….and I’m convinced that, combined, they own about 86% of the guns in the state. And for Wyoming, that’s saying a lot.

Who makes their own shooting range in their garage?

My uncle.

And it was super fun…after I got over the fear of blowing a hole through something other than the target.

I called this my Mom’s “Sarah Palin moment.” To which she replied, “Yeah, you betcha!”

Papa shooting his new gun

He was nailing bullseyes…but upon further investigation we realized he had some fancy special scope thing on his glasses. Cheater pants ūüėČ

Other than shootin’ stuff, we enjoyed a great celebration of Meme’s 80th Birthday.

One last random photo- I saw this big guy on my way through Northern CO. One of his girlfriends walked out in front of me shortly thereafter, thankfully without incident.


Welcome to Nerdom September 18, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarahallen24 @ 5:45 pm

I finally caved into the smartphone¬†world and got an iPhone. I hesitated because I really didn’t want to be connected all the time. But I gave in and instead of enjoying increased connection, I’ve been enjoying the bells & whistles such as a really good camera. My past phones¬†always had something like a .25 megapixel camera.¬†So you couldn’t really tell if it was a picture of a cat or a mailbox.¬†This newfound¬†nerdom has taken hold…my roomate caught¬†me in the backyard taking pictures of grass.

Here’s a few pictures from my nerdiness…

The Lumineers playing at The Hot Tomato

The first flowers I’ve grown myself!

Sunset ride on Joe’s Ridge

Sunset on Kessel Run

A tabletop

Rack of weights


More evidence that people are weird September 12, 2011

Filed under: Pithy attempts at humor — sarahallen24 @ 6:00 pm

The dashboard of my blog tells me what search terms people entered and then ended up on my blog. Let me tell you, there are some weird ones. These are some of my favorite that have popped up on the report:

“The world’s smallest butt”
(They didn’t find what they were looking for on my blog)

(if they exist, I’m sure they’re in Wyoming)

“Snow raccoons chasing skiers”
(sounds like those rowdy cowboy raccoons to me)

“John Denver’s wedding”
(wasn’t there, sorry, he didn’t invite me…actually I don’t think I was even born yet)

“Knee biting photos”
(of all the pictures, I don’t think I have one of those)

“Garfield’s pet force”
(I have no idea what they were actually looking for and how Google thought my blog was relevant)

“Supermodel body”


Floatin’ Some Boats

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarahallen24 @ 7:45 am
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The original plan for the weekend was to backpack to Conundrum hot springs above Aspen. But the forecast called for a soggy hike so Ann and I quickly revised our plans from the mountains to the river. We did a perfectly pleasant overnight float through Ruby Horsethief on the Colorado River.

I’ve never manned my own ship before. After a few steering mishaps, I got her figured out.

When we arrived at put-in, all the campsites were already booked. But thankfully a very nice river ranger hooked us up with an equally as nice family from Telluride who shared their huge site with us.

Not only did they share their site, they shared the coolest camping game…glow in the dark Bocce Ball! And under a full moon, sweet.

We had a little fun with the bocce balls. Looks like we could have made the Google logo if we tried.

Ann had quite the sleeping setup! Complete with head tent.

Floating through at Black Rocks. Being a¬†newbie, we weren’t sure what the rapids and swirlies¬†would be like there. I wasn’t sure if I should do it.¬†But then we saw these girls in bikinis on paddleboards go through and our competitive spirit¬†kicked in.

Jealous of the paddleboarders, Ann convinced me to do it anyway. My saggy drawers are a little different from the bikini clad gals though.

The temperature was perfect, we only ran into a little rain, we saw tons of bald eagles and a pack of wild turkeys. And lastly, we were almost to the takeout when something the size of a basketball flew right in front of us, falling out of the sky and landing with a loud thud in the brush of the bank. We were both wondering aloud what the heck that thing was. Well, I figured by the sound it was dead now whatever it was. Then the brush started rustling and there was loud squawking. I paddled over to investigate right as a duck popped out of the brush into the water, shaking off the crash landing. A hawk soon followed, flying back into the sky. Whoa. Hawk vs. Duck with a crash landing and they were both fine? Pretty interesting way to top off a great float!

Most of the photos are by Ann Driggers. Thanks for a great weekend!


Walking on Water September 4, 2011

Filed under: Uncategorized — sarahallen24 @ 5:41 pm

New hobby: paddleboarding.

Like any other hobby I have: expensive.

If anyone has or knows of a way to get a good, affordable board let me know!

Last night while paddling around at Snooks Bottom, I felt like I was walking on water. With the water settled out like glass, you could see the fish swimming below you.

It’s really peaceful until a Doodle tries to capsize you…

We figured it out

A great paddleboard introduction was topped off by a classic Grand Junction sunset. Thanks God!


Flash Booms & Blue Lakes August 31, 2011

Filed under: Hiking/Backpacking — sarahallen24 @ 3:48 pm
Tags: ,

I’m not sure how many times I’ve been to Blue Lakes but I bet it’s been 8-9 times by now. It’s so gorgeous I just keep going back each year and taking more people to see it. The Forest Service should hire me, I’m already running an “introduction to the awesomeness of the San Juan Forest” program. Perhaps they could just¬†cut me a little slack on my taxes each year¬†to compensate? No? Ok in all honesty I’d settle for a cool ranger hat.

This past weekend a gaggle of us (5 humans, 3 doggies) enjoyed the little trek, two of the group for the first time. Lisa has been looking forward to this hike for a whole year.

We camped at the trailhead, enjoyed the fire, star gazed and watched lightning way off in the distance. Lisa brought a tent the size of the house I lived in during college. So all 8 of us spread out comfortably. Around 2am I awoke to a loud rumble announcing the coming storm. My bladder told my brain that this moment was a very important opportunity that I shouldn’t ignore or I would regret it later. So I climbed over one of the gals, she decided to join in the brilliance of my bladder, and stumbled outside the tent. Immediately a flash blinded me, causing a¬†loud HOLY CRAP which woke up the rest of the pack. It’s kinda hard to pee when KABOOOOM naturally causes muscles to tighten up.

As soon as we settled back into sleeping bags the Flash Booms really fired up and the rain came. It was an awesome storm. But thankfully the morning brought clear skies.

And Lisa made it!

Carrie swam out to this little island. After her screaming died down I chickened out. Little too cold for my blood.

The gang at lake #1. It’s so gorgeous up there!