On this first day of spring, when we’re already experiencing temperatures in Denver in the 70’s and 80’s, I thought I’d take a look back at a January trip to Tabernash where Heather and I spent a weekend Snowshoeing at Devil’s Thumb Ranch.
Heather and I love hiking in the Colorado mountains, but prefer to do much of our outdoor time in the summer. Its kind of ironic, because Colorado is known for its winter sport enthusiasts, but we just haven’t made the time to invest in gear and passes to take on snowboarding or skiing. To be fair, Heather has never done either, so there would be a bit of learning involved if we hit the slopes and it just isn’t something we’ve tacked yet.
However, we did get a couple of pairs of snowshoes for Christmas two years ago and we’ve managed to break them out several times for winter mountain excursions.
It was a gorgeous sunny day on the trails, so even though it was only in the 20’s we managed to stay warm just by moving. The mountains got hammered with snow this December and January, so much so, that if you stepped off the packed trails, you were in danger of being knee deep in snow, even on snow shoes. This was baby E’s first snowshoeing trip and we managed to keep him warm and snuggled and sleeping for most of the 3.5 mile trek.
If you’ve been following along, you know that Piney River Ranch is one of my favorite intimate wedding venues. So it’s only fitting that when Chris Loring Photography and I were dreaming up a mountain styled shoot, we chose Piney River Ranch as our location.
The approach to this shoot was a little different. While both Chris and I love mountain weddings, we cater to different clients, so naturally our visions weren’t 100% aligned. That’s okay though as we were both able to highlight different stories within the same scene. We both photographed Haley and Brian in a handmade wedding dress that Chris made herself (say what?!), but we told very different stories.
For my story, I really wanted to focus on the couple who craves quiet, intimate time together on their wedding day. They want to wake up together in a tent by a glacial lake, then spend their morning sharing breakfast in bed. They cuddle, eat, and share notes and thoughts about their upcoming life together. When its time for the ceremony, they join their friends by the lake, say their vows, then take the time to wander off to revel in the fact that they’re married.
You can see Chris’ vision of the day over on Rocky Mountain Bride, were we’re thrilled to be published today.
One final note before diving into my favorite photos: I shot this entire shoot on film. Its been a goal of mine for awhile to do an entire shoot on film and I took the plunge with this one. And I’m oh so so happy!
I shot all of these photos on my Pentax 645N on Portra 800 film. I think the colors are to die for.
I started my day off photographing in the cozy glamping tents on the Piney River Ranch property. Those tents are made for cuddles and breakfast.
The we moved on to photograph with Piney’s iconic lake and mountain view.
Though its been awhile since my last cinnamon roll post, never fear: I have not given up the search. If you’ve been following along with the blog, you know that I’m on the hunt for the Best Local Cinnamon Rolls. For this post I ventured a little further to Heck’s Tavern on the campus of Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa in Tabernash, CO.
I suppose for any comparison to be fair, there need to be guidelines. So here are my top priorities when sampling cinnamon rolls:
Is it warm?
Is there a good cinnamon to bread ratio?
Is the bottom burnt?
Is the outside overcooked?
Is the center still gooey?
Is the icing cream cheese based?
Heck’s Tavern Cinnamon Roll
Location: 3530 County Rd 83, Tabernash, CO 80478
Known for: A cozy, rustic, lodge restaurant at the heart of Devil’s Thumb Ranch Resort & Spa
Cinnamon Roll Grade: A
I really enjoyed this cinnamon roll. It featured a twist to the traditional cinnamon roll, upping the ante with maple bourbon cream cheese icing. The fact that it also came in a hot cast iron skillet (undoubtedly baked in the skillet) was an added bonus as it kept my cinnamon roll warm for my entire breakfast. The cooking in the skillet also prevented the outside from becoming overcooked and I found the entire roll to be evenly baked and the perfect amount of cooked and gooey.
I only ate half of this roll at breakfast, but enjoyed the rest after our afternoon snowshoeing adventure and it was just as good at room temperature as it was warm. I say this fact alone solidifies my “A” grade and I hope to have the chance to eat it again!
My week has gotten away from me, so I will make this recap short and sweet, mostly picking out key points and observations, rather than doing a full recap.
The Bachelor Nick Recap: Episode 9.1
I said last week that I enjoyed the 1 hour episode that only highlighted Raven’s fantasy suite date, but this week I missed having three dates to watch. Given that this episode actually ended with a rose ceremony made me wish we had been able to digest all three dates at once. Other than the brief morning after segment we got with Raven in a super good mood (we’re supposed to conclude that Nick gave her an orgasm, right??), she was absent all episode and it was very easy to forget all about her.
Both Rachel and Vanessa’s dates were sponsored by Lapland Safaris, as evidence by the numerous times the cameras focused on their signs. I fully approve of all of the date activities including cross country skiing with Rachel and ice bathing with Vanessa.
Rachel and Nick had a phenomenal, easy, captivating date with honest conversations and a reassurance from Rachel that even though she’s slow to open up, she does feel very deeply about Nick. During the date, Nick said “I’m totally falling for you too”. They even showed footage of the two of them cooking breakfast after their fantasy suite portion and it was so natural and normal and awesome to watch.
After their date I thought there was no way he would send her home. Which had me all worried, because if he didn’t send her home, then that meant she was in the final two, and since we already know she’s the Bachelorette, the ending of this season would have been given away right then and there. I suppose if she had ended up in the final two then ABC wouldn’t have announced her as the Bachelorette yet, but they had me seriously concerned for the rest of the episode.
Vanessa’s date involved running back and forth from ice baths to saunas, which doesn’t sound like that much fun to me, but I love how into it Vanessa got. By the end of this part of their date, I think Vanessa was ready to make polar bear plunges part of her morning routine. It gets cold enough in Montreal for that, right?
One thing I do really love about their relationship is that they’re not afraid to have tough conversations. I really feel that Vanessa is 100% herself around Nick, which shows she’s not just looking to please someone to be the final one, but that she really wants to find someone to spend her life with. She cusses, she pushes back, she asks honest questions, and she challenges what Nick says when he’s not expressing himself very clearly.
I was surprised to see that Nick is worried about them being too similar in personality. Up until this point it hasn’t been discussed, but suddenly Nick thinks they might both be two passionate and stubborn to make a lasting relationship work. I would argue that you should have some similarities and as long as you’re both willing to compromise on some things along the way, these similarities can bring you to a very deep relationships.
One thing that I feel could still be a sticking point between Vanessa and Nick is where they would live. Vanessa is very tied to Montreal and Nick didn’t seem too sure about having a life in Canada. However, I’m encouraged by the fact that he said numerous times that he’s willing to compromise and do anything for the women he loves.
I think what really needs to happen if Vanessa is Nick’s choice, is that the two of them should date long distance for awhile. It looks like Nick is doing Dancing with the Stars so he’ll be in LA for awhile after the finale, and the two of them would have already been doing the long distance thing to keep the ending a secret, so I think they should continue. They should really give themselves time to make sure that this is going to be a lasting relationship before making any drastic moving plans. Once they’re sure, I’m 100% confident that they’ll be able to make the best decision for their relationship.
Which leads me to my final prediction: Vanessa will be the last one standing.
As much as Raven is growing on me, I just don’t see them having the deep, challenging relationship that Vanessa and Nick have. At this point, its either Vanessa or no one.
One final note from the rose ceremony–I’m totally not satisfied with Rachel and Nick’s goodbye. He gave absolutely NO reason why he sent her home. If I was her I wouldn’t have taken his “It’s hard to say goodbye and you’re amazing” speech without some push back. Clearly she has closure now, but I would have been so confused because he gave her no answers.
The Women Tell All
I muted much of the women tell all (because honestly, I couldn’t listen to Taylor and Corrine any more), but I did tune into the couch time with Kristina and with with Rachel.
One thing was very clear with both of these interviews. Kristina and Rachel are clearly loved by every single woman on the show. The cheers, the tears, the reassurances, and the hugs that these two women got from their fellow contestants was so heartwarming.
The interview with Rachel was awesome too and I think she’s looking to be one of the best bachelorettes we’ve ever seen. She knows what she wants, she clearly over Nick, she’s humbled for the opportunity, and I don’t think she’ll get caught up in the drama.
All I have to say is ABC better give her at least 20 smart, confident, mature men to meet and date. They can reserve 10 for ratings and interest if they want, but she better have a damn good crop of men because she deserves it and I don’t think she’ll settle for anything less than the perfect match.
Jamie and Chesley have been together for 17 years and though they committed to each other a few years ago, they never had a legal wedding.
After much deliberation about what they really wanted for their wedding day, the two of them settled on a romantic, intimate, Devil’s Thumb Ranch Winter Elopement in the snowy mountains of Colorado.
They rented a cabin at Devil’s Thumb Ranch, invited only their closest family and friends, and said “I Do” by the fireplace in a cozy indoor ceremony. And it could not have been more perfect. From start to finish, Jamie and Chesley reveled in the moments. From lighting the unity candle to their dance celebration after their first kiss, the room was fill with emotion and pure joy.
They even brought their beloved dog, Ravi, with them and decked him out with a flower crown (which he promptly tried to eat).
After the ceremony, we ventured out into the snowy forests for photos with their guests before taking the time to wander the trails together. They were goofy, full of laughter and happiness, and so excited to be legally married.
Jamie and Chesley, it was an honor to be present at your ceremony and I wish you years of happiness and joy in your continued life together.