Sunday, April 7, 2013

Head West Young Man

Well, Melissa and I are doing it we are picking up stakes and heading west to envelope ourselves in the mountain life. We both accepted our jobs at the Aspen Valley Hospital. Melissa is going to start with 3x12 night shifts, but I will be working normal day hours. I am scared shitless and excited all at the same time. We are putting our house on the market in 2 weeks so we are in the process of packing things up for staging.

It is weird to think that in 5 weeks I will be at home in Colorado. I will be 2 miles from my favorite trout river in the whole wide world, the Frying Pan. It is weird to think that whenever I want to go fishing I can be there in just a few minutes. In the winter time we can ski at any of the 4 mountains in Aspen. The whole thing seems so surreal right now. I am stressed out getting ready for the house to go on the market. Without Melissa jamming on the packing I would be screwed but she is a rock and she is doing so much work that I feel a little guilty although I am doing a lot of behind the scenes stuff making calls and things like that.

When we get settled I plan on writing a huge post about the journey to Aspen, it is quite the story about how this all came about and the fate that brought us to this decision.

I will miss my close friends here at home and Minnesota will always be in my heart. My parents are buried here and I will miss them more when I am far away. I will miss my beloved Minnesota Twins and the special times that Melissa and I have at the 20 games that we go to a year. I will miss my friends at work. It is going to be odd to be starting over at 42, with a new job, a new house, no friends, and a new town. I am hoping that I can make some friends to fish with out there quickly.

I look forward to this adventure ahead of me and can't wait to see what the next few months have in store for us...

Stay Tuned!

Sunday, March 3, 2013


I have a job interview in Aspen Colorado next Monday. It is exciting and scary all at the same time. Part of me wants the job really bad, especially since Melissa and I go to Colorado 3-4 times a year. But at the same time there are so many things here that I would miss. My friends, the north shore and Twins games. Melissa and I have a lot of freedom right now in our lives, we have no debt to speak of except the house and cars and we can come and go pretty much as we please. I am so torn as to what to do if perchance I get the position. Life is funny.

Monday, January 14, 2013


Normally I am pretty even keeled about things, but lately I have been having an incredibly hard time getting older and realizing there are things that I am never going to be able to do at the same level for one reason or another. Last night I watched a documentary on the skateboarding team the Bones Brigade, which I worshipped in my teens. It was a wonderful film and I highly recommend seeing it, but sadly it hit home in a way that I didn’t think it would, it made me sad and it made me feel old. I used to love to skateboard; I skated every day when I was in my teens, I loved the freedom of grabbing my board and heading out to ride it around town, meet up with friends and just enjoy the day.
Now I completely understand that you have to grow up, move on and be an adult. But I will be 42 this year and things like this are really starting to bother me. I miss my youth so much. I miss everything about it. It makes me sad to think that those things in my life are gone. Maybe I am being ridiculous but I can’t change the way I feel about certain things and sadly right or wrong this is one of the things that is starting to bug me.  I am not sure what to do about it either, I know deep down I can’t really do anything about growing old. I don’t feel old, I feel good. But I am not stupid either. I can’t do things like I could when I was young. I can’t play with plastic army men for hours; I can’t skateboard for a whole summer and do nothing else. I can’t ask my parents for $20 that would last me for weeks. I have to work. I have to make a house payment. I know that I am blessed with a fantastic life. I have an awesome wife/best friend to follow me on the adventures we go on, I have an excellent job, we are healthy and happy and I know that, that should be enough.
But I still think about my youth and I miss it so.

Monday, December 10, 2012

Returned from the dead, well mostly.

So ever since I rode the mountain bike park at Whistler a few years ago let’s just say that I have not been excited at all about mountain biking here on the trails in the Twin Cities. Besides a bit of a falling out with a local biking club I just lost a little bit of interest. I have never been a biking fanatic like some people are. I like biking but I don’t love it, I find it enjoyable enough but ever since Whistler biking in the cities seems lame. People have asked me, “But you ski out west and ski here, what’s the difference?” Easy the difference is I enjoy skiing more than biking. I have toyed with the idea for the last year or so of buying a winter bike and giving it a try. I love winter, I would rather be cold than hot. So because of that I enjoy being outside in the winter. Anyway, I bought a Surly Pugsley a few weeks ago. Melissa got one as well. We picked them up a week or so ago and took them out for a test spin at Lebanon Hills before we got any snow which at the time didn’t appear that it was going to be anytime soon… They were fun to ride, huge fat tires rolled nice and they were pretty fun to just ride… Hmmm maybe this will spark my interest again. There was a little frustration getting going, the Pugsleys are huge bikes so they didn’t fit on our bike rack so we had to buy a new one, so that stunk but all in all that wasn’t a real big deal just an added expense that made me mad. Yesterday Melissa and I woke up to about 5 inches of snow on the ground. I looked at her and said lets go to Lebanon and try out our new bikes in the snow. She agreed with a fairly large smile on her face, so we got dressed quick and headed out. We packed up and headed over to Lebanon Hills. When we arrived at the parking lot there were 4 other cars in the lot and it appeared as though other people had been out riding already, I could see tire tracks off into the woods on the trail. We took our bikes off the rack, saddled up and headed out. The first couple of pedals in the untracked snow and my smile started to form. The crunch of the fresh snow under my tires reminded me of skiing first tracks in Big Sky and that same sound. Melissa hopped on her bike and off we went into the woods. The “beginner” loop at Lebanon is a little over a mile long and it appeared like I said, a few people had ridden already. The trail was about 12” wide and was nicely packed. I was surprised how easy it was to ride on; I guess I had visions of sliding all over hell and back and it not being fun at all. So far I was completely wrong. The trail through the woods was beautiful, snow clung to the tree limbs and it made for a lovely ride. We headed out of the woods and the snow got a little deeper, but Pugsley was handling the deeper powder just fine. The grin on my face was at its peak, OK I get the hype. I admit it, winter biking is FUN! I love my new bike a lot. Melissa and I did a lap and a half at Lebanon, we stayed on the beginner loop the whole time mostly because we wanted to get the feel for winter biking and we were under a bit of a time constraint. After our ride in the woods we did a few laps in the snow covered parking lot, loaded up the bikes and headed for home. Melissa had a wonderful time as well, we both enjoyed our ride. We spent the afternoon talking about how much fun we had and how we both couldn’t wait to go again. Now I am working out some issues, I am learning how to dress for winter riding. You really work up a sweat so you don't need to dress really as warm as you might think. So I am working on that issue. Also I didn’t wear a helmet riding yesterday. I am really trying to decide what to do there. I understand the importance of wearing a bike helmet in the summer but I am not sure if I get it for winter riding. I think I topped out at a whopping 10 miles an hour yesterday while riding and most of the time I was going pretty damn slow. While I know freak things can happen, I just don’t know. Honestly I would just rather wear my stocking hat. So that saga will continue I am sure. The lights are charging right now at home and we are heading over to Lebanon again after work tonight to give it another go. I am hoping Melissa wants to do the full intermediate loop but I guess I will be fine with anything. Thanks Pugsley, you have returned some life to my Minnesota riding… While it is still mostly on life support it is something none the less.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012


This blog is currently off line while I try to reach 100 followers on twitter! At last count I was at 95. Please follow me @eaphilipp I talk about nonsense, fly fishing, work stuff and sports. Nothing to exciting but once and a while I have some whimsy. Hopefully this blog outage will not last long. Shameless plug!!! follow me on twitter! @eaphilipp

Tuesday, August 7, 2012


Melissa and I just got back from Colorado last week and guess what? We have airline tickets and a cabin booked for late September to head back. Sad, I know but hey we both love it there so life is good. More on this later. The trip was amazing; we had just a wonderful time. We spend 7 nights at the lodge at Cordillera which we love! This time was no exception. While we were there Melissa took the Orvis 2 day fly fishing class taught by my buddy Jeff and rocked it out. She is really becoming an excellent fly fisherman. She is getting her casting stroke down and really getting into the sport. After the class Melissa and I spend the rest of the time fishing and relaxing. We fished the Frying Pan River in the Basalt area twice, the Yampa at Stagecoach once, the Eagle and few times and at the tail end of our trip spent 3 days on the Blue River while we were in Silverthorne, our other favorite spot. Melissa caught fish on every river we fished. I was very proud of her. And I think the biggest fish of the trip goes to her as well. She got a VERY nice Rainbow out of the Yampa River which I think was bigger than the very nice Rainbow that I got out of the Blue River. She also got a fish on the Eagle where I did not. All in all the fishing was amazing, it was a little slow at times but when you consider the surroundings and the beauty of the rivers it is just an awesome place to fish. My favorite spot was the Frying Pan River. I love that water, while it is a busy place and there are anglers all over it has the spiritual sense about it. It is Gold Medal water so you just very know what you are going to get out of there, a 6” trout or a 20+ pound trout. One thing is for sure there are fish everywhere and they are fun to watch. I enjoy watching the fish swim around almost as much as I enjoy catching them. So I could stand in the river all dang day and just watch the fish around me. Each time on the Pan we staked out a nice area and fished a nice run and then had a nice picnic lunch, it was an awesome way to spend the days fishing. I was able to catch all of my fish this trip on dry flies, so that made it extra special to me. I also was able to get my Tenkara rod out and do some Tenkara style fishing out there as well. I fish my Tenkara on the Blue River on the next to the last day when I was letting my boots and waders dry. I was able to catch 5 small Rainbows using my Tenkara rod. It was really exciting for me. I enjoy Tenkara fishing very much and the more I do it the more I like it. Here in Minnesota I am doing more and more Tenkara fishing. It is just a super fun way to fish. Anyway back to our Colorado recap. Besides fishing we relaxed and enjoyed each other’s company, we dreamed about winning the lottery and relocating to Colorado. We do this every time we are there and it is really a fun way to pass the time. Dreaming of a beautiful home in the mountains. We also went to a wedding up at A-Basin that turned out to be one of the best weddings I had ever been to. This was a friend of Melissa’s that was married and besides taking the ski lift up to the ceremony site, everything was really top notch. The food was amazing as was the view and the people that we hung out with. It was a super fun night. The trip was 11 days long which was awesome; it was the right amount of time to completely forget about work and to truly wrap ourselves in the mountains of Colorado. During our fishing trip to the Frying Pan we discovered some little cabins that are across the street from the Pan, I check into them, they are awesome, we found cheap airfare and are headed back for a semi –long weekend at the end of September. I am super excited to go.

Thursday, June 7, 2012

It is now an Obsession.

So I have become a more and more addicted to flyfishing, I always loved it but now it is becoming more and more of an obsession. While I am also doing a lot of fishing I have also started tying more and more flies. I love it, while I am not very good at it, I have tied a few flies that have actually caught some fish, so I am either doing something sort of right or I am catching the really dumb fish. Most likely the later. I also joined the St Paul Fly Tiers Club this April and have been going to the Thursday night meetings regularly. It is a great bunch of guys. I have progressed a lot in my tying by watching the other members of the club and also just by tying a little more than I had before. Either way it has been great! The club meets Thursday nights at a bar in St Paul, we meet in an upstairs meeting room packed with tables, everyone just sits around, ties flies and chats, and it is great! The club also has regular fishing outings to different locations around the area. I went to my first outing this past weekend. It was on the Rush River in Wisconsin which I have a serious love/hate relationship with. I don’t know the river very well and it seems that every time I go there I don’t catching anything, most likely because I am in the wrong spot. Oh well, maybe I will figure it out soon. Anyway the outing was fun, I went fishing by myself for a while on Sunday morning, I didn’t know where the other club members were. No biggie, I fished for about 2 hours and then meet everyone at a park by the Rush River for a nice cook out. It was a great time, the food and the company were great. Like I said it is a great group of guys. After lunch I gave my new Tenkara Ayu rod a go, it is a Japanese style of fly fishing that incorporates a very long rod, line, tippet, fly and no reel. I managed to hook a few fish, but I lost them all before I could land them. It is tricky landing a fighting fish with no reel, but it will come with a bit of practice. Side note, I did finally land a fish Tuesday night on my Tenkara rod! So I think I have it figured out now. Yay! Anyway long story short, I am so glad I joined the club! I hope to make some friends that might want to go fishing with me at times beyond the club outings. Melissa and I were out in Silverthorne Colorado over Memorial Day weekend. We had a blast. The weather was perfect, even the snow flurries on Sunday were nice to see. Melissa and I had a couple of great days fishing, we meet up with my buddy Jeff Lyon whom works for Orvis and he took us out to a couple of spots on the Eagle River west of Avon Colorado and a couple other spots. I caught a very nice brown trout on a pheasant tail nymph on the Eagle; it was great because it was my first fish from the Eagle. I had, had a number of them hooked before but they were always crafty and able to get off before I could land them. We also had a nice but very windy day up on the Yampa River near Steamboat Springs. The fishing up there was really fun; Melissa caught her first big fish up there. She landed a very nice Rainbow. I think she enjoyed herself fishing. Besides fishing we also enjoyed our time in the mountains. We love it out there and can’t wait to get back in mid-July.