On the ready: Getting a list set for my summer adventures | AspenTimes.com

On the ready: Getting a list set for my summer adventures

Local guide Brandon Soucie helps instruct Anna Stonehouse during a fly fishing trip down the Roaring Fork River last summer.
Austin Colbert/The Aspen Times

I’m starting to catch that spring fever.

For the first time in the three winters I’ve lived in Aspen, I’m actually ready for warmer weather. My problem, however, is that when it comes to outdoors activities, about the only thing I have locked down is snowboarding. I don’t really have a go-to activity in the summer, and I desperately need one.

My co-worker, Rose, inspired me with her bucket list column (see Wednesday’s paper). So, instead of coming up with something original, I decided to do the same. Although, she looked back on the winter season and I want to look ahead to the summer and decided to jot down five things I need to get into over the coming months. And, as always, I’m looking for adventure buddies.

1. Become a river rat

At the top of my list is to spend more time on, or in, the water, whether that is by rafting, kayaking, stand-up paddleboarding or any other watercraft you can come up with. I truly love being on the water, but haven’t had much of an avenue to do so over the past few years. Other than a quick fly-fishing adventure last year and a brief canoe trip with Erik Skarvan in the Northstar Nature Preserve, I haven’t had a serious river adventure (does tubing qualify?) since I lived in Steamboat Springs about three years ago. My problems here are lack of equipment and friends to make this happen. I’ll figure something out. If all else fails, I’ll just sneak into one of the hotel pools and call it a day.

2. Pick up fly fishing

I’ve only been fly fishing once, which was last year when my co-worker, Anna, and I tagged along with local guide Brandon Soucie for a day on the Roaring Fork. From what I was told, I have a knack for it, although maybe Anna was just being nice. Fly fishing is certainly easy when you have Brandon there to tell you what to do every second. Yet again, I don’t own the required equipment, but a fly rod seems within my wheelhouse to make happen. Learning to catch trout without an expert guide at my side might be more difficult.

3. Finally climb a fourteener

This was a bucket list thing last summer, too, and it didn’t happen. So let’s try again. I’ve spent roughly four years in Colorado now and, no, I have yet to climb a fourteener. For whatever reason, all my friends seem to freak out when I mention them tagging along because to them it sounds horrible. And, honestly, it sounds horrible. But it’s something I need to do. Obviously I’ll start with a mountain like Elbert and save my trip up Capitol for a few summers down the line.

4. Embrace the two-wheel life

I love being on a bike, whether that is a mountain bike or a road bike. I would enjoy it even more if I wasn’t so awful at it and had some updated equipment. I don’t actually own a road bike, which hinders my cycling endeavors, but I can certainly up my game on the mountain bike. Maybe a trip to Fruita this spring would be a good idea. As much as I love riding around here, my sissy Kansas legs throw a fit when it comes to all the vertical you’re expected to climb. When does the Snowmass Bike Park open?

5. Free solo el cap

I’m joking. I’ve watched “Free Solo” a few times and it’s easily one of the best documentaries I’ve ever seen. Alex Honnold is an amazing rock climber, albeit a bit crazy. But between watching his film and getting to hear Tommy Caldwell speak in person when he came to Aspen for Winter Words has me wanting to give rock climbing a go. I’ve climbed indoors a few times, but nothing authentic out in nature. Not even sure where to begin. But if someone wants to show me the ropes (yes, unlike Honnold, I do want to have ropes), that would be grand.

acolbert@aspentimes.com


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