I was correct in my hypothesis that my parents would enjoy the d'Orsay; my mom even stated, and I paraphrase, that it might be her favorite museum ever. We crossed the Seine and walked the Champs Elysee from the Louvre all the way to the Arc de Triumph, which is tied with the tent at the base of Silverton Mountain as my favorite little spot in the world. We watched the sun set, then made our way back to Gare du Nord, and then to the airport where I saw my parents off before heading back to Amsterdam to meet Maria.
One of the biggest highlights was when John and I rented a tandem sea kayak and paddled to an island just north of Koh Lipe, called Koh Adang. Koh Adang is a nature preserve, and no one but the park rangers are allowed to live on the island. When we found the deserted beach on its western shore, John described it very accurately by saying it was "like walking into a stock photograph in your computer's screensaver."
From Karakol, we drove 40 minutes to Ichke Jergez for a night with a wonderful local family, and then surfed the back of a flat-bed truck up an already melted-out mud road to the start of an hour long tour to the yurt, known as Jalpak Tash. The location is pretty much unbeatable, all things considered, from the views of the mountains above to the lake below.
The touristy spots in the town were packed with tourists from around the world, so we spent a lot of time people watching on the Charles Bridge and relaxing with beers along the Vltava River. When we were joined by Sara and Ryan the following days, we quickly discovered that these activities are universally celebrated by our family and friends no matter where we visited in the city.
...Steve and I left Gunnison around 5pm, which was a bit later that we had intended. We were really nervous about the light situation when we finally got on our bikes and had left a car at Poncha Pass for the shuttle. Luckily, it didn't take long for us to get above treeline from the summit of Monarch Pass, where we were rewarded with some of the best views I have had in Colorado in a while...[Read More...]