January: One Down

I noticed over the past year or so that I somehow let this lovely little blog of mine become almost entirely resource driven. If an article wasn’t a review, trip report, or valuable lesson learnt – it wasn’t happening. I badly want to change that this year and get back to where I started. I need to stop comparing what I do and where I live to places and people I am not. Expect some little changes… and a really big change too! 😉

So what happened in the very first month of the year? Lots!

We built a climbing wall. Ever since we bought our house, there’s been a wall in the basement that read “Future home of Jillian’s climbing wall”. Thanks to a super rainy Christmas and start to the new year, we found the motivation to get it built (almost entirely). We spent NYE playing on it and I have to admit that for a wall that isn’t more than 7′ tall, it’s pretty sweet. We set a lot of crimpy routes with small jugs on the overhang so it’s a workout to send a route. I’m excited to get some more holds and make it even better. We still need to finish the roof and one vertical section.

Climbing Wall

I went to Colorado. Towards the end of last year, some friends said something of the “Wouldn’t it be cool if we just all went to the Ouray Ice Festival?” and I decided to go. Just like that. After many hours trying to figure out lodging, transportation, planning, and more I found myself on a plane headed west! Through the unbelievable generosity of friends (Katie Boue, David Sandel, Beth Lakin, and Aleya Jean) I had one heck of a fantastic trip. Katie Boue introduced me to fantastic BBQ in Denver and got my brain spinning a million miles an hour on the outdoor industry and social media. David Sandel chauffeured me around the entire state ALL weekend (we’re talking like 600+ miles) and took me hiking. Beth Lakin (and Sprocket) opened her house up to Dave, Aleya, and I for the entire weekend while showing us all around her hometown, Ouray, and Telluride. And Aleya Jean brought some infectious enthusiasm that made me feel like I had known her forever.

I made Dave pull over roughly a zillion times so I could check out views like this. I couldnt help it!

I made Dave pull over roughly a zillion times so I could check out views like this. I couldn’t help it!

We made a super quick detour to Black Canyon NP. That is a 16 pitch trad climb right there!

We made a super quick detour to Black Canyon NP. That is a 16 pitch trad climb right there!

Seriously Colorado? Can you get any cooler?

Seriously Colorado? Can you get any cooler?

My wonderful friend and chauffeur for the weekend, Dave.

My wonderful friend and chauffeur for the weekend, Dave.

This lowlander got a bit of elevation at Loveland Pass. Such a stunning view.

This lowlander got a bit of elevation at Loveland Pass. Such a stunning view.

I went snowmobiling. Back a few years ago I went on an ATV guided tour. By no fault at all of the guide, my natural tendency to be accident prone was out in full force and I took out two trees. I pretty much swore off all motorized trail things after that. However, Rob is obsessed with snowmobiling (it’s an every weekend thing) and I knew that eventually I was going to run out of excuses. It finally happened. I can’t say I’m in love with it, but we did manage to do roughly 90 miles up in the Colebrook and Pittsburg area of New Hampshire. I suspect I’ll enjoy it more next time if it isn’t -12F. I’m proud to report that I didn’t take out any trees, run anyone off the trail, or get frostbite. Win!

Oh you know, just trying to act like I know what Im doing.

Oh you know, just trying to act like I know what I’m doing.

I found out I’m terrible at sitting still. Long story short, about two weeks ago I had to get some minor surgery due to some pre-cancerous concerns. I originally thought I was going to have a few stitches and a week of recovery time. That turned into 29 stitches (21 external and 8 internal) and two weeks of recovery time. I had expected to not be allowed to hike, run, or snowboard during recovery but it turned out that everything including a brisk walk, handling the dogs, or even bringing in firewood was too much for the stitches on my wrist and ribs. Needless to say, it’s been a very dormant and unsettling two weeks and I am beyond psyched to get these stitches out on Thursday! But best news of all – the final biopsy came back clear. All good!

February is already looking to be full of fun stuff, so we’ll see where it goes. In the past week alone my home area has had about 4′ of snow so I can already say that I see some hiking, ice climbing, and some very exciting gear reviews thrown in the mix. Bring it on!

We got four feet of snow and found a yeti Yuri in a snowbank.

We got four feet of snow and found a yeti (Yuri) in a snowbank.

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About Jillian Bejtlich

Hey! I'm Jillian Bejtlich. I’m a lifelong New Englander with a serious love of the outdoors, adventure, and a pretty serious inability to sit still. I’m plagued by the travel bug, and it seems I’ll try any relatively sane and safe thing once. My big goal in life: Get people outside!