Sunday, January 18, 2009

Honeymoon in Idaho!

The yurt, our 'home base', or... Future Vacation Home.
Do you see me? The small creature on the left...skiing 'the burn' they call it...
Chuck taking in the views... (he was one of our guides)
Me - 'Shredding' at Tamarack on fresh snow!
Sunset over a lake coming out of Lick Creek (McCall, ID)

Derick at Tamarack Resort, ID
Hiking up in the 'backcountry'...seriously hiking!

We just returned late last night from 11 days north of Boise, Idaho, at Tamarack Resort. This is actually in Tamarack, Idaho, which is just south of McCall, Idaho. This whole area was new to us (I had been in Coeur d'Alene years ago but just briefly) and we were stunned with the beauty. All we had heard about Boise being a cool, outdoorsey town was true; though we spent more time in the McCall area, somewhere both Derick and I could see ourselves living. This town has it all...mountains, lakes, trails, and genuinely friendly people to top it off. We spent our days sleeping in (which was frequently about 8:00 am, as we were always anxious to get outside), drinking coffee and making breakfast, skiing (usually about 10-3ish), immediately getting into our hot tub, and then either cooking dinner or heading out to a pub on the resort. We got in many days of alpine skiing (downhill) but also tried our hands at classic cross country, as there was a 'free lesson' at the resort one day.

Without a doubt, the highlight of our trip was the Wednesday prior to leaving, when we hired 2 guides, Chuck and Marty from PAYETTE POWDER GUIDES to take us up into the backcountry. We took snowmobiles up for about 1 hr and then stopped at their yurt, where we 'saddled up' (ie: stripped clothing) for our hike up. We probably did 5 or 6 hike up/ski down's' and the hikes ranged from 20 minutes to 1 hr. The snow and the views were simply indescribable...though, I will try to offer some insight via the pictures...(see above, they would not cooperate with me and move around through my writing)...

Some things I came upon during our 11-days in snow-covered bliss ('kellys thoughts' if you will)...

~Cross country skiing is something you can do for hours. Granted, we were not hammering ourselves intensity-wise, but to me, doing this for 3-4 hrs is so much more enjoyable than riding a bike for 3-4 hours....

~I finally learned what this whole 'skinning up' things means. Simply attach sticky straps to the bottom of ones skis, unclip the heel (think 'tele' but different, somehow, not entirely sure) and hike on up. My skins were slightly narrow so I found myself slipping a bit, but it is a cool feeling to hike UP a mtn ON skiis!

~Backcountry skiing is simply where it's at. I have skiied my whole life (not necessarily well, but I have been on snow most years, some years more than others) and the groomed runs do not even compare to backcountry. Especially for one who craves endurance activities. To hike up then ski down, it is as if you are 'earning' your run. And it truly feels like you are skiing on cotton; making fresh tracks is a beautiful thing.

~Change of routine is so good for the soul. Granted, I think that this trip reinforced that both Derick and I's hearts are truly in the mountains, but the power of a change of scenery, pace and routine can never be underestimated in ones life. I think that this type of trip (that being 1-2 weeks in duration) should be a regulary part of everyones life, at least once a year...

~People in Idaho are so friendly! Now maybe we just ran into the ski bums who are so happy living their lives, making some cash and getting to enjoy the snow, but I do not believe we encountered one unhappy, rude or conceited person in the entire 11 days of our trip. We bounced between Boise and McCall...

~There is nothing wrong with making it a goal to simply enjoy life. I feel I live by this each day (I try to...I hope I do...) but it is so easy to get caught up in life's stresses. I think this is one huge thing that makes Derick and I so close, is that we can value the simplicity of 'living'. We do not seek to be rich, we do not seek to impress, but we do constantly strive to be challenging ourselves, awakening our souls and stretching our boundaries. We seemed to sense this vibe from those we met on this trip...always be open to talking to new people and learning from them. We all have something to offer in this world. Figure out for yourself what it is you 'have' and go after it.

That is all for now, thank you for reading...

Monday, January 5, 2009

Fit and Beer ... The Colorado Running Company!

This is very cool! Check out the article below, which recently came out of Mens Fitness. I used to work at The Colorado Running Company in Colorado Springs, an excellent running shop, specialty and did a great job of fitting people for the correct shoes... plus, we had fun and drank beers after every Wednesday night run. I really only ran so that I could get free beer post-run!
Thanks John!
Ya'll keep up the good work, and say 'hi' to Pikes Peak for me.