I decided to install a new front bumper on DeVandra. Instead of paying more than $600 for shipping on the bumper, I made a trip out of the ordeal and pick the bumper up from Aluminess. On the way out I met my mom and step father at Valley of Fire State Park, just outside of Las Vegas. Valley of Fire is a little lesser-known and certainly smaller, but it seemed a little less crowded then some of the bigger spots in the four corners states. I'll let the pictures do most of the talking from here.
SoCal was interesting. Highlights where meeting and staying in front of my step cousin's house in Pacific Beach, riding my fat bike along the shoreline in La Jolla, and seeing the band Too Many Zooz play at The Belly Up.
The urban planning of Southern California is another story. Its like they were trying to make a city but there wasn't enough room but they didn't give a fuck so they just plastered the houses in shitty suburban cul-de-sac neighborhoods on the faces of cliffs and expected there not to be a problem. Not only is this place downright bike unfriendly, its not car friendly either. Rant over.
Lastly, if you are in the area, I highly recommend a stay and a soak at Mystic Hot-springs near where 15 and 70 meet in Utah
This holiday weekend, I went for a little mountain bike/camping adventure with some friends from high school. Its normally about a 4 hour drive without traffic to Fort Collins, but bridge construction in Glenwood Springs has added a one to two-hour delay!
Every day we stare up at this mountain, and it just comes natural to want to point and say "I want to be up there!" Well we thought we could do it in a day, and we got a late start at that.. We left with the understanding that it would take about 4 or 5 hours from the parking lot to the summit. In fact it takes about 4 or 5 hours from the backpacking campsites about half way up. Being a responsible outdoorsperson often times means calling it quits on your goals when you really want to keep going to avoid being foolish. We got fairly close, and our feet will tell you we worked plenty hard. If its any consolation to us, Sopris is supposed to be just as strenuous as the more strenuous 14ers in Colorado.
The view from our high-point. It just becomes one big, scree field.
Another view from our high-point.
The lakes you are supposed to camp at
Lucy cooling off after the first half of the hike!
We will have to try again and plan on backpacking into the lakes.
Today we flew out to Kansas City to pickup the Transit I ordered from Matt Ford. I get no benefit out of giving them praise except the satisfaction of sending customers to a business that deserves it. They picked me up from the airport and drove me about 2 hours to their dealer. They didn't have any bullshit up-sale spiel, and their prices are very fair. Being so close to the production plant for the Transit helps I am sure. I don't have any photos because I was too excited to take any. I'll have to be better about that in the future.
After getting the van, we grove out to East-Central Illinois to visit my girlfriend's family. After-all, the purpose of the van is adventure, so we decided to make a trip out of it. I do have some very important (!) photos of the craft beer I had while in IL (can't get this stuff in CO!):
The best sour cherry beer I've ever had. Quit possibly the reason I didn't get a job!
This was amazing. Tart, with just a little cherry sweetness and plenty of fruit flavor. Very clean and crisp. I was training for a bar tending job and got into a discussion with the owner of the beer-themed bar. I told him that I actually liked this beer more then a certain local beloved brewer's cherry sour. At the time I didn't think much of it, but looking back I don't think he took to that very well.
Of note are of course, the Upland Sours, from Bloomington Indiana. Their sours used to be near impossible to get, but thanks to an expansion, you can find them in liquor stores now! Three Floyds are always great, but I have had those plenty of times before, except that Lazer Snake. That was an awesome double IPA. Also of note here is the Flat 12 Cucumber Kolsch. Normally I don't get excited about Kolschs, but on a hot day, this stuff was amazingly refreshing and crushable!
A Colorado staple. I have lived in this state 29 of my 30 years and I had never been here.
It is indeed a beautiful place. Unfortunately all the white algae is from humans swimming in the lake. It clogs up the ecosystem and causes fish and other animals that used to live here to die. Recently Hanging Lake has been in the news because of a scandal involving Liquido Active. The brand did a photoshoot in the lake which is against the rules. They snuk in at a time they knew there wouldn't be rangers on duty so they could go in the lake. Then they acted ignorant. I hope they go bankrupt. I hope everyone involved is unable to get a job afterwards. One can dream...
The waterfalls above the lake.