Sunday, May 27, 2012

Recent Adventures

In this post are some photos of my recent adventures in an effort to catch up my blog to my life, not a whole lot of in depth stories or profound writings, but hopefully I'll get back into a rhythm of writing that will foster more creativity.
Climbing at Practice Rock in Hyalite Canyon before the road opened to vehicles. On this spectacular day, Alli and I road our bikes up the road to climb for most of the day. Kyler enjoyed hanging out with us at the rock. 
Later that evening after climbing, Alli and I went to a swing dance sponsored by Bozeman's Senior Center with my roommate and his fiance. This was a 3 wheeled electric car in the parking lot, affectionately named Kermit the Pod. I was super intrigued and actually talked to the electrical engineer who designed the car at the dance.
Group photo after the dance. Two good looking couples if I don't say so myself. 
The next day, Sunday afternoon, I got to hang out with Ryan of Lion's Ridge and some Young Life buddies climbing at Allenspur in the Paradise Valley. Great climbing, wonderful weather, entertaining conversations, and DQ Blizzards to cool off afterwards. Amazing! Reminds me a lot of climbing in Texas actually. 
Another beautiful day in paradise! Alli and I road our bikes up the Hyalite Canyon road to the reservoir two days before the official opening of the road to vehicles. Stupid or not we road from town and racked up a round trip of 35.5 miles in 2 1/2 hours. Mummy Peak in the background. 
Just last weekend, we climbed to the top of Mt. Baldy, the southernmost high point in the Bridger Range. Round trip 9 miles with about 4000 ft elevation gain and lost. Jon and Alli shown with Baldy in the background. 
At the Summit! We were tired puppies by the time we got back to the pickup. 
Life is good here in Bozeman and I feel really blessed to be living and working and playing in the Gallatin Valley this summer. This will be the first summer since High School where I haven't had to move from one town to the next for school.  I am doing Civil Engineering research for the university through a group called Western Transportation Institute. Research has been both physically and mentally demanding, but I'm having a blast! Look for a future post of my lab. 

Cousin Visit and Home for Easter

My cousin Luke flew in from California this Spring to check out MSU. I tried to do my best to show him all that Bozeman had to offer in an effort to convince him that he needs to come to Montana to go to school. We'll see if my efforts pay off.

Luke throwing down on the Gallagator Boulder, a 5 minute walk from my house. 
We went skiing on Saturday down in Big Sky, and it was raining. Poo! I think we were soaked before we even got out of the truck. And the snow conditions were icy, visibility was poor...yuk. So we went inside, ate some snacks and had some hot cocoa, before venturing out again when the rain seemed to abate a bit. 

All smiles and excitement in the lodge at Big Sky.
And wouldn't you know: it turned out to be an amazing day! Great spring snow conditions and we ran into a friendly Big Sky local, Karen, who gave us a ripping tour of the upper mountain. We wound up skiing until 5 in the evening. Not bad for such a crummy start.

Luke hanging out on the chair with our new-found friend Karen. We met her on a ride up a triple chair and she was willing to ski with us most of the day, giving us a tour of a lot of highlights of the mountain. Lucky to run into her. 
At the top of our last run. It got washed out but Lone Peak was finally shining through the clouds.  Such a good day: after leaving the truck in a rain shower, it only got better and turned out to be difficult to leave.
After skiing at Big Sky the night before we ate stacked enchiladas and watched A River Runs Through It that night. So the next day I had to take Luke to some of the scene locations from the movie. Luke is here messing around on the steps of the "Missoula Police Department."

Easter means a three-day weekend for us college students at Montana State, and I took the opportunity to travel home for the Parental visit. I was hoping to ski at Big Mountain, catch up with good friends, tour the sites of the Flathead Valley, and share them with someone special. 

This might be breaking news for some of you that I haven't had the chance to talk to recently, but I am dating the coolest gal I have ever met. You might be thinking, "Colter has a girlfriend?! I thought he'd never find a girl." Well, you're not alone, I thought that for a long time too. I've had pretty high criteria, high standards, that no one seemed to be able to attain. Then Alli came along and knocked me off my feet and my life will never be the same again. She came home with me to meet Mom and Dad and find out more about my past. Luckily it seems like she likes what she found.

Viewing the Flathead Valley from Lone Pine State Park. 
Skiing while it was snowing at Big Mountain. It's hard not to smile on a day like that.
Dying Easter eggs Saturday night.
Alli and I heated our ski boot liners for a better fit. Cinderella can have her glass slippers, my gal would rather have perfect fitting ski boots. Does that give you a picture of why I've fallen for her?

We got to see my sister Larkin while on our way back to Bozeman. Wow, aren't I lucky? Flanked by two gorgeous gals, smiles all around!
The Spring Semester of school wrapped up well, with vacations and trips like Spring Break in DC and then Easter in Kalispell as highlights. The final push juggling teaching, research, and coursework was pretty rough, but I passed everything with flying colors and transitioned into full-time work for the summer. Who'd have thought that working 40 hours a week would feel like a vacation! Now it's on to climbing, fishing, running, biking, hiking, and paddling. The problem will forever be deciding which activity to do...