Sunday, August 26, 2012

twelve thousand seven hundred feet

I don’t work out. I bought a gym membership in January and promised myself I was going to get in shape and tone up for our wedding. I got one of those “punch cards” instead of getting a full 6 month membership, because I wanted to “try” out the equipment and location first. Well, my card will probably expire before I get more than one punch. Yes, the day I bought the “membership” was the last time I was there.

All of that said, my husband makes me hike. Too me, that’s more exercise, sweat, and complaining than I could ever get accomplished in a gym.

So let me back up. This weekend, we went camping. Scott has been anticipating this trip for 2 years. This Wyoming campground is small and it’s only open 2 months out of the year. But it’s claim to fame – it is cradled between the mountains at approximately 10,700ft in elevation. Last year it didn’t even open – there was too much snow.

Libby Lake @ Sugarloaf Campground, WY

Gorgeous, huh? Well upon arrival Scott pointed out where we would be hiking Saturday morning. It’s one of those peaks you see in the photo.

The hike was 4 miles round trip and 2000ft of vertical. Granted, I like hikes, I like the outdoors, I love the fresh air – but I like hikes that are half as long and hikes that are mostly horizontal. This was the opposite.  Earlier in the week, he mentioned that we were going to be hiking this weekend. As always, my first question was – how far? When he said 4 miles, I laughed and said, “4 miles one way?” Surprisingly he said no, but he did say we’d be summiting a 12 thousand foot mountain. Maybe you are, but not me – is what I was thinking. Often times, we start hiking and just when you can see the end, I stop! My legs turn to jelly, I get cranky, and I sit on a rock waiting for Scott to return, telling me how amazing it was. This time, it was going to be different. He told me on our drive yesterday, that it would really mean a lot, if I would hike to the top this time – so I did.

Summit Marker - 12,700 feet
Scott's Wifey
(This smile was after I caught my breath, drank a bottle of water and ate a granola bar)
My Mountain Man

On our walk down the mountain I started thinking….What possesses us as humans to put ourselves in danger and walk to the top of a mountain? Climb rocks that could shuffle and cause you to break an ankle? Stand near the edge when you finally make it to the top? Is it the thrill? The adventure? The exercise? The views at the top? I guess it could be all of those things, but for me, it’s none of them. The reason I hike mountains is the smile my husband has on his face when he finally gets to the top. It’s the small encouragements he provides, even when I’m complaining every step of the last eighth of a mile. It’s the photo’s we take while we are standing at the top. And it’s the story we can talk about when it’s all over.

Steeler Nation Hikes Snowy Range Mountains in Wyoming
(Steeler Challenge Photo #5)
Scott claims this is our “Ocean City, Maryland” – anyone who is from my home town will understand this statement. There is a beach in Maryland called Ocean City. You can leave at 5AM from Altoona and arrive at the ocean before noon, and 90% of families go back every. single. year.  According to Scott, we will be coming back here, just as often. I won’t complain. It’s an escape from our everyday routine. The scenery is breathtaking and I get to spend a few days with my dog and husband enjoying life. It’s no ocean, but I guess it second best. 

Other favorites from the weekend:
Our  Moonlit House-on-Wheels
(Insert Creative Caption Here)

Mountain Escape - Snowy Range, WY

Home-made Donuts on Sunday Morning
Bore Family Photo - Redneck Style :)

His new hobby - Timelapses

Until next time, go to the gym (or maybe I should). I will be complaining for the next week about how sore my legs are.


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