Blake Roberts

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Blake was one of my first guy friends when I moved out to Colorado. He moved out the same month I did, and really had the same story. He was a midwest boy from Minnesota who came out because of his love for the mountains. Him and his roommates Michael and Chris (pictured below) lived in the same apartment complex as my two best friends CJ and Rachel, so naturally us three girls and those three boys always ended up hanging out. I remember times when Rachel was in the shower and CJ wasn't home and I'd catch him going through their kitchen. One time he turned around with a mouthful of orange juice and gave me the "quiet" sign before he tiptoed to the door, snatched a cookie, and booked it home.
The Minnesota boys being goofy, left to right: Michael, Blake, Chris.
He loved life, and he loved being young. It was evident by his Christmas tree made out of PBR beer cans. Or how he left his car in the parking lot the entire season because he was so proud he could walk to the ski hill and everywhere else that he said it was staying there until it got towed out. It ended up having a flat tire and needed to be dug out before they even attempted towing it out.

Me and Blake didn't stay nearly as close of friends as our first year out here, but we always seemed to run into each other. I just saw him a few days ago actually, happy and partying as always. He didn't always make the best decisions, like anyone our age. Unfortunately sometimes you can't take your decisions back.

Friday night Blake got in a Jeep with four other people, including a drunk driver. They made it up Ski Hill Rd. before swerving out. The driver over corrected and rolled the jeep. Blake was ejected... He was 21-years-old.
Blake's death put a real perspective on death... how real and sudden it can be. It takes everyone, whether you're healthy or frail, famous or like Blake, who was just one of the guys. He was so young, and had his whole life in front of him... But death doesn't care. It's a painful reminder to everyone in Breck to not drink and drive, or get in a car with a drunk driver. It's not worth your life.

Shred in peace Blake... I bet the pow is amazing up there.
Here' s a link to the Summit Daily News Article.


Study Abroad - Africa!

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If you are one of the few people who were infected with the Travel Bug at a young age, you definitely need to check out CMC's study abroad programs to help with the itch (http://www.coloradomtn.edu/cms/One.aspx?portalId=2935482&pageId=14878933). This summer CMC went above and beyond my expectations by providing the opportunity to study abroad for two weeks in AFRICA! Unfortunately the cut-off for this years trip has passed, but there's always next year!

When I was growing up I would sit on my dads lap and watch the show "Nature", which was more often than not based in the African plains. I think that's where I developed my deep fascination and love for the continent... I've never been, but it's definitely a dream. Unfortunately this trip is out of my budget, but I strongly encourage anyone who can to take advantage of such an amazing experience. It would be something absolutely inspiring to blog about... I thought about doing a personal fundraiser? I've never done one, but it might be my best chance. Let me know if you have any suggestions!

A description of the trip, via CMC's website:

Students will be introduced to the skills of high altitude international wilderness trekking, non-technical mountaineering, and be immersed in the local guiding culture of Eastern Africa. We will spend six days in Tanzania hiking up Mt. Kilimanjaro (19,341ft / 5895m), the highest point in Africa and one of the seven summits – the highest mountains on the seven continents.

While Kilimanjaro is one of the world’s largest topographical features, the mountain does not require any technical skills, specialist equipment, or supplemental oxygen to climb.

Tanzanian Safari
After our time on Mt. Kilimanjaro, we will spend three days on safari in Lake Manyara and Serengeti National Parks. Here we will get the chance to see African wildlife in some of the most beautiful parks on the continent.

Local Community Immersion in Kiserian, Kenya
On our way back to Nairobi for the flight home we will stop for a few days in the town of Kiserian on the edge of the Rift Valley. Here we will meet the local community and pastoralists and immerse ourselves in the Africa less known to tourists.

GEO 105 – World Regional Geography: This class is a 3 credit, guaranteed-transfer class covering the main themes of world regional geography: physical environment, cultural identity, and economic and political development of world regions with an emphasis on the regions of East Africa. Students who need GEO 106 - Human Geography can take this class instead of GEO 105.

PED 223 – Beginning Mountaineering: This 1 credit class will introduce students to the basic skills required for non-technical mountaineering including high altitude alpine environments, mountain travel, equipment, and hiking skills. Focus will be on weather, terrain analysis, distance vs. time and energy, and basic high altitude international mountaineering skills.

PED 225 – Trekking: Also a 1 credit class, Trekking will cover basic trekking skills and equipment in an international mountain climbing context. Climbing and natural history of the area will be discussed as well.

For more information on this trip, visit it's page (http://www.coloradomtn.edu/cms/One.aspx?portalId=2935482&pageId=15912706).


Late For A Very Important Date!

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Hello all,

It's already fall and I have yet to post an entry! For the month of September I am working full time and in school full time, on top of trying to find a new place to live by the weekend - YIKES! I just haven't had time to sit and relax much less reflect on my summer!

I was a Parks Worker for the Town of Breckenridge this summer and it was by far the best job I've ever had. Four 6:00am - 4:30pm shifts outside in the beautiful weather followed by three days off. It was pretty awesome to get paid to be at the town's festivities all summer.

And of course, my summer also consisted of a lot of outdoor activities, from zip lining, to hiking, to dirtbiking.

All in all though, I'd have to say the most exciting part of my summer was welcoming my two Great Pyrenees / Anatolian Shepherd puppies into my life. They are brothers (Huey and Hank) and the loves of my life.


But alas, fall is already here!! It came aweful early this summer, but I suppose that's for a lot of reasons. I'm not getting the itch to ski yet, I always enjoy the moment. Fall for fall, summer for summer, winter for winter... It's too beautiful not to. I found a free day this past weekend to take a drive down Independence Pass and spend the day in Aspen with some friends and my boyfriend.

I took some photos around Breck this morning. There was snow on the peaks and it was in the lower 30's. It's very prevalent that winter is on it's way!

I'm going to try to be a little better about posting the rest of the month, but just in case... I always find time to post a photo or two a day to my Instagram. If you have the iPhone/Droid app, my name is aligee_ , otherwise you can check out my album here! You can always see where I am or what I'm up to. All of the above photos are posted to my Instagram as well! http://instacanv.as/aligee_

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