Happy Places

Happy Places.
We all have them, some broad, some very specific.

A few of my happy places:
Standing on top of a mountain.
Making espresso for myself and others.
Whitefish, Montana.
Sitting on my parent’s couch in front of the fireplace with the dogs on my lap.

While I was hiking this weekend I realized that the list of places that make me happy is virtually never-ending. I say this as I’m returning from my first hike into the Ansel Adams Wilderness. The place is incredible. It was my first time hiking a part of the Pacific Crest Trail and the John Muir Trail. My happiness was off the charts and I had only spent six hours in this place. I was back in the presence of 14ers, Banner and Ritter Peaks, that dominate the range just north of Mt Whitney.

No matter how terrible a day, week, rut, you’re going through… there should always be a happy place that you can find. Essentially, life should be your own happy place.

Did I ever think that I would live in Albuquerque, New Mexico for 2 months? No.
Did I ever think that I would fall in love with New Mexico? Absolutely not.

Not all experiences and parts of life are positive and “happy”. I get it. We all have our bad days. The important part is knowing the things and places that can turn you around when the going gets tough.

I would be lying if I said that there hadn’t been some rough times in my three weeks in Sonora between work stress and long hours. Yet every weekend outside of work I have done things that have ultimately made me smile and have carved a spot out in my heart. It makes all of those hard times worth it.

This past weekend in the Eastern Sierra has been the best by far.This remote area of California, with questionably the most expensive gas in the country, is the home to wilderness areas, JMT, PCT, shares a border with Yosemite, and is stunning.I have fallen for the Ritter Range and the Minarets – Ansel Adams has a beautiful wilderness area.

Hikes included a 16.8 mile day into the wilderness passing Shadow Lake, Ediza Lake, and ending at my goal and beauty, Iceberg Lake. Fern Lake and Yost Creek in the June Lakes area, geologic beach walks at Mono Lake, and wine accompanied leg soaks at Travertine Hot Springs on Sunday.

A full weekend of hiking, camping, hot springs, podcasts, and local beer is recapped here:

A new favorite place with my favorite beer.

A new favorite place with my favorite beer.

Iceberg Lake, Ansel Adams Wilderness

Iceberg Lake, Ansel Adams Wilderness

Ritter and Banner Peak, 14ers! Ritter Range.

Ritter and Banner Peak, 14ers! Ritter Range.

PCT marker at the Agnew Meadows Trailhead

PCT marker at the Agnew Meadows Trailhead

Fall colors at Fern Lake

Fall colors at Fern Lake

Flowing creeks do exist in California.

Flowing creeks do exist in California.

Mono Lake, the western border of the Great Basin and sister lake to the Great Salt Lake.

Mono Lake, the western border of the Great Basin and sister lake to the Great Salt Lake.

Tufas in Mono Basin

Tufas in Mono Basin

Looks like a mini Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone. Travertine Hot Springs.

Looks like a mini Mammoth Hot Springs in Yellowstone. Travertine Hot Springs.

Thankful for a long weekend that left me cooking for the week and spending the afternoon in the hammock with my book.

The Chiefs lost yesterday… so in “celebration” I went and bought a pear-raspberry turnover from the local bakery and drank an Avery raspberry sour beer I had bought in July.

Had to find the silver lining somewhere…always.

k.

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