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Day 17-19: ROADTRIP!

So many stories to tell . . . I think I'll give some highlights:

Emma, Tim, and I drove from Denver to Ouray together. Desperation drove us to pop in a Britney Spears CD. I documented our version of "Hit Me Baby One More Time." We passed through Black Canyon, by the Blue Mesa Dam (pictured), and gazed in awe at God's natural wonder which appeared just as Emma was getting bored with the views. God has funny timing.

We arrived at the Western Hotel in Ouray and promptly scoped out the premises, including an abandoned third floor where we found a stuffed ibex head we decided would be a great "surprise" for some unsuspecting guest in our group.

We had a picture perfect climbing day with warmth, sun, clear skies and "hero ice" that was soft enough to make every axe swing sink in and stick. A friend once commented that I really ought to smile when I climb because my anguished, frustrated expressions made it seem like I detested rock climbing. I didn't have that problem while ice climbing. I think I was grinning the entire time!

Ouray is also known for its hot springs which we thoroughly enjoyed with our crew of 18, jumping between the 104 degree pool and the "frigid" 75 degree cool pool.

Our roadtrip ended in Denver with the Snow Show. Jess' Mom, Jane, got us passes and we explored the overwhelming convention of all things snow-related. The highlight of the evening was dinner at Tag. Jess will post some food shots soon. Here's a smattering of what we enjoyed: ahi tuna sushi tacos, Kobe beef sliders with cayenne peppered and sugared fries, surf 'n turf roll (beef and lobster sushi roll style), white sangria with lemongrass and kumquats and blackberries, & sticky toffee cake.

Now I'm back in Boulder, having posted some pictures, laid out Tim's rope to dry from its dip in the river, and read one of the best emails I've ever received. A very good three days, indeed!

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