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This humble blog was started to document our travels around the country during the summer of 2006, We have opted to continue updating it due to the requests from family & friends. Enjoy!

Friday, August 23, 2019

Double Nickels

August 15, 2019

Dakota, Sloane, Kerry and Kathy

Carter and Erik


Double Nickels

I have never been one to make a big deal about my birthdays, the years roll by and I try to just take them all in and enjoy life as much as possible. It is not that I do not have an appreciation for the milestones as they pass, but getting older has never been that big a deal to me, I really try to enjoy every day and every age as I make the journey through life. What I do have a great appreciation for are my friends and family and the people who I love and share my journey with.

So I am thrilled to report that the celebration of my fifty-fifth birthday was spent with some of the most special people that I know and it was a day that I won’t soon forget, not so much as for what I did, but for who was there to share the experience. It started on the eve of my birthday when Kathy, Dakota, Sloane and I made the drive from Colorado Springs to Estes Park, where we were to spend the next five days.

Two of my four nephews happen to be living in Boulder, which we just happened to be passing through on our way and I had the rare and joyous occasion to see them both at the same time. We met for a late lunch and a few beers at the Rayback Collective in Boulder.  The Rayback Collective is an awesome food truck park, beer hall and live music venue. A rotating group of food trucks park and serve up an ever changing variety of food in a large ouside courtyard while inside a nice open bar serves libations to a crowd that seemed to be a lot of students and young professionals working on their computers.

Will and Pat

If hanging out with two nephews wasn’t a cool enough start to my birthday celebration, a real treat was awaiting us upon our arrival in Estes Park. Since we were traveling with Dakota and her baby, we opted to rent a cabin only a block up the street from the main downtown intersection on Spruce Street. It was a cute cozy 3B/1B cabin that was surrounded by a large population of adorable bunnies and chipmunks.


Estes Park is a cool little mountain town that is the gateway to the incredible Rocky Mountain National Park. We love it, but not so much for the obvious reasons, but because one of my best friends ever happens to call the place home. Our friend Kerry and I go back close to 30 years, once upon a time we worked together at the old Waterfront Market in Key West, now she owns a restaurant of her own, the amazing Rock Inn Mountain Tavern and we try to visit her just about every year.

Now we know a whole cadre of friends who live in the area and coming back each year is like coming home in many ways. This year Kerry hosted an amazing birthday party for me at her house and invited many of our Estes Park family. Our friend Andy from Key West was also on hand as he is spending part of his summer in Estes and he cooked us all an amazing lasagna dinner. Kerry even hired two of our musician friends to play that evening at the Rock, so we were able to go watch our friends Carter Sampson and Erik Oftedahl to cap off the wonderful evening.

Andy and Dude

Ella and Kerry

Carter and Erik play every year at the Mile 0 Music Festival in Key West and are often found in Colorado this time of year because of the Rocky Mountain Folks Fest in nearby Lyons, which is another reason we are here this time of year. Having so many of the people that I love the most in the world in one place made for one of the best birthdays ever.

There has always been something special to me about the cross pollination of having friends from different aspects of my life meet and mingle, so it was especially enjoyable to have Kerry and Andy meet and hang out with Dakota and Sloane. A plethora of blessings and it just made my heart sing. Everyone in Estes is just so amazing and the community that Kerry has surrounded herself with there is as special, unique and wonderful as our Key West family.

Cedar and Willow

Speaking of family and small worlds, Dakota’s husband Andy’s Uncle Greg happens to own a house in Estes Park as well and was in town at the same time as we were, so we were able to go out and see him and his incredible new house that overlooks the Mummies mountain range, just outside of Estes. It was a nice afternoon relaxing and enjoying the amazing vistas from his fantastic property.

Dakota, Sloane and Greg

We even found time to walk down to the weekly Farmer’s Market in downtown with Kerry. It was a great market with all sorts of fresh fruits and vegetables, meats, cheeses and vendors galore. Both Kathy and Kerry picked up a beautiful Hibiscus plant for our respective homes and we enjoyed yet another beautiful Colorado morning.


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