Posted by: heatherandandybrown | October 11, 2014

Golden Aspens

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Fall in the Rocky Mountains is a special time of year. The aspens put on a golden display that lines the roads and blankets the mountain sides. The only free day we had to go aspen hunting was foggy and misty, but dramatic none the less.

CLICK HERE FOR ASPEN PHOTOS

Although we have only gotten a few dustings at our house, the higher mountains have received lots of powder. The ski mountains are busy making snow and we are eagerly awaiting the ski season to begin 🙂

Posted by: heatherandandybrown | July 29, 2014

Colorado Camping and Hiking

We fell a little more in love with our new home state this past week. While exploring the southwest part of Colorado, we discovered some amazing natural beauty.

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A= Home. We camped about 2 hours away from Durango in the Rio Grande National Forest.

B= Durango– Hiked Animas Mountain, splashed around the Animas river that runs through downtown, played a round of Frisbe golf at a local college, and visited two local breweries: SKA  Brewing and Durango Brewing Co.

C= Silverton– Drove on the “Million Dollar Highway” (Dramatic views comparable to Rocky Mountain National Park) to the historic Victorian town of Silverton. We loved this town/area so much that we stayed here two nights. The first night it was pouring rain, so we opted to stay dry indoors. We found a nice little bed and breakfast that was over 100 years old. We visited Avalanche brewing company and did several hikes. The second night we drove to the end of an off-roading trail and camped in a beautiful valley.

D= Ouray– Before driving to Ouray, we hiked 8 miles round-tip to “Ice Lakes.” Instead of ice, we found turquoise blue waters and the most intense display of wildflowers that I have ever seen. In Ouray, we hiked to cascade waterfall and hit the road.

E= Telluride– We got lunch and decided to drive back home. We drove HWY50 back home, one of the roads that Andy traveled down on his cross-country bike tour.

4-20140725_190849Camping spot on Mineral Creek, north of Silverton

 

5-IMG_1856Lower Ice Lake, framed by rosy Indian Paintbrush

3-IMG_1656“Velocity Basin”, recommended by our Silverton bartender

2-IMG_1754Waterfall off of 550, “Million Dollar Highway”

 CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS  Some are panoramic. To view the full photos and captions, click on the first photo

Posted by: heatherandandybrown | October 10, 2013

Subaru turned Camper

IMG_20131001_183616This past weekend Andy, the dogs, and I went on a foliage hunt around the mountains of Colorado. Setting out we had no plans of where we were going to drive or where we wanted to camp. 200 miles later… we ended up at a creek side primitive camping site off of Guanella Pass (a 11,669 ft. high mountain pass located in southwestern Clear Creek County). We slept for the first time on the platform Andy built that turns the Subaru into a camper. We had a blast andIMG_20131009_124254 stayed relatively warm despite the dashboard reading 28 degrees right before we went to bed. The Aspen colors weren’t the best this year because of the high rainfall, but the fresh snow-capped views made the trip worthwhile.

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS

Posted by: heatherandandybrown | September 15, 2013

Flood of 2013!

CO has seen a crazy amount of rain this week… and it’s STILL raining. Luckily, our house is well above the water level. We have a stream, at the front of our property by the road, that has flooded part of our yard. Usually a steady trickle, our “stream” has grown into a river. Our driveway/covert seems to be holding up well, but some of our neighbor’s driveways have been flooded or washed away. Earlier today, Andy, Lucy, and I went for a walk down Upper Bear Creek Rd. (1/4 mile from our house) which follows along Bear Creek. The road was impassable about a half a mile down with significant flooding and structure damage. Most of the buildings in downtown Evergreen have escaped water damage, but our favorite bar/restaurant, “Cactus Jack’s,” is the first building downstream from the dam and was flooded.

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS (Click on first photo to see captions on right describing where photo was taken. Black framed photos are from our local news station)

CLICK HERE FOR A VIDEO FROM FRIDAY OF DOWNTOWN EVERGREEN

Here is a YouTube video of some clips I took of our yard and down the street:

Posted by: heatherandandybrown | July 8, 2013

2nd Annual Jefferson Lake Camping Trip

IMG_7176     Jefferson Lake…one of our favorite spots in Colorado. A little less than an hour and a half from our house, this high elevation lake is a hidden gem. This was Andy, Dave, and I’s second camping trip to this lake together and we plan on making it a yearly tradition. This year we dropped Ollie off at Doggy Adventure Camp for a quiet weekend of napping and took our puppy Lucy on her first camping trip. Aside from chomping down on a dead porcupine, Lucy was the perfect trail and camping dog. IMG_3466

Despite being one of the most traveled holiday weekends of the year, our camping spot was just as private as last time. We canoed our gear across the lake, backpacked into the woods a little ways and camped next to a bubbling creek for three days.

Friday night we were joined by my girlfriend Sarah, her husband Tom, son Owen, and 2 dogs. Saturday night Dave’s friend, Collin, camped with us and serenaded the night with an ukulele that he packed in.

IMG_20130706_133012My favorite part of our trip was a hike that Dave, Andy and I did up the valley. We followed a creek that surprised us with waterfalls around every turn, trekked through wild flower meadows and ended up at a snow covered waterfall at 11,370 ft.

Colorado summer days like this make my heart smile 🙂

 

CLICK HERE FOR MORE PHOTOS (If you double click on the first photo you will see captions to the right)

Peace and Love,

Heather & Andy

Posted by: heatherandandybrown | February 25, 2013

A year in Colorado!

It’s hard to believe that a couple weeks ago we celebrated our 1 year anniversary of moving to Colorado. We have grown roots in the Rockies and can’t imagine living anywhere else. We do miss our families out East, but enjoy spending quality time with them when we visit.

We have been busy these past couple months, so we’ll let the photos do most of the talking…

– We found a beautiful black lab puppy. No one claimed her, so we kept her and named her Lucy Mae 🙂

– Rochester, NY for Thanksgiving. with a quick visit to Niagara Falls.

– We cut down our Charlie Brown Christmas tree on our property

– Lots of skiing. We have been to Arapahoe Basin 3-4 times, Vail, Loveland, and Andy has been to Keystone and Breckenridge to chase powder

– Charlotte, NC for Christmas. Saw a Panther’s game

– Heather went to Kansas City to visit her sister’s family and new baby boy Lincoln Douglas Stern

– Andy’s dad came out for 2 weeks to visit

– Ice Skating on Lake Evergreen. It is the largest groomed outdoor rink in America!

– Biggest snow storm of the year… over a foot and still snowing.

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS

We put an offer in on a house, so hopefully by  next post we will be in our new home 🙂

Lots of Peace and love,

Heather, Andy, Ollie & Lucy Mae

Posted by: heatherandandybrown | September 23, 2012

Micro Adventure

After watching this video we were both instantly inspired to take a small trip. In the clip, a British Adventurer (who spent over 4 years cycling round the world) talks about “Thinking Small” to make the most out of our short lives and advocates taking “Micro-Adventures.” Ever since we moved to Colorado we have talked about biking around Dillon Reservoir, a fresh water lake that borders the towns of Frisco, Silverthorne, and Dillon. Our initial plan was to do a fully supported mini bike tour with our pannier bags and Ollie’s trailer. We parked our car in an overnight lot in Breckenridge and as we started to unpack, quickly realized that we forgot the piece of Ollie’s trailer that connects it to Andy’s bike. Plan B: We found a shady campsite for Ollie to stay in our car and biked from the campground to the lake loop.

We had amazing weather and the views were spectacular. This was my first time road biking in the mountains, so needless to say it took awhile for the climbs to grow on me. The downhill sections that followed made it all worth it though:) About two miles from our campsite Andy got a flat tire. A quick Google search directed us to a bike shop a couple blocks away, which was conveniently located next door to a brewery! Here are some photos from our Micro-Adventure

A couple weeks ago, we played Frisbee golf in a Ghost town near Idaho Springs. It was awesome playing through ruins and abandoned buildings.

The Colorado mountains are alive with the color of Fall. The only deciduous trees we have near our house are Aspens and their spade-shaped leaves have turned a brilliant gold. Here are some photos of the Aspens and the Ghost Town

Cheers to Fall and Seizing the Day!

Peace and Love,

Heather, Andy and Ollie

 

 

Posted by: heatherandandybrown | July 31, 2012

Lake Jefferson, Colorado

Lake Jefferson

This past weekend, Andy, Ollie, our friend Dave, and I camped for 3 days on Lake Jefferson. The lake sits at 10,500 ft elevation and is stocked with a variety of fish. We canoed our gear across the lake and hiked it into the woods about a half a mile from the shore. Our campsite was very secluded; we had the whole woods to ourselves!

A pooped pup

Ollie was a trooper and hiked all the way around the lake with me while Andy and Dave were casting out their fishing lines. Excluding the mid-day thunderstorms, the afternoon temperatures were very pleasant. At night time, the temperatures dropped to around 40 degrees, making for very chilly evenings. A campfire would have been a welcome addition to our nights, but the area is still under a fire-ban. Dave engineered a genius alternative and heated rocks on his camp stove for us to hold in our hands and laps to stay toasty.

Adventurer Andy

On Sunday, Andy ventured out on a solo hike up to two peaks that overlooked the lake (the last photos are from his hike). A storm rolled in while he was on one of the peaks and he had to sprint down the side to seek shelter. Unfortunately, during his frantic race, his smartphone  fell out of his pack. He wasn’t on a trail at the time, so it is very unlikely that anyone will come across it.

 

Minus Andy’s close encounter, we had an amazing time and plan on making a return trip very soon!

Peace and love,

Heather, Andy, and Ollie

CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE PHOTOS FROM OUR TRIP 

Posted by: heatherandandybrown | June 8, 2012

Happy Spring!!

Budding Antlers and Wild Flowers

When we first moved to Evergreen, everyone said “You think it’s beautiful here in the Winter… just wait until Spring!” Now we know what they are talking about… the bird migrations, the beautiful wildflowers that paint our yard, increased wildlife and mostly: THE WEATHER! Highs in the low 70s, little to no humidity, no bugs and lots of sunshine! In Charlotte, we would get teased with a week or two of this wonderful windows-open weather before hibernating in air conditioning, so we are really looking forward to spending a lot of time outdoors this Spring and Summer.

A lot has happened since we last posted… we both got a year older (sigh), Heather’s sister & brother visited on their way to Aspen (which we tagged along for, for a night), Andy’s parents visited from NY, we went back to Charlotte for a week, and Andy’s brother is visiting with us now. While Andy’s parents were here we went to Garden of the Gods, road the Cog Railway up to Pike’s Peak, and spent a weekend in Steamboat Springs visiting with Andy’s two half brothers and their families. Even though we moved over 1,000 miles from home, it has been awesome getting to spend so much time with family and friends, here in Colorado and in North Carolina.

Parmalee Elementary

A wonderful bit of news: Heather got a teaching position for next school year teaching Kindergarten and first grade at a local elementary school. She is absolutely in love with the school! It is very small, only 11 classroom teachers, and is the academically gifted school for the area. She is very excited about teaching the little ones and is already preparing stuff for her new classroom.

With more storage space, it has been easier to brew more batches of yummy homebrew. So far we have brewed 5 different batches: Evergreen Honey Porter, Front Range Pumpkin, Anniversary Ale (Coffee Stout), Heather Fraoch- brewed with Heather tips, and Little Cub Wheat.

Our first draft home-brew

Heather also has a batch of Hobo Wine fermenting, made from cran-raspberry frozen juice concentrate. Andy spent weeks building a “keezer” (freezer converted into a keggerator) so we can enjoy our homebrews on-tap and not have to hassle with bottling.

We love having company so if you are thinking about taking a vacation to the Rockies we would love to have you!

Lots of peace and love,

Heather, Andy & Ollie

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS OF OUR RECENT ADVENTURES

Posted by: heatherandandybrown | March 27, 2012

Hiking, Camping, & The Great Outdoors!

Like most of the country, we have had unusually mild temperatures these past several weeks. Our last snow (and precipitation) was March 1st, about a month ago. Needless to say, it is extremely dry and we have been placed under a fire warning.  A couple days ago fierce winds carried an ember from a prescribed burn, by the Forest Service, to a nearby forest where it started a fire that has now grown to over 3,000 acres News Article and Photos. Our house is about 8 miles, as the crow flies, from the fire’s perimeter. We have added our cell phone numbers to the local alert/evacuation system and check the news regularly for any updates (So don’t worry mom!). In NC we had tornadoes & hurricanes and here we have blizzards and fires; You can’t avoid Mother Nature’s reach!

Andy and I joke that we will be tanner living in the mountains than we were when we lived by the coast. The warmer weather has been beckoning us to the great outdoors. Most everyday after work, we are both “playing” outside. Andy continues to cut down dead trees in our yard and has several woodworking projects in the works. I recently finished constructing a sidewalk out of stones found on our property and have started preparing a flower/garden bed. Gardening is one of my favorite hobbies and to learn more about planting in this area I joined the Evergreen Gardening Club.

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS OF OUR LAST SNOW, SOME LOCAL HIKES AND OUR DEER FRIENDS

 Our “Wander Lust” has gotten the best of us and last weekend we set out in search of an outdoor adventure. Our drive lead us to the continental divide, near the town of Salida CO, about 2.5 hours away. Andy, Ollie, and I hiked up to the high elevation Lake Boss. The road that lead to the trail-head was not plowed so our hike ended up being a little longer than planned, but it was a pleasant  60 degrees and the views were amazing. We took turns carrying Ollie over unpacked snow (at times 3 feet deep!) and he got to ride in my jacket for the last mile or so of decent.

We camped along the Arkansas River and in the morning explored the desert like terrain near the campsite. We climbed up to a beautiful rock formation were spectacular distance views awaited. After packing up camp, we came across a 4-wheeling trail that went several miles through the San Isabel National Forrest. The trail was bumpy, windy, and FUN to drive on!

CLICK HERE FOR PHOTOS FROM OUR TRIP

Thank you for reading!

Peace and Love,

Heather, Andy & Ollie

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