So last time I said I wouldn’t let myself go on a hiatus again this summer. Well, here I am writing this on the day after our first snow in Utah so it’s basically safe to say that I failed. Important part: I have been very busy working, hiking, and ultimately completely some goals that I had set for myself.
If you know me at all, you know that I am a huge advocate for setting goals and completing them. Nothing is more satisfying.
Life update first.
Right after my last post, I got sent out on another fire, this time in McCall, Idaho. It was a long 14 days of waking up to 28-32 degrees, in a tent, in August. It’s a good thing that I love sleeping in a tent and that there was hot coffee just a sort stumble away at 530 am.
On my fire, I found out that I was selected for a temporary detail I had applied for in California which was equally exciting for my career and my personal life. It’s going to be a challenge, but I’m up for it. Also- I’ll get to check another bucket list item off of my list by visiting Yosemite NP which is only 40 miles from where I’ll be living. WIN.
So since I’ve been home from fire I’ve been frantically trying to get caught up on work all while going on vacation (how rough) and trying to squeeze in my last 2 summer hiking goals in basically 3 days.
Everything was a great success. In 4 days I got my 2 hikes in. Mt Olympus and Mt Timpanogos. I had been lusting after these two Wasatch icons since I moved to SLC last fall.
Mt. Olympus was basically a 4000 foot stairway to a saddle and then you have a wonderful view before your scramble. This was the best training I could get a few days before doing Timp after basically running under 10 times in a month as my only exercise. Yeah, ouch, tell me about it.
Four days later, after some trail consultation and many beers, I pulled myself together to do my main hiking goal of the summer- Mt Timpanogos.
15 miles roundtrip of changing scenery, terrain, weather conditions, and mental stability.
After arriving at the basin around 5 miles staring up at the beast of a glacial peak I was going to summit, the adrenaline kicked in. I started striding. This lasted until I ran into a herd of 30 ish mountain goats, some of which I had to come within a foot of to continue on my cliff ledge path.
Nearing the saddle I was stopped by a group of men who suggested that I not continue to the summit as the wind was intense and I may or may not blow away. Challenge accepted.
Within 5 minutes of that encounter I had almost convinced myself to turn around.
The wind was insane, the trail was narrow and carved into the side of the cliff, and I was about ready to lose it mentally. I slowly kept myself moving forward, slowly gaining inspiration from the fact that kids were coming down off of the trail along with the fact that I did not power-hike up 6.5 miles to turn around now. The trail ended at times and I was faced with vertical rock scrambles that were somewhat marked and luckily very stable. With 35 mph winds throwing you around on the side of a peak…. you really can start to test yourself. Regardless, I made it to the top and was so thankful for this amazing hike that gave me a mental challenge that I hadn’t faced since the Pfeifferhorn and my 14ers last summer.
Going down a peak like Timp is 3x as worse as going up. When I made it back down to the saddle I could have kissed the rocks. I only had my last obstacle of the mountain goat gang blocking my descent. Passing the herd, I determined that as much as I love those daring goats, I am certain that baby mountain goats make the most annoying noise I have ever heard. Google it.
Being able to meet these summer goals in a time crunch was fulfilling. As much as work and life can get in the way, remember that you can always prioritize.
Shortly after Labor Day, I headed east for a vacation in Pennsylvania which was much needed after my last month. The countryside of western PA is beautiful. I love the never-ending forests and abundance of lakes. We went fishing on Lake Erie which was neat… even though the only “fish” I caught was other people’s lines. Next time those perch are mine!
Back to a busy week of work and reality… I head to California on Saturday. I’m excited and nervous all at the same time. But that’s what I love about life, the unknown, new beginnings, challenging yourself.
If I can pinpoint words that I live by, it would have to be: don’t become stagnant. Challenge yourself in all things you do and you will find more out about yourself and this life than you will any other way.
Off to wine country. All of those years of watching the OC has come to this point. California…..here we come.