I'm a slacker

Its true, I am.
I met some guys in the park, and they were slackin'. I thought what the hell, I'll try this slackin' stuff out too....

What the hellll are you talking about, BEN?

Well, I am not talking about ditching class, I'm talking about walking on a line. A slack line tied between two trees.

You have probably seen people do this before. If you are anything like me, you probably walk by, think "eh, whatever..." and get on with your day. In Boulder, I thought I'd give these weirdos who walk the line a chance. It doesn't look easy, but let me tell you something... its even a lot harder than it looks. Whats cool about it though isn't necessarily the difficulty and balancing. It also brings people together. I met these guys in a park one day, and two days later, one of the same guys was there, with a whole group of new people, none of whom previously knew each other. They were all so nice, inviting, and encouraging too. Sure, maybe it was just because they were all stoned, but I dig it. ANNNND, after 2 days of trying this nonsense, I actually was able to stand up and take a few steps... not an easy feat I might add..

On a different note, my sister, Rachel "Road Racer" Alter came out to CO to spend some time with her brother. Well that was her excuse. She really just came out to do some of the best road bicycle riding in the country. But, either way, both were accomplished during the few days she spent in CO.

Over Lee Hill/Old Stage and up to the peak to peak highway through Jamestown and down St. Vrain through Lyons and back on the 36 to Boulder was a nice little introduction to the altitude and the beauty.
... is it possible to ride through Lyons after a ride like that without stopping for "lunch?"

Next was one trip up Flagstaff mountain.
... we even stopped to smell the flowers.

Then, it was up Left Hand Canyon to Ward, peak to peak through Nederland, and down the canyon along side the Boulder creek.

... I personally couldn't pass up 3 bites of Ben and Jerry's ice cream.

If you couldn't tell, I am a little obsessed with the state of CO. That being said, the time had come to load up my crap and get the hell out of there. Don't get me wrong, I could sleep on a futon in a basement, eat oatmeal with Bobbi and Andy every morning, and make the best of every day forever. But, it was time to stick to the plan and see a bit of this country. The rolling hills of Wyoming, the badlands of South Dakota, and the lakes of Minnesota. I currently reside on a blowup mattress in the family lake cottage, about 25 feet from the shore of Lake Melissa in Detroit Lakes. It's peaceful, even with the occasional arguments between my two rapidly maturing adolescent siblings Gwen and Grant.



altitude attitude

This past weekend I set out on an adventure with Andy. This adventure was a new sort of adventure to both of us, oddly not involving bikes. Walking is my least favorite form of transportation. But, for some reason, we decided to hike (towards) a 14er. We chose Longs Peak. Upon getting to the trailhead Saturday morning, the friendly park ranger asked Andy and myself, two novice looking hikers with short sleeve shirts, where we were headed. I replied by saying "towards" Longs Peak, due to his questioned look at our attire and lack of gear. We however did have the essentials - gorp, peanut butter, bananas, cliff bars, and most importantly, Dale's. Nonetheless, we were advised against attempting to make it to the summit, as making the final push without ice axes and crampons "would be suicidal" according to mr. park ranger man. We therefore set our goal for the day to reach the "keyhole," a 6.2 mile 4000 foot climb reaching about 13,500 ft. Enjoy the views...
We made it up and down safely, and it was awesome. I am inspired to do more of this hiking/climbing stuff in the future. I learned that "walking" is actually pretty fun, especially if you have a neat destination to look forward to.



au revoir aspen

It was good to get outa town for a bit. I left Boulder for Aspen on Saturday. It was rainy when I started the trip into the mountains, and even more rainy when I finished. The iffy weather didn't keep me from getting outdoors though. I went for some sweet rides with my buddy Wylie. We made our way up to the Maroon Bells where there was plenty of fresh snow.
After a few days, the storm passed and the weather was p.e.r.f.e.c.t. We also took a ride up to the Ruedi Reservoir outside of Basalt.
I made my way back 'home' to Denver/Boulder. I drove through Independence Pass for the first time which was absolutely gorgeous.

So back in the city is where I am...

There is a lot of nonsense floating around in my brain. There are a lot of thoughts in my head that I am happy about. There are also lots of things on my mind that I wish weren't. I don't know what is in store for me during the next few days in CO, but I am eager to get out in the wilderness and be under the stars. Maybe that will bring some clarity.



Still kickin' (it)

Welp, since I posted a week ago, I have been up to pretty much the exact same stuff. Boring, huh? - NOPE.

Bike riding and beer drinking with your best bros (and gals) is always a good time. Andy "business, MAN" Wyatt came up to BoCo for the week. It just so happened he was here in time to celebrate his birthday.
We had an awesome BBQ up on Flagstaff mountain, where I was the all too often 5th wheel.
Good food, better beer, and best friends.
Buffalo burgers, corn, and veggie kabobs didn't leave us much room for the s'mores.

We didn't JUST party all week... we of course did some sweet riding, too. Back to White Ranch and Hall Ranch...
Andy got hungry.
We even had the pleasure to be accompanied by new Denver resident, and newly wed Makko.
Also headed up to the Sourdough trail near Ward.
Not bad for a rookie.
And I even scraped the rust off of my road bike for a couple road rides... (no photographic evidence).

A huge shout out to the Suter-Hartman residence for letting me invade their space. I'm looking forward to heading up the road soon for a change of scenery in Aspen.



CO does the body (and mind) good

I'm a big fan of this place. Of course I like the mountain bike trails, but I'm having trouble putting my finger on what I really enjoy about this place. Whatever it is seems to be clearing my mind. I've explored some pretty sweet trails in the last few days.

White Ranch (a few miles north of Golden)
(check out the deer over the top tube)
Hall Ranch (Lyons)

No photos from Betasso preserve in Boulder, but another sweet ride.

Like I said, there's more to it than the awesome, scenic outdoorsy stuff. Not to toot my own horn, but today I sat myself down and gave MCAT studying a second chance. Maybe its the altitude, maybe its the scent of trigeek sweat, maybe its the environmentalists smelling their own flatulence, or maybe it was the cute Boulder babes that I was surrounded by. Or, maybe its just the relief of having a bachelors degree under my belt. But either way, I felt more focused than I've been in a while. It was a good feeling.

I am excited for more rides, nights out, and maybe even more studying? The nerd in me has not gone away.




Memorial day weekend just happened to be when myself and 13 cousins decided to reunite in Chicago. I was sad to depart Denver, but excited to hang out with a bunch of cousins ranging in age from 20 to 38, most of which whom I haven't seen in several years. I really have never felt the big city vibe, but it was perfect for a little family reunion.

We did the typical things most tourists do in Chi town. Boat tour, deep dish pizza, bikes on the lake shore, tanning on the beach, comedy show, millenium park, navy pier.

Now I'm back in CO, where bikes roll like blunts and the beer flows like wine.