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Man am I behind...

...but there are big things ahead!

65 °F

I've been meaning to write a blog for the last couple days and haven't really gotten around to it because I've been so busy, so here's a new one with some updates on the life of Scott...

Let's start with work I guess. The whole concierge thing went really well, but I've kind of disconnected from that and moved on to other things. Still doing data entry here and there, but trying to move away from that...because it's boring. It's really important to the growth of the company, and I understand that, but it needs to be shared, not beared by one person. The two things I've been spending the bulk of my time on at work now have been an international tour operator project for Tommy, our CEO, which is focused around the new magazine we're putting out next month, and rebuilding the social media outlets for this company. My hope is to wrap up this tour operator project quickly and move on to social media full time, but we'll see what happens. Nothing in this company is predictable anymore. So far, two weeks into social media, the google analytics and facebook insights results look really awesome, and I'm hoping to keep that up. If you haven't checked things out yet, visit our twitter @lodgingdeals and go like our facebook page Rocky Mountain Vacation Rentals and let me know what you think. What I can do better with, what needs more/less attention, etc. All feedback is welcome and valued!

France Update!
Things are taking shape and settling down, finally. I have a Visa appointment in less than two weeks, which is really the final step. Everything else is lined up, flight, studio, classes, etc. I bought an all access train pass for my entire trip this weekend too! Can't wait to put that thing to good use. Departure is less than seven weeks away, so close yet so far. Some days I can't believe it's really happening. It's going to be one hell of an awesome, terrifying, and life changing event, no question. Can't wait!

I took last weekend off from hiking in the hopes that I'll be able to hike this weekend. It was nice to be able to go home, help celebrate my birthday with my mom, play some drums (and probably annoy everyone in the house) and make some videos for my best friend Zach, and just relax. The game plan is hopefully to try something easy. I haven't put too much thought into what I want to climb this weekend, but I'm think Huron might be a good option. Barely a 14er (shortest in CO) and barely 6.5 miles round trip should be a nice test for my knee, and then I can decide if I want to hike the next day or not. If I can't hike I may just go crazy at this point since I'm so close to all these peaks that are just begging to be climbed! My goal is still to be able to hike some Elk 14ers by Aspen in August and push my limits, but time will tell where I end up next. Stay tuned for what's next, and make sure you guys continue to follow this (those of you who still do...?) while I'm studying abroad as I'm sure I'll be writing more, more interesting adventures, and things from the other side of the world!

That's it for now, short and sweet!

Posted by la vita bella 18:46 Archived in USA Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises mountains hiking france aspen ski bells dijon vista massive buena vail 14ers tabaguache princeton buena_vista maroon elbert fairplay rmvr scouting elks acl Comments (0)

Playing Catch Up

60 °F

I realized today that it's been a while since I've written with everything going on, so I figured I'd try to write before I leave town and technology for the weekend.

Life up here in Vail has been going really well. It's such an awesome place to live, work, play, and simply reside. I'm so much happier up here than was was months ago. The freedom to live and pursue my dreams without things holding you down is amazing, and I finally feel I have that freedom to make this life everything I want it to be and more. It's a powerful and awesome feeling. Work has been going really well up here too, and I think (it's kind of implied) I may have earned a job offer up here again in a year when I graduate. Nothing is written in black and white, but I think it's there and I couldn't be more excited about it. I'm thoroughly enjoying the concierge work thus far and the perks that come with it and hope the rest of this summer is just as much fun here.

Study abroad is rapidly approaching. As I am writing this I'm officially 59 days out from departure. All that remains is getting that Visa in LA and my train ticket from Paris to Dijon. Housing, classes, flight, Campus France, are all completed. I'm having way too much fun living and playing up here in Vail to realize how soon that is, but the excitement is starting to build. Having never been to Europe before and about to spend 4 months there by myself, it's a pretty terrified excited feeling, but I'm ready. It will put me one step closer to that goal that I set for myself at the beginning of college and the end in sight.

Last weekend I was unable to hike due to a torn (we think) ligament in my right knee, but I still went down to Buena Vista with my good friend and drove up part of the mountain where I saved the man's life. He has a lifted truck so I thought we'd see how far up we could get, and ended up at 12,200 feet. My car couldn't go any further at 10,600 for reference. It was a fun little drive, and we cruised around Colorado on US24 the rest of the day as I pointed out all the cool history and things there are to see. We enjoyed lunch in Leadville at a small little Italian place that is now on my list of favorite lunch spots. Definitely worth the stop if passing through.

I spent the next two days in Denver, briefly, with my family, grandparents, and aunt in town. It was my grandmother's birthday as well, so it was great to be able to be down there and celebrate it with her and see the family for a bit, even if brief. I got a lot of business wrapped up while down there and settled some things with my parents too since it had been a month since home. After things were done I headed back to Vail, thankful to be heading westbound on I70 on Monday and not eastbound, that traffic looked brutal. I've never been in or seen traffic so bad in my life on that highway.

The man whose life I saved called me last week and I spoke with him briefly. Good to hear from him, and I'm glad to know he's going to be making a full recovery. He told me he still has some nightmares of drowning from the accident and can only go for 60 minute walks (this was last week Wednesday) since is oxygen levels are still too low. I haven't spoken to him since, but it's great to know he'll recover fully.

This weekend I am planning to hike some more 14ers, hopefully without a hitch this time. Every time I've gone out this summer something has happened, for better or for worse, so hopefully this weekend will be better. My knee feels recovered, and I was able to bike on it the last two days without pain. I'll be hopefully climbing Mt. Yale Saturday and Elbert Sunday, possibly for Sunday sunrise from Colorado's highest point. If anything changes, I'll probably be meeting up with Zach for some food and catch up since he's in town for the weekend. Either way, it looks like a fun weekend ahead. Stay tuned till next time!

Here's something cool to look at until then, these are the kind of stories and people that inspire me to do what I do, and remind me that anything is possible even when you think it might not be: http://www.14ers.com/php14ers/tripreport.php?trip=10266

Posted by la vita bella 19:50 Tagged mountains snow hiking france aspen ski bells hike eagle mtn dijon vista buena scout vail 14ers shavano princeton buena_vista maroon antero elbert Comments (0)

Life Continues.

The Fallout.

First blog since the last one which recounted the story of how I saved a man's life. It's been a pretty crazy week since then, with updates on almost everything, so I'm going to try to cover all of those and keep it short and sweet. Here goes...

Life Saved
There's been a lot of activity this last week surrounding that story. It's been more attention than I ever wanted or expected, but I guess you could say it's deserved. I didn't think much of it besides being lucky to be in the right place at the right time, but the people at the office went nuts. As a result, I made the cover of the Salida newspaper Tuesday morning (http://themountainmail.com/ftp/frontpage.jpg), and have two copies of that to keep for myself and family. I got a full page spread on the back of the front page of the Vail Daily newspaper yesterday morning also, and have copious copies of that one thanks to my friends at the office. I also received a call this week from the Sheriff in Chaffee County and they're going to honor me at their annual banquet in August with an Award for Distinguished Service for my actions. Pretty cool all in all, but definitely more recognition than I ever expected to get. The man who I rescued is doing well last I checked as well and resting at his home in Nathrop, right off the road to the Mt. Antero and Mt. Princeton trailheads. I'm flattered and honored to receive all this press and attention, but it's definitely a story for the ages and one to learn from. I've also earned the nickname "hero" from pretty much everyone at work and the other people at the intern house, which is cool, but I hope it doesn't stick. I'm too humble for a nickname like that.

The internship has been going really well so far. I did some work this week on international marketing research for the company, which was really interesting and finally a project that coincides with my major. I've also done a lot of work with data entry regarding Vail Resorts for the upcoming winter, which is boring but cool to know you're working for a super small company already partnered with such a giant gorilla in the business. Also, starting this week, I'm taking over concierge services for the company while our concierge guy is out of the country for the next 2.5 weeks. This should be fun because I enjoy the customer service side of things, and learned a lot from working at the Ritchie Center. I'm nervous being so new to the company and taking this on, but I'm sure I'll learn a lot. This may consume weekends for that time period too, not quite sure yet, but we'll see. We spent an afternoon at Camp Hale this week this week for Local's Day with NOVA Guides and got to ride ATVs and Jeep Tours for free. Play time is awesome at this company. I went to a breakfast networking event at the Cordillera Lodge (http://www.cordilleralodge.com/) this week also, aka where the Kobe Bryant scandal went down, and won a two free nights stay up there. Gorgeous place, and I'm not sure when or what I'll be using those two nights for, but either way it'll be a good time and it's cool to have won those. Those business card drawings really do work sometimes!

CampusFrance has finally received my payment, and once I get the confirmation from them on other stuff, the Visa process will begin. For now, I'm making a tentative Visa appointment in LA for the first Monday in August. The housing ordeal is almost complete. They have confirmed a studio for me, which is remarkable considering they wouldn't for a while, and now I'm just waiting for them to confirm the money I sent over there. The way I see it, they wouldn't confirm my studio if they didn't have my money, but regardless I have to wait for that confirmation. Then I can be reimbursed that money and the study abroad predeparture reqs will be almost completely wrapped up.

I'm still aggressively pursuing 14ers, and climbed my 21st yesterday on Mt. Princeton. Beautiful view from the summit at 7am, and gorgeous views of Mt. Antero from just across the valley. The two summits are about 5 miles apart as the crow flies, but the valley between sinks to about 7,000 feet, so the view at sunrise and from the summit is stunning. Check out the pictures on Facebook and let me know what you think if you haven't already. While optimistic about hiking next weekend over the holiday, it looks like I won't be now. I'm lying in bed as I type this with my right knee iced due to what it appears is a torn ligament (2-6 week recovery period). Thankfully, not an MCL or ACL tear, but still pretty painful. I had plans to hike Mt. Yale with a friend today, but had to bail yesterday. From experience, I know I've benched pressed 250+ pounds through a torn rotator cuff in each shoulder, so, I'm optimistic this thing will heal up fast and I'll be back out hiking soon. How soon is hard to say, but I can say it's going to be hard to get in the way of the passion I have for hiking 14ers and climbing the beautiful peaks around me, so we'll just have to see. I'm optimistic it'll be as close to that 2 week period as possible if not sooner, but it's impossible to know.

Who knows. I want to climb every 14er in the Sawatch range this summer and maybe a few in the Elks out by Aspen, especially those Maroon Bells. I want to learn as much as I can from the concierge spot these next few weeks for the future. I want to spend a night or two at the Mt. Princeton Hot Springs soon too, just to relax, either after a day of more 14er hiking or just to escape for a bit. 14er hiking will continue soon enough I'm sure, but it's impossible to know the future. You never know when you'll have to save a life out there, or when you'll end up hurt yourself. Until next time, take care of yourselves out there, and always remember... Be Prepared.

Posted by la vita bella 15:42 Archived in USA Tagged sunsets_and_sunrises mountains snow hiking france aspen bells hike eagle mtn vista atv massive scout beaver vail 14ers princeton buena_vista maroon antero elbert rmvr scouting scouts elks acl mcl 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)

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