As I write this letter to you, Christmas and New Years have come and gone. Over the past month, I have received at least 20 cards from friends and family filled with pictures and family updates. I can't help but feel guilty for enjoying them and not at least attempting to return the favor and create one of my own. I hope you can forgive the fact that you aren't receiving a physical letter with a photo and stamp and address and envelope that you can put on your mantle. But, hopefully you can enjoy the new format of my first Christmas Letter Website!

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January Hut Trip

In January, I went on my first hut trip to McNamara Hut (10th Mountain Division) down near Aspen, CO. This trip included skinning in to the cabin nearly 7 miles, cooking meals, backcountry skiing, sledding down the luge and some "snow-garitas."

March - June Triathlon

In March, I began training for my first triathlon in mid-June. I decided it would be more fun to train for an off-road Xterra Triathlon, so I picked the Buffalo Creek Triathlon near Bailey, CO at Wellington Lake. I competed in the sprint distance, which was just long enough for me to finish. It was a great experience and I actually finished 2nd in my age group! I will probably do the full length next year to celebrate my 30th birthday!

Evan!

This seems like as good of a time as any to show off my nephew. He will be 3 years old at the end of January '07, and is growing amazingly fast both physically and mentally. It is so much fun for "Uncle Dan" to get in the 3 year-old mind set of playing, eating, sleeping, and playing some more. I'm happy that I get to see him as much as I do, although it is never long enough.

June Cayman Islands

I was lucky enough to tag along on a trip down to the Cayman Islands with my friend Kim from Luther. She was down there working and needed to find a replacement guest within a few weeks. Well, needless to say, I was able to get the time off work, and keep her company after work was done. We went on a sunset cruise, went snorkeling in “Stingray City,” jetskiing, ate many large meals, got a massage, did some final training for my triathlon (open water ocean swimming and beach running) and plenty of lounging.

August BCM Backpacking Trip

In August, I went on my first backpacking trip with Big City Mountaineers (BCM). BCM is a non-profit that takes inner-city youth on week long trips into the wilderness. It was an amazing experience to show the kids something that I enjoy so much, and get to know them along the way.

November Sovick Thanksgiving

I spent the Thanksgiving holiday with a different family this year, and I went up to Ft. Collins with Erin. We had a great time, and her family made be feel incredibly welcome and at home. There were some fun traditions that I was excited to be a part of. We ran the turkey trot (4 miles), played a big family soccer game, made ornaments, carried roofing tiles, went hiking, played games (including JeopTurkey), and, oh yea, ate some turkey!

December Skiing

The ski season seemed to come early this year, and I was able to take full advantage. By early December I already had 4 or 5 powder days in the backcountry. I also went in with a group up people and rented a condo up in Dillon, CO. It's amazing how much of a difference it makes to have a place to stay closer to the resorts. The best part is that you don't have to fight the horrendous traffic on Saturday mornings or Sunday afternoons. It's also a very nice getaway in the middle of the week, when I can spend some time alone or with anyone else that has the luxury of mid-week skiing (oh, and get some work done too...). I also went up to Steamboat to the Whitcher's place and had a great weekend with a group of friends.

December Blizzard

Then came the Blizzard of 2006! As most of you know, it hit on the Wednesday before Christmas weekend. Perfect for anyone that was thinking of traveling anywhere... After all was done, we got 24 inches of snow in 24 hours, the airport (and city) closed for a day and my flight got cancelled. Oh, and there was a second storm a week later... And a third one a week after that!
I wish a happy, healthly and successful 2007 to you and yours. Happy New Year!

My Web Letter
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