After an incredibly tumultuous off season, I am officially back into ski season! This past week, I had the privilege of skiing at Loveland Ski Area. There wasn’t much open, but the weather was beautiful and it felt so good to be sliding on snow again.
The first couple runs were eye-opening. After spending last season really focusing on improving my own skiing technique, I could tell there was a ton of rust that I needed to work out. Unfortunately, I needed to work it out quickly since the reason I was at the mountain was to take a PSIA-AASI Children’s Specialist exam!
Luckily it was the first runs of the season for most of us so we all got to rejoice in the beginning of anew season together before the learning and assessment began. I would be lying if I said that I DIDN’T get a little teary on snow thinking about how last season ended and how uncertain the beginning of this season is. I was happy to be skiing and I was happy to be learning to be a better ski instructor. I couldn’t believe that I was finally getting the chance to do the things I loved again.
As Day 1 progressed, we learned a lot about child development between runs, and got to apply them in practicing Movement Analysis in the afternoon. I was glad to have spent 8 years working in schools, and much of this work felt like review.
Day 2 was a little bit more nerve wracking as it was going to be my turn to teach soon. Teaching is the most fun part of my job, but is still scary when it comes time to step “on stage” and be evaluated on my teaching. I was assigned a mock scenario and the other instructors pretended to be my group of level 5 skiing 8 year olds. We learned about using our poles and had a fun and silly time doing it!
Before I knew it, the exam was over and it was time to take a couple free runs while our examiner tallied up our scores. Im proud to say that I passed the exam and can’t wait to bring my learning to lessons at Eldora this winter!
If you know me, you know that I can get pretty excited when winter comes around and the snow starts to fly. In my 10 years of living in Vermont, I was always itching to get a couple October laps in at the local ski hill or throw the first snowball of the season. Last season, one of the first adventures for this blog was finding just a few stray flakes on Mount Mansfield at Stowe. Check that adventure out here. Now that I’ve moved to Colorado winter has hit the Rockies much earlier than it ever did in the Green Mountains, so clearly I needed to go for an adventure!
So, after some quick planning, we hopped in the car and went for a drive to Estes Park and Rocky Mountain National Park. The drive was about an hour from my apartment and we watched the thermometer in my car dive downwards from 50 degrees in Longmont, all the way down to the upper teens by the end of our drive!
Estes Park was our first stop however. It was Elk mating season, and the elk were all over the place in this tourist town. Herds were congregated on almost every grassy area available. We even found some on the local golf course!
After briefly stopping to see the elk, we continued into Rocky Mountain National Park. Almost as soon as we entered the park, we started seeing snow on the sides of the roads. At the first fork in the road, we followed the road towards more visible snow and entered into Glacier Basin. I was half expecting to see a glacier when we came around the corner, but instead found a winter wonderland. The snow was everywhere and truly seemed to appear out of nowhere. In reality however, it was probably the area’s geography causing the area to be shaded from the warmest parts of the day keeping the snow on the ground.
After a brief walk we continued along the road until its end. The road kept going up and up the areas hills and mountains until we reached the road’s end at Bear Lake. No bears were found, but instead a beautiful alpine lake with a relatively quick trail around it’s perimeter. I was amazed as we were walking around and had to keep reminding myself that fall had really only just begun and all this snow was an early season treat, because it certainly reminded me of what January might look like elsewhere!
Pretty quickly our hike came to an end, but not after a number of pictures were taken and a couple snowballs thrown. We finished up at Bear Lake and began the drive home, completing this adventure on a Sunday afternoon before my New England Patriots had the chance to kick off. Not a bad adventure for an October afternoon!
Phew! It has been a whirlwind of a year since I’ve moved to Colorado…
Wait… Its only been 6 weeks?!
Life since my move at the end of July has been incredibly busy. Starting a new job in a new state, applying to teaching licensure programs, settling into a new home, AND squeezing in moments for mini adventures has kept me incredibly busy. In fact, putting aside the joking at the beginning of this post, I honestly feel like I have accomplished in 6 weeks what might be accomplished over the course of a year or more at other times in my life.
Now as the Fall is quickly approaching, I can look back on this summer and say that I’m pretty dang proud of the things that I have accomplished this summer! Not only am I settling into a new role in a new school year, I’ve also been able to get outside and explore Colorado a bunch. However, I haven’t been as good about taking pictures and videos to share with you all. With how busy and stressful life has been over these last few months, almost all of my exploration time has been some very important self-care time. I felt like cameras and in-the-moment sharing would have taken away from that purpose, so I hope you all will forgive me.
That said, here is a quick rundown of some of the things that I’ve been up to!
Of course, one of the first things I’ve kept myself doing is playing disc golf and going to local-ish disc golf tournaments. My level of play has definitely fallen to the wayside with less time to practice and adjust to disc flights being different at elevation, but I’ve still been having a blast. Ive played tournaments at Arapahoe Basin, Winter Park, Aurora, and Colorado Springs. Each venue has been different from the last. One thing I’ve noticed is the lack of trees for obstacles in this state. It has been so different than playing in the heavily wooded courses of Vermont.
At this point, I’m feeling as though I’ve finally adjusted to playing at elevation, and I’m hoping to see some better results at my upcoming tournaments!
One thing that I was hoping to do more of this summer was camping. Before I had decided I was moving to Colorado, I was hoping to spend a lot of nights out sleeping in my hammock and enjoying the forests of Vermont. Moving certainly changed those plans, however, I was very excited to combine one of my disc golf tournaments with a weekend camping in Arapaho National Forest! It was a treat to spend the night being COLD, knowing full well that it was near 100 degrees back in Longmont earlier that day. The mountains of Vermont certainly bring about weather differences from the Champlain Valley where I was living, but nothing like the 50+ degree difference I experienced that weekend!
On another trip to the Winter Park area, I was able to wet a line for the first time in a long while and catch some trout! I had been given a recommendation for a fishing spot on the Fraser River in Winter Park, but when I lost cell signal and couldn’t recall the full directions I had been given I found the first small stream I could find and gave the fishing a shot. As it turns out, the small alpine meadow stream was loaded with small brook trout and I was able to catch my first Colorado fish.
Since moving here, I’ve been lucky enough to explore the St. Vrain River Greenway as it winds around my apartment complex, as well as a couple other quick day-hikes in the mountains. I’m hoping to explore some more before the snow flies, so stay tuned!
Coming soon, I’ve got a few more disc golf tournaments to finish out the season. I’ve also got plans to visit the Great Sand Dunes on a long weekend in October. Please remember to subscribe to both this blog as well as my YouTube Channel so that you don’t miss a moment of the action! I cant wait to continue exploring this awesome state!
Hey all! Just wanted to give a quick update to the blog. I had the goal to produce articles and videos each week, but I haven’t lived up to that…
So what’s up with that? Well, to say that I’ve been busy would be an understatement. I’ve had time to get out and adventure, thank goodness, but it was for me, and not necessarily for this site. I needed the outside time to help keep myself focused on a major change in my life…
I’m moving to Colorado!
Organizing this move has taken up much of the energy that would have otherwise gone to this blog, and I’m sorry for that. However, I’m really excited for the opportunities that this move will also bring to the Adventure Logbook. I can’t wait to share my NEW experiences in a NEW state. I hope to be back in a rhythm of blogging as soon as I’m settled in. That could be as soon as the beginning of August, but more realistically some time in September. If you know Colorado, feel free to leave adventure ideas or places to explore and share in the comments. Thank you for your patience and see you all soon!
Winter can be a tough time of year for the pursuit of outdoor hobbies. When days are so short, it can become very difficult if not impossible to get outside after finishing your workday. There is no way to change daylight hours. So, rather than simply waiting for spring, here are my favorite ways to still feel connected to the outdoors even when short days make that especially difficult.
Get Outside EVERY Winter Weekend
This might seem obvious, but when you cant get outside after work, make sure you get outside when you aren’t working. For me, this means every weekend I’m picking at least one day to go skiing, snowshoeing, or ice fishing and I make sure to actually get out and do it. Cold dark weekend mornings make it especially tempting to stay inside and sleep in, but make use of every daylight minute you have. If you get the winter blues like I do, this time in the sun is super important to your mental health. That Netflix binge can wait until the sun goes down!
Go Out at Night
A good headlamp can extend your outdoor hours if you are interested in exploring after dark too. I’ve found that hiking at night in the winter can result in some pretty spectacular stargazing on clear nights. Just be careful to not put yourself in a dangerous situation if the weather gets too cold, or if your light source stops working. This winter I’m hoping to try out some nighttime ice fishing and will probably put out a video on this at some point as well. Some ski areas also offer night skiing which can be a welcome change of pace after a long workday.
Gear Check and Inventory for Summer
During warmer months, my adventure style changes. Contrary to winter, I like to make my summer plans very last minute with a “Carpe Diem” mentality, perhaps deciding on a Friday at 4PM to spend the weekend camping in the woods. However, it isn’t safe to leave civilization behind without being sure you have all the necessary gear for your trip. One way to allow this last minute planning is to spend some winter evenings setting up adventure boxes with all your gear for different trips. Make sure everything in the boxes are inventoried with a proper packing list and if things are missing, replace them as soon as you can. The last thing you want to happen is to open the box the day of your trip and realize that something needs to be replenished or replaced. That way, you can just grab the box and get out there.
Plan a Larger Summer Trip
Small trips can happen with minimal planning in the summer, but one way to certainly beat your winter blues and cabin fever can be planning out a bigger trip. Organizing friends, mapping routes, finding campsites, permitting and shopping for new gear are all important factors in planning a bigger trip, and the cold winter months are the begin this process. Sometimes this can add to your sense of cabin fever if you’re really itching to get out there, so find out for yourself if this idea works for you.
Learn a New Skill
One of the amazing things about the internet is the wealth of information available in every imaginable subject. Specifically for outdoor adventurers, you can find blogs, videos and instruction articles on everything from skiing moguls to hand-tying fishing flies. Find something that interests you and learn something new. My own current inspiration has been camping skills taught by YouTube video creator Joe Robinet. Spend your winter months learning some new skills that will help to make the warmer months more adventurous!