Tag Archives: Yoga

Colorado: Days Three and Four

I kicked off day three in Colorado with a little paddleboarding at the reservoir. It was a beautiful morning to spend on the water! Just as I was about to lock the car and head in, one of my October brides called me, reminding me that I’m never actually on vacation, but I can pretend to be. I scheduled a meeting with her for when I got home and tried to put it out of my mind.

This view helped.

I took my brookie for a swim…

This SUP was very different than the wooden beauty that I have at home, but it was a great time. I changed out of my suit into a sundress in the car (mental note: spray Febreeze again to keep that hot car from smelling like the river…), then headed downtown to grab coffee and do a little work.

I love this little shop, The Cup, so I kept coming back. It’s a really popular place, so the lines are usually pretty long. I had almost made it to the front of the line, and the man in front of me was asking the barista all sorts of questions about the prices of coffee, and he dropped a handful of change on the counter and started counting it. He suggested that he’d go to Starbucks since it was cheaper over there. It was obvious to me that he was having a hard time paying for his coffee, so I said, “It’s okay, I’ll give you a buck or two to cover your coffee.” Karma points earned. It was sure a surprise for me when he turned to the barista and said, “In that case, instead of drip coffee, I’d like the Nitro.” It must have been some kind of coffee with nitrogen… so I ended up buying my stranger a $5 cup of coffee. Sure, I’d blown my coffee budget, but at least that guy got a really nice cup of coffee. I stuck with drip, myself.

I typed and edited and read and sorted, then packed up to head to the fly shop to meet Kyle. I’d been virtually introduced to Kyle through my other TU friend from Oregon, also named Kyle. It turns out that TU people are awesome, though that’s really no surprise to me. We met in real life at the shop, grabbed a couple flies, then headed out to Boulder Creek.

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It was a beautiful day to be out on the water.

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(photo credit: random awesome fly angler who walked by)

Kyle caught a couple fish, and I didn’t catch a darn thing. I did have a strike, though… but couldn’t follow through. I was amazed at some of the shallow moving water that was holding fish. I couldn’t believe they were in there! I tried several new casting techniques that I’ve never done before. It was a great learning experience. I just love fishing in other areas and learning more about fish behavior.

We stripped off our wet waders and boots and headed back into town for tacos and beer at Sanitas, and we talked about TU on the drive. I know I’ve mentioned it before, but I really love that organization and everything they do for cold water.

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Delicious food, great beer, and fabulous company. Thank you for all your help, Kyle! I really appreciate you taking a chance to get out fishing with a stranger.

I came home to see this smiling face, and I fell sound asleep, dreaming dreams of pretty mountain trout. ❤

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And just like that, I woke up. Solo fishing day.

Don’t get scared now.

After being skunked fishing with Kyle the day before (who certainly knows what he’s doing), I headed out to the stream with low confidence. I knew I needed an attitude adjustment, because embracing a bad mood is no help to anyone, especially myself.

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Once I picked my spot to fish, I grabbed my yoga mat, did a few poses with deep breathing, and strung up my rod.
I walked down to the river, and tried this new spot. No luck.

Another new spot. No luck.

Changed flies. No luck.

Changed flies and went to a new spot, scaring a snake along the way. No luck.

Tried a dropper. Lost both flies in a tree lined with other anglers’ flies.

Tried not to be frustrated, but didn’t know what fly to use. Tried a hopper. No luck.

Caddis? Before I had a chance to cast, I saw a hummingbird flying near me, making the cutest little sound. Took a brave little walk through fast water, holding on to a dead tree for security.
Cast once. Twice. Three times, then a flash and strike. Set the hook!
I pulled in the prettiest brown trout, and burst into tears.. so yeah, I snapped. Lost my shit. It must have been the stress and the pressure… no one wants to fly out to a new state in a new region and come home empty handed. Relief washed over me when I felt the tug at the end of my line. Thank. Goodness. I fooled one.

I caught several more in the next fifteen minutes, including the biggest trout I’ve ever caught while wading. I packed it up and headed back early, leaving on a high note.
This game is certainly about the chase, about feeling independently adequate, trusting yourself and trusting the fish, and being brave on solo adventures. Sometimes it’s harder than I thought it would be, but it’s always worth it.

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I grabbed a quick lunch from a food truck downtown, then headed up to Chautauqua to run my little heart out.

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Trail running: where going down is just as hard as going up. Don’t-fall-don’t-fall-don’t-fall.

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It was an awesome run, and very unlike my flat Central Sands home. There is a beautiful grassy park at Chautauqua where I stretched out and did a little yoga, then headed back to Aaron’s to shower and get ready for “girls’ night out.”

The drive to Denver was pretty short and there wasn’t much traffic, so I got there before Meredith was finished with her kickball game. I stopped in at Starbucks to grab coffee and do a little work until she was ready to hang out. The view from the coffee shop was amazing!

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When I got the “I’m ready!” text, I headed to the park to finally see my friend! I met Meredith when we were in first grade, and the rest is history. I love that the park she was playing in had views of the mountains on one side, and the Denver skyline on the other. So awesome.

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We headed to Meredith’s condo for dinner, catching up, and we got ready to go out. She has a gorgeous view of the skyline from the patio of her Capitol Hill condo.

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I don’t know the names of all the places we went, but we danced, played beer pong, and laughed a lot. Thank you for the fun night, Mere!!!

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All this vacation was wearing me out, and I was so happy to snuggle in on Meredith’s couch for a night of sleep before my upcoming day at Rocky Mountain National Park. That adventure is up next.

Here, fishy fishy…

Miles this year: 347.65

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Yoga Photos + Purple Northern Lights + Amanda & Mark Madison Engagement

After my long weekend with STREAM Girls, I was absolutely exhausted. I fell asleep on the couch at 7:30!

Luckily, I woke the next morning refreshed, and I was able to help Brian work on our new back deck- I was using power tools and everything! My mom would be so proud. 🙂 Our deck is really coming together! I can’t wait to have dance parties on it and do yoga and feed my friends.

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We took a break, cleaned up, then ran up to Wausau to celebrate Father’s Day with my mom’s family, and I gave some special love to Grampie. ❤

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I started the next week with yoga with Carmel, back up at CSY. It was their four year anniversary, so they had a little party, and brought in a photographer. I love these images! Thanks to Miranda Photography for capturing our sweaty, happy selves.

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Whenever I leave a hot yoga class, I have a total new sense of purpose and lots of energy! It seems counterintuitive, but yoga makes me feel more productive (and happier!) for the rest of the day… and it was made even better when I heard through the grapevine that the northern lights were going to be active Tuesday night. The Aurora Borealis is notoriously fickle and hard to predict- when the best experts attempt to predict it, sometimes it’s not visible, and sometimes they don’t predict it, and you can see it with the naked eye.

Several times, my shooting attempts have been foiled by clouds- it was predicted, and appeared, but I couldn’t see it through the overcast skies. I saw the forecast, and I was a little excited, but as sunset approached, so did a storm. It rained from 8-9:30ish, and I thought for sure the clouds would be in my way. I sat down and watched the 10:00 news with Brian, and kept anxiously peeking out the window every five minutes, until I finally decided to head out around 10:30 and give it a go.

My first stop was a short drive away, at Sunset Lake. When I got there, I wondered if the park was closed, since it was dark. I hoped not, since the gate was open, and I drove down to the water’s edge. I pulled out my tripod, and my camera, and the bug spray, then got set up. My eyes had finally adjusted to that extra-black-feeling darkness of playing in the country late at night, when a boat showed up. They were fishing with a giant light in their boat, and I knew it would be hard to work around their light as I was setting my exposure to the skies… and just when I thought I better shoot fast before they entered my frame, they shone their light right at me on shore, and I could no longer see anything. 😦 It’s a good thing that I know my gear like the back of my hand, so I could operate it without actually looking at the buttons and dials.

As soon as I set up the tripod and camera, I knew I wanted to be lower to the ground to get the angle I wanted. I sat down in the soft earth next to the water, and before I knew it, I could feel the warmth of the recent rain seeping through the fabric of my yoga pants. Oh, well… I guess that’s a sacrifice that I had to make to get these shots.

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I love that the big dipper was so prominent! I was only shooting there for about 15 minutes before I packed up and headed home. I wanted to go to the river’s edge in my neighborhood to capture just how truly beautiful Stevens Point can be. This image was taken three blocks from my home, in Bukolt Park. 🙂

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The next day, I charged my batteries, grabbed clear memory cards, and headed down to Madison to meet Amanda and Mark for their engagement portrait session. We had such a fun time! We started at the Capitol…

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…then wandered to Monona Terrace…

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…and we ended the shoot with a walk down State Street to the Memorial Union, where they had their first date, quite literally on that wooden bench!

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Congratulations on your engagement, Amanda and Mark! It was wonderful to work with you, and we can’t wait until your wedding next year! 🙂

The weather has been so beautiful that I’ve been really enjoying my runs. One of my routes this week wound through campus to the track and back, and I was reminded that, indeed, it is a great day to be a Pointer!

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I recovered from my run with a green smoothie on the back deck. It’s coming along, and I’m so excited!

As always, thanks for reading, friends!

Miles this year: 298.1

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Learning As An Alder + Amy’s Wedding!

As alderwoman, I have a chance to learn more about my city in some pretty unique ways- and one of them is by attending community meetings.

I went to my first Association of Downtown Businesses meeting, since my district includes our downtown square and a portion of Main Street.

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It was wonderful to meet the shop owners, and we had a wonderful discussion about how to make our downtown more bicycle-friendly.

When I got home from the meeting, I’d received a special delivery from one of my TU friends, Fred. He gave me a whole stack of fly fishing books!!

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I’ll have my work cut out for me on the rainy days this summer and the cold days this winter. I’m actually looking forward to cuddling up with a cup of tea and one of these books on cold days. 🙂

And now, on to the main event… Amy’s wedding!

She invited the wedding party and out-of-town guests to come to a wine and cheese social at the wine shop on Thursday night. It was SO awesome to see my Colorado mountain girl, Kyt, and my Brooklyn girl, Ali!

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We went home and got a good night of sleep Thursday night, to help us prepare for the long weekend ahead. On Friday morning, I met my sole sisters for a hot yoga class at Community Soul with Kevin, a guest teacher from Costa Rica! It was a wonderful way to get my day started. 🙂

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CSY is in downtown Wausau, so after class, I just ran across the 400 block to help the wedding party set up at the Elks Lodge for the wedding reception. After we finished setting up, the girls all went to Gloss nail bar for manicures and pedicures. 🙂

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After our appointments, Becky and I ran a few errands to grab last minute wedding necessities, and then I ran home to shower, get dressed, and pick up Mr. Mustache. ❤ I packed everything I’d need for the wedding, then we went back to Wausau for the wedding rehearsal and rehearsal dinner.

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We had a wonderful time catching up with family and friends at the dinner, then the girls went back to Amy’s parents’ house to spend the night. Her last night as a Snyder was spent laughing with her family and friends, and we all went to bed way too late. 🙂

Wedding morning came in with a bang… or I should say it came in with a chirp. The birds were singing so beautifully but LOUDLY that we all woke up early. I half expected the birds to carry Amy and her dress to the wedding Cinderella-style!

We had our hair and makeup done at Euphoria by a good friend of Amy’s, and I had to grab a photo of her fabulous custom-made blue wedding shoes.

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When we were finished getting all dolled up, I headed over to the Yawkey House Gardens and Carriage House to put my dress on and prepare for the ceremony. Amy chose the most beautiful bouquets for us to carry… I couldn’t get over how pretty this was!

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It sprinkled right up until the wedding, but it stayed dry once the wedding started. In typical Heidi fashion, I cried my way through the entire wedding.

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Isn’t she gorgeous? My best friend planned and executed the most fabulous wedding, and I’m so happy for her and Chris as they start their married life together! The ceremony was beautiful, and the photo session was really fun! Amy and Chris hired my friend, Kim, and I’m sure her photos will be absolutely fabulous.

Amy let us all choose our own bridesmaid dress from a variety of styles, so we were all a little different. I loved it!

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We spent some time relaxing at the park before we headed back for the reception…

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…and once everyone was seated, Amy surprised Chris by singing a little song. It was way too cute.

I worked really hard to write a perfect matron of honor toast, and I somehow made it all the way through without sobbing. I don’t know how that happened. A miracle, perhaps. To sum it up: I’ve never seen Amy so happy, and I feel warm in my heart knowing that Chris will be there to support her and love her as they go on the adventure that is marriage. There is no one that I’d rather share my best friend with!

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Now that I’m crying, I better sign off. I’m such a sap. ❤

As always, thanks for reading, friends!

Miles this year: 292.1

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Life has sure been busy.

I’m starting to learn that being busy is just a state that we all know as adulthood.  I keep thinking things will slow down, but they don’t! 🙂 I did take a very brief break after the race, but it didn’t last!

While I’ve been out on adventures, here is what you missed:

-An Earth Day presentation. Matt, my TU chapter president, and I, made a PowerPoint to share what TU does in our community. The Jensen Center was packed with friends of water in our area. 🙂   

   -I ran up to Wausau and did a few headshots and event photos from an oral health presentation sponsored by Fehrman Orthodontics.  

   -I cooked a killer batch of fajitas. They were pretty, too…  -I religiously went to yoga at Community Soul.   

 -And last, but not least, Brian and I celebrated my one-week-post-marathon anniversary by running a little five mile race in New London. It’s called the Sturgeon Shuffle, and the course runs along the Wolf River while the sturgeon are typically spawning.  It was a great race, though my legs were feeling pretty tired near the end. Marathon recovery is no joke! I do love running along the water, and this course is an out-and-back, with a two mile option. It starts and ends at the school, runs through a little park, then the rest of the course follows the river. I loved that part of it. Brian was a trooper and stuck with me through the whole thing, even though I felt like I was running excruciatingly slow. Post-marathon muscle fatigue is such a weird and very real thing. It was a relatively small race, with chilly and windy weather, and it was well organized. They had bananas and delicious cookies at the finish, so I was obviously pretty excited for that! We finished and warmed up inside the school until it was time for awards.

Brian placed 2nd in his age group. I got 3rd in mine, and we both came home with these fabulous mugs as awards.   

 I’ve been traveling all over the place, shooting places, people, and projects… and I can’t wait to sit still long enough to share them all with you! 

I’ll be back soon. 🙂

Miles this year: 266

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Oshkosh Marathon 2015 Race Recap

My ninth marathon. Oh boy!

Brian and I went to Oshkosh on Saturday night to pick up my bib, and we spent the night with my mother-in-love, Jean, in New London. We were lucky enough to get to hang out with my sweet nephews, and we brought pizza, so they seemed extra happy to see us 🙂

I had my fly box in the car, so I got to show the boys a little piece of my passion… apparently, the boys like bugs! They thought it was awesome. I relaxed and painted my toenails, a pre-marathon ritual, and caught up with Jean.

We went to bed pretty early, and amazingly, I slept soundly through the night. My 5:00 alarm went off awfully early, and I peeled myself out of bed, took my thyroid meds, and started getting ready. I got dressed, braided my hair, and made oatmeal. Brian brewed coffee and helped me get everything together, and we headed out to Oshkosh. We met Lydia and Matthew at a coffee shop near the start line, and we huddled in the warmth of the store before we made our way to the start.  The race starts at the same place that we have our annual Wisconsin TU banquet every year, so I’m very familiar with the area.  Our men came and acted as pro spectators for us- I think Brian shared some of his secrets with Matthew. 🙂 Lydia and I made our way to the crowd and settled into our pace group.

The view in front of us:  …and behind us… …and us!   They sang the national anthem, the gun went off, and we started shuffling along. We talked and talked for the first few miles. Before I knew it, we saw the boys!

Shortly after this point, the half marathon course split from the marathon course, so I had to say goodbye to Lydia. Our first few miles had gone by so quickly that I wasn’t ready to say good bye! It snuck up on me. Luckily, I had a huge bridge to climb to distract me, and then I was looking down on Hwy 41.  Miles 3.5 to 17 were out-and-back on the Wiouwash trail. It was beautiful! Sometimes we were sheltered, but it was mostly open. 
  

 I was happy to make it out to the turnaround and head back.  Unfortunately for me, it was super windy, and the “back” part of the course was hard-fought with a headwind. I still managed a smile for my halfway selfie. 😉  In the meantime, Brian and Matthew went out to meet Lydia. I’m not sure how far this was on the half marathon course, but Lydia looks awesome!  

   I think almost every race I’ve run has had someone who runs the whole race with a full-size American flag. I loved cheering on this guy when I passed him!

We ran past a lot of water on the course. I was thinking about fishing and Trout Unlimited and high capacity well pumping and invasive species and all sorts of other water stuff for a good chunk of the race. Surprisingly, I didn’t think there was enough water stations on the course, but that may be just because I am a sweaty, thirsty runner.

We ran though a little bit of campus, and along this little trail along the water, too. For a majority of this race, I ran with a guy named Mike. When I say ran “with,” I really mean that in a totally unusual way. I drafted off him from miles 4-6. Then for miles 6-17, we’d run together for a mile or so until we hit a water station. He didn’t stop for water, but I always stop and walk through, so I can drink my water or Gatorade. It would take me about a quarter mile to catch up to him, then we’d run together until the next water station. It was kind of fun. Eventually, around mile 17 or so, I couldn’t catch up to him. Luckily for me, he reappeared around mile 22, and we gave each other pep talks along the way. For example, I confessed to him that I was running without my glasses, so I couldn’t see that well. About a mile later, I said, “I’m going to walk for a bit at the next block.” He replied, “Oh, come on- you can make it to the next turn.” Of course, about a quarter mile later, I realized there was no turn!

That’s the kind of marathon buddy I needed. It was perfect! Eventually, I out ran him, and made it into the final mile by myself. I was starting to feel my muscles on the verge of cramping, both hamstrings and calves. I started giving myself an audible talking to… “Come on, girl. You can do it!”

It helped to have my sole sisters cheering me on virtually. I love these women! I had been texting them mile updates and photos, and they helped me through the rough times. 

The end of the course is up and over a bridge, with a kind of sharp angle at the bottom. It took all of my remaining bodily control to make the corner and not take out the spectators standing at the end there. 🙂 The final .1 is along the river, and it would have been fabulous, if anyone was paying attention to the race. Kids were playing, and anglers were fishing, and there was no one there to give me a little push for the last stretch. I was feeling pretty miserable, and making a sound kind of like Darth Vader, if he knew how to whimper. 🙂

Luckily, I hung in there for the last minute, and found myself running through the chute!

  

My official time was 4:40:54. So close to a PR! Darn wind. 🙂

Lydia convinced me to stretch, even though I didn’t want to! Plow hurt so good.  As we relaxed on the grassy knoll, I drank the chocolate shake that Brian brought for me (thanks, baby!), and then they called my name to the podium… 2nd place Athena!   
 I caught up with Mike for a quick photo, then we headed out. 

Of course, the only thing to do after a race is have pizza and beer. Of course. Glass Nickel, FTW! 

I stretched and danced and ate and drank until I was full and happy, then I napped in the car on the way home. Brian went straight to Belts for an ice cream dinner, per my request, and I crashed hard and early at 7:30 pm!
It was a great race.

Some people don’t believe in weight-based classes like Athena, and I don’t always race as an Athena, but I do feel like there’s something special in taking ownership of my size and reaching for goals anyway. Until I competed Athena, I never felt that powerful feeling of competing against someone else- I was always competing with myself. There’s nothing wrong with that, in fact, I usually prefer it… but it was kind of fun to race hard (for me!) against other runners and know that I had a chance to win something.

Despite the wind, the weather was beautiful, and I was so happy to have company of friends for the course. Thanks for the support, Lydia, Carmel, and Stranger Mike!

I’m already looking for my next race… I wonder where I’ll go! I have my heart set on Missula for next year, but I might pick something for the fall. 🙂

Thanks for reading, friends! 🙂

Miles this year: 259

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Frame’s 150th, coffee and bars, and friends visiting!

Frame church, here in Stevens Point, celebrated their 150th anniversary.



We were asked to capture their special service and the social afterwards. It was a great time! This church holds a special place in my heart because they hired me as a college student to help teach music to their kids during their “Sunday School.” 







They had beautiful music and a full house. Thank you for inviting us, Frame!

I was busy during the week with some delicious treats- cranberry almond oatmeal bars and coffee.





The swirls of cream in that coffee just make my mouth water! 

Our friends, Erika and Chad, came home to visit. They moved to Florida after their beautiful Milwaukee wedding, and we have hardly seen them since! We all went out to eat for Mexican food, and it just so happened that the men on the other side of the table were the living embodiment of the progression of facial hair. 🙂

I love it.

I spent a little time tying flies…



Running with the girls (and pups!)…



And perfected my first handstand selfie!

Up next? A shoot with a very talented encaustic artist, and two divine cupcakes.

Thanks for reading, friends!

Miles this year: 93

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My Big Horn Mountain Adventure (Part I)

Monday morning rolled around, and Brian and I did as much laundry as we could, unpacked from Lifest, and repacked for the mountains. It took us about 18 hours to get to the mountain, so we drove the first half on Monday and stopped in Mitchell, SD for the night.
Once we entered Wyoming, on Tuesday, we had to take our kayaks through the watercraft checkpoints.

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It was a pain since I was anxious to get there, but it is for a very good reason, and they gave us an awesome keychain…

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The closer we got, the more different things looked. Permanent snow drift fences and hills, then bigger hills, then mountains.

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We took turns driving, which helped a lot!

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I was so excited to get to the mountain and meet our friends, John and Carmel. They had an awesome campsite set up and we spent the week with them and John’s three boys.

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When I stepped out of my tent, this was the view. Insane.

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I loved seeing all the mule deer! So cute.

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Carmel and I went for a few runs up there. There’s nothing like attempting to run five miles at 9,000 feet to humble a person.

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We did a lot of fun things- one of my favorites was visiting Porcupine Falls. We hiked down to the water, then climbed up on the rock cliff and jumped in the pool! It was a balmy 53 degrees.

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We took a day and drove down to Yellowstone. Kayaking Yellowstone Lake has been on my bucket list for a while, so I was just thrilled to get to play down there. I have also read a lot about Yellowstone as I’ve gotten more involved with TU, so it was exciting to go visit on my own. We had to get watercraft licenses for the park and go through another inspection, then we were happily paddling away. 🙂

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We even found a couple little caves to check out.

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It was a fun day on the water, but we saw a storm rolling in, so we headed back.

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We’d bought fishing licenses, but when the storm came, we weren’t sure if we’d have time. I grabbed my rod anyway, strung it up, and popped over to the closest fishable stream.

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Three casts in, and I heard the first clap of thunder, so I packed up. It started to rain, so we headed back, but stopped for a couple photos. Picture it: I had B drive, so I could jump out of the car and shoot, then it started raining harder, so I rolled down the window and shot through the opening, then it started hailing. I still wanted to play outside!

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It was an incredible day. Neither of us had been there before, and one day wasn’t nearly enough time! We are already planning a longer trip back next time. For those of you who have been to Yellowstone, what would you recommend?
It took us almost four hours to get back to camp, and we were about four miles away when my brakes started making that signature grinding… That sound that means, “Ooh, girl… You should have checked your brakes before taking a long road trip to the mountains!”
So. This happened. Adventure in a photo?

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John took Brian into town (Sheridan) the next day to pick up brake pads and rotors, and B installed them right there on top of the mountain.
I’ll leave you with a sneaky picture B grabbed of me doing yoga in the morning. Any inversion was made infinitely more awesome by seeing the upside down mountains in my view.

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Part II of my adventure will share all my fishing fun. 🙂
Please come back for more! As always, thanks for reading, friends.

Miles this year: 352.25

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