Monday, July 29, 2013

Hungry Horse

In the town of Hungry Horse, Montana is a massive dam that was created, much like the dam near my hometown, to prevent disastrous flooding to the towns that lie down river.
At 564 feet, the damn is the 10th highest in the country. 
That thing. Yup, that thing right there. It's called a glory hole. *snickers* Yea, you should probably click on THIS link and learn what that is. Please mom, do not try to Google "glory hole." The photos displayed in the visitors center of this bad boy in the spring look terrifying. I must take another trip up there in late spring/early summer to see this terror in action. 
Since we were "coincidentally" so close to Glacier, we had to continue our drive up the Going to the Sun Road.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

Bouquet Toss

My friends Mike & Kaylea finally tied the know after 8 years of dating. The bride was beautiful stunning & you will be hard pressed to find a happier man to meet someone at the alter than Mike was to see K walk down that isle. 

Much fun was had at their reception!
Including when the bouquet bounced off the hands of not one, not two, but three people before almost landing on the ground next to my feet. Not wanting such a beautiful thing to touch the ground, I held out my left hand and caught it next to my knees. I then proceeded to yell "Gawd damn it!" at the top of my lungs. -_- I guess I'm not your typical girl...

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Going to the Sun

Needing to clear my head and think, but to exhausted to drag my body through a grueling hike, I did the next best thing for my mind and soul, I went for a  drive on the best road I know, the Going to the Sun Road in Glacier National Park.
After having taken a few pictures of Wild Goose Island myself, I think I've decided high it's time I visit the tiny little island. Perhaps a paddle boarding trip is in order??? I DO have a birthday coming up soon.

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Missoula Half

On Friday a friend told me she was sick. She's been, like my roomie and many other folks, training for the Missoula 1/2 Marathon for many months. Knowing I am a slight running junkie, she asked if I wanted her bib # to run the race instead. Now normally I would of been joining everyone else in the fun, but in an effort to save some money(still trying for the whole, get out of debt thing by my 30th birthday thing) this summer, I opted to not run any organized races this summer. Despite that promise to myself, I had still been slowly chugging along in my running up until the point when I broke my arm on Cinco de Mayo. That brought not just running, but almost all physical activity, including dishes and housework, to a complete halt for several weeks. Just last week I boasted on Facebook that I had finally run my first 5k since breaking my arm. So when Becky asked if I wanted her bib, I considered my options, but there was no way I was going to turn down a free entry into a closed race. 

Two days later, as I woke up at 3 am to sleepily chow down on the pre race meal I had prepared the night before and set on my night stand, I thought of the words of my friend Andrew. His philosophy to running is "if you can run 3 miles, you can run anything." It's all a mental game. At least that's what I reminded myself before passing out for another hour.

My roommate Debbie and I boarded the bus while it was still very much dark out. As we pulled out of the staging station in downtown Missoula, I reminded myself that the only way I was getting back to that place today was with my own body and willpower.

Fast forward nearly two hours and the boom can be heard across the valley as 3,000 runners cross the starting line.
I was holding strong at mile 7 at a 10 min pace (pretty average for me, I never boast to be a fast runner) when I started getting that funny feeling in my knee right on que. Actually, for not having trained, I was impressed it had waited until that long to start acting up. The remainder was pretty touch and go. Walking when I had to, then running when the pain would subside a bit until it would give out on my again and I would find myself falling to the ground. 
As I came across the Higgins Street bridge for the final .1 mile and neared the finish line the crowd started going wild. In my head I was thinking this was a much nicer applause than I had ever received in a race. What I didn't know until she whizzed right by me only ten feet from the finish line was the lead female finisher for the full marathon!! It was pretty neat getting to cross the line with her as well as comical from my stand point.
After downing half a watermelon at the finishers booth (somewhere along the race I had started dreaming about watermelon, not even knowing it was waiting for me at the finish line) I reconnected w/ Debbie and learned that I had actually BEATEN my time from last year that I had trained months for. 
Although I will probably never train hard for another race ever again, I do believe my knee is telling me it's time to start finding other sports to enjoy. 
Did I mention I also was helping a friend DJ a wedding that night and had to promptly head home to shower and dress in formal wear?

Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Secret Cave

Although I have been pinky sworn to secrecy and cannot reveal the location of said cave, I thought it would be nice to share a few of the pictures from our exploits today. Thanks again for the adventure Brett!

Tuesday, July 09, 2013

Holly Goes Flying

I finally got the text I've been waiting years for.

Want to go on a tandem at 5:30?

It didn't even have to process. I knew immediately what he was talking about, but I was going to be stuck at work til at least 6. When I reiterated that to my friend, he told me they'd "make it work."

Practically running out of work, I rushed to the soccer fields in the middle of town and hooked up w/ my good friend Brett and several of his paragliding buddies. We all piled into one truck, gear and all, and headed up a forest service road to the top of Mount Sentinel.
Brett's friend Brendan was in town with his tandem wing and needed someone to go with him. I was more than ecstatic to be his choice. After explaining the finer details of what we were going to do, we strapped in.
Then we sat and watched the wind sock for the right moment to
"Run! Run! Run!"
Before I knew it, only every third step was hitting the grown and instead of running wildly down the side of Mount Sentinel, we were floating about it. Overall the flight lasted 12 minutes, but they were 12 minutes of pure joy and freedom. Our landing on the soccer field couldn't of been any softer. 

Sunday, July 07, 2013

Japanese Lanterns

Something I've always wanted to do, but never had the know how, was to free Japanese lanterns like they do in the Pingsi Township Lantern Festival in Asia (anyone ever see the end of the movie Tangled???). I've always found them to be a stunning display of beauty and peace as they drift high into the night sky.

This past winter I found them on sale on an online store and picked up a few. They've been sitting in my closet biding their time for the right night to do them.

Tonight was the night. After exploring Garnett with Lydia, we headed up to meet my friend Ryan at his work house on Seeley Lake. With the help of Ryan & Lydia, we wrote our wishes on the thin paper tissue and released them to the sky.
Although Ryan's was not quite ready to be let go and floated straight into Seeley Lake.
Lydia & I learned from his mistake and held onto ours a little longer to inflate before letting them go.
Then we just sat back and watched them drift into forever. Maybe not as grand as the Lantern Festival of their home country, but there's still something magical about laying on a dock watching even a couple of them drift off into the night sky.