A Travellerspoint blog

August 2011

One week.

Europe here I come!

overcast 65 °F

There are really only a few things on my mind as I write this, so here we go.

Yesterday, I was honored in Salida by the Sheriff's department with an Award of Distinguished Service. After months of being in the press, newspapers, telling the story of how I saved a man's life while hiking to friends, and receiving more attention than I'm used to in general, I was able to accept the award yesterday. I was interviewed after the ceremony by a very nice gentleman from the Mountain Mail, which was cool. I was in their paper the week everything happened, and it looks like I'll be in the paper again. I hoped that they published papers on Sundays, but they don't so I'll be looking for something in the next couple days online I guess. The Sheriff's office put me up in a hotel for the night too, which was very nice. Not the nicest hotel in town, but plenty nice and the gesture was very much appreciated. I was also lucky enough to have my best friend Zach and my family there as well, which was amazing. I was very happy to have all of them there, and for them to be able to meet the people who were part of the story that day I was out hiking. For pictures of the ceremony, visit my Facebook album: http://t.co/tjQl4eI

The other major things on my mind: France and the new girlfriend. It's been a while since I've been in a serious relationship with someone, so it's both exciting and nerve-wracking at the same time I guess. I can't remember if this is what it always feels like when starting out with something new, but either way we're both excited to give it a try. I'm a little nervous given that I leave for Europe in 7 days, fresh into a new relationship, but we've both agreed to give it our best and set it aside for later if it doesn't work out right away. I'm pretty excited and hoping for the best. That said, I leave for study abroad in 7 days. I'm terrified, excited, nervous, anxious, and so on. I feel like I'm walking off a cliff into the unknown on my own on this one because I'm the only DU student headed to Dijon this fall, so it's scary, but exciting. I realized the other night that I thought the train from Charles de Gaulle Airport went to Dijon, but was wrong, so now I'm scrambling last minute to sort out how to get from Paris to Dijon when I arrive. I am very much looking forward to my studio when I arrive, and am pretty excited to have my own space and live on my own for a bit. I also can't wait to travel. The overnight train from Dijon to Milan looks pretty tempting for an every weekend trip, but we'll have to see. There are too many places to visit and explore across Europe, so we'll just have to see where I end up. Either way, I'm planning to take and post lots of pictures here, so stay tuned! I'm definitely going to miss these mountains of Colorado, but the travels ahead promise to be equally amazing. So until then, here's a picture of a sunset over Mt. Shavano from the town of Salida taken last night. IMG_1491.jpg

Posted by la vita bella 16:29 Archived in USA Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises mountains snow france ski mtn dijon vista buena vail 14ers shavano buena_vista scouting Comments (0)

Transitions.

Some chapters are ending as others are just beginning...

overcast 55 °F

What a roller coaster ride my life can be sometimes. The last couple weeks have been crazy, and the next few promise to be just as crazy. Last week was awesome. I think at the end of the week I felt like a true mountain man, and living the mountain lifestyle has become the greatest thing in my life. I lifted weights a couple days, spent two days biking 20+ miles all over Vail, climbed Vail Mountain in record time, and went rafting down the Arkansas River in Buena Vista under a full moon. Full moon rafting was a bit of an adventure, after all rafting class IV rapids under the moon is a bit challenging, and I got thrown out of the boat once, but it was an absolute blast. Truly, a once in a lifetime experience. The unfortunate news is that my knee is still not healed and the future of it is unknown, pending a doctor's visit at some point, so it looks like I'm done hiking for the summer. This is my last week of biking for the summer as well, and I'm hoping to make the most of that. Vail continues to have me in the best shape of my life, and I think that alone is worth coming back here for in the future, someday.

France. Wow. As I write this, I'm 13 days from departure. It still feels like it'll never actually happen because it's such a big deal and so many words describe it. Nervous. Terrified. Excited. Anxious. That's just the surface. Hopefully I can embrace it enough to make the most of it. I'm most looking forward to growing more as a person during my stay there, the adventures I'll have, people I'll meet, and what I'll be able to take away from it. You'll definitely want to stay tuned here once I get over there for pictures, panoramas, 360 views, and blogs on all of my adventures. I can't wait, and I can't believe it's finally actually here.

And as I continue to be surprised and flattered by this, it looks like I may end up in yet another publication somewhere for my lifesaving story. My university, Denver, has already spoken to me, and now it appears my high school out here in Colorado is interested as well. It's so flattering to me, and more attention than I ever expected to receive for what I did. Lucky guy in the right place at the right time I guess. This weekend on Saturday I'll be receiving my Award of Distinguished Service from the Chaffee County Sheriff's Department at their banquet, which I'm looking forward to. I'll finally get to meet the gentleman's wife who I saved, and the other guy's wife as well who was there that day. My best friend Zach will be there as will my family to spend some time together and spend the night in Salida. It should be a great day all around, and I'm really excited for all of it.

And as I said, as some chapters are ending while others are beginning. This summer's time in Vail is coming to a close much too quickly, while my time abroad is about to begin. Call me crazy, but I'll be leaving for France while in a brand new relationship, which will make things even more interesting, but we're both excited for the future and giving this a try. I'll leave it there for now, with this beautiful picture of the double rainbow I caught over Vail tonight. Until next time... Double Rainbow over Vail tonight, 8/22/11

Double Rainbow over Vail tonight, 8/22/11

Posted by la vita bella 19:00 Archived in USA Tagged mountains hiking france village hike bike mtn dijon lionshead vista buena vail prepared buena_vista antero rmvr Comments (0)

Summer

Closing doors and Opening new ones.

sunny 65 °F

Wow has this summer flown by fast. Too fast, if I could have my way. The month of July went by much too fast, with no 14ers climbed either due to my knee still having problems. This last week I was able to get out and hike up the front of Vail to the top of the gondola from Lionshead and had no pain, so next weekend I'm hoping to get out and do two awesome hikes. Saturday, I plan to either hike another 14er (no idea where or which one), or if my buddy Geoff can work it out, we'll go climb Parry Peak off of Berthoud pass. Parry Peak is known to many as "the bear paw" as seen from Winter Park and Mary Jane in winter, and is above 13,000ft. On Sunday, I'm hoping to climb Gray's and Torrey's peaks with my dad (and hopefully my mom) as part of our annual 14er tradition. We're still deciding which route to take, but it should be a good time as hiking 14ers always is. I'm excited to be able to get back out again and back into my natural habitat where I feel most at home. My heart will always be in the mountains, and it's where I find my truest self.

Looking ahead at the month of August, there is both fortunately and unfortunately so much going on and so little time left here. Next weekend will be filled with hiking with friends and family. The weekend after that, an old friend of mine who I haven't seen in years is going to be in town for a few days. The weekend after that will be filled with another day of hiking and the award ceremony where I'm being honored with an Award for Distinguished Service for when I saved that man's life in June. That day and moment still makes me speechless. And then, a week later, it's off to France for a semester abroad (4 months). It's amazing how fast this summer has gone by, and how precious little time I have left here before leaving the country. I am hoping to make the most of the time I have left here, and spend my time with those who matter most to me to create lifelong memories.

That being said, France awaits and is finally taking some shape. The classes are set, approvals are ready, place ticket is ready, housing is secured for at least my arrival, the visa process is finally done, and I have a 3 months all access rail pass for travel when I arrive. All that awaits now is the packing and last minute details. I only have 2 days to pack and prepare for a 4 month journey, but I can hardly wait to get back to Denver and begin packing, despite how much I love living up here in Vail. It's a pretty daunting experience on the horizon really, trying to prepare for everything. I'm nervous, excited, scared, and probably more prepared than I realize to take this thing on. I can't wait to get over there now, and I'll be sure to post lots of pictures on here and facebook when I arrive. If anyone has any study abroad tips, feel free to share, as I'm sure you can never have too many of those before you leave. All said, Dijon awaits four weeks from today! Let's get this show on the road.

Posted by la vita bella 16:14 Archived in USA Comments (0)

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