It’s hard for me to believe that I started my brief hiatus almost two months ago. It’s been a whirlwind of fun times and moving and exploring our new home and I can’t believe I let this much time go by before picking up where we left off.
So, let’s quickly catch up on the past few months and I’ll briefly touch on what’s to come in the immediate future!
A Special Visitor
Kyle’s sister came to visit during one of our last weekends in Minneapolis. Since we were also cramming in a night at Blue Ox Music Festival in the same weekend, our adventures were limited to Minnehaha Falls and spending time on our roof.
Minnehaha Falls is magnet for out-of-towners and locals alike wanting to snap pictures of the 53-foot waterfall. Surrounded by a lovely park and a few easy hiking trails, Minnehaha Falls Park is great place for a picnic on a sunny day… but can actually get quite crowded on the weekends. If you’re planning a visit, I recommend you choose a weekday and because parking is limited, opt for alternate transportation.
Blue Ox Music Festival
Kyle won free tickets to Blue Ox Music Festival in Eau Claire, WI a few days before it began. Some of our favorite bluegrass groups (Infamous Stringdusters, Greensky Bluegrass, Keller and the Keels) were playing so we spent a night and most of the next day camping and dancing. I would definitely go back to this festival next year. Who’s in?
The Last Afternoon at Surly and the Stone Arch Bridge Festival
Surly, which may be the largest brewery in Minneapolis, was the first brewery I ever went to in the twin cities. Though we frequented several other, smaller breweries during our time there, this was the place that we always brought out-of-town guests. And this is the place that I first tasted Todd the Axe Man, an event I consider to be life-altering. We had a $100 gift card to use up before we left, so we decided to make an afternoon of it… savoring those last draft Todds and brisket platters before we moved too far away for impromptu Surly afternoons.
Afterwards, we stopped by to check out the beer tent at the Stone Arch Bridge Festival. What is the Stone Arch Bridge Festival, you ask? The Stone Arch Bridge is one of Minneapolis’s iconic land marks. It is a bridge made of (you guessed it!) stone arches and spans the width of the Mississippi river. Originally used as a railroad bridge back in the 1880s, it currently serves as the main pedestrian, cyclist, and Segway crossing from one side of the river to another, boasting lovely views of the St. Anthony Falls. The annual street festival is held near the bridge and offers attendees free music, the ability to peruse art, and of course, beer sampling.
I’m so grateful to belong to a fun group of friends that always spend our summers at various music festivals. This year, our group decided to go to Electric Forest as our “major” fest for the summer. I couldn’t be happier about that decision. With a group of about 30 from all corners of the US (some of us meeting each other for the first time) in group camping, we definitely made memories to last a lifetime. This is definitely a festival I will repeat.
Moving to Colorado
Oh yeah, we also moved a month ago! With our moving weekend scheduled for the weekend after Electric Forest, we definitely didn’t have the odds stacked in our favor for a flawless move. I don’t want to get all “feelings” on you, but I’m immensely grateful for the partnership that Kyle and I share. For every challenge we faced, we were always able to overcome it. And we balance each other out… if one of us is freaking out (usually me), the other is able to resolve it (usually him).
We rented a 12′ trailer from U-Haul and hitched it to the Jeep and whatever wouldn’t fit, we would leave behind. Since our sofas were from my bartending days and quite literally falling apart (they’ve been hidden under slip covers for the past few years) it was a no-brainer to leave those in the past. We re-homed the bed (the same bed Kyle had in his frat house (ew!)) to someone who lived in our building, and shed a lot of other cheap shelving and useless stuff that we (mostly me) had kept over the past several years. I definitely have a hard time letting go of ‘things’…. but I don’t think it is in a materialistic nature. Rather, as someone who sees potential in almost everything to be made into something better via DIY projects and/or up-cycling, it’s hard to let go of what it could potentially become. I can’t be the only one… anyone else have this problem?
Well, the trailer wasn’t ready for us to pick it up as originally planned at 7:00 am, so we started moving 4 hours later than we initially intended. We hired two men via Craigslist to help haul everything from the apartment to the trailer (I’ve had the best luck doing this in past moves… I seriously recommend this to anyone who just needs some extra muscle on moving day). One was a college kid who tries to make extra cash on the weekends by helping people move and the other was a man, probably later thirties, that actually works as a professional mover, but volunteers for gigs like ours for extra cash. The goal was to have them help so we could be loaded and on the road before noon. Since we didn’t even start until about 11 am, that goal was quickly squashed.
When we finally finished loading the trailer, cleaning the apartment, and turned in our keys, it was after 5 pm. We had intended to complete half of the road trip that day and crash in a hotel for the night. That would give us enough time the next day to complete the road trip to Boulder and unload the trailer. So, we drove from 5 pm to about 2:00 am and stayed in a Super 8 along the highway for a few hours of sleep.
That first day of driving was terribly stressful. We were physically exhausted from moving and worried that we might have overloaded the trailer (weight) for the Jeep’s towing capacity. And because we were hauling a trailer, the fastest we could go was 55 mph. So, imagine you put “Boulder, CO” in your GPS and it tells you that your ETA is in 14 hours. And after a few hours of driving, you ETA is STILL 14 hours…. because the trip is calculated on a 65 mph speed limit. All in all, the entire trip took about 20 hours of driving. Fortunately, the next day went a lot smoother, literally. With some rest, a shower, some new cold meds (did I not mention that Kyle was sick throughout this whole move?), and the gloriously flat roads of Nebraska ahead of us, we made good time and made it to Boulder by 7pm.
That night we unloaded everything in the car and the back end of the trailer, ordered pizza, and slept on a tornado bed made of our camping sleeping pads, a foam topper we brought with us, and a few comforters. Remember, we didn’t bring any furniture, so this was the arrangement for the next few days until our new bed arrived.
Looking back, I don’t know that I’ll ever move myself across the country again. Our last move was a corporate move, where I didn’t even have to pack a single box, so this was certainly a different experience. But as we were driving westward, there were a few moments when the move started to feel “real”. The first, was crossing the Minnesota state border… we were officially gone. The next was as we entered Colorado. And the final (and most exciting) moment was when we caught the first glimpse of the mountain range on the horizon. The final hour of our drive was one of awe and amazement… the mountains do that to me.
I’m glad we’re here.
Hiking in Boulder
Here, it’s so easy to sneak in a quick weekday evening hike…
Boulder Mountain Park
This was as good a time as any to try paddle boarding for the first time, right? I foresee many more Sunday afternoons on the reservoir.
Camping in Holy Cross Wilderness
Many thanks to our good friend, Yao, a Chicagoan, for coordinating a group camping trip and inviting us to tag along. This trip marked my first time in the Rocky Mountains and to say I was excited is a severe understatement. I’m fairly certain I Snapchatted the entire 3.5 hour car ride into the mountains (sorry, friends).
So, did you know dispersed camping was a thing here? I didn’t! There are these gravel roads that wind through the wilderness on the mountain sides lined with established camping areas, spaced out by a few miles, available on a first-come first-served basis. There will definitely be more of this in the future!
That Saturday, we hiked up Missouri Lakes Trail to see Missouri Lake. Hiking at that altitude wasn’t my favorite thing… but getting to the top was beyond worth it.
I’m posting a few pictures here, but I’ll have to create a separate post to really do the beauty of this hike justice.
Guess who spent $25 on 4 heirloom tomatoes and didn’t realize it until I went to go pay for them? Guess who researched how to save and dry the seeds so I can plant my own tomatoes next year?
Red Cheese Rocks
Not our first Red Rocks show. Not our first String Cheese show. But it was our first show as Colorado residents. And is there such a thing as having a bad time (even if it rains on-and-off all night) at a Red Rocks show?
Arapahoe Basin Race
There is a running addiction in our house… and it certainly isn’t mine. We spent last Saturday at Arapahoe Basin Ski Area for Kyle’s first Colorado race. While he’s been enjoying his runs amid the various peaks around Boulder, which is a 5,000 – 6,000 ft altitude difference from running in Minneapolis, Arapaho Basin is about 11,000 ft, making it 5,000 – 6,000 ft higher than the various altitudes of Boulder. And that’s just the base of the trail he ran… I think when he hit the peak it was more like 13,000 ft.
Again, the drive through the mountains had me completely enamored. I also got a thrill from crossing the continental divide and actually driving through a cloud. I was NOT thrilled about the 40 degrees and raining weather we experienced while we were there, but then again, I wasn’t the one running up and down a mountain.
While he ran, I did things like drink adult beverages, ride the chair lift up to an aide station, make friends with cute dogs (and obligingly make small-talk with their humans) and enter the raffle drawings offered by various vendors.
All the DIYS!
Since we came to Boulder with no major furniture and moved into a townhouse approximately 3 times the size of our high-rise apartment in Minneapolis, I have SO MANY projects going on. In the immediate future, you can expect to see a lot of DIYs and of course, a lot of outdoor adventures.
If you have any recommendations for things to do in Colorado or home design projects I should attempt, let me know in the comments below!