September Shenanigans

My, time is flying. September has come and gone, and now it’s only one more week until I depart for my Indian Ocean adventure. I expect I’ll try to blog a bit more while traveling, especially while I’m on Diego Garcia (though photos might be sparse because of the slow internet connection). Here’s a very brief recap of some of what I’ve been up to the last five weeks.

Air Force Academy

Back in late August I took a day trip down to Colorado Springs to visit my friend Josh from high school, and his brother Justin. Josh gave me a tour of the U.S. Air Force Academy campus, which was pretty neat, especially since Josh is an AFA alum. The AFA Chapel was the highlight, as it’s such an iconic building. A very beautiful one inside, too. After dinner I played some Catan with Josh, Justin, and one of their friends. I’m glad I made it down there when I did, because now Josh and his wife Erika are moving back to Minnesota.


Camping Trip and Hot Springs

Eager to use my pricey new tent at least once this year, I organized a camping trip up near Steamboat Springs on Labor Day weekend with a few friends. I wanted to get away from the Front Range, so that’s part of why I chose the Steamboat area. With it being the Sunday of Labor Day weekend, I was kind of nervous about finding a campsite since we didn’t have reservations anywhere. But lo and behold, we found a great spot at the first campground we visited, at Dumont Lake (9520 feet) right below Rabbit Ears Mountain — I’d argue it was even the best spot in the whole place.

After setting up our tents we drove up to Steamboat Springs to enjoy the Strawberry Park Hot Springs under the stars. We saw quite a few meteors, which was sweet. I’d been to those hot springs once before, last summer with Alex, but it’s a totally different experience at night. It’s a neat place, and the hot springs felt great on what would become a very frosty night.

It didn’t work out to camp any more the rest of this year, but I definitely plan to camp more often next year.


Hotdish Party

Yah sure, you betcha, I hosted a Minnesota hotdish party at my house a couple weeks ago! I encouraged people to wear flannel, rented the movie “A Prairie Home Companion,” and bought a copy of the book “How to Talk Minnesotan” to give away to the winner of “best hotdish.” There were a couple au gratin hotdishes, a couple tater tot hotdishes, a chicken alfredo hotdish, my beef & wild rice hotdish, a pumpkin bake, a [jello] salad, fruit salad, and a rice & beans salad. The party was a success, people loved it!


My 28th Birthday

For my 28th birthday last week a few friends joined me at C.B. & Potts for dinner. I definitely worked off my 4.1-mile run from that morning, with appetizers of buffalo wings, cheese dip, an entree of a “bacon-bacon-bacon” burger (with hickory smoked bacon, something called “chicken-fried bacon”, and chipotle bacon mayo, I just had to get it!), a free birthday ice cream cupake, and a good amount of tasty microbrew!


Weekend in Ann Arbor

Last weekend I flew to Michigan to go visit Alex. It was a very enjoyable weekend, as it always is hanging out with him. Among other things, Alex got us to the Minnesota-Michigan football game, which was a 58-0 curb-stomping for the Wolverines. Because Penn State wasn’t playing I could just sit back (or stand, since we were in the student section) and enjoy the game. Also because PSU wasn’t playing, I wore a Michigan shirt to the game to fit in. I didn’t want to get assaulted for a second time at Michigan Stadium, haha.

Another highlight of the weekend came when Alex & Anne took me rock climbing. I’d been rock climbing a couple times in the past year or so (once with Alex last year in Colorado, once outdoors this spring in Moab), but I hadn’t successfully made it to the top of a climb. This time I made it to the top of all three climbs I tried! The last two took a lot of perseverance, but I eventually made it to the top. I feel like I accomplished something, and now I’m more likely to try rock climbing again.

Also, every time I hang out with Alex I get motivation to learn how to play guitar. Maybe when I get back from Diego I’ll buy myself a guitar…


It’s going to be a busy week coming up, getting ready for my departure to Singapore and Perth, and a week after that, to Diego Garcia! Looking forward to my overseas adventures!

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