Tag Archives: adventure

a series of moments. episode 2.

28 Mar

Shit.

The weather was clear. So clear, that yesterday’s bluster had blown the clouds and the howling winds out and had allowed for the contrast of the bright blue skies and orange-red rock that Moab was so known for, to stand king.

Crap.

That means I have no choice.

When I moved west I’d made myself a pact. A pact so real and so in your face that it felt a little like it was pointing at me, laughing hysterically, as I mulled over my escape from this particular situation.

You see. This pact I’d made myself (to myself and only myself…over one glass of cheap red wine too many…) went something like this…

“Never say NO”.

Welp with that in mind and with my hyper-confidence of the weather’s likely overblown conditions to take control of this big, fat, mistakenly uttered, “YES”, I’d somehow agreed to jump out of an airplane with only a parachute attached to my back.

No. Not at the normal altitude of 4000′ above the ground. Nope. That was for lameos. I had agreed to a jump that was something like 12000′ feet above the ground. Because what’s another 8000’?

Shit.

The wind had completely blown my grand plan of avoiding this bravado declaration of YES, out of the ballpark.

I truly had no choice. And this morning? This morning I was jumping out of an airplane. Above the arches and deep canyons of two of the USA’s most celebrated National Parks.

I mean. There had to be worse places to recognize that your grand scheme of “never say no” had failed you and that you were about to jump out of a tiny airplane that featured a pair of cheesy orange flames flanking its sides.

As my mind raced about all of the possible vomit-inducing scenarios that all seemed to bring my happy little life to a painful splat-like death, our chariot pulled up. A tiny man in a jumpsuit rolled up the side door and greeted us with a grin as he wildly waved us on to the plane.

I slid my straddled posture down the bench that spanned the craft from stern to bow until I was nestled, somewhat uncomfortably close, in between my jump partner’s legs.

As we roared down the runway, my body leaning deep into my jump partner, Keith, he whispered into my ear,

“Get ready for the craziest thrill of your life.”

And with that, we were airborne.

I was breathless with the shock of the altitude. Breathless with the cloudless morning and the sight of the sun winking off of the swiftly moving Colorado River below us.

Within what seemed like seconds, I was jerked abruptly from my breathless daydream with the bellow of the jump door being rolled up and a gust of cold air filling the small cabin.

Crap.

Here goes nothing.

Without warning, Keith started to scoot me along the length of our perch towards the roaring exit of our plane as it soared 12000′ above the hard, dusty, red desert floor.

Before I knew it, there I was.

Legs dangling out of the side of the airplane; the desert landscape and mighty Colorado River suspended below my sneakered feet.

And with that, in the time it takes to take a breath, we were airborne. Free-falling back to the Earth that cradles us. The Earth that nurtures us and provides us with life-giving resources and memories.

It was so loud; it was almost like I was rushing through a tunnel of silence. I couldn’t hear anything but the roar of the wind as it whipped by my ears, pulling my cheeks back with the velocity of the speed at which we were falling.

Gravity took its toll and we flipped and flopped and tumbled back towards solid ground and with a single, sudden jerk, we stopped. And we floated, suspended high above life as we knew it.

And as we floated, drifting back to Earth, I giggled to myself. Giggling that for better or for worse, somehow after the craziest, most thrilling moment of my life, never saying no still hadn’t failed me.

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gold on our hills.

30 Sep

Fall is fleeting up here at 9300′.

It blows in overnight, flexing its artistic vein as it paints the hillsides in shades of gold and red and fiery orange.

It drops gilded carpets of Aspen leaves on forest paths as though laying down a golden carpet fit for mountain royalty.

I like to pretend that I myself, am the aforementioned royal visitor. I stroll between seasons on a long Aspen leaf lined carpet into my kingdom of statuesque trees, waving to my Mountain sentinels as I go.

I wrap myself in Mother Nature’s earthy perfume and memorize the tune bellowed from deep within the woods–the hum of the bees, the whisper of the wind, the trickle of water, and the cracking of wood as my woodland neighbors wander invisibly among the swaying trees.

frozen in time.

27 Sep

It had to have been one or two in the morning, but I lay wide awake in the tent; alert enough that it felt as if day were about to break.

The night air had dropped to the low 30s and frost covered the rain fly creating little ice crystals that glittered and danced under the full moon.

I lay there, nestled deep within the downy depths of my sleeping bag with only my nose and cheeks exposed to the cool mountain air, and I listened.

Our campsite, sheltered in the midst of stoic Lodgepole pine trees on the banks of a high alpine lake, was high enough up a long, boulder filled, dirt road that traffic noises were obsolete. The night was windless and the air was still and cold, chilly enough that the atmosphere around the tent seemed to be frozen in time.

I listened and I listened. I and realized that for the first time in as long as I could remember, there was nothing outside of my own thoughts and my own slow breaths to listen to.

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modern-day cowgirl.

10 Jul

 

When I was a little girl, I liked to pretend that I was a cowgirl.

I would spend hours getting lost in daydreams of wrangling cattle and of strapping on my chaps and spurs and riding off into the sunset on my lively steed.

I so badly wanted to live the life of adventure that was so often the main vein running through the stories that recounted the days of the wild west.

Stories of heroic cowpoke protagonists, of miners living high atop the Rocky Mountains, of straight shooters and showdowns.

And though I don’t partake in any high noon showdowns or spend much time around horses,  I like to think that I am living out my childhood dreams of cowgirl adventures via elk jerky and apple picnics at the top of high mountain summits. Through wandering drives up old access roads in search of snow in July. Through the twangy stories told during a private blue grass show on a deck overlooking Telluride and the San Juans. Through evenings spent on a wobbly, spider-ridden kayak watching fireworks cascade over Lake Dillon. Through hidden campsites that provide an unobstructed view of the stars and the sun rising up above Cataract Falls. Through the eyes of an eight year old as she learns the ins and outs of the world around her. And through the joy felt when close friends and family come together for an evening of ongoing laughter over charred ribs and corn on the cob dripping with melted butter.

 

 

dirt.

22 May

I’ve had a few memorable showers in my 29 and 3/4 quarters years.

I know, I know…what kind of statement is that anyway?

But hear me out.

I’m talking a shower where you turn the heat up as hot as you can stand it without feeling as though your skin is about to melt off your body.

I’m talking a shower that fills your bathroom with so much steam that it becomes difficult to take a deep breath; and in the very same moment, feeling the dirt, the grime, the sweat, the laughter, and the sand melt off your body and swirl around the drain, waving as though shouting gleefully, “until next time!”.

I’m talking a shower that leaves your skin pink with heat and the beginnings of a slight sunburn and memories from a weekend outside under the hot Rocky Mountain sun.

Now that’s a memorable shower.

Great Sand Dunes National Park, Taos NM, Zapata Falls, Lower Cataract Lake 

 

out like lamb [not so much].

6 Apr

March oh March. Where have you gone?

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in like a lion.

10 Mar

Arapahoe Basin, Winter Park, Keystone, Breck, Montezuma, and Summit Cove.

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