Friday, July 29, 2011

The Incline. . . of doom

So I said that I was super psyched about "The Incline"  well I was. . . just about till I was standing at the base of it ready to start the ladder climb that is the incline.  The pictures that are on Google and that I took just don't cover it.  They can't make you understand.   Imagine standing at the base of a mountain, allow your eye to follow the path at your feet all the way to the top.  Now imagine that whole long path at angles ranging from 45 degrees to upwards of 75 degrees.  To make this clear: stairs are a 45 degree angle, ladders leaned against a house are generally 65 degrees.  Does this help the visual?

While you are imaging, visualize me standing at the base of the mountain looking up winded from climbing the small hill that brings you to the base of the trail.  I sat there "waiting" for everyone else to get to the base before we started thinking, "this is crazy... no way I make it to the top".  One foot in front of the other I start the 1.5 mile path (not long you think, well it goes up 2000 feet in that 1.5 mile hike).  Not looking forward to make sure not to loose my footing I start feeling winded.  Thinking "I have had to have gone a bit by now" I look up to the top and realize it looks even further away then when I started.  How is it possible.

When we set out I was in the first group... mistake.  You see two people in this group are serious athletes and beasts.  Liz (the female soccer, track, volleyball, and you name it player) was practically jogging/speed walking up the mountain.  But thankfully everyone was willing to stop to take breathers. . .

To "enjoy the view", I can tell you right now I wasn't paying attention to anything past trying to suck in breath as much and as fast as I could.

And more breathers. . .

Looking at this view you would think we were there, unfortunately you would be dead wrong.  Not even half way.

And more breathers. . . Did I mention it is  2000 feet climb?

 I'm telling you that it must have been an escalator trying to move us down because I felt like I never made forward movement.  To extend your red faced, wind sucking and sweaty visual you have of me, now add a bear crawl.  Yes, I did resort to a bear crawl.  I don't care if you laugh, it works!

Still not there. . .

Though there was pain and at points I just wanted to give in and let my lungs collapse, I made it.  I actually got to the top second (behind what I am now pretty sure isn't really human: Liz) then Trent (other beast of an athelete) and Chris came in at the same time just after me.  1.5 miles, 2000 feet up. . . when you put it that way I don't mind that it took me an hour.  I was happy that we found another winded hiker waiting before the 3 mile run down the mountain to take our picture.

He was a very nice man but he didn't get one with the view and since we had made it to the top. . .

By the time I got to the bottom again oddly I wanted to do it again.  I will miss you CO and all your amazing hiking abilities!

On a sad note.  Due to. . . well, circumstances out of my control we had to climb down the rail ties we had just climbed up (not advised... not safe) and we found our selves slipping and falling.  So aside from the normal cuts, nicks and scratches to be found *sigh* I had my camera with me.  My beautiful 50 mm 1.4 lens landed with a thud on a tie and is no more.  A moment of silence is needed. . .

Other than that very sad note it was a wonderful trip filled with fun and exciting new things and amazing people.  If you ever get a chance to go to CO: GO!  If you ever get a chance to go with amazing people to CO: REALLY GO!  Makes me want to start singing "America the Beautiful"

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Exercise and art?

This sounds like a plan right?  I just want to be silly sometimes.  I know so wrong for a "grown up"... but I guess that's the problem... I don't want to be grown up all the time.  This rendition of silly: Jogging photography?  Anyone seen "Yes Man"?  Well, I tried it!  You ready to see my first session of Jogging photography?  You know it has to be great!

Obviously missed the mark but it was fun to try!  You should get out there and try it yourself.  Only rule: you can never stop moving!

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Things left out of my genes...

Ball hand coordination is something I have always lacked.  I blame it on a brother who is naturally awesome (no practice needed) at all ball related sports (from ping-pong to football).  I love the idea of sports.  Grabbing a ball and smiling as I shoot, throw, bounce, hit the ball... but what happens with me is that I drop, loose, miss, and pelt the ball in the wrong direction.  I like playing... but most don't like playing with me.  I went away for this past weekend  it was a challenge because we played a lot of sports.  Beneficially no one got upset at me and I evaded any games I could.  Again I do mean games, so long as there isn't a score involved I'm game but as soon as there are "points" outtie.  There is something about putting weight to what I do that makes me nervous, one wrong move and I could be the reason for everyone failing or worse the receiver of scorn.  I don't mind conflict and arguments so long as they are for a good reason... and yes, to me sports are not a good reason.

We played Disc golf

Basketball (I should state I didn't play this) 

Volleyball (played as soon as they quite taking score) 

 Bocce ball (now this one you can take score and I am ok, because it bocce ball... I mean really, who is going to get intense about bocce ball, plus I am always with Chris and he is never intense about games)


Friday, July 22, 2011

Out to play

This weekend is going to be great!  Do you know why?  OH, I DO!

I get to see my 2nd parents.  We are going to CO to see Chris' rents.  His dad is in the Army and has just arrived back and we get to go out for a few days and hang around.  Though we have gone and seen them in CO before this will be our first time in CO in the summer.  I am excited!  His dad has, as per usual, an iterator for the whole time we are there.

Part of this time will include a famous hike: THE INCLINE.

According to my Dad#2

"What is the incline? It’s an unforgettable, most difficult hike - one mile up in length - 2800 railroad ties (steps) - 2000 feet of vertical climb - and a three mile hike back down the Barr trail (most people run or jog down) - This is one serious workout.

Why do it? It’s a once in a life time opportunity worthy of your best efforts – it’s a very popular hiking trail (thousands do this trail daily), so we need to get there early (plan on leaving the house at 0530 on Monday 25 July) – we’ll be finished and back home by 0830 - a lot of people train on this trail, chugging up to the top in 40-60 minutes and racing back down in another 20-40 minutes - So we’ll be mindful of our speed (or lack thereof) and the pace of others behind you – it’s tradition to let faster hikers pass you with ease (step aside).

The trail is always full of people trudging or dashing up the wooden beams - the climb is difficult, but the views are stunning – the sun will rise to the east behind us and while most of the time you're looking at your footing, when you stop (for air) and look around, it's really worth it - you'll be above 7,000 feet, and your surroundings are pine trees and giant boulders.

There's a false summit, so if you're new to the trail, don't celebrate too early - about half-way up, there is a place where you can sneak over on the Barr Trail back down if it's too intense for you at that time.

There are wild animal concerns (bear, coyote, fox, wolf, elk/dear, mountain lion, and the like) but, stay on the trail and follow my instructions and we’ll be fine – there have been very few wild life incidents in this area but ‘seeing’ them is very common. 

Don’t forget to bring water (you will need it) – durable light weight running or hiking shoes – sunglasses, breathable or wicking shorts and shirt (dress light) – it will be cold (50-60 degrees) to start, but it heats up fast . 

Remember to stop and take in the views and take pics – remember to be safe, always ensure you have sure footing going up and down (many people trip and fall), eat a high protein dinner the night prior, heavy hydrate the 24 hours prior. "

To me this sounds amazing.  Yes, legs will be sore, lungs will scream for air and falling isn't an option but really how many times do you get this type of opportunity?  

But to give you an idea of our visit: this is just one item on our filled iterator!  

Can't wait to see you, #2 rents!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

I feel like a chipmunk

I love traveling and I even love packing... but I hate repacking and unpacking.    I am more than guilty of the take all the clothes in your bag and dump them in the dirty.  Some how coming out of the dryer I am more ok with putting them away.  I am a bit OCD and I like to have control, especially in the small things.  So even when I have finished backing I will check and triple check the bags.  The odd thing here is that I don't expect to find anything missing or forgotten but instead I get joy from having thought of it all... I know, I'm psycho.  Aren't you glad you aren't Chris!

This particular time I am directly going from one packing to the next... thus I unpack our small overnight bag and pull out our for real bags.

Unless going somewhere over 2 weeks I refuse to check a bag.  It isn't that it cost money, but don't get me wrong I am cheap, it is that out of the 4 times I have checked a bag they have damaged or lost it 3 of those times.  Plus there is something about knowing that you have everything with you, in hand.

It is also my game to pack as little as possible while having everything I need.  I lay my clothes out by day, not that they are assigned but it makes it easier for me to have a guideline/timeline.  A day out and we are set, packed, zipped and next to the door,  ready to roll... literally. ;P

Colorado here we come! 

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

There and back again: a Rachel Tale

In a house above ground there lived a girl.  Not a hairy, large footed girl but simply a girl who wasn't quite ready to leave on time.  Silbo was lovely and sweet, a little too sweet for she agreed to help this knight with a declaration to his people and it was taking longer than she had thought.  It took some bidding from our part but we got them to agree to go on our quest.

So on our wee white stallion we, Silbo, Chrwalin, Sili and I, Randalf, all crawled.  Instead of fighting the large noise dragons that we came across we simply passed them by, which was a jolly good plan for it got us to the mountain where our riddle would lead us to our golden treasure:

"A box without hinges, key or lid, Yet golden treasure inside is hid"

And what a yummy treasure indeed!  And that was just the start of our adventure

During our long quest there were battles to be had...

Damsels to rescue

Evil to vanquish


Paths to follow

 Joy to be had!

All to finally come out the other side the mountain...

Some things were so scary that face were stuck permanently ;P

But ultimately we made it back to the "Hole" safely.

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Thanks Ashley and your Scavenger hunt!  It was fun "hunting" these down.

1. Black and White

2. Reflections in glass

3. Head lights

4. Seeing Double

5. Bare

You can join her next week too!  I took some liberties with definitions but I'm ok with it ;P  Take a look at the other and tell me how fabulous mine was in comparison #sarcasm.  

Monday, July 18, 2011

Saying goodbye to a dear old friend.

Rushing through the parking lot, "must get there... what if we are too late".  Cars are everywhere at 9:45pm on this Thursday night.  Slipping the car into a spot not too far away, I sling myself out of the car and quickly make my way to the door. No lines this year just mass chaos.  People everywhere, some sitting in circles, some weaving their way around trying to make it just a little closer to that glorious velvet rope that is the gate way to bliss, at least for tonight.  Slowly making my way around some mulling about I spot some people I know and we start up a conversation as the doors open continuously for more and more fans pouring their way into the lobby, "they will have to stop letting people in the doors soon" as my personal space get to the point of a small perimeter around my person but more people just keep walking in.

(yes, we did dress up.  Wands and all)

I hear a yelling voice off to my right and I see a man standing on the consession stand calling out to the crowd, his poor voice strained as he announces "Theaters 4,5, and 11 are now seating".  As the moment pass more people enter and the man on the counter keeps yelling the same thing over and over,every once in a while he adds another theater but never mine. With each time I wonder will he ever announce my theater is seating.

The lobby has mostly cleared out by this point and my theater is the last to seat.  Finally the man on the counter announces "Theaters 2,3,4,5,9,10,11,8, and 7 are now seating"  The energy in the crowd before was nothing like it was at that moment, pushing on my back and sides as people try and force their way closer to that beautiful velvet rope.  I make it through into my seat and sigh at our good fortune: we not only made it in but mostly unscathed and to rather good seats.

Legs shaking with anticipation, the lights dim and there is a eruption of cheers in every direction.  I sit enraptured by what is about to happen and saddened at seeing it all come to a close.  Odd I know but it felt like having a close friend move away, knowing that you would never see them again but only have the memories of your friendship.  What will life be like?  I know it is silly but these people, these characters have been around for more than 10 years of my life.  As the moments that we all knew came to play across our screen we compared them to the imaginary scenes that we had envisioned.  With each silly moment there was such joy, conquering moments meet with loud applause, and in those moments we all knew had to come jeering quiet as tears silently slid down already wet cheeks.

To those who will always exist in my memories, I am sad to see you move away but overjoyed at the time we had.