Josh Writes the Blog

There’s something special and slightly odd about driving a 1985 Toyota Truck, especially when I have a much newer one in Phoenix just sitting and soaking up the hot sun.  While driving this dependable yet slow truck around the western US, one has much time to ponder the many delicate intricacies of our summer trip.  On one particularly long drive, with my muscles cramping and my non-existent air conditioning blowing, I had a sudden and wild idea: I’ll write the blog.

To be perfectly honest, I’m not sure where that idea came from?  Was it too much orange Gatorade?  Or possibly a malfunction of part of my brain due to the result of eating way too many peanut butter sandwiches.

After I spoke, I new that I had made a mistake when Aminda gladly accepted my kind gesture to write the blog without any hesitation.  I realized, at that moment, that I had made a terrible mistake.  I was now fully committed to doing homework on my vacation!

I spent some calculated time throughout the next few days attempting to schmooze my way out of writing the blog to no avail.  I now had the responsibility of accurately, and with a sense of humor, telling our audience of our week’s activities.  So here goes:

We arrived in Fort Collins, Colorado on a wet Monday afternoon.  The following day was spent mtn biking in the nearby Horse Tooth Reservoir area.  The trails were steep and technical which made me feel like it was my first time ever riding a mtn bike.  After a couple hours of hard work, we were able to ask a local to help us find some better trails, which made for a pleasant remainder of the ride.

We decided after that ride, it was time to take a break and head to Denver for a visit with my younger sister.  (Big thanks to both her and her roommate Jeremy for hosting us!) We spent Wednesday at the local shooting range in Cherry Creek State Park and enjoyed staying dry from the ever present rain.  After a great evening of hanging out at Chelsy’s apartment and watching the best movie ever, Nacho Libre, we woke up to more rain. (since we were lazy taking pictures this week, we’ll give you this movie clip instead.  enjoy!)

We decided to go mtn biking anyway and after two hours of driving around we finally found a somewhat dry place to ride.  A couple hours later covered in mud and grinning from ear to ear we were off to attend my sister’s awesome presentation on college planning (we got rid of the mud first).

Thursday was another rainy day, so we traveled to the REI flagship store.  Chelsy was in the market for a mtn bike and we were happy to help her find one.  Several test rides later had us bonked and ready for BD’s Mongolian barbeque in downtown Denver.

If any of you know my obsession with getting as much food for as little money as possible, then you know that I am up to the challenge of the Mongolian barbecue.  This challenge, for those of you that have never been (shame on you), is to stuff as much food into one bowl as possible.  You only get one chance so every square inch counts, there are no second rounds and no do-over’s if you don’t get enough food.  With the pressure on, I carefully stacked layer upon layer of food on my bowl until it was the Leaning Tower of Pisa.  As I handed over my bowl to the cook he complimented me on how much food I mashed into my bowl!  Ah the sweet smell of success!

Saturday and Sunday turned out to be pretty good days and I was happy to get out climbing in Boulder canyon, about an hour from Denver.  There were many other climbers out as well which made for a crowded experience.  Lots of unleashed dogs, beer coolers and large piles of poop on the trails had me missing the less crowded crags.  Nevertheless, we were happy to be out climbing and excited to now be off to Rocky Mountain National Park for some high alpine climbing.

This week has also marked the end of the second month of our trip.  It’s been pretty luxurious in comparison to the first, given we’ve spent half our time enjoying beds and running water generously provided by our families.

We’re looking forward to making the most of our last month.  We’re also starting to think about our return to Phoenix – without a home and Aminda without a job, we have a lot to figure out in the next 30 days!

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