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My 40th birthday bucket list: Colorado-style

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By Michelle Malkin  •  October 20, 2010 05:14 PM

Yep, I turned the big 4-0 today. Thanks for all the great e-mail birthday messages and tweets! Moving out of D.C. after a decade of Beltway swamp life and settling in Colorado was one of the healthiest decisions I’ve made. Although most of you know me from TV, books, and the blogosphere, I have been doing a lot more living outside of politics — making the most of my family time, exploring, and trying all manner of new things big and small. A friend of mine here in Colorado Springs who recently turned 40 is keeping a list of 40 new experiences she’s set out to conquer/check off. I’m way behind, but I’m emulating her 40-for-40 bucket list this year. Thought I’d share a few items on my list to celebrate the day.

1. Hike the Incline. I did this last Monday with a daring, generous girlfriend. The Incline is a legendary trail in Manitou Springs that rises 2,000 vertical feet in just over a mile from about 6,600 ft. to 8,600 ft. altitude. We made it a little over an hour. There are about 5,000 railroad ties to traverse; to get back down, we took the breathtaking Barr Trail. My calves burned for a week.

2. Visit the Great Sand Dunes. Incredible national park near Mosca, CO in the southern part of the state. Affordable family fun ($3 for adults, kids under 16 free), out-of-this-world scenery. No need to bring a sled. Just roll around like we did:

3. Watch a hot air balloon glow. Did this for the first time this summer with my son in the Springs. Everyone should do it once!

4. Horseback riding in Garden of the Gods. Took my daughter and nieces earlier this summer. Couldn’t walk for three days after, but it was worth it.

5. Swing on a trapeze. Did this with dear family friends in Boulder last summer. Wild and exhilarating. And safer than skydiving (I think)!

6. Sewing a Halloween costume. Ok, so it’s not as sexy as the other goals. But it’s my current project and it’s as challenging as anything else I’ve done. My 10-year-old daughter wants to be Lotso Bear from Toy Story — a costume that I couldn’t find anywhere online or on costume store shelves. For all you crafty geeks, I’m using McCall’s pattern MP373. Lots of firsts: Using bias tape for the neckline, sewing darts, etc. I’ll let you know how the final product turns out…

So, what’s on your list? Seize the day!

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