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!

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!

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

“Happy Chickens live in Oregon”

So, many of you have already heard this but…

I have a chicken.

 A real-deal, egg laying, chicken!  This “Grill-Chicken” has quite the story as well!  So her adventure continues….

I was offered to take this girl home with me to Oregon at the end of the summer! Of course I wanted her, but convincing my parents (and when I say parents… my father) that we needed a chicken!

So first I simply asked:

Can I bring a chicken home?

Then with not getting a resounding YES…I wrote wrote the following “Happy Chickens live in Oregon” add and sent it:

Grill Chicken!

“Hello, my name is Grill Chicken, or so they call me, but I am much more fancy and sofisticated than my name portrays. My people call me this because, well,  I sleep by the grill.  This may not be my first choice, but what is a sweet ol’ hen to do? I would much rather be roosted with my fellow ladies in the warm hen-house but (chicks cover your ears) they have all died a tragic death and I was left beat up but alive to tell the story (because I comminicate so well, at least that is what they told me)…. and now the new flock won’t accept me and somehow I fell to the bottom of the pecking order.  I have been graciously saved and was nursed back to health, and I just well….anyways, I always get carried away with chatter, but oh well, moving on. The winter will come soon and winters up here are how do I say it – BAWK  (I could not get the translation here) so the reason I am writing this add is because I hear happy chickens are from Oregon and I have always wanted to go to Oregon and well folks I want to be happy…..so PICK ME …..PICK ME!!! Oh and I am very modest, but I have a wonderful, friendly bubbly personality and will pay rent, apparently an egg a day keeps the land-lord away.

So, she was put in a wonderful chicken (breathing) friendly box by Forrest and was loaded up shot-gun in my truck and us two gals hit the road! Gin wrote a little post about us on the road.

Me and Grill Chicken loaded up!

More to come about Ms.Chicken and her new “happy” home!

Leaving The Mountain…


A beautiful rainbow a couple days before I left

A beautiful rainbow a couple days before I left

I very recently left the beautiful mountains of Colorado where I spent my summer with the Getz family at their home, ranch and business – Lost Trail Ranch.  I can not think of a better way to spend a summer. For me,  it was incredible. I enjoyed it all  and miss it big!  I learned much more than I imagined I would and had a blast doing so.  I came being interested and intrigued  by horses, and left more interested and intrigued but also fascinated and in love with them.  In addition I really enjoyed the challenge and the satisfaction of actually learning something new each time I was around them. But, boy, do I have a lot to learn!  I believe you can never learn it all and there is always more to learn and experience. I am sure I could talk a lot about just that, but I will spare you! I have been really busy since I got back getting in gear for my next adventure which is one I am not as thrilled about but I will talk about that soon. I just wanted  to share a  few thoughts that I had leading up to and on my last day in the high country.

It is never fun to leave the mountains and I have always dreaded it.  Actually, I will admit that in the past when it was time to leave I would always hope that it would pour down rain the day we had to leave so it was not as hard to leave… since we would not be missing out as much on a good hike or something outside.  Even that selfish wish coming true does not help because the truth is I love it when it rains too!  Well, things have changed a little bit, well a tiny bit.  It is still hard to leave and never gets easier, but I don’t hope the last day rains and  I don’t hope the last day shines… I hope my truck breaks down and I am stuck! 🙂 Ok but seriously, after spending a longer period of time up in the high country what I want for my last day is not selfish. If it rains, that would be great because we need rain! But no matter where you look, rain or shine  one can see the beauty that is all around. It is up to me to enjoy it while I can and be thankful for every minute I do have up there. I got a small glimpse of what it would be like to live there all year although the “good times” or the summer season is nothing compared to the harsh winters which I can only imagine. I say that because being on “vacation” for a week or two is short and if it rains the whole time it puts a damper on our normal outdoor activities and the views on our hikes, but spending a season out there I am more interested in and excited about what the land needs., like rain in the dry season! 

This year what I wanted for my last day was of course one more day but… rain or shine, wind or still, hot or cold it did not matter because I was thankful no matter what because I had learned not to let the weather determine the kind of day I would have.  I know that I will always want one more day up here. It goes fast no matter how many days I spend somwhere I love and it always comes to an end, the dreaded last day comes.  I could have done anything on my last day and been happy.  Hanging out with the horses (especially the babies), going on a ride, visiting with friends, going hiking, bike riding or any combination of the above.  But the feeling of not wanting to leave is one I am  used to in the mountains but not used to in general… When I think of leaving school I am always ready to leave so my last day is spent, well, packing!  This time was different, I was not ready. 

Anyways, my truck started!

I write this post from home where I will be for a couple days before I head up to tackle my last year of school. Can I get a hallelujah!? As I sit here, it  is weird because  I did not miss town, traffic, shopping or the busyness of it all like many would.  This grande vanilla non-fat extra-hot latte tastes amazing but I survived without those even! Of course and more importantly I missed my family and it is always wonderful to see them as much as I can. 

I miss being able to step off the front porch to be greeted by baby horses, being followed around by a chicken, a cat, and sometimes a dog, visiting with guests and spending time with the family! I am sad I had to leave, but most of all very thankful that it happened and I had the opportunity to experience such an adventure!

Thank you Lost Trail Family!

Part 4: … Eat!

It may seem weird to include eating in the “what do we do here series” but if you knew me it would be very fitting.  Eating is part of our time – family time up here and at home.  My parents have always made a point for the family to all eat dinner together around the table. It is a good memory for me. Although… I do remember playing with my food or something of the sort and my dad asked me to stop and I deliberately did it again. Oops.  But really, I am thankful for that tradition!  Every since I can remember we have eaten at least dinner together as a family after we all get home from work or school.

Up here we eat all our meals together! My mom makes extravagant, beautiful and hearty meals. So we eat and we eat well.  We have our mountain favorites or traditional cabin favorites, but it is also fun to try new things. 

Cooking and especially baking is more fun up here. Breads rise more and food just tastes so much better!  In the higher altitude we also burn more calories just sitting, but we are rarely sitting for the good part of the day – so all the extra calories usually end up being alright.  Science does not have to tell me that more calories are burnt up here because my tummy does.

Another neat thing (yes I meant to say neat) is the lack of modern “cooking” equipment such as microwaves for example.  I feel that we get so caught up in the fast food, quick fix society and everything just happens too fast.  We miss out on good old fashioned cooking – a home cooked meal is not what is used to be for many.  So up here we enjoy doing everything by hand. We mix, knead, chop, wash and everything else with our own hands and arms. Cooking is more of a process, but is very worth the extra time and effort.

 Oh, and  Mr. Coffee does not live here and Starbucks is not near. I think coffee just tastes better brewed with an old fashioned percolator out of our old mugs in front of a warm fire!

Our Sour Cream Beef Enchilladas!
Our Sour Cream Beef Enchilladas!

This year when my family was here…we did something new. Each couple had a night to make dinner.  This is Greg and I with our main dish! We did pretty good and had a great time.  So

wonderful week 7! (more pics)

It is amazing here.

I love it.

I don’t want to leave!

 Thats it.