Into the Wilderness

A few weeks ago, I went on a hut trip. I’ve never been on a trip like this, had heard about them and thought it would be fun. Now, I happen to know people who do this every year and I thought, why not have a girls weekend doing something quintessentially Coloradoan? In the winter, it turns out that this is a serious backpacking endeavor. The snowshoe in is 7 miles long, and you have to carry everything except the kitchen sink (and dishes) Everything else goes on your back. In my case, it was 35 pounds of gear, clothes, food, meds, everything I would need for 2 nights in the remote wilderness. 

In the weeks leading up to the trip, I planned on snowshoeing at high altitude every weekend to get ready and in shape. Lofty goal as it turns out as I managed exactly 2 snowshoes and one hike. As our departure date approached, I grew more anxious knowing that I only had whatever conditioning I had built up in the gym to rely on getting me through the trek. By the time I had to pack and meet my friends, I was wishing for a blizzard that would keep us home, and keep me from certain failure.  Unfortunately, we are not that lucky here in CO this year, and the day dawned sunny and unseasonably warm. I packed up my gear and headed to my friend’s house with trepidation.  We drove to Carbondale  with a few others, and the whole way up I got pep talk after pep talk. 

See, despite growing up at high altitude, it kicks my ass every single time. Any hike starting at 9,000 ft is guaranteed to see a Geochick dragging along at a snails pace while people 20 years older than me practically run by me on the trail. This hike starts at 9,000 ft, finishes at 11,000 ft and over 7 miles, the last 2 miles contains 1,000 ft of the 2,000ft total of elevation gain. 

After spending the night in a hotel, re-packing my backpack on the advice of my friends, shedding another pound or two, the next day, we started the hike on a blue sky sunny day where the sun, sometimes a friend, began to turn into our foe, relentlessly beating down on the first 5 miles of road making me sweat buckets under my heavy pack.

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Once we got to the final 2 mile hill, I welcomed the chance to dive into the forest for some coolness. The steepness of the switchbacks slowed us all down, saving the mountain goats of the group, and we slogged on, one foot in front of the other, stopping every 5 or so steps to catch our breath.  

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Finally, after 5 hours, we made it, exhausted, hot, and sweaty, and treated to these views

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It was totally worth it.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#MicroblogMondays - Realities of "In Training"

This year, I decided that kicking my ass on a bicycle in the mountains was a really great idea. So far, I've been feeling really stressed out over my work schedule, trying to stay (and failing) on top of planning my Jaz.zercise classes, and I'm irritated that we have no money to pay for a professional landscaper.  Because I've decided that endurance cycling is one of my things, we can't get to the landscaping and our front yard is downright embarrassing. Lest you wonder why S doesn't do it while I'm off riding, or why I don't do it when he's off riding on Sundays, or why we don't do it in the afternoons:  getting anything accomplished while being the only parent around has proved difficult for both of us. Sure, we'll stick them in front of the tv for an hour, but in that hour, it's usually a feeble attempt to pick up, do dishes and laundry (or in my case, put together a Jaz.zercise set). There's social engagements, or shopping for gifts, or just plain trying to shop, because despite my attempt to get everything online, I still have to find time to go to a brick and mortar store at least every other week. Shit does not get done on weekends.

Saturday morning, at 6:45am, I dragged myself up to the foothills to try to ride a mountain pass. I made it about 11 miles, up to 10,000 feet.

It was amazing.

The landscaping will wait.

 

 

 

I Forgot

Over the past several months, I've become way more active on Twitter (find me! @geochick_1), which, if you've been reading this blog regularly you know can mess with my head.

It also has taken away from my ability to read, digest and connect with bloggers. This afternoon, during lunch I decided to go back to my old ways. Opening the reader on my computer (go ahead internet trackers, record what I'm reading), I sat for 15 minutes reading and commenting on blogs.

Instead of feeling tense and anxious as I often do as I try to decipher my Twitter feed, I feel relaxed and ready to tackle the rest of the day.

I'll call this baby step #1 for the year. Take time to slow down and read blogs. I need this.