Friday, April 19, 2013

Makin' Stuff

Here are a few things I've been keeping busy with while Mother Nature gets her seasons figured out.

This is a batch of Pale Ale that I brewed about 2 months ago.  It's drinking very well right now.   As an experiment I stuffed whole hops into a four bottles.  Two bottles of Willamette and two bottles of Cascade.  I put 3 cones of each in one set of bottles and 6 cones of each in the other pair.  

I'm also trying my hand at wine.  This one is completely from a juice kit.  The kit was WineExpert Vintners Reserve Mezza Luna Red and it yielded 29 bottles that are now resting in the cellar.  We'll see how it turns out.  Reviews on it are pretty good so hopefully this fall we'll have a nice supply of red to be enjoying.  With any luck maybe we'll give some sort of fruit wine a try this summer.  

For Christmas, Kerry got a rock tumbler.  She is interested in expanding her jewelry making skills and is curious about wire wrapping.  Both of us like to collect rocks so she decided it'd be fun to polish some of them up and see how they look.  My parents had quite a few sitting around so we tumbled some of theirs also.  End result turned out pretty neat.  These were done with the basic 4 step grits that were included with the kit.  Next time we'll get 'em even shinier with 5 step abrasive and buff.  

I've been collecting parts for almost a year now, with the intent of building up a new mountain bike this spring.  It's been a long and fun process and now it's time to start assembling some stuff.  Front wheel #1:  Stans Crest rim, XT 15mm CL hub, Wheelsmith 14/17 spokes with alloy nips.  

Thursday, April 11, 2013

Spring Skiing at Copper Mountain

Over Easter this year our whole family was traveling.  Mom and Dad were on a road trip to Utah to see our cousins Kat and Paul, and Kerry and I were lucky enough to be able to join Kyleen and Scott on a ski trip to Copper Mountain.  

We left MN early on a Wednesday morning and by 2PM that afternoon we had our skis on and were getting  a quick couple of runs in for our first taste of altitude.  We were extremely pleased with the snow conditions.  Copper had gotten about 8-10 inches in the previous week, and despite it being late spring, that snow was still powdery on most of the mountain.

On Friday my friend Will was able to come up and join us for the day.  We spent the morning skiing a bunch of stuff on the front side of the mountain then had an early lunch and hit the back bowls to session some serious vertical.  The snow was awesome and we were cooked by 3 o'clock.  It was then time to hit JJ's bar and listen to some great music and enjoy some well earned beverages.

We stayed in a condo just a short walk from one of the main lifts.  We ate all of our breakfasts and lunches in the condo and at least one supper.  Scott approves of the nights menu. 

Our last couple of days brought a bit of new snow followed by some spring sunshine.  

Copper was Kerry's old stomping grounds when she lived out here, so it was fun having her remember runs and give us on advice on the good stuff.  All of us got schooled in high speed carving from my sister, the racer chick.  Dang, she can fly down the hill.  I think the "Slow Zone" ski patrols were giving her the hairy eyeball every once in a while.

There's nothing better than skiing all morning, then stopping mid-hill and kicking back in lawn chairs and having a snack in the warm sun at the Tiki bar.  Spring skiing at its best!

After four days of skiing, Kyleen and I decided we still had the legs on us to eek out a few more runs on our last morning at the resort.  We caught the front chair and headed directly to the back bowl.  We were met with a few inches of fresh snow and were the first ones to make tracks down to the Resolution chair at the base of the bowl.  A fantastic way to start our last morning of skiing!

Kyleen, getting ready first tracks on Triple Zero

Our digs for the week.  Copper Springs #225
To cap off an already great trip, we got to have an Easter dinner prepared by Chef Jim at his house in Lakewood.  Ray, Laura, Eamon and Tighe were able to join us as well as Will and his girlfriend Kristin.  Dinner was phenomenal and great times were had catching up with great friends.