2016 in Review

No better way to start the new year than to reminisce about 2016 and plan a trip (or two) for 2017.

Some quick stats for 2016

  • Miles traveled in Abby: ~ 13,800
  • Time spent in Abby: ~12 weeks
  • Longest stretch of time in Abby: ~ 4 weeks
  • National Parks/Monuments visited: 18
  • State Parks visited: 13
  • BLM lands camped on: 8
  • Private campground: 6
  • Family members/friends imposed on: 6
  • Canadian Provinces visited: 2
  • States visited: 22
  • Home brews: 12
  • Home brews dumped: 1
  • New pieces of brewing equipment purchased: 2

Looking back 2016 was a chaotic year. We didn’t travel in California as much as we had hoped when we were living there. Our move to Colorado involved two too many visits to emergency rooms. We didn’t spend as much time in any one of many amazing locations as we would have liked. But we had a lot of fun and saw some truly amazing sights. We’ve watched Alex grow and develop an enjoyment of the outdoors.

Our 2017 RV travel schedule is complicated by the fact that Jess is now employed. The copious free time of unemployment has vanished. We also need to consider visits with family so Alex can continue to develop a close relationship with his Mimi and Papa and uncles and aunts and cousins. We also hope to change our trips slightly. Instead of the wheels are always rollin’ mentality where we average 250 miles of driving per day of a trip, we want to focus on a deeper exploration of an area.

This means we will have to stop using a shoe horn to add destinations into our itinerary that are *only* 150 miles away. We will have to leave some amazing destinations off our list, for a future trip (or when we win the lottery).

And to add to the list, we found a house that we liked and are in the final stages of the purchasing process. Remodeling fun also awaits us in 2017 (and 2018 and 2019).

2016 Gallery

Loveland Breweries: Crow Hop

We had a rare night out when Mimi and Grandpa came to town to visit. Which meant date night! Due to procrastination and a slow recovery from a particularly vicious stomach flu (which shall be referred to as the unspeakable), we didn’t make our reservation until the day of our night out. The result was an 8:30 reservation at the 4th Street Chophouse (fantastic food and dining experience, go, see if Stacy has a table in her section, you will not be disappointed).

So what did we decide to do to kill time? Visit Crow Hop Brewery and Taproom, a very wise idea after not drinking for a week due to the unspeakable. A cozy tap room with serve yourself pretzels and water. There were board games aplenty (Rock ’em, Sock ’em Robots anyone?), which took patrons back to their childhoods in the 80s and 90s.

Flagship Beersimg_20161210_185757

  1. Loose tongue lager – aroma was of cat urine (p-menthane-8-thiol-3-one; can be the result of oxidation of beer during storage) and cooked cabbage (DMS; result of poor conversion of SMM precursor in malt to DMS – longer boil with more vigor!).
  2. Progression Pale Ale – hint of cotton candy/fruit in aroma, with a slightly metallic taste. Typical of a historic pale ale. Drinkable.
  3. Afternooner IPA – a citrus lemon drop aroma, slightly medicinal. This was not a hop bomb. Some citrus on palate, with a hint of sweetness. Mild bitterness. Pleasant and drinkable.
  4. Rado’s Red Ale – Sweet, not much hop aroma, very mild bitterness. Unoffensive.
  5. Big Water Nut Brown – What we called the most Canadian beer of the bunch – very polite, trying not to offend. Similar to the red ale, but less sweet. More toasted flavor.
  6. Sleeping Owl Stout – Coffee, coffee, and more coffee. Strong coffee aroma that translates into flavor. Roasted bitterness. A bit disappointing.
  7. Window Screen Wheat – Slight aroma of DMS and hops. Citrus on palate, did not pick up an clove-like phenolic character.

Rotating Beers

The rotating beers on tap were Orange Crush Kettle SourStinger New England IPAStandard 2016 edStandard 2015 ed*, and Barrel Aged 2015 ed*.


Orange Crush Kettle Sour – a fantastic beer. Orange flavor was present without being overpowering. Right amount of tartness – truly like the Orange Crush you would find in Dewey Beach, DE. This is the beer we would look for on our next visit.

Afternooner IPA – a pleasant surprise, especially with the slightly medicinal aroma. No Orange Crush Kettle Sour on tap? Go for this beer.

Not drinking these

Sleeping Owl Stout – just too much coffee aroma and flavor. Near impossible to identify any other aromas or flavors.

Loose Tongue Lager – maybe this keg was just a bad example of this particular beer, but wouldn’t order this again without trying it out first.