Visiting Aspen as a broke, sort of broke, or just normal human being

Aspen is undoubtedly one of my favorite places to visit, but it can also be crazy expensive. Staying, eating and recreating can quickly add up to the point that a stay-cation starts to come with a vacation price tag.

We try to visit Aspen at least once a year, if not more, so I’ve put together this guide on how not to go broke in a matter of days!

Where to stay

My favorite thing about Aspen is its insane natural beauty. There are plenty of campgrounds in the Aspen area, but my favorite place to camp in the warmer months is a dispersed camping area at the very end of Castle Creek Road. From Aspen, follow Castle Creek Road past the ghost town of Ashcroft to the very end.  Continue reading “Visiting Aspen as a broke, sort of broke, or just normal human being”

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On Being Afraid & Cold Water Surfing

I’ve never liked to do things on my own.

As a child, having to leave my mom and dad terrified me so much, I’d refuse to go to Sunday School unless my mom was the teacher.

When my sister was born, she was the best gift my little being could have ever dreamed of.

She became my best friend and my constant companion. Having a partner in crime let me be brave in trying new things. Being homeschooled, I hardly ever had to go anywhere or do anything that didn’t involve my little sister.

When I started community college, my best friend Serena became my constant companion. I was the brave one, the one that signed us up for theatre auditions and drug us to parties and instigated college visit road trips, but only because she was by my side.

When I met my now fiance, Topher, he became my constant companion.

Besides random, anxiety filled, singular experiences, I never had to do life alone until I moved to Boulder and started university.

Continue reading “On Being Afraid & Cold Water Surfing”

Walls are meant for climbing.

Walls are meant for climbing.

If you haven’t seen The North Face’s new campaign, click on the link above.

“SOME PEOPLE BUILD WALLS.
OTHER PEOPLE CLIMB THEM.
WE’RE DOING BOTH.

We’ve spent 50 years searching for walls to climb because, to us, they offer both challenge and opportunity and they fan the flames of our curiosity. Climbing has taught us to trust, to work together, to create safety in partnership and meaning out of hardship. We see walls as a place to unite our community, so we’re building walls that reflect the world we want to see.”

When I saw this campaign on social media this morning, it impacted me hard enough to write a blog post for two reasons.

As I scrolled through the page dedicated to this new campaign, it struck me that no matter who we are, we have walls in our lives. Sometimes they’re little garden walls, other times they’re maximum security prison type walls, but walls of all kinds exist in our lives. These walls are built by society, by our haters and sometimes even those that love us. These walls are more often than not, built by us (or if not built entirely, then heightened, razor-wire-added as our self-doubts pile on.)

Continue reading “Walls are meant for climbing.”

A cup of camp coffee.

I love camping because it’s a lot of work.

I know that sounds crazy, but I do. Camping is life in the most basic, primitive state and there is something so simply satisfying about the work that it takes to survive.

In a world where everything we need is at our fingertips, it’s incredibly refreshing to not have every little detail of life be so easy.

Continue reading “A cup of camp coffee.”

Nobody likes you when you’re 23.

It’s my birthday week (yay!) and I stopped to think for a moment today about turning 23.

I asked my dad last week if he’d ever imagined what my sister and I would be like when we grew up when we were kids.

It occurred to me that when I was younger, I never imagined what I’d be like when I was in my twenties. I never stopped to think about what I would like to do, or who I would be as a person.

When you’re a kid, your future is defined by what you want to be when you grow up. It’s the first question adults and teachers and your friends ask you.

The answer from the time we can formulate thoughts to the time we graduate college is very much the same.

It may go from an astronaut to an aerospace engineer, but we learn early on to define our beings, our intentions, by our careers. It defines everything from the toys we choose to play with, the people we choose to hang out with and the colleges we choose to apply for.

I’m about to turn 23 and I’m still struggling with the “what do I want to be when I grow up?” question.

Continue reading “Nobody likes you when you’re 23.”

Oh the Places You’ll Go!

Muddy, exhausted and with sore feet I gazed up at Mt. Bierstadt from the passenger seat of our Subaru this last weekend and thought,

Wow.

Our bodies are pretty freaking amazing.

I find myself continually in awe of the places our own two feet can take us. I love having my own car and all but swore off public transportation on my college graduation day. Because I love driving and I love the freedom to get anywhere I want fairly quickly, the concept that our bodies were designed to transport us long distances continually awes me.

Looking up at that huge mountain that I had just hauled my sorry butt up and back down, I found a new appreciation for my own two feet, for my lungs and heart, for my body.

I work out a few times a week and hike on the weekends, but my no means am I in excellent shape. Yet my body, which is very comfortable sitting on the couch watching Netflix with a bowl of mac n’ cheese, was able to carry me 14,000 feet into the sky.

Continue reading “Oh the Places You’ll Go!”

Adventure is a Choice

While planning a wedding may not scream adventure to most, I’ve decided that the next fifteen months are going to be just that – an adventure.

We got engaged two months ago and having procrastinated for as long as humanly possibly, we’ve been begrudgingly starting to work on plans little by little. This week we found ourselves in the paint aisle at Home Depot, staring at a rainbow of chips and having a small meltdown. He was holding a fistful of navy blues and grays while I was picking out shades of wine and rose.

We ended up discarding everything in our hands and going to look at power tools, him fed-up and myself overwhelmed. It occurred to me while looking at belt sanders that it was sort of funny. I pointed out how the guy behind the paint counter must be witness to countless divorces and we both laughed and headed back to the paint aisle.

We settled on a joint color scheme (red wine, heather grey, cream, coral and sage for you curious few!) and right then and there I decided that this whole process is going to be an adventure. No matter how many things go wrong, how many stressful plans there are to make I am going to choose to laugh instead of let it affect me. Our feelings are choices each and every day and I choose to live in a spirit of adventure.

Its easy to get caught up in the mindset that adventure is relegated to the weekends, to hikes and camp trips and plane rides to exotic destinations. That adventure can’t occur every day. But to me, adventure is a mindset.

Adventure is choosing a new brand of protein bar at the grocery store. Adventure is stopping on the way home to take a picture of the sunset. Adventure is midnight milkshakes.

Continue reading “Adventure is a Choice”