>It’s been a long time since I’ve sat down and had some time to write a blog entry. Unfortunately this post will be abbreviated because I know my parents will be calling me soon. They took an evening flight out of JFK to come to Colorado for the weekend with my brother. My cousins wedding is this Saturday and I couldn’t be happier I’m going to have 85% of my entire family here in my new home state. Colorado is a wonderful, expansive region of the United States. Making the road trip out there was actually quite relaxing. After an extremely stressful two weeks packing up the house in New Jersey, Maija and I had an enjoyable relaxing time visiting her family in Michigan for a few nights. Maija grew up on 10 acres in a rural part of the state. It was nice to meet her family, complete a puzzle, and enjoy the quite life before our long road trip our west.

By the time we left Michigan I was refreshed and ready for the long trip ahead of us. We made good time the first day covering over 700 miles in the car. We made lots of stops which probably only accumulated to a couple of added hours to the overall traveling time. We stopped overnight right outside of Omaha, Nebraska. After grabbing some Italian fast food (a first for me) we snuck the dogs into the hotel and got some shut eye. Maija woke up and hit the hotel gym while I awoke and took the dogs with me outside for a run. The morning air had a crisp chill to it but it felt nice after some hot days back in Jersey. I haven’t ran much in the past year but my running legs seem to pick up where I left them. I headed out of the hotel and down a grass road which ran parallel with the local airport. After about fifteen minutes into the run I started having trouble breathing and realized I was sucking in all the wonderful plane fumes the Nebraska airport had to offer. I then ran a loop around some small lake and as I glanced over into the reflection of the water I noticed all the dead fish floating around. Yuck! A quick sprint back to the hotel and I was glad to shower and leave Nebraska running to well no one…

The rest of the drive to Colorado was flat, fast, and fun as Maija and I sang along to to some country music. It helped us take in the dry air and western charm.

Another 100 miles of farmland and we were in the middle of Denver’s rush hour traffic. We arrived at the house to find our landlord and a moving truck right outside the house. Could this be ours? We were crossing out fingers, but then Maija and I noticed the movers were going into the house next door. Still ironic our neighbors were moving in the same time as us. The next few days Maija and I twisted, tumbled, and turned to try and get comfortable on a blow up bed we bought from target. I thought it was pretty cool because the air inflator came with a built in LED flashlight!

Give a man something he can have more than one use 
for and you will have one happy man in your corner πŸ™‚ 

Now back to the present. I’m about 80% finished unpacking the house. The upstairs office and pictures need to be unpacked, including a few of Maija’s clothes. The last few days have been very long and tiring as I absorbed myself in getting the house to feel a place we can call our own. Currently we are on a limited budget but what better way to appreciate what we have and what we can obtain in the future.

On another subject, the riding out here is quite intense. There are so many cyclists. Period. There is never a day where I do not see someone commuting by bike or just out riding for the pure enjoyment. While there are a lot of competitive cyclists, there are also a ton of riders who are out there for their own recreation endeavors. More power to them! The first few rides here were definitely a slap in the face and a kick in the rear about how hard it actually is to adjust to riding / training at altitude. I’ve been on the scope for a racing team to join and last weekend I met up some guys who race for a team in Golden. They took me on a beautiful ride through the rolling hills outside Golden and I had a great time. There, I met a friend who I rode with the next day closer to Highlands Ranch. Funny enough we actually rode past the rural house Maija and I were considering to rent. After you past the “house” the climb kicks up for another 4-5 miles until you reach the summit. I’m starting to realize how fast the weather changes here. As Jadon and I reached the summit we stopped for a quick snack on the side of the road. At the top there is a porta-jon, a few benches, and two coolers with drinks and snacks for riding passing through. Amazing! They have a donation box which is completely voluntary but next time I’m up that way I’ll be sure to leave a buck or two. Once we had our break it was another few miles of rolling hills until we started to descend the mountain. This was my first real fast mountain descend. The switchbacks were tricky but after about 5 miles I began to relax and follow my friend’s line as he led the whole way down. Descending definitely takes time to get used to but I know the more I do it, the more comfortable I’ll feel.

I’m looking forward to winter training and to see what the future holds for my racing. I’m also now on the hunt for a career. I’ve been applying to various companies with many different job paths. I’ll keep you updated about what I find. Denver seems to have a lot more opportunities for work and I’m excited to see what’s out there.

Overall the last month has gone by so fast with many changes for both Maija and I. Personally, I am happy where we can both start somewhere new together and create our own memory book.

Here are some pictures from the past few weeks. Hope you enjoy! 

 I’ll definitely miss Round Valley State Park in NJ. 
Before we got to Michigan Maija and I stopped off in PA at the Bald Eagle State Park for a run. Here is Maija trying to figure out the best place to run. The actual run turned out to be great and the all of us (including the dogs) got a great workout in.

Now in Michigan, Frito is in full force hunting mode. 

A view from Maija’s backyard. How beautiful! 
Me being silly while Maija takes her turn driving. 

Checking out the corn fields. I’ve never seen so much corn in my life!

Out west the sky stretches limitless for miles without any manmade obstructions. 

On the road…

Yes I can be corny! 

Here is Cooper getting a more comfortable seat up front on Maija’s lap. It was hot all day for him in the car so a nice break near the air conditioned was a welcoming thought for Coop.
One great feature about Colorado parks is their off leash dog areas. They cover miles of trails for the dogs to be dogs! 
Dogs here seem a lot more balanced. I’ve noticed owners are allowing their pups to act more like dogs while trying to keep them in line with discipline. Here are my two best friends walking by my side, waiting for their next command. They have come a long way. 

There were so many places for Frito & Cooper to roam free. 
Driving out of the park I pulled over, got out and snapped a shot of the sun slowing receding behind the mountains. 
A new backyard, a new beginning…
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