Pole Creek Mountain

One of our biggest, or should I say the biggest adventure of our time (always too short) in Colorado this year was hiking to the summit of Pole Creek Mountain, a beautiful unique mountain in the San Juan Mountain Range.  When we speak of the incredible view we have from the cabin, this is the very mountain we are referring to, but really…it is just the beginning of the beauty that surrounds us!  I have been to this area since before I was born (if we want to count that).  After all my time in Colorado, even after spending the last 2 summers in the presence of this mountain, this was my first time to the very top!  I have hiked and rode horses on Pole Creek Mountain many times but have never been to the summit… the tippy top!  Now that I have done it, I would really like to do this hike again in the future and even better would be with my husband along! He would love it I am positive… and I intend to sign in on that ledger once again!

On this particular day, the hiking crew consisted of my dad, brother, sister and I, and what a wonderful day we had together.  It was full of adventure, beauty, thrill, dare, challenge and just pain fun!  We crossed quite a bit of snow once we got above tree line  (often as deep as our hips)  and a snow bridge over fast-moving water which was quite thrilling, especially for my brother that broke it on the way back! Yikes! He recovered well and stayed safe and dry. The whole hike had beautiful views but the top was absolutely breathtaking and I did not want to come down for a long time.  The weather was super too which only helps! I have not organized all my pictures yet  but there are some below for you to check out!  If I get around to it I have a few others that show the summit well.

On a deeper note… as there is always some kind of lesson in things (at least for me) as I/we were while hiking along, one step at a time, I had a lot of time to think!  There was plenty of time to talk myself out of the hike if I had wanted to, but I had already made up my mind that I was “going to make it” before we even started out that day.  There were however a  few factors working (or trying to work) against me on this particular day…

  1. The hike itself, the terrain, snow and all that if we want to count that but it was well within my ability I believe – I mean, I made it after all!
  2. The altitude which can be a challenge before and even after proper “acclimation”. You see, I had arrived to the cabin just 3 days before (from sea-level) but I had decided before I even left Florida that the altitude was not going to defeat me no matter what adventures we got into.
  3. The non-joys of the dreaded “monthly cycle”… (yeah I know,  too much information for you and I apologize) of which for me is hardly even tolerable… I mean it is rare that I would normally be able to get out and walk a few steps, let alone hike all day… but again, I had already made up my mind that this would not ruin my week or any activity I wanted to accomplish.
  4. My hiking gear consisted of my hiking shoes,  camelback (which I have had since I was in highschool), a windbreaker/rain shield, sunglasses we found on the side of the river the day before, my mom’s pink hat she insisted I take,  and my headlamp incase it got dark… no hiking boots, gaiters, fancy gear or equipment… but I guess it is my style though and I like it, and it has worked so far!
  5. Half of me was missing – My husband did not get to come along which was sad. I operate the best with him around!

I had decided that it would not be a physical limitation (which really means mental I think) that would prevent me from reaching the top… it would be due to weather or impossible route or the like. All that may be odd, to you, but it works for me and it helped me on that day.  What I am getting at is that if I do not fill my head with undesirable thoughts or outcomes, I will have so much more room for excitement and be able to more clearly see the beauty and greatness in a day or activity.  Because I was not focused on how much hiking we had left, how tired my legs felt, my breathing or all the excuses I could have had to disqualify me for the hike I was free to just enjoy!  There were times I had thoughts enter my head about being tired for example but the faster I excused them, the sooner the enjoyment would come back!  I was able to dream of what adventure could be next rather than when the current one would end.  I also knew I could do it which also helps because I never questioned if I would be able “to make it” or not.  I make the hike sound so hard but it really was not bad… I can just see how if I would have been exhausted in my mind it would have worn me out physically too… I still had some energy to spare when we got home after our 3,500 elevation gain!

Although the hike was challenging for me, I know that I want to continue doing this… not just for the current trip but in the years and years to come.  I don’t see a line in my life that I will cross that would disqualify me from adventure.   My dad is someone who I look up to because I admire that he is still out doing things like this – planning and executing adventures… engaging in physical activity, adventure  beyond the normal Joe.  He has enough aches, pains, tears and patches to disqualify himself years ago from many things he still does… but he still presses on because he knows that the benefit he gets from his activity outweighs the pain that he feels. He is not one to accept that he is just “too old” to do this or that and quit.  I am so thankful that he is able to get out and enjoy life.  There are so many people his age (even younger) that cannot fully enjoy life because they have deemed themselves “too old for that”…  I know people my age that make comments like that too and it makes me sad!   I think about how many years I have left to live and enjoy and I want to enjoy them fully!  I do not plan on excusing myself anytime soon.

Take this as an encouragement for you to strive in whatever stage of life you are in and don’t accept defeat… always at least try! Defeat happens, but moreso when you do not try or give up before something is over. I’m not saying you have to summit mountains for adventure or to avoid defeat. Come up with your own adventures and always try – give it your best.  You never really know the outcome of something unless you don’t try!  If you don’t at least try, the outcome is already lined out for you.

Have a great day and keep it up!

A beautiful time, adventure-full and wonderful…

Well folks, long time no blog huh? – for those of you that follow me you maybe, maybe noticed…  but anyways I have been away!  I spent a wonderful extended week in Colorado with my amazing family. Unfortunately Greg could not come and he was missed big and huge time.  It was just not the same without him out there.  He makes everything so much better… it just seemed wrong for him to be absent after we spent nearly 4 months out there last year… but anyways we know I missed him and I don’t need to keep beating it in.  I thought it would be fun to make a post about my time there but realize one post would be long and very unorganized and if I have time organization is key, or at least the idea of it!   It makes me laugh but it is amazing how many people  ask first:

1. How was the weather? Well, funny you should ask, the weather was super the whole week… there was plenty of sunshine mixed with some cloud cover a couple of the days with just a little bit of rain one day and some snow during our last night.  :).  Now beyond the weather:

2. What did you do? To answer that I will probably file it into a few different posts.  but, we… hiked and walked a lot, sat in the sun, sat by the warm fire, took many pictures (and I think my pictures even took pictures I have so many), baked, cooked and ate ate ate, went to an elk farm,  and just had a great time!

Our biggest adventure of the week was a hike to the top of Pole Creek Mountain (which supplies water to the Rio Grande River) the tippy top stands at 13,716 feet above sea level of which never seemed like much until I now LIVE at sea level… (which I still never thought I would do but anyways here I am).  But for this post, I did not really have much to say but that I am back in action, at work and excited to be back to my husband but will be updating with some Colorado pictures etc.

I arrived a few days after my family did and look at the sign Josh made me:

Here is the 2011 crew:

The best year of my life!

Well folks, It is so hard to believe but it has been one year today

since I said… yes

I am married to the best man any woman could hope or ask for… even dream of… I mean it!  I could not be more happy.  Being married is so much fun and I go to bed every night looking forward to another day, but not just any day… a very special day with the one I love. 

We have had quite a few adventures over the course of this past year I would say…  Our journey took is from Oregon, to Colorado and to Florida where we are now.  Our move to Florida met us with nearly 6 months of unemployment and when I say unemployment I do not mean collecting from the government, I mean no money, but we always focused on what we had and not on what we did not have… and you know what? There is always so much to be thankful for.  We never went without.  We are so blessed! 

We hear frequently that the whole enjoying marriage thing will get old… “you just wait”… “you will want a break”…etc…  no thanks!  I don’t want any part of that or any part of those conversations!  We have many dreams and goals and we are truly excited about life… together. We have realized that life is just better together and that we can accomplish so much more together than apart.  I am so thankful to have such a great husband to share life with.

It is probably safe to say however that we are no longer newly weds, but only because of the time passed, not in the way we act or feel about each other.

Here are a few pictures from the last year…

On our wedding day at Crater Lake, Oregon.  After the wedding, we drove here to stay a few nights before we hit the road for Colorado.

This is at Arches National Park in Moab, UT taken at “Delicate Arch”… a great time!

This was in “The Window”, one of our bigger adventures this summer in Colorado.  A (who knows how many miles) hike into the wilderness!

This was at the end of the season in Colorado during the beautiful fall color change! Everything was absolutely breathtaking!

This is at the beach in St. Augustine, FL… over on the East Coast when my parents came to visit us in February of this year…

Enjoying a day at Panama City Beach, FL where we try to get to once a week or so to chill out.

 

Here is to the conclusion of the best year of my life with the hope of many many more to follow!  Next year will be another best!  Hopefully this finds you well and enjoying life!

My BOOTS!

This post will conclude “feet month” as it has gone on too long, but I will probably post more about the topic in the future, maybe even tomorrow, ha ha!  But I wanted to post another pair of shoes at least, a very special pair as they carry many great memories.

My Boots!

This picture was taken at… Our wedding! 🙂

 We had some fun pictures done in a western theme, so my boots were very fitting! 

So, many memories already, but that is just the beginning…  Also, many awesome memories of summers in Colorado riding horses and learning about them (and much more)!

Greg and I above Brewster Park…

me above Brewster again…

they were worn through many many brushing sessions…

and of course checking in on many beautiful horses…

It is so fun to reminisce of wonderful times in the past!  Oddly, I have found that even something as simple as shoes bring out so many memories, I had no idea that would happen as I was posting on them! As I have said in earlier posts, if I think back on the times I wore certain shoes, out come memories!  If I even look at my boots I smile because of all the memories… like in the  pictures above which is just a few I picked out! I am so thankful for opportunities I have had in the past but also am excited about adventures to come.

It may be weird, but look at a few of your shoes and see if memories flow out! 🙂

Bye for now, more to come on another topic besides shoes!

To the Window…

We went on an amazing (amazingly loooong as well as amazingly wonderful)  hike… TO THE WINDOW in September… and I am just slow to post about it with moving and being a busy bee!  This “window” I speak of is located along the south ridge of the Rio Grande Pyramid (the pyramid is the highest peak in Colorado’s eastern San Juan mountain range at about 13,800 fee above sea level).  As you can see by the pictures the window is pretty much a perfect notch out of the mountain ridge, allowing a “window”  to look out/through each side of the range.  This was the most breathtaking experience I have ever had (I am not referring to my breath here, but it was a struggle to get my breath several times).  It was very exhausting and trying but incredible and I would do it again! Most do this hike over a 2 day time span and also summit the Pyramid as well, but we will save that for another time. We WILL be back to do that! My dad wants to do that and I would not miss out on doing that with him!  This was our biggest adventure of the summer for sure! I believe it was around a 20 or so mile hike round trip and was very rewarding to accomplish it and see the beauty! 

We thought it would be a good idea (we… as in my husband because he is always looking out for what is best) to use our heart rate monitors on this hike not only for the curiosity of it, but to monitor the workload on us.  I can go a while with a high heart rate, but then after a while I will crash because it is not something I can maintain all day, so knowing we had over 20 miles to hike in a day’s time with a lot of elevation gain – (already at a high altitude, it was good to try to keep our heart rates lower for as long as we could in order to have adequate energy all day).  Just walking at a high altitude is harder on your body than at a lower elevation.  So this meant more resting than usual and a slower pace than we thought – especially for him having to wait for me while I kept my heart rate lower. This ended up being a great thing to do because most of the elevation gain was after we already hiked around 10 miles! It was awesome to have the energy to climb up that last 1,000 feet with enough energy to make it 10  miles back to the truck!  We left the window about sunset – so you can imagine that we hiked home in the dark! We had our tent and were prepared to stay the night and had whatever emergency supplies we needed, but after a day life that, all that sounds good is a hot meal, bath and warm bed! We hit the trail and got back in half the time as it took us to get there!

A lesson can be learned from this too…  Life is a journey, and hopefully a long one… if we are always in a hurry to get somewhere and don’t enjoy it (the process) then we can miss out on so much and wear ourselves out.   If we would have pushed it and tried to set a record in getting there by a certain time (which we could have I am certain) we may have been too tired to enjoy it or had an injury, or been too wiped out to enjoy the next day!   Instead we took care of ourselves along the way and took time to enjoy it so we could enjoy more for longer!

In Memory of Grill Chicken…

Well folks, I have sad news.  My Miss Chicken dissapeared about a week ago and has not come home. We don’t know exactly what happened to her, but I have not found her. 

We are gearing up to head away from the mountains before too long and make our way across the rest of the country. Sadly, it will be without my feathered friend in tow… she was a very lucky chicken to make it to Oregon and back and make some fans on the way…but won’t get to continue her adventure across the rest of the country.   She really was a joy for me to have, it was just a lot shorter than I thought it would be… I never knew I would like to have a chicken until I had her, what a silly and fun pet… and many times not even chicken-like! I know she had many fans from all over but her little story sadly has to end.

Grill relaxing on the porch just a couple weeks ago

 

Fresh Wild Mountain-Grown Raspberries!!

My husband and I picked some fresh raspberries a few days ago that were growing in the rocks by the Rio Grande Reservoir! What a treat!  We stumbled upon them at the very beginning of our hike to “ditch camp” where our bosses work to maintain a ditch that flows down through the Weminuche Wilderness… anyways we hiked up there on their few days off and stayed at camp for a night! How beautiful it is up there, and also neat to see what they do when they are hard at work up in higher country.  Here is a picture from our hike of the “window” and Rio Grande Pyramid…

The window and Rio Grande Pyramid

ok… now back to the raspberries!  I was so excited to get back to the beginning of the trail so we could pick raspberries.  We picked about 4 cups of fresh berries! It was raining so I did not take any pictures of the berries on the bushes, but did take some pictures of what I made with the berries (in addition to eating them fresh as well) and hopefully I can post recipes sometime soon! The problem is that I don’t really measure everything and it is hard for me to leave a recipe alone… always trying something new! Ok, here we go…

Raspberry Coffee Cake

Raspberry Dutch Baby

Cinnamon Roll Sunday!

Well folks… today is Cinnamon Roll Sunday here at Lost Trail… As a matter of fact, our 6th week! Cinnamon Roll Sunday is a little thing my husband and I put together for the guests here. Every sunday we get up and make a big batch of cinnamon rolls. We have had a great time doing this… sure we wake up early but it is a great time together and a great opportunity for the guests to meet each other and us to meet them!   If you are nearby, you may smell these baking as you drive by, but for sure once you pass by our home early sunday mornings!  If you’re a neighbor, stop in and visit us and get a hot cup of coffee along with a fresh roll!
  
 

Fresh Cinnamon Rolls