Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Adventures in Idaho

We actually took a 12 (!!) day vacation to Idaho, in what I ended up calling our "Idaho World Tour".  I think the longest we stuck at one place was 5 days.  I really hate living out of a suitcase, but as is the case with these sorts of trips, you end up doing a bunch of travelling in order to see everyone.

This trip was hatched when I had to pull out of the Boulder 70.3 to be a bridesmaid for my friend that I've known since 6th grade that is marrying my husband's cousin.  That's been a mouthful to explain and I'm so happy that I can now simply refer to them as "my cousins".

The whole point behind doing the Boulder half and full was to keep things local and to keep costs down.  With Boulder out I had a few options.  A) skip the 70.3 and just do the full (HA.  and no).  B) do other Colo 70.3s (HITS in Grand Junction or a race in Steamboat).  Both of these would require driving and lodging, which takes away the cheap part of racing.  or C) race Boise the week before the wedding, stay with family, and hang out for a week until the wedding.

Obviously we chose C.

Thurs - Saturday (days 1 - 3) are chronicled in my Boise 70.3 Race Report.

The rest of the trip is probably better told with photos and a bit of text.

Sunday after the race was nearly a luxury day.  We slept in.  Cousin Jason (1 of 7 of my husband's cousins) made us waffles and home-grown beef bacon (they're ranchers).  We then went out into the desert to check on some spring.  Jason and another family friend went in his pickup, Will was on a dirt bike, and I was on the side by side (off-road golf cart).  It was dusty but super fun.
happy husband on a dirt bike

ranch roads

its not a ranch adventure unless something breaks down.  This time a wire got loose on the Toyota.  Simple fix.

foreground: me  middle: Will  distance: Jason and Patty

hello ladies (and babies)

this is one of my happy places

We got back from our ranch shenanigans to find that the wedding couple had arrived from their drive from Boulder.  We had dinner and stayed up until midnight talking and drinking beer.

Monday was a super fun day.  Chase (the groom) had an old ~1969 (?) Chevy pickup ("Belle) that he was restoring.  It was housed in his dad's barn in central Idaho.  The family decided to pitch in and restore Belle as a wedding present surprise.  Monday was the day Belle would be unveiled.

The logistics were interesting.  The happy couple woke up at the ranch by Mountain Home, went into town to get their marriage license, then headed up to Chase's home in New Meadows.  Jason was storing Belle in his barn (which we locked to prevent snooping!) and we had to drive the pickup (on a flatbed) up to New Meadows before Chase and Deanna got there.  This meant a whole bunch of back-road driving and sneaky texts and phone calls by various family members to get ETAs from everyone.

The surprise was worth it:

I think we spent 6 hours in a pickup that day (which is terrible when you're recovering from a 70.3) and we got home at midnight.  But it was soooo worth it.

Tuesday I got in a 40 min run on the ranch, just going along the ranch dirt roads and exploring things.  Thankfully, I didn't see a rattlesnake.  Then a trip in a cool old water truck to water the cattle. And then it was a 2 hour backtrack east to my mother-in-law's house in Kimberly for a few days.

Sidenote: I think I averaged about one hamburger a day.  That's the thing about cattle ranchers, there's a ton of ground beef to go around.  It will be a while before I want to eat a burger.  Some days I even had 2.  Oof.

Wednesday I needed to get in a 3 hour bike ride.  At first I was kinda cranky, because the Kimberly trip was a bit last minute. We were hoping to spend the week at the ranch, but when your mother in law asks you to stay for a few days, well.....  Her area is pretty flat and very agricultural.  There's a lot of dairies (Chobani just built a huge factory there, Cliff bars is building a huge bakery).  There's a lot of farms.  And a lot of smells.  There's also a lot of big trucks/equipment that aren't used to looking for cyclists.  After some research, I found out that I could ride from her house south to the South Hills Recreation Area, which is in national forest.  Boom.  I was now excited to ride out there.

The ride was pretty cool.  Lots of cool rock formations.  I surprised a snake who was sunning himself on the concrete in front a pit toilet.  And there was a mild amount of climbing.  Lots of blue skies and extremely friendly but minimal traffic.  And only one dairy, which I swear had me gagging.  Oof.

Basalt cliffs

I was really happy there was a 2nd pit toilet.....

way better than riding along dairies.
I think this seals my mother in law's thinking that I'm certifiable.  I kept hearing for the rest of the week, third party, about how I rode my bike for 45 miles when I stayed with her.  I suppose her other house guests don't really do that.

Staying at her place was actually really nice.  It was quiet, we took a nap, and we went to bed at a normal time.  Thursday I got up a bit early and did an hour run on quiet country roads.  I somehow managed to miss the ONLY turn on my way back and did a little bonus running.  I must have been in the zone, I really have no idea how the hell I missed it.  I came home to be greeted by my husband cooking me breakfast.  YAY.  Then it was off again, 5.5 hours north to New Meadows / McCall for the big wedding.

We got to our amazing cabin rental, which was 5 minutes from another aunt/uncle's ranch (the groom's family), settled in and headed to a beach on Payette Lake for a bbq dinner (featuring you guessed it - more burgers!).  The family brought out their boat and were giving rides on the lake.  So pretty.

Friday I was maybe (?) in the bridal doghouse because they were decorating the reception at 10 AM and I had a 4 hour bike ride.  I chose the bike ride, figuring there was more than enough family to help decorate.  I did some research and ended up riding from Payette Lake up Warren Wagon Road.  This was BEAUTIFUL.  It was also cold - I think it was ~45 degrees out at 8 AM when I started riding.  I started in my short gloves, road 3 minutes and went back to the car to get my long gloves.  Thank goodness they were in the bag I had randomly chucked in the car when we left for the trip.

The ride was really beautiful and I told myself to soak it all in, including the cold.  This ride was a privilege and I'm certain I'll be begging for cooler temps on August 3rd.  I got to see lakes, crystal clear rivers, forested mountains, fresh snow on those mountains, waterfalls, clouds that looked like rain, then rain, a rainbow, and then sleet.  Yep, I got sleeted on at the top.  I had my short Couer shorts on (of all days to wear my short cycling shorts) and I kept looking at the water drops on my legs, which were oddly staying put, and checking them to see if they were frozen.  The drops were still liquid but my feet were soaked and turned into blocks of frozen toes.  My hands weren't much better.  Thank goodness I had a rain jacket.  It was 2 hours up and slow 2 hours down, with lots of stopping to stomp my feet and warm my hands.  When the ride was done, I didn't touch my cold recovery drink but instead booked it to the nearest coffee house for a mexican mocha and a huckleberry muffin.  mmm, I love huckleberries.  I then went back to our rental and warmed up for a bit, then headed over to decorate the reception area just in time to get pizza and to learn that they were done decorating.  Good timing, bridesmaid!
morning on Payette Lake

happy Merlin by the river
bathroom break selfie

I know, its just so ugly here.  

misty mountains

frozen Erin

We then went to the 4 PM wedding rehearsal and then the rehearsal dinner.  Then we invited everyone over to our rental cabin for beers.  I was hoping to utilize our fire pit, but it was raining.  Up until midnight again.

Saturday was the wedding day - we woke up to dense fog in the valley.  It was beautiful.  I was supposed to get in a 30 min run, but our cabin was halfway up a mountain, so there was a whole lot more hiking than running.  I picked a snowmobile trail and made a whole lot of noise in case I came across a bear.

Sidenote #2: I saw ZERO wildlife this whole trip (unless you count cows and antelope).  There were moose and bear signs all over and I saw nothing.  :sad Erin:

The hike was really pretty. The fog was lifting off of the road, exposing the mountain and the valley.  Ahhh.
view of Meadows Valley from the deck of our rental
And then it was time to get our hair done and get the wedding on the road.  I got a fancy updo (reverse braid in the back and curls at the top).  The wedding was fantastic.  I somehow managed not to cry (unlike the rehearsal, where we all cried).  Will and I signed the marriage licence (we are the reason Chase and Deanna met).  We then did a wedding party only (no parents!) photo shoot in a family meadow with Belle.  That was so much fun.  And then the reception, which included PIE.  A family friend made huckleberry apple and I made the catering company save me a slice.  It was delicious.
fancy wedding hair

my adorable 8 month old nephew in his wedding finest

don't we all wish our wedding photos were this amazing?!?!?
I ended up recreating my Boise finish line jump

Sunday was a family brunch.  I blew off my 2 hour bike ride.  And then it was a 5.5 hour ride BACK to Kimberly for the night.  Then a 6 AM departure and an ~11 hour trip back to Denver.

Vacation success  :)

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