Grays & Torreys- My 2nd and 3rd 14er!

hiking

Last weekend, I finally completed a goal I have had for the past year…to hike another 14er! Colorado has 58 mountains that tower over 14,000 feet. We call them 14ers, and they provide a beautiful and worthy hiking/climbing challenge. If you want to read more about them, you can do so here: What are 14ers?

My boyfriend and I were sitting at a friend’s BBQ debating if we should do it last week, and we did the one thing you should never (read: always!) do when you are debating something difficult. We told everyone our plan. This led to a peer-pressured evening of going to bed at 8pm and waking up at 2:30am. Yes, you read it right. We woke up at 2:30 in the G-D morning, and we hopped in the car. Then, we sped through the winding, wicked roads for 1.5-2 hours until we reached the trailhead at 5:00am.

fullsizeoutput_1729

Peak of Grays!

Weary from the ride, we tried to shake off the cold and lack of sleep, and we set off on the trail by 5:05am. Headlamps blazing, we set off into the dark. I haven’t done much hiking before sunrise, so I was really excited. I loved the child-like excitement of walking through the wilderness in the pitch black. Who knows what kind of critters were eyeing our movements!

The best part of waking up early and getting outside is being fully present for the slow sunrise. It was my favorite part of the hike. For the 1 hour or so period of the slowly creeping sun, I looked behind me about 7 trillion times. It was so beautiful and quiet that I couldn’t help but swell up in gratitude. Sighhhhhh.

The hike itself wasn’t too steep or too challenging for most of the way up. I found myself facing other unforeseen challenges, though. My hydration bladder froze, or at least the important part did (the tube that transports the water to my mouth). I didn’t have water for most of the hike. Neither did my boyfriend, Adam. The other primary challenge was the wind. Holy glory, was it strong!

fullsizeoutput_172d

Fighting the winds on Torreys peak.

But, despite a genuine concern for whether I could be blown off the mountain peaks, we made it to both peaks in one piece and relatively good spirits.

Pro tip #1: Pack a buff

Pro tip #2: Blow your water out of the tube back into the reservoir to minimize tube freezing risk.

Pro tip #3: Take a picture even if the wind is threatening to liquefy you.

Pro tip #4: Do the hard thing. It is usually worth it!

We finished our hike around 10:15 am, making the total hike time about 5 hours.

Final thing to note: Although it is *just a hike*, 14ers are challenging and there are many risks associated with high altitude hikes. Do your research, be prepared, and leave it like you find it.

PS: There were some goats hanging out around 14,000 feet on Torreys. Crazy goats!

Day 46: Spring it!

My 500 Words

Today is the day we all set our clocks an hour ahead and feel a little extra sleepy. That means that the day that the earth, where I live, enters official spring season in just less than 2 weeks. How very exciting for us! Spring skiing is something I have been looking forward to since moving here, and I am excited for what that is like. I am excited for spring. Even though Colorado winters are beautiful, the very cold days are so very uncool. I feel trapped in my apartment when it gets to certain low temps. I will be ready for 50 degree days on a more frequent basis. Bring it, spring!

I bought two books yesterday by James Michener, one about Colorado and one about Hawaii. His books are apparently fictional tales that weave across generations, while telling the history of a location. It sounds pretty cool, and the books are meaty! Wooo. But, I own them. No one buys me books anymore, so I am excited about this. Nothing like having a mother in town to buy you random crap. 😀

Today, we are going to drive into Estes Park and into Rocky Mountain National Park.

….

I am going back into this post now at 10:00 PM. I have 300 words left to write, and everyone is looking at me like I am a crazy person! They want to know what I am doing. I am not sure why I am secretive about posting this. If I tell my mom. SHE WILL READ THIS. It would not be ideal. I am not hiding anything, but I don’t like to share too much. BUT, my mom and I had great fun. I am excited to get back to normal life, but I do love her oh so very much. She is my greatest friend, and I miss her already. We have been having fun, and I wish she lived down the street. How great would it be if we could all live exactly where we want and then pick and choose which of our friends or family moved close to us. What a dream that would be. I think we have all been dreaming of that our entire lives.

Alas, here I am desperately writing this in order to complete my 500 words for the day. It is unfortunate because these words won’t be any good, but they will be 500 in total. Almost there!

The mountains are beautiful, and Colorado is the best. I do love this state so very much. I don’t know about forever, but I do know about right this very moment. And, I am exactly where I should be…exactly where I want to be. That is a pretty cool thing. I am among some of the most beautiful landscape in the country, and I just want to be present. I am present.

Thank you God for these beautiful mountains and this majestic landscape that I have the privilege of calling home for however long I call it home. I am blessed beyond measure. Thank you. Thank you for spring! Bring it on, baby.

 

Day 45: A garden fit for gods, but no flowers!

My 500 Words

My mom is in town this weekend, so my writing today comes to you early in the morning before she wakes up. I am suffering from a stiff neck, which I am attributing to tension while driving up and down the state yesterday. We went to visit the Garden of the Gods near Colorado Springs. I had never been before and it was a perfectly accessible start to the trip for my mom, who was worried about too much walking. It was really nice and the weather was good.

The most fascinating part was thinking about how those rocks got there, having previously been underwater and also home to dinosaurs. They find fossils from dinosaurs there frequently (comparatively speaking). The now park and national landmark, was given its name by 2 European purveyors in the mid 1800s that realized the area and the rock formations provided a garden that was fit for Gods! So, there you have it. The part about finding fossils all of the time feels real, but that was an exaggeration. I don’t actually know if that is true. I believe they have found at least one 😂.

It made me think of Sedona, which has beautiful rocks formations that are red and magnificent to behold. I told my mom how much she would just LOVE Sedona. And, I vow to take her there for a weekend. It would be really great for her. It is a place built on the beauty of the Southwest and the energetic healing principles of both ancient and new age beliefs. Isn’t it interesting how much of what we call “new age” is just ancient beliefs recycled, rediscovered, or appropriated. T’ain’t nothing new in this world of ours!

My mom said her best energy, according to I guess the energy doctor, was in Colorado or Hawaii. And, she then became wistful about having never belonged in the place she was. But, she did belong. We all belong eventually, as we slightly mold and change to fit our place. Or maybe it is not that serious. Maybe, we are all just playing and the outcome doesn’t really matter. So if the outcome doesn’t really matter and everything is fun and games, what is it that you want for yourself?

Do you want to be an author? Yes. Do you want to be a comedian? Sure. Do you want to skydive all day? Ehhhh. Do you want to bake cookies? I will eat them. Do you want to watch T.V. ? No… Do you want to make people pretty? Not desperately, but I am happy if they are pretty. Do you want to learn how to dance? That would be fun. Do you want to spend it pleasing someone you don’t even like? No. Do you want to feel bad about yourself? No. Do you want to feel alive? YES. Do you want to worry? Ugh, No. Do you want to be joyful? Bloody abundant in joy, mate. Do you want to feel love and to give it? Everyday.  Are you ready to be more specific? Do I need to be?

Day 10: Hungry Hiker, Beware

My 500 Words, Travel & Adventure

Today I spent a few hours hiking in beautiful, sunny Colorado (yep, that’s right- a February hike :D), when I noticed my mid-exercise mood swing creep in. I felt irritated and agitated by very normal things, things that wouldn’t normally bother me at all. I checked the time and realized it was nearing on lunch-time, and I probably just needed a snack. My boyfriend and I split a banana, and I started to feel better. After a few minutes, I acknowledged out loud that my snack had saved me from a continued or worsened hangry episode. We laughed about it and swore to google if there were any good prevention methods out there if stopping to eat is not always an option. And as it happened, I am now remembering and looking into it as my eyes are closing and I struggle to get my500words done for day 10 out of 31. I am certain that tonight’s post will be littered with typos. AH C’est la vie!

About an hour after my banana snack, we split another snack…and then another snack. By the end of the hike, I was well fed, happy, and just a little bit exhausted from a hard hike. I thought back on my hike and wondered what I could do to pop into my mouth when exercising hard or in between meal times. I pondered bringing some Gatorade or juice to have on hikes for when my blood sugar seems to start dipping. The might work. I then wondered if having sport jelly bean-like snacks could fend off bad moods. I am fairly certain that when I start exercising hard, my blood sugar levels dip and I feel bad. This has been happening to me my whole life. It doesn’t seem to be a problem as long as I listen to my body and eat, drink or rest as needed. It has been fine. BUT, since I have been hiking with my boyfriend, I have noticed that I am much more likely to follow his eating schedule than my own.

As a single person, I did more things alone and, thus, took care of myself on my own time. Now, I tend to hold off on snacks until he is ready for one. In the moment of hangry, this makes me absolutely livid and resentful, if I am honest. I can usually catch myself after a few minutes rumination on what a jerk he is that he has a banana in his bag yet has the audacity to skip up this hill like he is skipping at recess as a 4th grader (as though these things are related at all!). What is comes down to is that he has my snack, the snack I need, and he doesn’t even care that I am desperate for that thing… It is really ill and must be stopped. I think some sporty jelly bean options are where I will start. I don’t want to have to stop for a meal all of the time, but a small 100 calorie snack a few times during the hike might get me through the slumps with a bit more grace.

Until next time, when I will hopefully find a solution for my dipping blood sugar, I will be yelling at my friends and family like the image included with this post, a hangry little bird.

About

About

Thanks for stopping by the blog and taking the time to read more about me. I am a native Ohioan living in Colorado, USA. I love to learn, and I love to read. At the beginning of January, I set a goal to read 50 books over the course of the entire year…a little ambitious, yes! At the end of January, I started a 31 day challenge to write and post 500 words per day! Can you tell I like a nice clearly defined challenge?

I started this blog as a way to write about each book I read and explore blogging a little more. I have loved to write for as long as I can remember, but I haven’t been in practice in recent years. I am hoping that this blog will inspire me to meaningfully read and write much more this year!

Thanks for reading along and for stopping by! If you have any suggestions or recommendations for me, please feel free to use the contact box below!