A Travellerspoint blog

Inspired Again.

50 °F

Today was my first "official" day with RMVR, meaning I got your typical training today at work. Policies, procedures, meet with different people, etc. Not a bad introduction, although after a few days of work last week and the "retreat" this past weekend I already knew a lot. So far, everything is working out pretty well. All of the interns in the house are really chill people and everyone gets along really well so far, and the same goes for all of the other people at the office. My only real complaint thus far is the use of weed. I knew and expected it to show up more so up here than in Denver, but I hate being around it, and the amount of people at work/in the company who use it is more than I'd like, so I've just had to become really creative at getting around it when it's in use. This past weekend we took a retreat as a company to Breckenridge and stayed in some 7,000 square foot mansion (here: http://www.luxuryrealestate.com/vacation_rentals/24853-chateau-at-trappers-glen-breckenridge-colorado) for free and basically threw a huge party. Everyone was drunk, stoned, etc, except me probably, although I did have more to drink than I ever have (still never been drunk). Needless to say it was a good time, a good way to meet everyone in some way or another, and a great way to kick off my internship. I still can't get over the concept of weekends free after sacrificing my weekends for JFN for so long. It feels unbelievably great to be free of that headache.

With that, I have this weekend free, and... am planning to go hike some more 14ers. Antero and Princeton both look like good bets and the weather looks good also. Right now, I have one friend I'm waiting to hear back from, otherwise I'm planning to probably go solo again, despite my experience last time. This time I'll bring the weight of extra batteries and these two peaks have less vertical gain and seem to be easier to follow as far as trail/ridges go. Also, being two weeks later, more snow should have melted with none new fallen, making route finding easier. But, that aside, I'm hoping my friend is able to come and I won't have to worry about any of this, but I'm planning either way to leave from work Friday and head down to Buena Vista with my eyes on the prize. Wish me luck!

The last two things I want to write about are two epiphanies I feel like I've had in the last week that need to be shared.

The first of these being that I always thought it would be good, but living and working in the mountains is probably one of the greatest things I've ever been blessed to have in my life. I really do have an endless playground in my backyard every day, and hiking or biking are always an option for after work. Last week the company played a round of golf at Vail Golf Club for free after a half day at work. We're going rafting in a few weeks as well as biking (down) Vail pass into the Vail Valley and back to the office. It's awesome to finally work for a company that truly understands a great work/life/play balance and encourages that in everything you do. I never want to work in a city again after being up here and hopefully, if all goes well this summer, I'll be back post graduation for more, and with the company being ranked in the top 500 (I think, or 5000) fastest growing companies in the US this year, there's promise in the future too.

The second thing I'd like to share, going off of that, is the conversation I had with my dad the other night. He is still unhappy that I'm at an unpaid internship, although they are paying for my lodging for the summer. To this point I have just mentioned how it's in Vail, it'll be a lot of fun, the owner personally hired me, etc. But this week I came across an old Emerson quote that put everything into perspective: "I find, where I thought myself poor, there I was most rich." It's really been true for me thus far up here in Vail. You take a job for no pay or little to no pay since I've found out my boss doesn't make much either, but you get to live in one of the most beautiful places on earth. The views, activities, and opportunities are endless here. Emerson has once again inspired me and allowed me to find myself again. Thank you all for reading, and stayed tuned for a report Sunday night of the weekend ahead!

Posted by la vita bella 20:25 Tagged vail princeton antero emerson rmvr Comments (0)

Settling In

Lionshead, Beaver Creek, France, and all around exploring.

sunny 65 °F

The last few days have been a roller coaster ride to say the least. Due to the hiking issues, I was back in Vail over the weekend. I got to spend both days hanging out like a local at the Teva Mountain Games, which was beyond cool. So much free schwag, cool gear, cute dogs, cute girls, and just an all around awesome time. This was also a great opportunity for me to get to know some of the other people in the house. So, I spent both Friday night and Saturday night going out to bars and clubs with the new coworkers, my roomate, and his friends from Boulder. Needless to say, definitely not my scene, but, a great way to get to know the coworkers and make friends, and with a few different safe options, I figured I'd be good for going out drinking. First thing I learned on Friday night: 3 drinks in, I was tipsy. Wow does altitude hit you fast up here. Granted, I don't drink much as it is and have no tolerance, but still. Remember that. Friday night was pretty tame all things considered.

Saturday night was an adventure, and ended up with my roomate's crazy female friend all over me all night who I was definitely not into. Things got awkward pretty quickly, but me being the person I've always been meant the night ended with me by myself. She had a boyfriend and smoked, and made it sound like things would be totally fine if we hooked up. Sorry, wrong answer. Being the DD that night was also totally me, but made that situation a whole lot less fun. So in the future, I'm going to have to lay some ground rules or make the things I do and do not stand for a whole lot more clear.

By this point, my boss and I had decided that Wednesday would be my start day, so I spent Monday lounging around Lionshead and exploring. Really dead over there right now, but really cool to feel like a local in such a touristy place. Tuesday I lounged around Beaver Creek doing the same thing, just checking out shops and restaurants and talking to locals, and actually scored a free lunch in the Beaver Creek Village at the Flying Pig. Best BBQ I''ve had in quite some time, so if you're up here sometime, check it out, it's well worth it. I spent the rest of those two days wrapping up the whole CampusFrance process, leaving the Visa in LA and housing the only things left on my to do list for study abroad. Housing with them has been a mess but I've been told I'm supposed to hear in a few days from a contact at the school over there.

Today was my first "day" at work, and by that I mean I was told to come in late, allowed to leave early, and all tasks today were busy work. As expected, they hired me on as an intern with no actual designated focus for me, so I'll have my hand in a little bit of everything, and I couldn't be more excited! It looks like tomorrow I'll be working with the head concierge guy since he's taking a two week vacation to Ireland in a couple weeks and I'll be running that position while he's gone. Super excited for everything, and everyone at the office is super cool, laid back, and it looks like an awesome summer ahead. Stay tuned for more adventures!

Posted by la vita bella 17:47 Archived in USA Tagged france village creek mtn games lionshead boulder teva beaver vail Comments (0)

Solo No More

sunny 60 °F

I know I just wrote an entry the other night, but I wanted to write again because of the events that transpired yesterday. First, I am all moved in up here in beautiful Eagle Vail Colorado. I am biking distance from Beaver Creek and this area is just beyond gorgeous. Wow. I'm heading out today to explore the villages of Vail and the Teva Mountain Games and perhaps try a new restaurant or two, and after a few more weeks like this hopefully I'll soon feel like a local here in Vail. PS, I'm learning that there are discounts for "locals" all over the place up here, especially in Avon. Definitely good to know!

Now, for yesterday. I won't post any pictures here because I think most of you awesome subscribers are friends on facebook as well and can see them all there. Yesterday was the first, and probably last for at least a while, time that I attempted a 14er solo. I thought with my level of experience I'd be ok going solo. I know when to bail, weather, rules of early starts, and so on, and I now have a PLB in the event of something catastrophic. I got up and was on the trail by 4am to try to get out early and make good time, and I knew doing two in a day I would need the time. I reached the base of the Angel of Shavano at 6:15am, climbed the snowfield (with no crampons or microspikes, I was proud), and summitted Shavano at 8:45 including breaks along the way. So, trailhead to summit was about 4 hours of solid hiking. I was feeling great. Took the necessary pictures, enjoyed the views, refueled and rehydrated, and pushed on for Tabaguache. I made it to the summit of Tab in just over an hour, which I was again pleased with given the snowfield I went up and the time I was making. It was barely ten, so now all I had to do was re-summit Shav and head back down. Easy, right?

I glisaded back down to the saddle and I gained the summit again up Shav, and decided to take the summer trail down because I figured it would be faster, easier to follow, and somebody on 14ers.com claimed it was ready for summer. False, false, false. Somewhere around 12,500ft or so, it turns into a mush of snow, sinking to your waist regularly. At this point, I lost total track of where the summer trail was, but not to worry, I went down the gully to the base of the Angel of Shavano with the intent to follow that out. The trail out of there is hard to follow and at times there are many, and so I continued down hoping I'd find my trail from the morning. No luck. Eventually, about 1pm, I realized I was definitely lost. Out came the GPS. Stay calm. I marked the location of the car that morning knowing if something happened I'd still make it out ok. But, my GPS batteries were fading fast, and it doesn't pick up signal well in dense trees. No matter, it must work at this point.

Sure enough, I'm 1.5 miles away from my car. I set it to go to car, and away I go, bushwacking through everything in my path. I get .9 miles form the car, and the GPS batteries die. Dear lord, no, I refuse. I get it to come back on again for another bit or so, reach .5 miles from the car, and it dies again. At this point I have a much better sense of where the trail is in relation to me, but still I try to turn it on again. Luckily, it works, and at .2 miles I reach a dirt road that goes to overnight camping sites and overflow trailhead parking. I'm almost there. Batteries die again, so I head down the road in the direction that makes sense, turn the GPS back on again, and find my way back to the car. Exhausted, beaten up from bushwacking through everything to get out in one piece, my rain paints now have two solid rips in them from bushwacking, I twisted my ankle three times, and a few scrapes and bruises, but at least I know I can head home now. There is no way I was hiking the next day as originally planned, and I made my way back here to Vail. I learned a lot about myself and composure yesterday when some people would have panicked feeling lost, helpless, and alone. So now, back in sunny Vail, I am heading out over the next few days to check out the Teva Mountain Games and maybe get some skiing in.

Some people say you never learn not to play with fire until you get burned, and I guess you could say I learned my lesson.

Posted by la vita bella 09:48 Archived in USA Tagged france vista sherman massive buena vail shavano tabaguache princeton antero elbert fairplay Comments (1)

It's Time!

sunny 80 °F

Well, it's that time. For months I've been telling all my friends that I'm moving to Vail for the summer for an internship. That day is tomorrow. It's amazing how time flies, and I couldn't be more excited! I finished finals this morning, packed up, moved out, and am now at home with family for a few hours before hitting the road for Vail in morning. And get this, the house all the interns are staying in is located right on the Eagle Vail Golf Course, just down the street from Beaver Creek, Avon, and West Vail. Hard to beat if you ask me. Can't wait to actually see this place tomorrow, even if only for a bit before I leave for hiking. And my roomate situation got changed slightly so I am no longer rooming with the gay guy from Boulder. (I have nothing against gays, but that could get interesting to say the least knowing nothing about the guy going in.)

HIKING!!! I could not have asked for a better weather forecast. Sunny, highs of 75 every day, and only two days with a 30% chance of rain out of five days total, meaning an early start should beat that rain. That said, I'll be heading to Buena Vista tomorrow afternoon following moving in in Vail. Below is my agenda and goal for those wondering, curious, and perhaps worried about my safety. All friends I have invited on this trip have had to bail or not gotten back to me, so it'll be a solo trip all the way. Pray for safety, adventure, and some of the best moments of my life, after all, sometimes you just have to live life on the edge to keep things interesting and continue to learn and grow, and who knows where you'll end up?

6/3: Angel of Shavano and Tabaguache.
6/4: Princeton
6/5: Antero
6/6: Yale
6/7: Who knows. Sherman maybe? Oxford and Belford? Elbert? La Plata? R&R day? A Basin? We'll see. Princeton Hot Springs for the night for sure.

What happens on day 5 will be dictated by weather, melting snow conditions, fatigue, and what peaks look like form other summits. We'll see. Regardless, I'm excited! And hopefully, my mom isn't too upset when I get back and she finds out I did all this solo, because I just told her I'm still doing it all with Zach. Oops...

France? Still no room confirmation, no class confirmation although I'm sure I've registered, still working on that damned visa. Still work to be done.

That's it for now. Next post will hopefully have lots of pictures or links to pictures from this hiking trip and the beautiful Sawatch Range 14ers of Colorado!

Posted by la vita bella 20:29 Archived in USA Tagged france vista sherman massive buena vail shavano tabaguache princeton antero elbert fairplay Comments (1)

Plans, Refined.

sunny 75 °F

It's official. Less than one week until I move to beautiful, snowy but sunny, Vail, Colorado. Such a surreal feeling to be honest, and it still hasn't hit me yet how lucky I am to be living up there for free for 3 months. I don't think it'll actually hit me until I get into town up there and realize it's really real. And guess what? Of course I've already started packing for Vail. This morning was my last shift at work indefinitely, and it was a great one. I'm excited to have no more 4:30am shifts for a while, although my boss guaranteed me a job at the same position with a raise through graduation if I want it, which means I may do it again after Europe.

Work this morning was actually really awesome. Some of the morning customers who I've befriended over the last 2 years as a 4:30 guy brought me all kinds of gifts and gift cards. Really cool, and one of them is actually retiring from the Denver public education school board this year and moving to...Vail! Hoping to see her around. Got many handshakes from friends, other supervisors, bosses, etc this morning as well which felt really cool to know that they appreciate me as much as I appreciate everything I've learned from them over these two years. One person even offered me a place he owns to rent out next year if I'm interested, and I'm pretty sure he's a Venture Capitalist, aka a really good guy to know. One of my fellow supervisors and other people who frequent Vail in summer gave me a great list of places, trails, and areas to check out also, and I took copious notes. So if you're ever up in the area over the summer, let's get together and explore together! Looks like a great time ahead.

France update: still no confirmed studio, but my study abroad advisor is now helping me with my situation. Good thing because my landlord speaks no English and it's all I can do to get a lease set up and she needs to give me a studio soon or I want my 3 grand in US Dollars back. I registered for French classes this week also, and couldn't be more excited. Intl Management, Intl Marketing, Intl Finance, and Intl Law, plus two French classes all while over there. Hard to beat that.

Hike update: Weather forecast for Buena Vista and surrounding area (Fairplay) looks absolutely fantastic. Hopefully, it stays that way and no Seattle weather returns... I am still planning to hike 14ers all 5 days in a row, and now it looks like my good friend Zach may be able to make it down for a few days as well as my good friend Tyler. Hopefully both can, I love and miss both of them dearly. Right now for peaks in the running for those days: Shavano and Tabaguache (same day), Princeton, Antero, and Yale all look really good. Elbert, Massive, and Sherman are all kind of under consideration and look good too. And to top off my trip, I'm planning to spend the last night in the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs by myself soaking, relaxing, and taking some time for myself without any exterior distractions even if just for a day and a night. Then, it'll be back to Vail to start "work", if you can really call it that. Here's a link to the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs as well: (http://www.mtprinceton.com/) That's it for now, thanks for reading!

PS. Cool moment of my day? Customer/friend at work this morning told me she always remembers who I am because of my family ring I wear. Such a cool moment.

Posted by la vita bella 14:03 Archived in USA Tagged france vista sherman massive buena vail shavano tabaguache princeton antero elbert fairplay Comments (0)

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