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Happy New Year! I will be the first to say that I am not one to make New Year’s resolutions, but do like to make lists! While walking Jade a few days ago, I started thinking about the highlights of 2012, those things that stand out above all else if someone were to ask me what I did this year that mattered, and this is what I came up with:

2012 Recap

~Pink Ribbon Ride– I rode in my first Pink Ribbon Ride Snow Run in March in support of breast cancer research. While I have participated in the ride for two past years by helping cook and serve lunch for the 150 riders, I was glad to be able to get out and ride this year, and even got to be in Joe’s group that he guided for the day. The comraderie and cause is what it is all about, and if you are interested in fantastic snowmobiling for an even greater purpose, here’s a link to the Pink Ribbon Riders. I am already registered for this year!

~Hawaii- Joe and I took a wonderful but whirlwind trip to the Big Island of Hawaii this April. Camping on the beach in a VW Camper Van and night snorkeling with the Manta Rays were unforgettable.

~Fly Fishing– This was the first summer we were not working literally every day of the summer, and therefore had time to go and fish ourselves. I can recall at least six different weekend trips, and while I was not always “successful” in that I caught anything, they were all fun and memorable trips in the mountains. I even got to see some new (local) country. And of course, a bad day fishing beats a good day at work!

~PR @ Old Bill’s– Jackson Hole hosts Old Bill’s Fun Run for Charities every September, and it is the one 5k race I look forward to each year.  The anonymous “Mr. and Mrs. Old Bill” match the donations made for the event to raise money for several local non-profits. Another great event for a great cause. For your entry fee, you get to choose the amount of your donation and what charity you wish to donate it to from the list provided. Last year I was unable to race because I was still not fully recovered from a herniated disc in my lower back that I had endured for 9 months of hell. But this year I was ready- I followed a 7-week training plan, customized for me on Runner’s World, and ended up beating my prior race time that I had pre-injury! My goal was just to finish within a minute of my old time, and I ended up beating it by 20 seconds for a PR of 26:19. I’ll take it.

OFFICAL RESULTS: 26 of 75 Bib 635 Megan O’Brien 5K Women 26:19

~Mealsfromthemountains– I have been reading five blogs on a regular, daily basis for years, and this summer I began tossing around the idea of starting my own. I appreciate having a healthy outlet that highlights what I care about and that can potentially be useful to others! I began this blog in September and am looking forward to growing with it in the next year.

~Elk Camp– After three years of adventures on foot, horseback, and by truck, I shot my first elk this Fall during a fabulous four-day packtrip with Joe and our horses deep in the backcountry. It has been a lifetime goal of mine to shoot an elk in the backcountry with horses, and although he was no monster, I am proud and thankful for my first bull. I am slowly learning to embrace the emotional roller-coaster that is hunting!

2013 And We’re Off…

The year is off to a good start, as I was able to enjoy a “play day” today with a 3.6 mile morning run and 4 mile afternoon x-country ski. Now that my workplace has recently undergone an organizational transition, I get five paid vacation days per year and today was one of them- yay!

Today is also a special day as it is Jade’s 10th Birthday! I cannot believe how fast the time has gone, but in another way, it seems I also can’t remember a time when I didn’t have her. She has come a long way since her early days as a pound puppy, she is a best friend, and I can honestly say I don’t think I will ever have another dog as good as her. Happy Birthday Jade!

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For this first dinner of the New Year, Joe was unexpectedly home from work early (unforunately he came home sick) and here to eat dinner. I decided to make one of his favorite meals….. burgers! Well bacon-cheeseburgers with tater tots to be exact. This year’s elk burger is exceptionally tasty-juicy but not too fatty with no game taste. We made the elk burger by grinding a few pounds of beef suet in with the ground elk meat. You can get beef suet at your local grocery store or butcher, just ask. Our burger is packaged in 1 lb bags and frozen for use throughout the year. I typically make two meals for two with one package of burger, over the course of the week. Anything beyond that gets cooked and frozen for later use in chili or spaghetti sauce.

My elk burgers are simple, but juicy and delicious, and take only about 15 minutes to prepare. During the warmer months, I grill our burgers outside, but in the winter I just make them on a stove-top griddle over medium heat.

The Perfect Elk Burger

Serves 2

  • 1/2 lb ground elk
  • Season Salt
  • Garlic Salt
  • Black Pepper
  • 2 slices bacon
  • 2 slices of 2% American cheese
  • 2 hamburger buns OR 4 slices Whole Grain White Bread
  • Cooking spray
  1. Cook bacon on griddle or in frying pan. Meanwhile, while bacon cooks, form two hamburger patties., roughly 1/4-pounders.DSC01011
  2. Spray pan with cooking spray. Place burger patties on griddle or in frying pan over medium heat along with bacon. Season with a dash of season salt, garlic salt, and black pepper. Cook on one side for about 2-3 minutes. Flip. Season opposite side and cook another 2-3 minutes for medium to medium rare.???????????????????????????????
  3. Remove bacon from frying pan and place onto a paper towel to absorb some grease. Break each piece in half.
  4. Top with a slice of cheese and lay bacon slices over top to make an “X”.???????????????????????????????
  5. Turn off heat but leave pan on burner for 1-2 minutes to let cheese melt.
  6. Top with your favorites & enjoy!
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