Thursday, May 6, 2010

Feliz Seis de Mayo!

I've been pretty lazy about blogging lately, so I'll make this a good one.  
We kinda missed Cinco de Mayo.  Apparently it was yesterday, but with the weather being somewhat gray and stuff, we didn't really feel like getting out of the house.  Today is the second (or third, or fourth, or fifth, or sixth) day of gray, so to fight off the snowy spring blues, we cleaned the house, bought some beer and invited a few folks over for dinner.

This is what it looks like outside right now.  The green grass is really trying to fight off the snow.

But it just started snowing again...

So I turned on the heater and picked up some of my favorite summer beer, Leinenkugel Sunset Wheat, from Wisconsin!

And to get ready for dinner, I whipped up some bread dough (in less than 5 minutes, of course).  It may not look like much now, but that ooey, gooey mess is going to be a delicious whole wheat, roasted poblano chili, cheddar, quinoa bread.  Yum!

Part of my blog slacking is due to the really really great weather we had right before this cold spell.  It was warm and dry, so Shaun and I packed the pooches in the car on top of all our camping and climbing gear and headed out about the Gallatin Valley.

April 15th through the 19th, Shaun's sister and a couple of her friends came all the way from Iowa to visit us.  We had a really great time soaking at Chico Hot Springs, sight seeing in Yellowstone National Park, and adventuring in some of our favorite local places.

The girls posing for a picture with the Livingston end of the Gallatin Range in the back.
For more pictures click here.

After the girls left, we took a few days to recover, then spent a day on the Madison climbing Neat Rock between storm clouds and snow flurries.

Shaun and I taking a break at the top of the first pitch.
For more awesome pictures, click here.

We ended up not camping by the river that night, as we had planned, but we wasted no time indoors and immediately headed back out the very next day to climb The Tower in the Gallatin Canyon. 

This is our friend John, leading the first pitch, but, of course, for more pictures, click here!

And now the weather is not so climb-friendly and our passes at the gym just expired, so it might be a while before you see anymore great climbing photos.

I managed to catch this glimpse of the Bridgers momentarily between storm clouds May 1st.  The clouds parted and the sun shown down... and 5 minutes later they were behind clouds again...
There was some sad news that day, also.  A good friend of ours, and former roommate of Shaun's, passed away while skiing with a friend.  The death was unrelated to skiing, and while the cause is still being looked into, it was most likely a heart attack, at the young age of 28.  It is so sad to lose someone that young, but "In the end, its not the years in your life that count.  It's the life in your years." -Abraham Lincoln
Ben definitely had no shortage of life and spirit.  It radiated infectiously from his smile and sparkling blue eyes, and it was difficult to not feel that fire anytime he was near.  As sad as it is for all of his friends and family, he died doing what he loved with his best friend by his side.  I can only hope that in the end I meet a similar fate.
Rest in peace, good buddy.  We'll see you on the flip side. 

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