Monday, September 28, 2015

my really big news: the 7 month countdown

No, I'm not engaged and I'm not having a tiny human.

Military Friend is adventurous, always up for something fun and this one might just take the cake. This is how it all went down.....

Military Friend: We need to do something really fun for a bucket list item!
Me: like ride a hot air balloon?
Military Friend: I've already done that I was thinking more along the lines of hiking a really big mountain
Me: (remembering the time she talked me into running a half in 13.1 miles) How big of mountain are we talking about here and where?
Military Friend: How about Peru?
Me: I'd better research this......(later) so like Ancient Inca Trail to Machu Picchu big mountain?
Military Friend: Yep!
Me: I'm in!

And so we started planning and its officially booked. We are headed south in May of 2016 to hike the ancient Inca Trail to Machu Picchu to be followed up by a hiking/snorkeling cruise in the Galapagos Islands. I may will not be going on vacation for quite some time after this one, but its going to be the trip of a lifetime and I can't help but wish away a little of my life so that May will be here!

Once one decides to book a vacation like this, naturally the first place to go to check out exactly what one should expect? Pinterest!
Truly amazing place.  Am so lucky to have been able to travel to it!  And none of that getting the bus up.  The 3 day hike of the Inca Trail makes you feel you really deserve it!
Machu Picchu, Peru

One of the coolest place I have ever been to in my life. If you ever get the chance, GO!! -(Galapagos Islands)
Galapagos Islands, Equador

And I should also say some of the other things I've been how little of "stuff" I'm allowed to take, vaccinations that I need to get....rabies, yep that is one that I'm supposed to get along with Hepatitis A, Typhoid and Malaria....anyone want to join our convoy?

And let the countdown begin!

Friday, September 11, 2015


via Yahoo Images
#neverforget #USA

and congratulations to Football Fan and The Boy From Texas on their bouncing baby boy, The Baby From Texas, who arrived last night!

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

all memorable activities should get a t-shirt

When we planned our girls wine weekend, it only seemed right that we have matching shirts. So I designed some....that were a hit and even got me orders that had to be sent back down to Palisade. Like any good t-shirt there was a map of our route on the back and a fun reminder of what we hoped to accomplish on our trip. Check 'em out!

Last  year at our Golf Bonanza...which has now been re-named. I decided that we really did need shirts commemorating the annual event. I wanted to put the golf course on the back, but had a terrible time finding a picture suitable for screen printing. But my dream came to life this year when Assistant Pack Leader was able to doctor the photo from the scorecard to make it useable. So this year I present to you.....Annual Shank-o-potamus all day golf shirts.

I really see a bright future for me in t-shirt designs! Place your order now before my designs become a hot commodity!

Friday, September 4, 2015

NWA Rally

I am the state president for our employees' association. Each state throughout the nation has a state chapter and then we are also divided areas. Wyoming happens to be in the NorthWest area which consists of Washington/Alaska, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota and Nebraska.

I was volun-told that Wyoming would be hosting the NWA Rally this year and I would be in charge of the even as the President. Keep in mind that I had never planned an event larger than an about 20 person bridal shower....and I could expect somewhere between 40 and 90 people to attend Rally. Yikes!

I joked that if they made me do this I was going to have it in Rock Springs....suggestions to alternate locations came rolling in....instantaneously. The most popular suggestions?

1. Jackson, I squashed this one almost as instantaneously. Jackson is ok, but its the only place people ever think about when they hear Wyoming. Its expensive and there are so many other places in Wyoming that are just as great....or more so.

2. Cheyenne, eh....maybe

3. Casper, No. This is where all of our state trainings are....I wanted to go somewhere a bit more exciting.

4. Cody, which was our winner. A great little tourist trap, close to Yellowstone and not Jackson. A "cowboy" town if you will.

So when you are hosting a regional conference in Buffalo Bill's Cody, Wyoming its only natural that you have a cowboy/western theme. One change I would have made in my planning was delegating the camera to someone else. I managed to go to entire events and snap a single you may have to rely on the internet if you want more pictoral descriptions.

HOWDY! Registration table
 The first day of the Rally was a free day, where participants could explore Cody and the greater Yellowstone area on their own. We also offered a tour of the Y-Tex facility that is based in Cody. I wasn't able to go on the tour, but am looking forward to making it part of another trip to Cody!

Rally isn't all play and no work. We got down to business with a day and half of meetings. We were lucky enough to be welcomed by 2014 Miss Wyoming, Jessie Allen. She is a ranch girl and promoted agriculture and the outdoors during her reign.

We were also joined by Mike Schmidt, Deputy Administrator of Farm Programs. He's a big dog from DC and is responsible for the implementation of all of our programs. It was great to hear some of the things he is trying to accomplish as well as being able to express challenges that we are facing in the field.

We also had a silent auction to benefit the National Scholarship Fund and the Wyoming Scholarship Fund. Counties and States from the Association donated items to the auction. We had a GREAT offering with items that got comments "the quality of auction items is better than National Convention". We were able to make about $2,000 for scholarships!

No event would be all work and no play with this group. We found plenty of fun after the meetings! We hosted a hospitality room complete with food, drink, fun, fellowship and of course cornhole and giant Jenga!

We went to the Prime Rib Buffet at Buffalo Bill's famous Irma Hotel and this was my biggest picture fail. We had the entire Governor's Room and the food was delicious, as usual!

We also visited Cody Cattle Company, a chuckwagon dinner and music show before heading over to the famous Cody Nite Rodeo. Our State Committee Chairman, was kind enough to wear this awesome hat and send us to the chuckwagon by ringing the dinner bell. He was a great sport and did an awesome job!

State Committee Chairman sending us to dinner at the chuckwagon

Ryan Martin and the Triple C Cowboy Band at Cody Cattle Company

Overall, this was a good planning experience, although I'm not real anxious to host another event of this size. I was lucky to have so many people willing to serve as chairpersons and take some of the burden off of me. I couldn't have done it without my many helpers!

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

mountain biking in kansas

Switchgrass EPIC mountain bike trail
 Sure sounds like an oxymoron doesn't it!? I was presently surprised by an Epic mountain bike trail that can be found just a few miles off of I-70....and on my way to my friend's wedding. And for the record, although there were only 2 of us, when he lived in Wyoming he was part of the mountain bikers so I'm counting it as my trip with the mountain bikers this year for the 2015 goals!

Steve liked catching critters...I screamed when I about ran over this one!

We met in Wilson the night before, he coming from the east and me from the west. We stayed at the historic Midland Railroad hotel, it was super cute and the food and beer sure hit the spot after traveling all day.

Crossing the tracks, Wilson, Kansas

Then the next morning we headed out to Wilson Lake to hit the trail. The trail consists of stacked loops for a total of 24 miles. I was so excited to ride 24 miles as that would be the longest ride I'd ever done, but I was comforted by the fact that if it gets to be too much there are tons of places to "bail" and make a shorter ride....which I had to do. At 18 miles I was beat! I was starting to make lots of mistakes that could have ended in crashes that really injured me, so I bailed.

Overlooking Wilson Lake from Switchgrass Trail

The trail was amazing and I think I'd like to give it a try again, especially now that the first 5 miles might not kick my butt so bad! They were pretty technical for me and I wasn't sure I was going to make it past the first section.

Stegosaurus Drop