so in actuality there was only one goodbye, but that doesn’t make for as smooth of a title so I lied a little bit.
The surprises started with my alarm waking me up about 40 minutes later than I intended it to. See, I had plans to meet the bf (that’s best friend for this post unless otherwise specified) in Estes Park so we could summit Hallett Peak today! But alas, the iphone continues to surprise me and apparently only vibrates its alarm when turned on silent. Unfortunately for me, that vibration is not nearly as violent and noisy as my former phone’s and so did not awaken me on time. I left late to say the least but had a great canyon drive, only slightly endangering my life, up to Estes. Plus starbucks was open by then so my new favorite drink got a spot in my cup holder 🙂 I got a lovely MMS of her unamused face while she was waiting for me, but I deserved that.
When we convened in Estes, I made my second major mistake of the day–offering to drive up to the park. We made it there with no major events, but then we got to the parking lot. As I shut the door, I had that moment of terror where I just wanted to take back the last second of my life so badly… keys. locked. in. the. car. at a trailhead in the middle of a national park. fml.
After a few minutes of pulling on door handles, trying to pry my windows open, and staring longingly at the keys I could see sitting in the back seat, it started to dawn on me that I would actually have to figure out a way to solve this problem. First I googled how to break into my car (yeahhhh iphone service in the middle of nowhere) but sadly no one had any decent advice for me.
So plan B was to call the bf (that’s boyfriend in this case). Mind you it was about 745am at this point. Oops. He also had no experience in breaking into my car, but did offer to drive my spare key up the 2 hours to open Victor for us (that’s my car’s name. She’s a girl.) Well I’m not the nicest person in the world, but I’m not that mean so I told him I’d call him back if I needed him (what? he offered) and chatted with the ranger instead. How do these rangers not have jimmy kits? My mind was boggled. Finally I remembered how ridiculously high my car insurance premium is and thought ‘hey, maybe I have locksmith coverage on that policy’ since I was not about to pay for out of pocket–the bf and I considered breaking a window with a rock because that would probably be cheaper.
After some iPhone voodoo and a couple phone calls, it turns out I was covered WOOHOOO! Our friend Al the Locksmith drove all the way up to rescue us and he was awesome and told us sweet 14er stories about sleeping on top of the Maroon Bells and almost crushing his leg with a rock and chillin with bears and it was sweet and I still felt super dumb but this happens to everyone so don’t judge me!
Anyways, since we had to be around for the locksmith and there’s no service on the trails, we got a short hike from Bear Lake to Emerald Lake in while we waited for Al. It was gorge, as you can see:
By the time I got my keys back it was after 10:30 and leaving for a 10 mile loop to a summit around 13,900ft at that time would have been another big mistake, so instead we opted for the shorter Deer Mountain hike. It’s still somewhat challenging at 6 miles round trip with about 1000 feet elevation gain (according to some hikers I overheard on the trail so that’s totally a reliable source).
Then we went down to Estes for lunch and coffee since the pie shop is currently not open (ULTRA SAD FACE) and there were a ton of people and sweet dogs and then we had to say goodbye because she’s leaving me and I don’t wanna talk about it so I’m not gonna write about it.. yet. I love her and will miss her immensely and that’s all you need to know for now.
In conclusion, this day was the perfect sendoff for many reasons.
Reason 1: I was late. I am often late. It was appropriate.
Reason 2: I did something really dumb like lock my keys in my car at a remote trailhead. It was also appropriate
Reason 3: Colorado is amazing, and Rocky Mountain National Park takes a bunch of that amazingness and puts it all in one place so we can enjoy it and it was awesome.
Reason 4: We laughed a lot, and cried a little, and endured some situations that could have ruined our day but thanks to her being amazing, we still had a fantastic time 🙂 It was appropriate too.
“When I look down from lofty mountain grandeur/And hear the brook and feel the gentle breeze; /Then sings my soul, my Saviour God to Thee; How great Thou art!” -sacred hymn How Great Thou Art
First 14er of the season woo! We finally got out to do some real hiking after many weekends of work schedules/wedding schedules/etc postponing mountaining adventures.
We decided to check Bierstadt off of our list (this is number two as we did Mount Evans last fall..technically. It’s a long story.) as our warmup to 14ing season. The trailhead was about a two hour drive from Boulder, so the adventure started at 5:30 with a much needed Starbucks stop in Golden. It reminded me of ski season *tear* except that it wasn’t pitch blackness outside like it is in the winter.
We got to the trail head and had some mild confusion deciding which trail was actually going to take us to the summit. But have no fear, our second guess was correct! We traversed a beautiful valley complete with mountain lake, bridges over the muddy spots, and a panorama of four 14ers–Evans, Bierstadt, Grays, and Torreys.
But then stuff got real. Once we got across the meadow, the only thing between us and the summit was a mountain. And it was a tall one. At first it wasn’t so bad, and the trail kind of wandered up for a while. Except that on this part we got passed by some guys running up the mountain–yes, running. Made us feel bad about ourselves but we got over it quickly.
Then there was a section I’m tempted to call the most intense hiking stretch I’ve done. I felt like this trail, where a normal trail would have had several switchbacks, just sort of went straight up the mountain instead. The combination of that and the fact that we were probably around 13000 feet by then meant a lot of resting. Lucky for me the bf’s Canon gift was easily accessible in my camera backpack, so I took an unnecessary amount of pictures while we sat. I’m learning how to actually use the camera properly, so there were a lot that needed to be removed from the bunch due to their suckage, but here’s some that made the cut. The haziness is due to the several wildfires burning in Colorado as this already ridiculous fire season rages on.. 😦 sad face.
Once we made it to the boulder field that takes you to the summit, there were a ton of people on the trails. The websites were not lying when they said not to seek out solitude on Bierstadt on the weekend. Looking down, you could see several groups of people coming up and going down the trail, and there were probably about fifty people at the summit when we got up there. I was surprised but I guess 14ers are pretty cool. On the plus side, everybody on the summit sang “Happy Birthday” to some guy who was celebrating by climbing a mountain! We found a spot relatively away from everyone to have our summit snacks and take pictures of the awesome succulents (except for this couple right in front of us who decided they just could not resist the romance of the moment and made out for a good ten minutes. We only made fun of them a little bit). After a while the dark clouds to the west got the better of my fear and I convinced the bf and the bf (that’s boyfriend and best friend :)) that it was time to descend whether they were ready or not.
You always expect the descent to be so easy, and it never is. Breathing-wise, obvs, it was much easier, but everyone was done with the stress on their joints and quads by the time we got down the boulder field and steepest sections. The boyf resorted to walking sideways and backwards to avoid the strain on his legs. It was amusing and probably pretty effective. We got back to the car and the clouds were ominous, so I was glad to be sheltered.
In other news, there were TONS of dogs around, and I wanted one as usual. So I guess that’s not really news.
Great start to the hiking season, I’ll keep up posts on the future ones as well (in the works.. Grays/Torreys double summit, Maroon Bells (hopefully), and various RMNP classics).
Sorry for the delay in this post…
A couple of weeks ago two friends and I took a road trip to a little town called Telluride, Colorado. We piled all of our snow gear and sweats (this was supposed to be a relaxing weekend) into my friend’s newly snow-tired Jetta, stacked our driving snacks in the back seat and set out on our way.
The drive was long but not boring..filled with everything from NPR podcasts (yes dad, even Car Talk) to Britney Spears jam sessions. We drove for a few hours through the mountains and resorts on I-70 before going through Grand Junction and a little bit of flat. Then we started re-entering the mountains right around sunset. It was awesome, as you can see to the left.
Our weekend was spent in a sleepy ski town in the off-season, and it reminded me so much of home. Except for the giant mountains
surrounding the town on all sides of course. But the people were friendly, and they came to the local coffee shop (The Steaming Bean!) in their sweats and snowboots, unconcerned with whether the others would approve of their getup. They gathered in the local bar to watch football at night, yelling at the television and enjoying beer and wings with other locals. The waitstaff was less concerned with waiting on people and more concerned with spending time with them.. but it didn’t seem rude, just appropriate. the magic of a small town.
Since most of the touristy spots and activities were shut down in preparation for the season opener, we were able to enjoy mainly just the local shops. The owners were friendly and chatting with those they knew who came in and out of their stores, updating one another on news and gossip from the town. Their shops had character and were filled to the brim with interesting and unique pieces (although most were well out of my price range).
It reminded me of how silly I am sometimes, so concerned with having the right things and looking the right way. The longer I spend
living surrounded by society and all of its expectations, the more I forget these small towns where people live to enjoy their lives. They spend their money on good food and making memories instead of name brand clothes and top-end accessories. But the beauty they might not be draping on their bodies is made up and then some in the sparkle in their eyes and the brightness of their smiles. It was so good to be reminded of the beauty in a simple life. One concerned with joy from within, not approval from without. I need to remember to retreat to the mountains, to nature, to the small town every once in a while…just in case I start to forget again.
Official new fresh start woo! I’ve been having a lot of those recently.. finishing college last May, starting my very first ‘real person’ job in June, moving in August, changing jobs in September, aaaaand moving again this past weekend. I think I’m ready for my life to settle a little before any more of these fresh starts in my life.
Here’s a bit of a highlight reel from the weekend move.
First my dad (who spoils me way too much whenever I need him for something like this, although I thoroughly appreciate it) drove 16 hours to come and help me out, so I wouldn’t have to hire movers. Not only that, but he also brought a whole cooler filled with beef jerky and cheese along with him. See? Like I said…spoiled. Like a good and responsible daughter, I had all my stuff packed up and shoved into one room in order to streamline the moving process.
Saturday morning started the madness. First and most importantly with a giant breakfast burrito in my stomach. Packing up the truck was relatively uneventful minus the usual struggling to get things down the stairs..and the fact that I have way more stuff than I did last time I moved…living room furniture is big. but between me, my dad, the bf, and Lo (WHY won’t you commute from FoCo?!) we got it done. And then we caravanned (yeah, that word just happened) up to the new place. Also relatively uneventful, except that there was a ton of traffic…some sort of college football team or something had a game or something..nothing anyone needs to be worried about.
After several reassurances that they liked it (I get nervous about these things) the unpacking commenced. it was all fine and good until we got to that giant living room junk. There’s this super narrow stairway with a 180 degree turn in it leading up to my front door [pictures on the way] that really complicates the whole getting big stuff up there thing. so between the 4 of us, we just beasted the big stuff up the balcony. i really with i had taken pictures of that, but i was a little occupied balancing a couch on a balcony. I was only slightly concerned that we were setting ourselves up to drop it a full story and kill all my stuff. but we didn’t!
And then..wahoo! New place: moved in. yeah, everything is sitting in a heap in one room and I can’t find anything, but whatever. Its getting there. And then it was Home Depot time! YEAH! love Home Depot! Obviously I dragged dad and the bf along (Lo had escaped back to Boulder by now), I’m sure they loved it. But first we stopped at Wally World for some internet stuff, and Kohls for nothing, it turns out.. and then I almost hit some little kids on bikes (it was dark! and they had no reflectors! and there was no stop sign!) and then we got all kinds of fun stuff. I’ll update you as I use it; it’s gonna be awesome. Then we watched the Badgers lost to Michigan State. I don’t want to talk about it.
Sunday morning dad left and finally made it home close to 4am his time (yikes… sorry dad. You’re the best!) and I went down to my old place to clean the stuff I couldn’t do while all my junk was still in there. After a Home Depot paint matching trip, some bleach/window scrubbing and extensive use of a vacuum and carpet cleaner, we were done woo! In my true fashion I couldn’t find my bike key..so the bike is temporarily abandoned, and I left soy milk in the fridge. But have no fear, we still have to go back before handing in the keys.
Overall, successful weekend. Thanks to all the people willing to give up their weekend to help me. Thank you 10 zillion times, couldn’t have done it without you guys. As stressful as moving is, you guys giving up your time and weekend to help me out was amazing. I like things that force me to depend on other people…I need to learn how to be better at that.
let the ‘making it my own’ commence…
” Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor: If either of them falls down, one can help the other up. But pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up. Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm. But how can one keep warm alone? Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecc. 4:9-12