Embarking on our first annual mountain adventure

Yesterday we hit the road and headed for Grand Lake. A common destination when I was a child and for that matter all through high school and even after. I have been fortunate enough to have the chance to come up here for my entire 31 years of life and it has been an amazing blessing and a great time to share time with the family and friends. Emily and I are fortunate and blessed to have jobs that only require the internet so we packed up the boys, the dog, an angry cat and three weeks of stuff and headed out the door. We hope to enjoy all that the area offers including hiking, swimming (kind of, the water is super cold), hot sulfur springs, horses, Rocky Mountain National Park, Trail Ridge Road, a variety of lakes and more.

 

We kicked things off yesterday with a great drive up followed by a quick trip into town to the candy shop and playground. Some really good friends just happen to be in the area and we were able to extend a place to sleep and had the chance to grab some quick fellowship which has been awesome. They will take off today and then we are on our own till the next visitors arrive.

 

Looking forward to making some awesome memories with the boys and Emily! Here are a few shots that I took yesterday!

 

How much did your Starbucks really cost you? Gas mileage and the cost of driving

Starbucks Nap Run is a SuccessMany times over the years I have looked at driving to different locations as a pennies on the dollar type of situation. However, recently my wife and I made a special errand and somehow started talking about the cost of driving places. This might be because we own an SUV that weighs as much as the Titanic and our wallet certainly has paid a similar fate as the Titanic due to craptastic gas mileage our vehicle gets (and yes, it’s our own fault!). My wife and I are both avid coffee drinkers and although we don’t consider Starbucks the best coffee out there by any means we do consider it a consistent alternative since we cannot make the trip to Crema or Happy coffee in Denver very often. This past year we moved out to what most city folks would consider to be the middle of nowhere. The closest shopping center is five miles from our house but once you are there you have access to pretty much anything you would want. It was decided the other day that we would take a quick Starbucks run for my wife’s birthday. So we mounted up and headed to the closest drive through Starbucks. There is actually a walk-in Starbucks at the five mile mark but we were interested in getting a little bit of a drive in as well as try and get our two and half year old son to take a nap. The car is apparently a magical place for him.

As we pulled up to the window at Starbucks to pay for our snooty caramel macchiato’s we wondered, how much did these coffees cost us with travel and all? Well you are about to find out and to be honest, it is crazy!

So here is the math for you. Starbucks is 8.2 miles from our house (shame on us for requiring a drive through. First world problem and snobbery anf coffee snobbery at it’s best).

I did some quick calculations and figured out that it basically cost us a whopping $0.28 cents a mile to drive our beast around town. We average about 14mpg. That is terrible, but dang this thing is sweet in the snow!

So at 8.2 miles that puts us at a 16.4 mile round trip and therefore put the cost of just driving to Starbucks $4.59 plus the cost of our coffees. That my friends is pure insanity. We have sense been having conversations about how we can drive less. Use the other car more and maybe even get a different car with better mileage. The next time you are standing at the store wondering if you should drive to the next place and you think, it may cost me more to drive there than if I bought it here, that statement could be entirely true. Especially if you drive a tank.

I did the math on a few other cars to see how much is would cost to drive them to Starbucks. Here are the results…

Saab 2004 9-3 Linear – $2.46 ($0.15 per mile – This is our other car and probably a better choice for those one off quick trips)
Toyota Prius – $1.47 ($0.09 per mile to drive)
Ford Fusion Hybrid – $1.31 ($0.08 per mile to drive)

So why don’t we get another car you ask? As mentioned we have thought about this and it is still on the table although we have other ideas as well. One of the reasons we bought this particular vehicle was third row seats for that day when Emily finds out she is pregnant and we need that extra room. Also as discussed that thing is a tank and I feel pretty bad for anything that hits us or we hit. The safety of it both on an average day and in the snow is something that at least helps me justify the cost. Maybe not the best excuse but certainly a factor. If you are wondering how you can determine the cost of driving per mile just follow this simple formula…

Cost of a tank of gas ÷ Total miles per tank = Cost per mile

Now pick a place or three that you drive to on a regular basis and get ready to be depressed. Have a great day!

Thinking About Reviving Bristoltobathurst.com

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After watching the Budweiser Shootout tonight I am toying with the idea of starting to post on my old racing blog site bristoltobathurst.com. Figure that I will probably write enough about racing that it would be a great place to write those posts. Feel free to check it out and let me know what you think. I will probably address the look and feel in the next week or so and fancy it up with a free theme and something that is just a little more solid looking. Maybe less visual than this site since actual photos are hard to come by that are any good that would not infringe on copyright issues. Wondering if there is someway that I can find some cheap for editorial use only type photos.

Anyway, looking forward to reviving it. Two years ago I decided to start the site as more of an experiment than anything. I had a read a book called Pro Blogger and I wanted to understand better what it took to run my own blog that had solid information. I was very excited about it but quickly learned how intense of a challenge creating a quality content was. Especially for someone like myself who is not the best writer. I ended up doing pretty well for the first month or two and then it fizzled into just weekly updates about who had won in which series. When it was all said and done I had posted some 70+ times although the quality and use of the posts where what I would consider pretty weak. There was no following as that was one of the elements that I was keenly aware of but did not pursue due to the challenge of content creation that would come with it. I purposefully did not pursue an audience. What I did glean from it was that to have a blog of the caliber that I wanted I would have had to probably put int he neighborhood of 10-15 hours per week. Something I did not have time. This time around my approach will be a little more straight forward. I will not try and craft articles. More just write what is on my mind. Some posts may be a paragraph and some might be a lot more than that. Either way I want to make it about fun and learning. So look out for it peoples! More racing posts coming in 2012…. hmmmm, I think I may have wrote this same post last year now that I think about it. We’ll see how it goes!

Diving In. My New Blog, Website, Web Presence… or Whatever You Want to Call It

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So I have been toying around with the idea of starting a new blog for a few months now and to be honest am hesitant. Blogging is a load of fun but oh so time consuming. I tried to create my own racing blog about two years ago as an experiment to see what it would take. I actually had a great time but quickly realized to have the blog that I wanted it would take a substantial amount of time and effort on a weekly basis to get it there. By the end of the year I had somewhere in the neighborhood of 10 quality blog posts and about 70 other blog posts that typically consisted of the results from any given race weekend. However this time around I am not only going to expand my thoughts in terms of what I am writing on… everything and anything I want… but also am not going to set the expectation on myself to write every week. Although I am hoping for weeks where I might write everyday and maybe even multiple times a day. Post will consist of anything from thoughts about family, God and racing to something I learned at work or am trying to work through on my own. Look for book, movie and video game reviews or links to my favorite websites. Basically this will become a smorgasbord of Shaul. I hope you enjoy it and I hope that it might even help you. Blessings! And as we say at work… BOOM!