Budweiser Might Be the King of Beers but Duke was King of the Clydesdales

IMG_7552

My favorite part of the whole New Year celebration thing is not ringing in the actual midnight hour, I am usually fast asleep long before that time arrives. No, my favorite way to celebrate the New Year is by anxiously awaiting the newest Budweiser Beer Clydesdale Super Bowl commercial. Seriously, I love these commercials and I can’t wait to see what they come up with every year.
IMG_7462
This fall we finally got the chance to go visit one of the few places you can actually see these magnificent animals up close and personal, Warm Springs Ranch in Missouri. The ranch is hard to get a tour at; in fact I tried for a fall weekend and was told in August that the weekend tours were already booked until the end of the year! Not one to be told no, I am glad to say I persevered and was able to score reservations for two for a beautiful non weekend day in September when my daughter had a day off from school. It was a perfect day for a ranch visit.

IMG_7663

It looks just like you imagine it would, 14 miles of white fence surrounding the pristine rolling hills and pasture of Warm Springs Ranch. The red barn sits high on the hill with ten separate pastures full of happy, contented and extremely well cared for Clydesdales. We stopped to say hi to several on the long winding road in,\ and were greeted with enthusiasm by these gentle giants, all of them anxious for some loving attention. I felt like a paparazzi as I ran from photo op to photo op while the celebrity horses pranced and patiently waited for me to get all the pictures my heart desired.

The barn had to be the cleanest barn I have ever seen, each section well marked showing all phases of horse care including where they are bred, exercised, trained and cared for by loving staff.

This grand experience was shared with my daughter and certainly makes the top ten things I’d recommend to anyone looking for a Missouri highlight.

IMG_7650

For me the high point of the tour was when we were introduced to Duke, a massive Clydesdale of 13 years who had retired from being a team hitch member and was promoted to official greeter. Duke was a towering example of the best of the Budweiser Clydesdales. Every inch of this 18-hand horse was groomed, every hair on this animal was clean and brushed. All I could think of when I first layed eyes on him whas how much my mother would have loved this place!

IMG_7603

Like the celebrity he was, Duke knew he looked good too! His eyes sparkled as he pranced around and I swear every time someone pointed a camera at him he held his head up high and turned his head to his good side! He was a good sport too, because he was patient and kind and let everyone from the oldest and frailest guest in a wheelchair down to the 10 month old little girl pet him and love on him. He even posed for a selfie with my daughter and I swear I saw him look longingly at the cold glasses of Budweiser the guests had in their hands, I am sure he was wondering where his beer was too!

IMG_7658

I am even more in love with these gorgeous animals now that I had a little chance to spend time with them. Three more months until the New Year and the next round of Budweiser Clydesdale commercials and I can hardly wait.

So glad this was on my bucket list and we made time for an afternoon of warm September sunshine and a little Budweiser!

IMG_7668
So my friend, I ask you “what’s next on your list?”
IMG_7670

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Red Solo Cup on a Wet Dog

Anticipation
We all piled into the Yukon, anxious to head to the lake to join my sister’s family for a weekend of camping, kayaking and dirt biking on this beautiful spring Mother’s Day weekend in Missouri. Loaded with coolers of drinks, sleeping bags, snacks and dirt biking gear, parents Dan and Jackie joined teenager Maggie and Golden Retriever Rowdy, ready for fun in the sun.

IMG_4888

IMG_4993_2

IMG_4819

“Oh my, it smells like wet dog in here,” said Dan as he buckled his seat belt and scanned over his shoulder to back the Yukon out of the driveway.

“It sure does!” Agreed Jackie turning to give the hyper excited Golden Retriever a grin.

Are We There Yet? Are We??
The subject of the always welcome attention, Rowdy, glanced from owner to owner, his floppy ears blowing back in the wind from the rolled down window. His actions seemed to say, “Where are we going? Where are we going? Are we there yet? Are we? Are we?” Huh?”

In a mere 20 minutes we reached the campground and found the other half of the crew already riding dirt bikes in the light drizzle of a spring rain. Vicki, Kurt and five of their six kids greeted us with muddy but happy faces.

IMG_4985

IMG_5115_2

Mack, my sisters Yellow Lab, came bounding up to us as we pulled in. Soaked from head to toe but loving every minute of it, Mack wagged his tail like a windshield wiper on high, back and forth sending small spays of water here, there and everywhere.

IMG_5009_2

Mud, Mud and More Mud
The kids were determined to enjoy this rare opportunity to be turned loose on dirt bikes to play amongst the trees and even though the weather refused to cooperate they rode in the rain anyway, slipping, sliding, mud flying here and there. With the wet Missouri clay dirt soaking in more and more rain soon the dirt bike tires were caked with sticky gooey mud, clogging up everything from gears and chains to brakes and clutches.

IMG_4853_2

The boys, Ryan, 17 and Tommy, 15, channeled all their youthful energy into a dirt clot fight happily logging clumps of mud back and forth at each other while the girls, Ally and Beth, both 19 took their turn on the dirt bikes. Mom Vicki stood close by monitoring the innocent playfulness.

“Bombs Away”
“Bombs away!” yelled Ryan as he playfully tossed a clod Tommy’s way. Unfortunately, about then, Vicki, unaware of the incoming weaponry, turned her head to check on 10 year old Jay who was trying to drop rocks off the nearby benches into a small bucket far below. With her head turned the wrong direction Vicki had no idea what was about to happen next.

It’s Just a Flesh Wound
“AWWWWWWWW” she cried out as the perfectly launched dirt clod landed smartly on the left side of her head, instantly revealing a silver dollar sized knot covered in crimson colored red.

IMG_4868_2

“Honey are you ok?” yelled concerned hubby Kurt.

“What was that?” asked a dazed and confused mother Vicki.

IMG_4874_2

Kurt rushed to her side to examine the damage. The deep red showed dramatically against her medium blonde hair. “You got hit in the head with a dirt clod and I think it had a rock in it. Your head is bleeding! Are you ok?” he asked.

“I guess so” she replied rather unconvincingly. As I watched from my perch on the reclining lawn chair so my broken foot could be elevated I could literally see the stars circling her poor head just like in a Peanuts cartoon. I was pretty sure she wasn’t really as ok as she pretended to be.

As Vicki came and sat down by the camper to evaluate her status, the kids came in to rally around her. Poor Ryan, the guilty party, had certainly not injured Vicki on purpose and had no idea the dirt clod contained a rock, felt extremely remorseful, seemingly sheepish.

IMG_4881_2

Like most healthy and yet slightly dysfunctional red-blooded American families, soon everyone was teasing each other about the recent mishap.

“Gosh Ryan, way to go, injure Vicki on Mother’s Day!” I chimed in but added a mischievous wink directed at him so he knew I was just teasing!

IMG_4880

He grinned back at me. This kid felt bad but he also has a wicked sense of humor and that’s why I think he’s cool.

Wet Dog: Ummm Help ME!
About this point in the action, Rowdy walked back into the middle of the family mêlée completely soaked with rain, his normally pretty fur coat feathered but this time caked in dark tar like mud with his snout stuck in a red Solo cup. He entered the scene with perfect timing and his ever playful deep brown eyes looking up at us like “Ummm, excuse me, could someone help me with this? I have no idea how this cup got stuck on my snout but I can’t get it off!” The words to the song by Toby Keith suddenly started playing in my ears, “red solo cup, come fill me up, let’s have a party.”

IMG_4915
The entire Vandy bunch, 5 teenagers and two parents, and our little family of three erupted in hysterical laughter.

Families that Play Together Stay Together
Don’t let it be said that you can’t have fun when life doesn’t go according to plan. We had planned a nice sunny weekend of camping perfection, all the way down to picnic lunches on the trails, dirt biking through meadows of green grass and s’mores over a campfire under a starry night sky. What we got was overcast, dreary weekend of steady rain caking the clay dirt all around us until even walking was hazardous to your heath. Of the 4 dirt bikes only one was still working by the time the two day weekend was over and Kurt’s repair shop was dealing with flat tires, bent rims, broken starters, bent handle bars, broken hand brakes and more. Vicki most likely sustained a very slight concussion, Jay had a cut on his foot, Tommy ended up covered in an impressive case of road rash from the nightly game of Ghosts in the Graveyard, Ryan’s thumb was jammed and Jackie’s broken foot fit right in. However, it was the wet dogs, Mack and Rowdy who showed us that no matter what you can always have fun with a plain old red solo cup!

IMG_5135

IMG_5145

The weekend was full of good life lessons:
1. Don’t throw a dirt clod at mom on Mother’s Day; it’s not cool if she starts bleeding from a head injury!
2. Hot dogs and burgers taste better over a campfire
3. If you eat all the marshmallows before campfire time you can’t make s’mores!
4. If you are going to go up a muddy hill on a dirt bike you have to make a commitment to it. Go, and go strong or don’t go at all!
5. Garbage bags around casts on broken bones work to keep the wind, rain and dirt off even if they aren’t very stylish.
6. Sometimes you have to go help rescue your sister, just grin and go do it.
7. Girls like to play in the dirt too.
8. Head wounds bleed-a lot!
9. Ball caps can cover camping hair, bandages and Neosporin
10. Learning to put oil on the chain of your dirt bike helps it run better
11. Always bring a spare pair of jeans and clean underwear when you go camping
12. Laugher is always the best medicine.

For ever more the smell of a wet dog will always conjure up memories of this sweet family camping trip, a perfect case study in Murphy’s Law whatever can go wrong will go wrong. The question is are you going to have fun anyway? We certainly did.

IMG_5170_2

So my friend, I ask you “what’s next on your list?”

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Empower Your Estrogen Gets Rocky Mountain High and Wet and Wild in 2015

Taking on water

Ladies! Are you ready to get Rocky Mountain high and then mix it up with a little wet and wild?

Got your attention? Good! The girls behind Empower Your Estrogen are planning an epic summer mountain experience that you will not want to miss! Trust us!

We just wanted to get your attention, it won’t be THAT kind of a trip! This isn’t a party girl trip it’s a Rocky Mountain adventure girl trip!

This is your chance to summit a mountain, yodel at the top in your superhero costume with the Bucketlistblogger and Irongirl and then soak in the breathtaking mountain vistas that surround you on Friday July 31, 2015. But that’s not all! On Saturday morning, August 1, we will get wet and wild while we go white water rafting down the spectacular Royal Gorge, Colorado’s own version of the Grand Canyon! After a day of thrilling excitement on the rapids we will spend the afternoon at The Abbey Vineyard in Canyon City for some rest, relaxation and refreshments and retreat to our secret mountain back country camping spot among the Ponderosa Pines for a second fun filled evening of campfire and chocolate! Mountain summits and white water rafting all in one trip! Add a little campfire fun, a Tough Tiara Challenge or two and a stop at The Abby Vineyard and you have an epic adventure!

hiker sign

We have worked with our favorite guides at Front Range Climbing Co and made all the arrangements for you. We will meet Thursday evening and set up camp in the spectacular Rocky Mountains and enjoy a quiet campfire night. Friday we will rise early and hit the trailhead at the crack of dawn so we can enjoy the challenging alpine hike to one of the most beautiful summits in the state. This will be a mountain hike on a rocky trail only (no ropes and harnesses needed) after the hike we will return to camp for laughter, stories and our famous Tough Tiara Crowning!

40781_1434538542041_1190261135_31136186_738601_n-1

On Saturday we will white water raft down The Royal Gorge on Class IV and V white water rapids past the 1200 foot cliff walls and over Sunshine Falls, Sledgehammer & the Narrows! This will be wet, wild and very exciting! Experience two of the most breathtaking outdoor treats Colorado offers all in one girl power weekend!

You will need basic backcountry camping gear such as a small two-person tent, sleeping bag, good hiking boots and appropriate jackets for the colder Colorado temperatures at the summit. According to our custom rating scale this adventure promises to be a 6 on the Tough Girl Scale. You will need strong legs and big lungs! Our hike will be approximately 7-9 miles round trip!

Not sure if you are in shape to handle a mountain hike? No problem, For an extra $25 Coach Vicki, the Irongirl will create a 4 month long training plan custom designed for this advenutre for you so that you can start walking and hiking now and be ready for the challenge of summiting a mountian! Time to put some zing in your zap!

Our hunky guides with Front Range Climbing Co will take are of all the transportation from Colorado Springs and food, keep us on the trail, show us the best alpine hikes in the state, ensure we are having a great time and hand deliver us to the best white water rafting guides in the state for the thrill of a lifetime on Saturday!

This trip is going to be epic and full of great stories all for the amazing package price of only $299. This trip will be limited to 15 brave and crazy ladies and it’s a steal so don’t miss out! Email Isaac@frontrangeclimbingco.com or call 719-632-5822 today to book your spot!

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Shit Happens Get Over It!

Shit Happens Get Over It!

toilet_paper_roll_clip_art_22957

It happens to everyone, nature calls. The question I had to ask is what exactly happens when I am enjoying the great outdoors and nature calls? I don’t want to seem look a goody too shoes here and I understand the basic mechanics but the question begs to be answered.

IMG_1169

Now I agree I had bigger problems that I should have been worried about like where would we sleep in the great outdoors? What kind of critters lived out there and how many of them might be interested in a toasty warm sleeping bag and excellent cuddlier? How difficult were the trails and would I get blisters on my feet? Would I be able to keep pace with the group? All these were relevant questions but the one that nagged me the most was where was I going to poop?

Suburban soccer mom’s are not supposed to worry about these things, at least according to convention, that is if we stay in the safety zone of PTA meetings, football and soccer practice, bible study, grocery shopping, work, dishes and general family nurturing the quandary of where and how to poop and pee in the wild would simply not come up. However, I am a self-professed adrenaline junkie, and as my husband describes me, at best a complicated woman.

See, I just can’t color between the lines. I want the best of both words so I flip back and forth between the world of my adventures and momville. Because of this I have to ask the questions no one else seems to want to ask.

When I interview a guide for a potential bucket list adventure I tend to be direct and cut to the chase pretty quickly. Let’s get to the meat of the situation, “where am I going to go potty and what conditions do I need to be able to handle?” I timidly toss out there.

Once I get the facts I can then begin to process the situation. Usually the unknown is worse than the reality. I like a good adventure, just not a bodily function surprise. It causes me stress, because I am a 50-year-old mother of three, I have the bladder of a pea and the minute you tell me I can’t go, face it, I have to go! The more I try to forget how bad I have to go the worse it gets so I figure I might as well put it on the table and let these young guides know what they are dealing with, heck it only seems fair.

On a recent epic adventure to Utah which would entail four days and three nights of back country camping in the desert I had to face the reality that I would be peeing behind a lot of rocks and at some point in time I was going to have to do the decidedly unladylike duty of pooping in the wild.

“Or dear Lord” was all I could think.

When I finally got the courage up to ask my guide and share my concerns with him we bonded instantly as he kindly and yet directly outlined the options. What won me over however was the sweet way he took my concerns, and those of the other women joining the adventure, to heart and came up with most enchanting solution ever!

1607038_10202575801174821_640304999_n

10002918_10202575799894789_124463985_n

On the first day of the trip as we set up camp he presented us with a homemade Homer bucket complete with a toilet seat, garbage bag liners, kitty litter, zip lock bags, hand sanitizer and even a toilet paper holder! Then just like a hero on a white horse he headed into the bluffs and located the perfect three-sided shelter of rocks and proceed to set up our throne worthy of a queen! He had thought of everything!

IMG_1675

When I invited women to join on the backcountry adventure several had turned me down because of “other” things, obstacles like work, family, travel time, expense, back aches and more were listed as why they couldn’t join the fun. It wasn’t until I probed a little deeper did I get an honest answer here and there. The honest truth was they couldn’t imagine pooping in the wild but I have to say it really wasn’t that bad and with the improvised system created by our ingenious and intrepid guide it was practically the Taj Mahal!

IMG_1680

Don’t let your fear of the unknown keep you from the adventure of a lifetime. Face it everyone poops, and shit happens! Get over it, deal with it and move on! Time is wasting!!

So my friend, I ask you “what’s next on your list?”

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

50 While 50 Doing it Our Way

50 While 50 Doing it Our Way

1910503_427667174040972_3128206233296859498_n

As a self professed adrenaline junkie I have discovered the amazing fun that can be had by getting out of your comfort zone and trying something new and challenging. I also turned 50 late last summer, and am thus, feeling a bit of an added incentive to get going and make up lost time in my quest to forge new and exciting adventures. Now since I have not won the lottery this will take a little creative energy to fit it all into a budget but since it is early in the game I am temporarily full of confidence!

My husband and I also recently celebrated our 28th wedding anniversary and as the years roll by I get a kick out of reflecting how we each approach life in similar and yet very different manners. My husband is inclined to set really big, really ambitious, hit it out of the park home-run kind of goals. He believes in the “go big or go home” mentality. To him, anything less than a blow your mind, balls to the walls, kind of goal just isn’t worth the energy. For example, years ago he came to me one day out of the blue and announced he was going to compete in an Ironman Competition. I blinked a couple of times.

“Really?” was all I could conjure up for a reply. “You mean that crazy long triathlon thing they do in Hawaii?” I said as I frowned at him.

“Yes” he came back confidently.

“hmmm” I thought. Secretly, I thought he was nuts and this was never going to happen but I tried rather lamely to be the supportive wife.

“ok, don’t you need to work up to that, you know, do some short races?” I limply offered.

“hell no, I don’t want to do those short events. I want to do an Ironman. I am going to start training today for an Ironman.” he replied.

He did just that and has now completed 7 full distance Ironman Competitions. Granted it took him close to a year to train for it and he’s done the competitions over the past 7 years but he did it!

That was that. He was doing it his way. Go big or go home. To him it was simple and clear, if you want to do an Ironman, than do an Ironman, the rest of that stuff was just fluff. This is how he approaches life and while I agree it was ambitious and impressive, I am not to be outdone. In true Dan and Jackie fashion, we are each doing it our way, together. He prefers training hard for one massive, impressive, balls to the walls adventure marathon, I apparently don’t have the attention span of a hummingbird, so I came up with my own list of 50 different bucket list adventures and I plan to complete each and every one while I enjoy my 50’s!

10933824_10204719056034853_7521625097263506873_n

What’s Next on My List:

Meet someone famous
Visit Manitou Springs Cliff Dwellings
Attend Sunrise Easter Service at The Royal Gorge
Visit the Hot Springs at Ouray
Sit on the porch and watch the sunset over the mountains
Hike Paint Mines
Drive around with the top off my Jeep
Hike the Incline with my son
Explore 4 wheel drive trails in Colorado in our Jeep
Climb Montezuma’s Tower in Garden of the Gods
Read six books a year just for fun
Tour a gold mine in the Rocky Mountains and pan for gold
Sleep out under the stars in Moab
Rock climb and Rappel in Utah with my sister
Hang out by the campfire
Operate a chain saw
Mountain bike the entire Katy Trail
Learn to Kayak
Do a Missouri river float trip
Tour the vineyards in Missouri
Do a Canopy Tree Climb
Explore a cave
Ride the rapids down the Grand Canyon
Fly Fish
Milk a cow
White Water Rafting Down the Royal Gorge
Visit The Abbey Vineyard in Canyon City Colorado
Get published
Hike Seven Falls at night under the lights
Try Zumba Dancing
Take a Concealed Weapon Course
Go 4 Wheeling in Great Sand Dune National Park
Take my daughter to a drive in movie theater
Mountain Bike Gold Camp Road and Canyon
Do a 2-minute plank
Do 50 sit-ups in 1 minute
Do 20 REAL pushups (on my toes)
Do 1 one-arm pushups (yes one arm)
Hike a another 14ner
Inspire someone
learn to sail
whale watching trip
Go to Hawaii
Take our friends to a Red Rocks Concert
Wrestle a gator at the alligator farm
Drive a race car or at least get a ride in one
Have a roller derby girl experience
Tour Pro Rodeo Hall of Fame
4 wheel drive Lost Dollar Highway from Telluride to Ourey
Rappel off an Arch in Arches National Park in Utah
Attend a mountain bike workshop for women
Mountain bike down Pikes Peak
Go to Alaska
Renew my spirit
Learn about photography
write a book
watch my kids become adults
Take a yoga class
Learn to make homemade pie crust
Snowmobile
Ice Climb Chicks with Picks in Ouray
Write a blog about all of these adventures

10169266_10202871164678724_8851392483480765517_n-1

I added a couple extra just for good measure and to honor the spirit of this project, besides you never know what else will come along that I just have to try!
I am looking forward to a few big years ahead of me and all the trouble I can possibly get into along the way.

48084_10200924673177653_1853782999_n

So my friend, what’s next on your list?

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Empower Your Estrogen Moab, Utah Rock Climbing, Rappelling and More 2015!

Ladies! For Your Eyes ONLY

IMG_1462
DSC_0401_zps22500e94

10155787_10203417127135241_8201485283367597861_n

Attention all ladies! Close your eyes and picture this! It’s midmorning, the sky is bright and sunny with not a cloud in the sky and yet you are about to make a surprise entrance intro a crowd of unsuspecting people in a way worthy of the introduction scene to a Mission Impossible movie! Imagine the feeling of rappelling off a 120-foot sheer rock down into a crowd of unsuspecting onlookers taking the easy way on a hike from the parking lot. As the crowd looks up with amazement suddenly a badass team of comrade’s rappel in, showing the rest of the world it’s a hell of a lot of fun to the take the unconventional route!

DSC_0483_zpsaf5b9eea

Now, imagine that priceless feeling you only get when you have just really pushed yourself outside the normal limits of life and done something so amazing, exciting, daring and bold that even your mother would be impressed? On second thought, maybe you shouldn’t tell your mom! That’s the kind of feeling the girls who put these weekends together love! Our goal is to arrange the most adventure packed, giggle fest of a girls weekend that you have ever had and while we do that we are going to see new places, do new things and tap into our inner wild child just because most of us have long lost touch with that part of ourselves. Can you see the look of astonishment on the faces around you as you nonchalantly smile to the amazed strangers and give them that “ya, we just did that kind of satisfied rock rappeller look?”

10457655_10203335722012367_6391105710824157473_o

Picture you and a dozen of your 30ish-40ish-50ish suburban PTA soccer mom comrades on the adventure trip of a lifetime because you are part of the next Empower Your Estrogen Adventure! Spots are very limited and fill up very quickly so if you have made the New Year resolution to kick it up a notch in your life this is the opportunity of a lifetime and just what you have been waiting for.

10533050_10203335735252698_4684384128945462374_n

Empower Your Estrogen founders Jackie (Bucketlistblogger.com) and sister Vicki (IronGirl) have partnered with the worlds best and hunkiest guides at Front Range Climbing Co to offer this once in life time opportunity. The adventure will begin Thursday morning April 24 and continue through Sunday April 27. We will backcountry camp in the stunning Moab, Utah desert under the brightest starry nights you can imagine. We are going to Moab for a four day weekend of badasery big time, full of rappelling off Moab’s spectacular 120 foot arches, rock climbing the stunning bluffs, hiking, camping, bonding, and celebrating our womanhood while we recharge our batteries and make new life long friendships! Nightly campfire chats while we sip a celebratory glass of wine and indulge in a little chocolate treat while we crown the Tough Tiara winner of the day have proven to be one of the many highlights. It’s like a girls retreat and an adrenaline charged slumber party all wrapped up in one!

IMG_1441

IMG_1476

Our guides at Front Range Climbing Co will take care of everything from transportation from Colorado Springs to Moab, Utah, provide all our food, and make all the special arrangements. We will be with professional guides every step of the way and they will provide all the climbing gear, ropes, and instruction that we need to make sure everyone on this adventure can participate in creating life long memories.

1962717_10202621466836434_1776163951_n

Front Range Climbing Co will customize the trip to our exact needs and offer us adventures that everyone can participate in. You need no special knowledge or prior climbing experience to participate. On our own custom Tough Girl scale this adventure would come in at rating of a 6-7 so you have plenty of time to dust off your old hiking boots and get your spring zig back into your zag!

10475837_10203335768973541_6193017890848135390_n

The Empower Your Estrogen Moab, Utah Rock Climbing and Rappelling Adventure 2015 is offered at the staggeringly great deal of $379, includes transportation from Colorado Springs to and from Moab, Utah and all food, technical gear and instruction. You will need to provide your own basic backcountry gear such as a backpack, sleeping bag, small 2 man tent, hiking boots and comfortable outdoor clothing. That’s it! We make it really easy!

All you have to do is say “HELL Yeah and call today to register!”

10501666_10203335722092369_4317548289606412448_n

Call 719-632-5822 Front Range Climbing Co today to register! Remember, there are only 10 available spots on this trip offered at the blow out price of only $379 all-inclusive per person. I guarantee you because this is the coolest trip of a lifetime spots will fill up quickly and only the first 10 to register will get to attend!

As an added incentive if you register and pay in full before February 24, 2015 you get the discounted early bird price of $339! That’s a savings of $40!!!

If you register and pay in full before March 8, 2015 you get a discounted price of $359! That’s a savings of $20!

If you register and pay in full before March 8, 2015 you get a discounted price of $359! That’s a savings of $20!

DEADLINE to REGISTER MARCH 8, 2015!

What are you waiting for!!!!!! CALL Right now! 719-632-5822 and say these magic words “Hell Yea!”

Cancellation Policy:
Full refund available with no penalty prior to March 24. After March 24, 80% refund unless we can fill your spot.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Don’t Hold the Garlic My Dear

Good Friends Good Friends[/caption]

Fun on the River!

Fun on the River!

I use my bucketlist as an ongoing outline for things I just must do at some point in my life. People ask me all the time “What’s next on your list?” and thankfully, I never run out of crazy things that I want to do, especially because as I do one bucketlist item I usually discover another two that I want to do hat I never even knew existed! This keeps it simple and fun and I never run out of ideas!

Booking our adventures for our recent vacation, my friend Mike learned about a river float called Garlic Mike’s that came highly recommended by our outfitter Three Rivers. Intrigued, Mike asked more questions immediately. Upon learning it was a recreational river float down the Gunnison River led by a guide who does all the work, ending at Garlic Mike’s Restaurant for excellent Italian Fine Dining on the river, my friend Mike did the only intelligent thing. He signed us up! A new bucketlist adventure was born!

The day of the float we showed up at 3:15 pm and Three Rivers Outfitters followed us the 15 miles down the road to Garlic Mike’s where we left our vehicle and clean dry clothes. They shuttled us back to the Outfitter base where we met up with our EMT, college boy, river guide friend Nick and loaded our cooler of beverages into the all-familiar blue river raft.

This time however, Nick did all the work, we enjoyed the river scenery and good company and sipped on beverages for the next two and a half hours while we floated to Garlic Mikes Restaurant in grand style!

Nick made it look exceptionally easy as he smoothly worked the two extra long oars and smoothly spun river tales and maneuvered us downstream.

When he offered to let me give it a try after hearing about my passion for new adventures I jumped at the chance.

Assuming my post on the center bench I grabbed the oars and pulled, expecting a familiar tug based upon my experience a few days before white water rafting and stand up paddle boarding.

I was as surprised as everyone on the boat when a loud grunt escaped my mouth in a very unladylike fashion.

The two oars had barely moved. Both shoulders screamed in protest. We went nowhere fast.

Looking back over my shoulder at a grinning “Nick The River Guide”, he replied, “It’s hard isn’t it?”

“No kidding!” I came back at him.

“This is soooooo hard!” I complained as I pulled with all my might and maybe moved us an inch or two in the right direction.

Humbled by my 3 minute go as a river guide I let that career idea float away and readily returned the long oars to my able bodied friend Nick and conceded I was not ready for prime time yet!

Finally at Garlic Mike’s we settled in for a delicious meal and good company perusing the menu for our favorite Italian fare.

I realize Italians love garlic and the place was called Garlic Mike’s, but I was still surprised when Robin pointed out her favorite menu item had two asterisks beside it noting it had extra garlic in the ingredients.

After a little bit of marital maneuvering and skillful negotiating, dear friends Robin and Mike came to an agreement. Neither would hold the garlic and they’d just hope they cancelled each other out if the aftershocks were too overwhelming!

I chuckled but realized I was in the presence of true love and had just witnessed the skilled and careful marital maneuvering of a veteran couple.

I got to experience an unexpected adventure that I didn’t even have on my list or know existed, celebrated with friends, realized I couldn’t cut it as a river guide, even in my dreams, and watched as two friends loved each other enough to not hold the garlic!!

I think these two will make it to 50 years!

So my friend, I ask you “what’s next on your list?”

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Take the Plunge


If you are going to do it, then take the plunge and really do it-don’t hold anything back. “Go big or go home” as the saying goes.

This applies to almost every aspect of life, and it is much harder than it sounds, but it is worth repeating every now and then. Don’t do something halfway and then wonder why it didn’t work out. It doesn’t matter what the “It” is.

In the past 6 weeks life has left us with our heads spinning, but we have done some radical stuff around our house. We agreed to sell our house, sorted, purged, sold stuff, gave away stuff and then we boxed and moved/stored 25 years worth of family treasures. We dealt with the Colorado fires (which hit very close to home) and then I resigned my job so I could work full-time with my husband at our business. That’s an awful lot for just a few weeks, and we were appropriately exhausted!

I wrapped up my job, and then we headed on a week long vacation in Crested Butte with dear friends to celebrate our 25th wedding anniversaries. I have never needed a vacation as badly in my life!

I am now several days into my rejuvenating week long vacation, and I feel like a new woman! I am rested, relaxed, decompressed and properly chilled out! Even better, I have had the time to live out several bucketlist adventures!

The first adventure on the list for the week was to go white water rafting on the Taylor River in Colorado. We chose Three Rivers Outfitters to put our trust in and were very well taken care of and entertained!

When you white water raft in Colorado on a Class III, very technical river, you get assigned to a river guide, fitted with a dry suit (that was not very dry) equipped with a snug life vest, and then properly prepped with the “Safety Speech” where they terrify you with explicit details how to position yourself if you fall out of the boat, and how to rescue another rafter if they have the misfortune to fall out! Then you board the inflatable raft and go for it!

Our guide was a very friendly young man named Nick, who was a recent college grad, EMT, river guide and certified avalanche rescuer. I liked the fact hat we was so multi-talented and ready for any disaster-besides that he was fun!

Nick coached us how to paddle our oars together, taught us our commands: left 3, all 1, all back 3, right 2 and all 1, until the four of us fell into a rhythmic synchronized dance that would have impressed any Olympic team!

I guess 35 years of friendship and 25 years of marriage teaches you to work together well as a team! Anyway, Nick was impressed, and we proved to be an apt team of middle-aged rafters!

One of the biggest tricks to staying in the boat, I soon learned, was to wedge your toes under the seat in front of you as much as possible, so that if the raft took an unexpected jolt you could counterbalance yourself. I was terrified to get tossed from the boat and end up floating like an inflated blueberry Umpa Loompa (note the dry suit) so I wedged my toes in until I damn near hit my kneecaps! The first set of rapids tested my skill and I quickly learned to adjust to the unexpected and powerful flow of the river.

At this point, we rocked and rolled our way down the river with Nick at the helm, and the four of us providing the muscle power. It felt good to work together, and I learned we were good at anticipating each others’ moves, and we quickly learned to appreciate the combined power of our joined efforts.

White water rafting is all about learning to read the river anticipate its obstacles and go with the flow!

I quickly learned you couldn’t fight the power of the river. Instead, you have to learn to work with it. One person can’t row and guide the boat- it takes a team working together.

The huge rocks in the river were fascinating and intimidating also. We learned to read the river, from its smiley faces to its frowns. Smiles are good; frowns are bad; I liked the simplicity of that message.

Nick would direct us where to put our power in carefully coordinated and clear directions so that the raft worked with the river, not against it.

The rocks would divide the river forcing the rushing, frigid, snow runoff water to go around it, thus creating hazards, obstacles and dangerous pockets.

I was struck by the symbolism of this lesson. A river is much more powerful it its energy is not diverted, but instead channeled in one clear direction. It makes navigating much easier and your results are more powerful. The odds are much better you won’t crash and burn or end up going where you don’t want to go.

As I rafted down this gorgeous river I realized the potential strength in our recent decision to join professional efforts to work together to grow our business as a team. Alone we were vulnerable, divided and forced to navigate the dangerous waters of business separately, but together we would be undeterred, our efforts doubled by the combined power and singular goal. It was a leap of faith, but I knew there on the river we’d make the right decision for us.

As we paused mid-river for a break, Nick encouraged us to take “the plunge”; we decided to go for it as a team. Each of us stood on a rock in the middle of the river, guided by Nick, we leaned back into the unknown and took the plunge into the icy, powerful waters. It took out breath away as we hit the 58 degree water, but as we rose to the surface we were rewarded by the knowledge we had overcome our fears and we’d worked together to achieve our dreams.


Don’t be afraid to take your own plunge!

So my friend I ask you “what’s next on your list?”

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Fear Not Your Next Step Dear Tate Marie

Fear not your next step, fear not the unknown, do not look back and do not question your dreams.

It is time for you to fly and you are ready. I know this.

When the time comes, take a deep breath, close your eyes for a second and picture all the people you love wrapping you in a blanket of love. Smile. Open your eyes and only look forward. Now open your beautiful wings and take a chance—fly.

Rest assured you will not fall, for you are ready. Rest assured you will not circle back, because the world is waiting for you, and quite frankly the world needs you. Fly forward knowing you have family and friends in your heart and beneath your wings.

Dedicating your life to the Peace Corp and eventually becoming a health care professional who helps children is you who you’ve wanted to be for a long time. It is who you are.

You are ready and you will be great. Will it be easy? Absolutely not. Will you question your choices-most of us do. Will you miss your old life-sure. But when it gets hard ask yourself-has the past always been easy? Would you have done it differently? I dare say no.

What you learn as you get older is that self-confidence comes from within. It comes from being loved and nurtured. It comes from knowing that you are special and that God has a plan for you.

Grace comes from understanding life isn’t a Fairy Tale or a Hollywood movie. Sometimes we know exactly what the next step in our life should be and sometimes we only have faith.

I think you have learned that if you stay true to your heart and if you have faith things will work out. I believe this is God’s Grace at work.

This kind of Faith takes away fear. You do not have to know right now exactly what the next two years are going to be like. You do not have to know right now what lesson you are going to learn by choosing to dedicate yourself to the Peace Corp. You don’t have to know all the answers today. The journey will unfold; your life will change, all according to God’s Plan. You just have to have the courage to start this new journey. That’s all you have to do.

As a mom, and I do think of you as one of my own angels, we spend a lot of time nurturing and preparing our angels for life. Actually letting them go is not something we prepare very well for, especially me. I am much better at hanging on than letting go.

I had my own anxieties about your Peace Corp dream, while I admired your spirit, the big world seemed far too dangerous to any angel of mine. But I confess, I’ve had a complete change of heart. You planned it all out-but it didn’t go according to your plan. That’s how life works. But you didn’t give up. You had Faith. I believe God has brought you to this point in time, to this Peace Corp assignment, to this country, for a very special reason.

As a mom, I know that as much as I would like to hold on, you were meant for great things and you are ready.

The greatest gift your family and friends can give you is your freedom and encouragement to fly. We are all in your heart and you are in ours, so the miles don’t matter.

So go have an adventure of a lifetime. Go share your light on the world, go share your love with the lucky children of Africa. You are ready and we will be here cheering you on with love and pride in our hearts.

May God bless you and keep you safe on your journey my angel.

Love,
Jackie

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

No Mental, No Dental!

Last weekend my sister came for a visit and as we sat drinking coffee early one morning on my deck she innocently mentioned that she had recently just discovered her new health insurance lacked Mental health coverage and Dental coverage, I about spit out my coffee, as the realization hit me full force. This was a problem, no mental, no dental; this would not do, not at all.

Deciding to take matters into my own hands, I immediately mentally adjusted our weekend schedule. If she had no mental, then I would have to provide a little mental adjustment for her of my own. If she lacked dental, I would have to take that into consideration also. Not good.

I immediately started planning; we had much to do and very little time to do it in!

I whipped out my iphone and with a few keystrokes had us scheduled for a little giggle fest-a pole dancing class on Friday night. Then I checked the weather and blocked out all day Saturday for a much needed mountain drive through Estes Park to do some fall leaf peeping, followed by a Sunday adrenaline rush with a little ziplining adventure at Royal Gorge.

Estes Park is a truly amazing place, especially in late September, for some reason the animals that reside in the park are much more visible in the late fall, not to mention the way the crisp mountain air bites at your cheeks and golden hews of the Aspen’s dance on the hillside in their full fall glory.


Vicki did not remember visiting the park when we were young kids so each twist and turn of the road was a happy surprise for her. The view of Trail Ride Road slowly winding its way up the mountain to the Continental Divide provided her with amazing vista’s of rugged mountain ranges, field after field of fiery red and golden yellow leaves dancing in the wind and wild mountain lakes tucked into the sides of massive mountains in the distance as far as the eye could see.

There is something about a fall drive in the Rockies that helps clear your mind, replenish your batteries and fill your lungs with enough fresh crisp air to last all winter long.

We managed to see Elk munching in the yards and ditches of the town of Estes Park, as comfortable with the tourists as the snow on the mountains. We caught a glimpse of a large male Moose grazing just behind the tree line and we saw the most amazing mountain vista’s that grew more impressive with each curve of the highway.

Along the way we sang to vintage classic rock and enjoyed the ride with her windows down in her very cool red Jeep. We sang along with Bob Segar and Bon Jovi. We talked about our dreams, our fears and our struggles. We laughed and ate sandwiches and sipped our Diet Cokes and we concentrated on the simple joy of breathing in the fresh woodsy smells of the mountains. That was all we had to do. No problems to solve, no fears to overcome, no deep revelations to discover. We just drove around a beautiful mountain park in the height of a gorgeous September fall day with the windows down and the music up in her cool red Jeep. Life was so simple. Life was good. We are blessed to have each other as sisters and friends.

By the end of the day, our mental therapy needs had been met and our energy levels were restored. The mental part was taken care of.

Now for the dental, I think I will send her the pictures of our glorious September Rocky Mountain drive with a package of floss and let her figure the rest out for herself.

So my friend, I ask you “what’s next on your list?”

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter