Yellowstone, Pt. 1

The words "just take one more step back" are the cause of many Yellowstone deaths each year. Our dad almost got us with this one, only Amanda was a cool enough customer not to look down.

To see more photos of my trip to Yellowstone, clock on over to Part 2.

Day 2: Saddle & Paddle

Our second day on the road was absolutely packed: a two-hour ride through the Absaroka mountain range on horseback, three hours rafting down the Yellowstone River, and a four-hour drive around the upper loop in Yellowstone National Park.

Amanda and Spud

Our path wound by the empty Treventine mines, where I was kind of alarmed to watch my horse step over skeletons. Creepy for someone who lives back East and has never seen skeletons outside of museums or Hollywood movies! Back in the mountains, hooves trampling sagebrush released a heavy aroma and flowers of yellow, pink, lavender, and violet blue appeared in clumps.

Sam on Olie, Charlie riding Beans

My trusty steed, Black Tail (his eye makes him look kind of wild)

By the end of our six-mile ride I had shin splints and one hell of a sore derrière. I still kissed Black Tail for not throwing me off like Willie did to his rider - we were all pretty shaken up after he did, worried that our horses would spook, but what's an adventure without fear of severe injury or death?

The dry summer heat had us all psyched for white water rafting with our guide Parker that afternoon. Getting soaked was awesome. Parker confided in us that if his tour group had a bad attitude, he would convince them of the need to paddle non-stop for the duration of the trip (whereas the more laid back folks would get by with just a stroke here and there). I guess he liked our gung-ho approach and I'll-try-anything-once attitude because we only paddled a couple of times every few minutes.

Painted on the wall inside:
"If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water." 
- Loren Eiseley

My family went rafting with the Yellowstone Raft Company and riding with Absaroka-Beartooth Outfitters in Gardiner, Montana. 

Day 1: The Treasure State

Well, here we are in BOZEMAN, MONTANA. We had a full day of travel with our flight connecting through Denver. A workout, a swim, and a martini cured our slight jet lag and our stiff muscles. My favorite thing about being downtown in Bozeman this afternoon: cowboy boot spotting. I'm dying for a pair of my own but part of their appeal is the fact that they are authentic and lived-in around here. Each pair is a work of art though, and if I happen to find some in a vintage shop or thrift store, I'll snatch them up so fast heads will spin!!

Mandy - we haven't even left the airport yet and she's instagramming already!

Stuffed animal heads are the main feature of the C'Mon Inn's decor. 

Walking down Main Street in Bozeman

Happy hour at the Rocking R Bar; the $5 martinis are dangerous!

My twin brothers Charlie and Sam - they turned 16 yesterday! They love doing outrageous handstands and stunts, like Sam's flagpole below. 

Dinner at Ted's 
(the bison chili was phenomenal, and brutally spicy)

We've been driving around with Guns N' Roses ("Every Rose Has Its Thorn"), Shawn Colvin ("Shotgun Down the Avalanche") and Luke Bryan ("Country Girl") on the radio. Just some examples so you can play them on YouTube and pretend you're in the car, too, gawking at the Bridger Range of the Rocky Mountains.

The Graduate (Cum Laude)

My diploma arrived today! I have officially graduated from Pitt! It's bittersweet (though mostly sweet).

The Color Me Rad 5K

Photos from the sold out race to benefit the Special Olympics in Fairmount Park this morning.

The before, and the after.

"Does this shirt make my butt look fast?"

My whole body still looks like this... despite a vigorous loofah-ing with exfoliating scrub. 
It was totally worth it!