Tuesday, September 25, 2012

The Crystal Mill with Jeffrey

On Saturday of our Bogan Flats camping trip, Jeffrey and I rode our mountain bikes to the Crystal Mill.  
The aspen were turning, the weather was fantastic, and I had the BEST time riding and visiting with Jeffrey!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

REI Tents are the BEST!

During our camp out at Bogan Flats, I saw that our friends and neighbors are big supporters of REI.  Especially REI tents!   That's Joey in front of our 6 person - spread it all out and walk around inside model.

 I think almost every REI model was represented.
Smaller ones...Brant and Laurie setting up their two person - still young lover's - get cozy model.
Medium size ones...Bryon, Crystal, Brenna, and Kormac's bring the whole family model.
Brian, Julia, Griffin & Lilly's palace - room to put 2 air mattresses - why rough it model.
Our nephew - Tom works for REI and all we can say is, keep up the great work!!!

Oh, and Tom - everyone with an older model envied the new tent duffle bag with the built in tent peg holder pockets.  Nice touch!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

Camping at Bogan Flats

Joanne came up with the awesome idea of renting the Bogan Flats group campground, and inviting friends and neighbors to join us.
The campground is nestled in a beautiful valley with the Crystal River running through it.  Located about 3 hours West of Denver, or about an hour South and West of Glenwood Springs.
The weather was fantastic and the aspen were beginning to turn. 
The site is spread out and will let you have up to fifty people and has a nice central fire-pit area for gathering for meals and...


visiting - lots of visiting!

Monday, September 17, 2012

Riding with Kev

Joanne and I loaded up the car for a 4 day weekend and headed west. 

First stop was for a guided mtn bike tour with our nephew Kev on a favorite trail of his called the Bone Yard.
Kev was kind enough to wait up for us and we had an excellent ride!!!
What a great way to start a vacation!

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

PIG Party 2012 – the 10th Annual Edition

My first birthday after I moved to Golden, Phil was surprised and a little a baffled when I told him I wanted a basketball hoop as my birthday gift. You have to understand – we have the best driveway in the neighborhood. Maybe the best driveway in all of Golden, and it was just begging for a basketball hoop. Phil gave me that look that men give women they think are daft but are hoping to appease, and went across the street to talk to our neighbor Jack, who works for a sporting goods company. Instead of getting the simple hoop and backboard I had in mind, we ended up with a competition quality adjustable backboard – it’s awesome!!

Then, of course, I had to justify the investment, so I suggested having a block party, with a “PIG” basketball tournament as the entertainment. [Most you are familiar with playing HORSE: The first player with possession of the ball attempts to make a basket. If that player is successful, every subsequent player must attempt to make a basket while using identical technique, stance, and physical location as the first player. If a player fails to make the specified shot, that player is assessed one of five penalty letters. The five letters are H, O, R, S, and E, in that order; the player receives the first letter that he has not already received from a previous round. The round then continues, as every other player needs to attempt the original shot. When a round is complete, the ball passes to the next player in turn, who is allowed to try a new technique, stance, or physical location to begin a new round. When a player has been assessed all five penalty letters, thus spelling the word "horse," that player is eliminated from the game. Rounds are played until all but one player has been eliminated. The remaining player is the winner.] With anywhere from 30 to 70 people, a HORSE tournament would take far too long, so we play PIG instead.

The party is slowly evolving into a neighborhood tradition, held every year the first Saturday after Labor Day.   The pot luck enables everyone to contribute and some neighbors have a certain dish that everyone expects them to bring, like Linda's beans!  This year my sister Barb once again showed us her creative side with cupcakes made special for our party. 
Over time, we have created some “PIG Party” traditions – for instance, the Grand Prize has always been a piggy bank. We also award a piggy bank (filled with the pennies and nickels from our change cups that Phil and I save all year) to the winner of the kid’s category. Lately I’ve also started seeding the banks with some dollar coins, and the adults win gift cards to Golden Sweets, the ice cream shop owned by our across-the-rear-alley neighbors.

Some years the level of play is fiercely competitive; some years the beer drinking is where the competition is focused. But all in all, everyone seems to have a pretty good time. Our trash talking is definitely of a higher caliber than our shot-making, but that is kind of the point. Anyone can play PIG. In fact, when Phil and I got married, his mom was on a hot streak and beat every guy at the wedding party – at least once!

This year our neighbor Michael won not only the kid’s division, but the overall Grand Prize, too! Phil was the 1st Runner Up, and now is the proud owner of his own piggy bank.

So, if you find yourself in Golden the first Saturday after Labor Day, c’mon over. We’ve got brats, beer, and b-ball – it’s an all American party and everyone is invited (just ask our mailman, who wandered in by accident one year and now adjusts his vacation schedule to be available for the games).

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Lookout Mtn early AM ride

Sunrise from on top of Lookout Mtn!

Great way to start the day!

Monday, September 3, 2012

Apple Sauce and Apple Butter

Labor Day weekend was all about preserving part of our bumper apple crop into apple sauce and butter.  Yum!
The truth of the matter is that Joanne did all of the planning, preparing, and almost all of the work!

She tolerated me in the kitchen to help peal several, but I only lasted about 30 minutes on the food mill!   Man that sucked!  

I quickly volunteered to go purchase a 11 cup food processor, and let electrical power do it's magic!!