Sunday, November 8, 2009

And We're Back

Word. It's been a while since I've posted 'round here. Cyberspace custom is to apologize for such a lapse, however I think that perhaps the only online activity more self-indulgent than keeping a blog like this is to apologize when it falls by the wayside, as if narcissistically keeping the masses updated somehow constitutes doing them a favour.

Anyway, it would be a little too daunting a task to give each of my adventures since Vegas the proper Harty Meal treatment, but here's a shotgun account of the past few months. For further details on any of this, please enquire within.

From Las Vegas, it was on to Zion and Bryce Canyons. Zion had us coincidentally camping next to the college friends I ran into in Vegas as we hiked for a few days, and Bryce's topography is like that of another planet and highly recommended.

From Zion we moved to another hole in the ground known as Grand Canyon. To best explore this monster we embarked on a four-day, three-night backpacking trip down to the bottom and back up. Hiking had to start before dawn each morning so as to avoid the deadly midday sun, and I don't know that I've ever been so uncomfortable due to the temperature in my life as I was on the afternoon of our third day, when it was still over a hundred degrees in the shade at five in the afternoon. Check out the picture below, taken on the canyon floor.

From Grand Canyon we headed to Colorado. First stop was visiting an aunt of Sarah's in the ski town of Aspen. Aspen may be a ski town, and elements of it were quite charming, but it's hard for a community to maintain its high country charm when the streets are lined with the same boutiques one sees on Rodéo Drive. What's more, a shop called "Two Old Hippies" featured a rack of jeans, the cheapest pair of which cost $850 (not a typo - cheapest jeans in "Two Old Hippies" were over eight hundred bucks, with most costing over a thousand). We enjoyed afternoon beers in town's only dive bar as we watched the colours on the mountain, but given that they say "the billionaires are pushing the millionaires out of Aspen," I don't know that we'll be putting down roots there anytime soon.

From Aspen it was on to Rocky Mountain National Park, near Estes Park, Colorado. The mountain-top drive through the park at sunset on the day we arrived is not something I think I'll ever forget. Mountain goat were grazing by the herd in meadows that we passed, and we saw literally hundreds of elk, some just a few feet away from us (check out our picture, below). All of this was set against the iconic, jagged, snow-capped peaks of the Rockies while the sunset was of an intensity that a man is lucky to see once every few years. We spent the next three days in the park and fell in love with Colorado. Hard. The mountains, animals and people all continually showed us why so many folks find it so hard to leave this state, and we left headed east, knowing that we would be back.

From Rocky Mountain National Park it was on to the Rothbury Music Festival in Rothbury, Michigan. Four days of camping, music (heavy on the bluegrass and jammy stuff) and an enchanted forest. (Andrew Teehan, given your hate/hate relationship with hippies, you can probably skip this one).

From Rothbury, Michigan it was on to Moncton New Brunswick (getting harder and harder to call this a "Western" road trip), with a brief stop in Ottawa. Moncton was where one of my closest friends was getting married, and featured a similar cast of characters to a wedding the previous summer on PEI. Predictably, things got a little bit nuts in the best kind of way, and I say without hyperbole that it was among the five best parties I've ever been to, with quite the overabundance of "I love you, man" and Fireball. (The picture below was heavy on both of those things, and not staged. That's the groom, second from right).

From Moncton it was back to the Ottawa/Lake Placid/Malone (NY) area for the next couple of months. It was great to catch up with family and friends from home, most of whom I hadn't spent much time around since departing for Victoria three years prior. There were weekend road trips, a couple of concerts and the odd shift at family businesses thrown in before we packed up the car again in early October and headed back west.

From Ottawa/Lake Placid/Malone, it was back to Colorado, and specifically Boulder, where I sit on this bright Sunday morning blogging from the edge of downtown. Boulder is renowned as a hotbed of bluegrass music, free spirits and outdoor recreation, so it seemed like the perfect fit for us over the next little while. It's only been a few weeks, but Boulder feels like a pretty good fit so far, and I'm pumped to see what the next few months will bring my way.

So here we are. Blogging will be regular once again, and as always it is a pleasure to have you along.



8 comments: said...

Thanks for the read buddy. I particularly enjoyed your descriptions of the natural grandeur you encountered in the west and midwest. Sure makes me envious sitting here in rainy, grey, cold Victoria in November, shackled to law school! I'm sure I asked you this before, but why law again? Are you going to look for anything law-related in Boulder? I've heard Boulder's awesome so enjoy what looks to be a great next chapter of life!

Micah C said...

I read this post listening to Grizzly Bear's 'Colorado'. The perfect complement.

Anonymous said...

The best job I ever had was at an independent bookstore. I'm envious.

Anonymous said...

That was from Dea

Chris said...

Remember Hart? He's back!! In blog form!!

Your mother said...

Welcome back, A Harty Meal. I'm looking forward to some great updates.

dawson20 said...

3 Things...

1) Love the beard - seriously - its awsome.

2) Love the pictures, and quite enjoy your blog altogether!

3) Totally and completely jealous of the entire trip...

I'll be back Im sure!

Hart Shouldice said...

Hey, thanks Keely. I appreciate it.