We had the privilege of kicking off the month of June by visiting our old pals Megan and Jordan, and their new little fella, Simon, in Colorado.
We first met when Eric and Jordan started grad school together in Eugene way back in 2012. Now that we live pretty far apart (Portland and Chicago), it’s become something of a Blinger tradition to gather together for some sort of adventure in June (see our camping trip/hike in Oregon’s Central Cascades two years ago, and last year’s half-Ironman, backpacking trip, and vacation on Vancouver Island). This time around, we met up in the Vail Valley for some hiking, relaxing, and baby snuggling with Megan and Jordan’s 8-week-old addition. As you can see, Simon was quite taken with Eric:
I’d never spent much time in Colorado before (in fact, my only prior visit was one night on our journey across America), but my goodness, it’s spectacular. As a relatively mountain-obsessed individual, I was pretty jazzed to see mountains all day every day. The Vail Valley is marvelous. My only regret is that my camera is slightly broken, so most photos of this beautiful place had to be taken on our phones.
Any time we get together with the Bloems, I think our doughnut consumption is the top priority. Our most frequented destination in Colorado was Northside Coffee & Kitchen, home of some delicious doughnuts and a killer breakfast. I think we ended up there 4 times in 8 days. No shame.
Along with all the doughnut eating came plenty of hiking. As usual, Megan and I wound up in identical outfits for most activities. We left for this particular day in matching sweaters, which we removed to reveal Portland Marathon shirts, which we removed to reveal matching blue Nike tank-tops. Average day for us.
Our first hike was up Meadow Mountain, which used to be a lettuce farming hot spot, according to our guidebook. We were disappointed to find zero lettuce along the trail, but you can’t win ’em all.
The hike ends up in a big open field with this slightly creepy old cabin where you can camp. We settled for just taking in the mountain views.
We took another beautiful hike up to Beaver Lake, which even involved some snow traversing. I think Joffre enjoyed the hike most of all, since he got a nice, cold swim at the lake at the top.
Of course, most of our time was spent at the house, enjoying some Colorado thunderstorms, hilarious baby faces, and some incredible food. One of my favorite things about the Bloems is that they love food just as much as we do, so we end up eating incredibly whenever we’re together (even if it means grilling during a thunderstorm).
I’ve compiled a list of the best recipes we made throughout our week together, partly so I’ll be able to make them again, and partly because they were too great not to share:
Here’s to you, Colorado. You’re the bomb.