25 July, 2006

Never Mind the Bullocks, Here's Mika!

Mika arrived here last Wednesday, and from the hugeness of the grin on her face, I should have expected that there would be no time for picture taking, there would barely be time for sleeping. Because! Fun! To be had! All day!

Things that are not pictured below:

1. Horseback riding in the biggest hailstorm we have ever seen. Hail the size of blueberries. On our heads and hands, and on the horses. Did I mention that the trail ran along a narrow winding path very very close to the edge of a long and deep ravine? And that my horse in particular seemed to slip and slide, her feet off over the abyss? Yes, Mika happily pointed this out to me, after we got off the horses.

2. Rodeo Clown mauled by two angry bulls. Yes, incredible and scary and true. We went to the rodeo, despite the slight rain, and Timon brought a flask of tequila that he liberally applied to the margarita he purchased at the stall. Needless to say, I drove home, as by the end of the rodeo Timon had hollared himself hoarse at those cowboys. Timon rarely gets anything resembling drunk, and Mika and I just kept giggling at him. but I digress...

Only one cowboy rode the bucking bull for at least 8 seconds, the time required to qualify. Another cowboy got on his bull and the gate opened and after one feeble kick, the bull just stood still, and then kind of walked around the ring. It was pretty funny. So the judges allowed the cowboy another run on a bull that would "perform". An unperforming bucking bull is not a crowd pleaser.

While they tried to get a second bull in the release gate, we noticed the angriest bull in the back getting riled up by some of the other cowboys. They were throwing sand in his face from the outside of the ring. Then the shafted cowboy got his ride on a bull that could perform, and was thrown off before the 8 seconds. While the ringside cowboys were opening the gate to get the bull out of the ring, the rodeo clown came in to distract the bull from the fallen cowboy. While everyone was watching the clown and bull #1, the very angry bull came charging into the ring just as bull #1 knocked down the clown. And then both bulls were throwing their horns with 2000 pounds of muscle behind them at the clown. oh awful scariness. The crowd went crazy, as most of them were families with small children. The rodeo DJ (he calls himself that) was trying to calm everyone down, but by then everyone was leaving. The clown got up and brushed himself off, but it was the most insane moment of violence I've seen between a human and an animal.

3. Lyle Lovett concert at Red Rocks. I am sorry that we don't have pics of this, because Red Rocks is the greatest venue I have ever seen. The music is actually an accompaniment to extreme beauty. We sat up high in the natural amphitheatre and watched the sunset turn the entire midwest shades of rose, reflecting off the patch of skyscrapers that is Downtown Denver. Then we watched a thunderstorm move across the whole city, literally seeing a wall of rain several miles away from us.

And now for photos:

Drive to Independence Pass

Camping at Lincoln Gulch

Hike near Aspen

And on Sunday, there was Mountain Biking at Vail.

On the drive to Vail, Timon was listing the categories we were going to compete for: Bloodiest, Most Falls, First Down the Mountain... I piped up and declared a category for No Falls. I think everyone won the category they most wanted, so we were all happy by the end of the day, because I didn't fall once, Timon fell so many times he couldn't count, and Mika was definitely the bloodiest.

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