Saturday, July 31, 2010

I climbed a mountain. For real.

I'm not sure where I got the idea, but once it was in my head it stuck.  I wanted to summit something.  I was about to have one of those annual, number-changing, life-analyzing days and I wanted something to focus on beyond that stupid new number.

So I picked a different number.

14,000.  14,150 to be exact.  That's the number of feet I was above sea level.  Ask my quads.  They are well aware.

It was beautiful.  And more challenging than I expected.  And as you can imagine there is a relatively long narrative to go along with the experience....that I will hopefully get around to sharing.  In the meantime, there are, of course, pictures (more to come though....I'm saving the good stuff).

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

There's a Button For That -- It's Called Travel

Sometimes, don't you just need a reset button?

I get antsy if I don't get a change of scenery somewhat regularly, regardless of the spectacular beauty currently in my backyard sometimes I just need to see something different.  So a few weeks ago I got out of town for a night.  One night, that is all.  But one night that was enough to reset all my inner programming and recharge my battery.

One night in a town quite like the one I currently live in....but different.  Because it was NOT my town.  Because there were new faces.  And new mountains.  And once I arrived I took the biggest, fattest, best drool-down-your-face-and-onto-your-arm nap of the decade because there was NO CONSTRUCTION.

Once sleeping beauty awoke from her mid-day slumber...there was sushi.  Dare I say great sushi?  Better than in my little mountain town.  But then maybe travel just heightens the senses and makes everything better?  (although I'm still kinda thinking it was better...)

I was a tourist in my own town.  It was the same social scene but I didn't know ANY of the locals.  Though I got to know a few.  And they welcomed me like family.  Comparing our mountain towns.  Talking about mountain life.  Buying me sake bombs.....(ooops, how did that happen?).

Anyway, it was great.  Just what I needed.  I'm not sure why.  But I'm not questioning it.  Travel just works for me.  Even if its just up the road.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The top of the world

Every now and then, its not a bad idea to do something that makes you feel insignificant, just as a little reminder that you are pretty much a speck of nothing in this big, big world we live in.  Something that lets you see an angle on life that puts the petty stuff in perspective.

Yesterday was my day for that.  A little trip to 13,000 feet, and a little reminder that I most certainly live IN the mountains.  Because this is quite literally my backyard.  This amazing panorama of peaks.  

Not bad, huh?

The trip may have been a little more rewarding had I hiked up there of my own powers.  But it was the end of a long work week for me, so I rode in a 4x4 jeep.  An experience not entirely without some strenuous effort on my part, but with far less cardio (and free time used) than the alternative.  

The end result was the same.  Amazement.  Wonder.  And life put a little bit more in perspective.  And while I may have felt small standing there looking out at the endless mountains before me, I also felt empowered.  Because the world is a big, beautiful place of endless possibility.  Such that if you find yourself at the top of a mountain and somewhat dissatisfied with the view, well, you should remember are many more mountains out there just waiting for you to start climbing.

Monday, July 19, 2010

Is there more?

***yet another blog that's been waiting in draft status for a while -- this  happened last week***

We make little decisions every day that can have a profound impact on our lives.  We choose where to work and where to play, where to spend our money, who to spend our time with.  Lately I've been really trying to focus on these little decisions, and I decided (among other things) that I haven't been enjoying enough of my surroundings lately.  So last night, over tea, my roommate and I devised a plan for an early morning hike before we both retired for the evening.

The hike started with a 30-minute drive up a few rough gravel switchbacks, knocking over an hour of hiking off the day and letting us get to the "good stuff" faster.  As we entered the trail and followed the river up (not entirely sure of where we were going) I was blown away by the wildflowers.  They lined both sides of the trail in every shape and color, unlike anything I've seen before.

We continued to climb until we came to a fork in the trail.  Decisions like these are something I usually ponder and stress about for much longer than necessary (a metaphor for life, no doubt) but the roomie pulled me through with logical statements about how its not worth pondering because thinking longer will not produce more knowledge than we already have (wise words that I should remember next time I come to one of these metaphorical decision points).  So we went left....the trial continued its switchbacks upward...and we continued to ponder life and gasp for oxygen.

As the trail popped up into a high alpine basin I began to doubt that the end result would be the lake we'd been looking for.  But we persevered and were rewarded with this:

Still unsure if we had reached the lake we were trying to get to, I wondered about the potential of there being a more beautiful scene had we just taken a different route.....made a different decision at the fork in the trail.

Imagine, staring at this clear, blue water....surrounded by mountains....having just hiked through more wildflowers than you have seen in your life....and still wondering if you're missing out on something better.  It makes no sense.  And yet, this is what I do.  I doubt.  I question.  I over-think.

And so, on the decent, I worked to make myself appreciate this day for what it was -- an amazing day,  shared with a great friend, in a beautiful place that I was lucky enough to be able to experience -- even if it turned out to not be the lake we had originally set out to find, life is about the journey....and this little journey was beautiful.  The end destination is never a guarantee anyway, we might get lost, or stuck, and sometimes even when we get to where we think we want to go, its nothing like what we thought it would be.  So its best to have enjoyed the getting there.

Monday, July 12, 2010

In is better than over

This post has been waiting patiently in "draft" status for quite some time now and today is its moment to shine.  Never mind that the events herein happened nearly two weeks ago.  

Its time to play catch-up on the bloggity-blog.  And many other things in life, for that matter.  There are many emails owed, and many phone calls to be returned.  But first I played a little catch-up on sleep.  And then there were the piles of papers to be dealt with.  Piles that have been dominating and rendering useless the surface of my desk since I moved in May and wanted very much not to be moved again in October in pile form.  

I am conquering the "to-do" lists today.  The first day I've had available to do this in quite some time.  But once upon a time, many moons ago (or maybe more like half a moon and a holiday weekend ago?), I had a free day to go hiking with a friend.  

It was lovely.  And long.  Three hours long.  And while I did manage to dunk a foot in the waterfall crossing (it was a tedious balancing act of log and rock jumping), it did not damper the day in the least bit.  The sun was shining.  The views were beautiful.  And we were happy to be out enjoying it all.

The view from the start (my house) --

Getting closer.....

Crossing at the top of the waterfall.....

Standing in the waterfall enjoying the view back toward town.....