I like hiking.

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Photo courtesy of Tessa de Recat Sawtooth Mountain Trail

Well here I am back in a little coffee shop in Boulder, CO writing about the things I like. Surprise. Amazing how cathartic it is to vent to a website without really knowing who if anyone will ever read the things I write. So I guess it can be said that I really am writing this for myself. I’m my own audience, I just happen to post these thoughts in a place that is accessible to others eyes as well.  Not that it matters seeing as these blog posts are typically just me recounting something I enjoyed doing. This is one such blog post for a a fun lil’ 12mi day hike I took with a dear friend of mine Tessa.

Typically my mentality in the mountains is go hard or go home. I have very little chill. I like to be prepared and I like to go for hours and hours if not spend the night and really get dirty, so to speak. However, in the last several months I have had the brilliant opportunity to spend time with people who chill me the fuck out. Not that their persona calms me down or anything like that, more like I am more focused on spending time with my friend than conquering some aspect of myself in the mountains that day. Sounds weird I know but its something that I struggle with. I don’t go slow.

So Tess and I agreed to do this day hike together, leaving at 9 or 10am. (Again something I would probably never do.) Picking up Tess it became very clear to me that our day was more about enjoying ourselves than anything else. The conversation up the mountain was light hearted and filled with all the formalities of two friends who have not had a chance to catch up in way to long. The drive was about an hour heading up Boulder Canyon, through Ned, north on the Peak to Peak highway, and finally pulling into Camp Dick. It was a beautiful classic Colorado day. The kinda day when the blue from the sky is almost too blue and the temperature is damn near perfect. Never windy, but a breeze exactly when its desired. Warm and easy.

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And with that easy came perhaps one of the easiest days I have ever had. Not in terms of hiking, but just simply in terms of being. It was fantastic to just walk, talk, enjoy the weather the views and good company. Cruising through the thick of the fir and spruce forests we moved fast catching up on the last year and half of our lives, going over ambitions and goals for the next year and half. Recognizing the chaos that is all too present at this point in our young lives.

Lunch by the river lead to a simple appreciation for spicy potato chips and a renewed love in peanut butter and jelly. (I’m actually enjoying one now as I write this.) A candy bar and some freshly purified water from the river and we were ready to keep trucking. Up through the sub-alpine fields that were covered in the purple and yellow of Colorado springtime wildflowers. Every now and then Tess would have to stop while I got a school boy sized grin on my face and scrambled up some new rock for a better view. Only once did I ever really convince her to join me at the top of one. I’d like to say she wasn’t disappointed but I honestly don’t really know.

Further along, the river crossed our path but its curves looked inviting and we investigated. bushwhacking down to the river bank and into the middle of the babbling brooke we went. One wet shoe later, some anxious sounds and we were back on the trail for another solid 45min of trail grinding. Through mud and water alike we trudged on albeit very light hearted trudging.

Finding our way back to the car lead to the consumption of a Twix bar and the general appreciation of a day well spent. And that is whats it’s really all about. Spending our days well. Smiling frequently and enjoying the company of excellent people. This is an abridged edition of events, obviously, but I’m at work and only had about 45 minutes to crank this out. I needed to write and so I wrote this. Tessa thanks for being you. Life thanks for being great.

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Arapahoe Pass

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It happens fairly often. I lose my god damn mind. The strange yet constant monotony of daily life. The wake up, work/ school, chores, groceries, food, and sleep. Whats funny is that the things that we do for ourselves to shake us out of the grind themselves become a player in this system of repetition. Soon we end up at the same bars, trivia nights, hiking trails, climbing gyms, restaurants, yoga studios, movie theaters, book clubs; you name it. But the thing is that the monotony of which I speak is decided self inflicted. Ask some one about their job who does like their job, same shit different day. Well it is almost a guarantee that someone who loves their job well say, “Yeah sure I do the same thing everyday but it’s never the same.” The interactions hold different significances the learning opportunities hold different value.  I have had to take a page from the book of those who love their jobs this week. But not just for my job but for my entire life. I have had to remind myself that everything I get to do is different every time for a thousand different reasons. And that the learning and interactions that I have with myself and those I work with will never be the same even if I am dealing with same problems or opportunities day in day out. IMG_0537.jpeg

In my personal life this was reflected in an overnight solo I did on June 27th-28th up the Arapahoe Pass Trail from the Fourth of July trail head west of Nederland, CO. I’ve done this trail countless times, but never have I spent the night alone. I’ve also slept alone in the back country more than most folk but for whatever reason never really in the mountains of Colorado. I always seem to have friends with me when sleep finds me there. But this time alone, by the side of the trail I had the rare and disconcerting opportunity to reflect on myself and the way I view myself and the life that I’m living. I got to notice a fair number of funny little details, like the way I twitched when I heard coyotes laughing in the growing darkness. The way the I slept for an hour and woke only to be disappointed that just an hour had passed. The way that when a dog barked, or maybe a coyote, at 4:30am, I was more annoyed that I was interrupted from sleep than I was twitchy or anxious about something that only hours early set my heart racing. Than at 5:45am waking to a sunrise that reminded me of why no moment, interactions, or breath of air, no matter how monotonous is every really the same.

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It is so easy to get caught up in our minds and project and dwell on things, to make issues out of coyotes playing in the dark. The reality of it, the coyotes are playing in the dark. They don’t give a damn about me or what I’m thinking about them. I hope that every single one of you have a chance to jump full bore into your favorite monotonous activity and realize all the tiny little things that make it so much more than what it is perceived for.

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For now good bye. Enjoy the summer heat, I’ll be in the high country sleeping under stars, and in a bar making margaritas. Neither of which is every the same.