Posted in Adventure, Backpacking, Inspiration

Rocky narrow – Day 2

” Let’s just walk in a little ways” they said. I think I had an inkling that it would be much more than that, but I didn’t dare to ask. Remember the innocent, not knowing bliss I was talking about? Well this was such a moment and knowing what was ahead of me, would have simply overwhelmed me. Not to mention knowing that I always have one good hike in me and usually struggle with back to back long hikes. I had just finished my Waterfall hike and subconsciously I set a limit for myself thinking I had done the work. Well Day 1 would soon receive a new perception and go into the books as a piece of cake compared to what was ahead. By the time everything was said and done on Day 2, I would have climbed 68 flights, hiked 8.8 miles and had a step count of 19.107 steps.

The trail was scenic and beautiful, meandering along the Stanislaus River, crossing bridges, boasting narrow rock walls, with several waterfalls and wildflowers. We even met Captain Morgan in the woods wearing a face mask, but that’s a different story. Stay tuned 😉

It was challenging to take in the beauty as the trail kicked my butt and climbed continuously, sometimes steeper, and sometimes easing off a bit, but it always climbed. For over 4 miles, over rocky terrain and natural stone switchbacks. It was hot, and frequent breaks in a shady spot helped me overcome and finally reach the top. Have you heard of false summits? Yeah, another story for another time. As always, there has never been time when I said that all the hard work wasn’t worth it, but man, do I have to work for it at times.

Even more so a reason to listen to the signs and I look back at it with a smile now. Regardless of how tough it was, how I had to push myself thinking I didn’t have a second hike in me (one even harder than the day before), I know that much is mental and if we set those limits for ourselves, we will always find ourselves confined within these borders. Fact is, I MADE IT, and within it I find victory and confirmation that I am getting stronger. I felt supported by my body and my joints and just recently this would have been unthinkable. No doubt was I tired at the end of the day and I could definitely tell that I walked a whole bunch of steps, but to my surprise, I wasn’t even sore the next day. I wanted to rest and I did, but not because of being sore from the prior days workout.

It’s amazing what we can learn about ourselves when we tune in. My tune in was a newfound motivation, an inspiration to build on the gifts that I was given. To take my health further and not let these moments pass me by. My aha moments were unfolding, I just wasn’t fully grasping them yet. Much would play out in hindsight, after the experience and once I was back home. More goodness was on the way and I was ready.

Posted in Inspiration, Life

Nobody is perfect

Don’t be so hard on yourself, nobody is perfect. And while it’s ok to strive for your best version, don’t forget about the occasional shortcomings and be quick to forgive yourself and others. Fact is….

Nobody is perfect. We make mistakes. We say the wrong things. We do the wrong things. We fall. We get up. We learn. We grow. We move on. We live.

If you have wronged someone, apologize, but also consider these 4 mistakes you should hold your apology for.

  • Making decisions for yourself and putting your needs first. This is a tough one, and one I continue to learn. I naturally put others first, to the point of it draining my own energy. Balance is the key here, and if you have a strong desire to help others, it’s also essential to remember that you are no good to anyone if you don’t take care of yourself too. So be good to yourself and schedule time for the things that fuel your passion. Remember that “me time” is important.
  • Falling in love with the “wrong” one. I mean dating the wrong one in the eyes of your friends and family. Quickly there is a “come to Jesus” talk just around the corner waiting for you, and everyone is quick to add their 5 cents. Luckily I don’t have to deal with this, but my advice would be to date whoever you feel like dating. Even if it’s the wrong one, in the worst scenario there are lessons to learn, and without lessons we don’t grow as as people. I’m not saying it’s fun to date the wrong one and it can be downright painful, yet it will shape you as part of your journey. The key is to stay positive and not let it define your future.
  • Wanting more than what you currently have. I don’t mean in a greedy way and on the material front, but in a way you can do better for yourself. It’s great to have goals and whatever they are, it’s healthy to hold on to something to strive for. Wanting more could include, being at peace, it could include less stress, less anxiety, more freedom, a healthier lifestyle and so much more. The choice is yours. What would you include into your list of wanting more?
  • Living counter to mainstream. This is one I have been doing for quite some time now. Unfortunately, people with this attitude are few and far between, and many still conform to what others expect of them. Let me tell you that no matter what is holding you back, it is absolutely ok to be yourself, regardless of who that is. It is your life and you are the captain of your own ship. So listen to your surroundings, the background noice, society giving you advice, settings certain rules and expectations. Take it all in and then decide what fits into YOUR vision of your life. It doesn’t take a huge step and you can climb that mountain, but it does start with a step.

Why not take that first step and start with giving yourself more courage and credit than you think you have. Pros and cons…gains and losses. Write it out if you have to, plan it or just do it and let the cards fall into place. The worst thing is doing nothing. What are you waiting for? 😉🙏🏼

Posted in Backpacking, Hiking, Mother nature

Day 2 – Stanislaus River

Day 2 started with aches and stiffness, and all of a sudden the ground felt much harder than the night before. Was it a case of getting older, being too old for camping and sleeping on the ground, or was it not getting the proper rest after the somewhat strenuous hike to the Waterfall. Regardless of what it was, the idea of investing in a better quality sleeping pad was born as the perfect solution. It might have been a little bit of everything, but who was going to admit that, and after all this was no time to say that our camping days are over.

It was time to pack up though and remove our tiny footprint, leaving Mother Nature in the same beautiful condition we found her just two days ago. With a last look back, a sigh and a promise to return again, we made the short trek to the Jeep, loading all our belongings. And off we were, with no concrete idea of where the day would take us. We passed a few trails I saw in my California hiking book (happily crossing off the trails explored) that sounded interesting, but I knew they were short and easy and n out something we could spend the whole day on. Dang, the “easy part” sounded so appealing.

We ended up at Kennedy meadows and the lodge was open. All of a sudden the idea of a second breakfast sounded appealing and we couldn’t resist the yearning for some real food. Quite honestly I didn’t know I was hungry or even considered it until that moment. Sitting on the patio, taking in the morning air and peace, a huge animal transport arrived. Today was the day several of these transports would arrive, loaded with cows, and later guided by cowboys on horseback and dogs (yes just like you would see in movies) to higher pastures. One by one charged out of the transport, over a ramp that would lead into a holding pen. It was a little bit like the running of the bulls, at least that’s what I called it. How cool was that and for once the timing was on our side to witness this unique experience. I say for once because the usual timing is often something that makes us shake our heads and just smile in disbelief.

Full and happy we decided to walk up the meadow “a little ways”, haha. I should know better when it’s a little ways or “we are almost there.” But what do they say “not knowing is bliss sometimes” and it definitely was in this case as it would have caused me a huge mental block.

Stay tuned. 😉

Posted in Inspiration, Life, Motivation,

Fear or love

Granted there is much going on in the world right now, but according to Deepak Chopra there are only two responses to the world.

Fear or love

We either choose fear, retreating from the world, isolating, and living within limits, or we can choose love, and believe in the positive, the good in all things, allowing ourselves to embrace adversity and grow. If we believe in possibilities, we eventually shed the restrictions, the stronghold that threatens to choke the life right out of us.

Fear or love, your life depends on which one you choose.

Posted in Hiking, Life, Mother nature

The beautiful journey of transformation

This little guy and so many others, in various colors and sizes, accompanied me on my hike to the waterfall. At that time it was such a beautiful experience and it still is, but in hindsight it feels more like a sign, like a transformational journey I was taking. The day to day troubles and the pain, both physical and mental was gone for that day and the wisdom of “Never ruin a good day by thinking about a bad yesterday” was beating within my chest. I let it all go….

Shortly I would maneuver the top of the falls, crossing over and being very happy with myself and my newfound physical strengths. But it wasn’t only physical and I would see with more clarity that offered a renewed sense of survival and motivation. I was looking ahead and I was charging forward towards new heights with every step. A journey of transformation, making room for the next stage, just like the painful birth of the butterfly. A sign showing me how beautiful things can turn out in the end, even after immense struggle. And again, it’s nothing new or like a big “Aha moment.” It’s really old news, something I have always known, yet we all require a little nudge sometimes, a reminder that sets us straight again. Realizing it or not at that time, I am glad that I could witness the beauty of the butterflies and that it’s symbolic meaning deepened even more in time, still fueling my motivation with the steps becoming clearer once more.

Posted in Adventure, Hiking, Mother nature

Day 1 – The Destination

The first half of our 6 Mile hike would lead us to the top of this waterfall, offering a spectacular view of the lake beneath us. Somewhere over there to the right, amongst boulders and trees, shrubs and bushes was the tent, but as hard as I tried, I just couldn’t make it out. It was well hidden, and that was a good thing.

If you look at the picture, you can’t see it but a big waterfall was to the right of me, dropping abruptly over the edge from the little pool just before the fall. A small cascade was feeding the pool, big enough to cool off, and save enough to not go over the edge.

Just prior to finding the pool, we crossed the falls and the rushing water underneath my feet, to check the other side for a suitable resting place. A place that would call out, saying, “this is it.” It was probably the most physical activity, as far as climbing over boulders, not having a footbridge but maneuvering and utilizing rocks in the water as stepping stones, that I had done in a long time. I managed with little trouble and was thinking about how difficult this would have been for me just recently. I was definitely getting stronger, getting more flexible, able to conquer challenging terrains, and with it grew my confidence and motivation. I was on a high again, unstoppable, like I could and would change my stars, ever working closer towards my true purpose. It felt good to say the least. As far as the physical aspect goes, it wasn’t effortless, but satisfying and really good. It’s always a big fight coming back from a debilitating flare up or any challenge with a chronic disease, so these little successes and moments always end up really being the biggest and most meaningful achievements. And I for sure had one of these moments, an essential block to build upon and continue this journey.

It turned out that there was no spot on the other side, only very steep drop offs with no safety net. If you slipped, you would most likely fall to your death unless you get tangled up and stopped by some brush. Needles to say, every step was carefully placed and required concentration and special attention. Did I mention that I always had a fear of sliding, falling off a cliff or mountain? Perfect scenario to find myself in, wouldn’t you say? I do experience vertigo and “don’t look down” definitely is something I apply when I’m out there. I guess I should say that I do look down as I carefully select my footing, but I don’t look over the edge or stay in place very long.

Well, I ended up conquering the rushing waters once more, crossing the top of the waterfall for the second time. Still no problem, phew. Back on the other side and just beyond a pile of giant boulders, and a fallen log was the little pool, previously unseen. What was waiting there was the much anticipated “that’s it” moment and I was glad the search was over and a bit of rest would follow. Right there on the edge, overseeing it all, so high above the land, it would be a spot to spend the entire day until late afternoon. I was hoping for a little cool down, remembering the 3 miles and 44 flights of stairs back to the Jeep, but for now this thought and effort had to wait until later, which would come soon enough.

Posted in Life, Oracle Cards, Wisdom

Wizard of Awareness

It was a new moon last night. A time to focus on your wishes and dreams, a time to be precise and specific, telling the universe exactly where you see yourself down the road. While doing so it’s important that you act as if it has already come to fruition, as if you are manifesting, and commanding those dreams into your life.

I thought last night was perfect for a little Oracle card magic. It’s been awhile I drew card and I was excited to see what wisdom was waiting for me. It wasn’t so much the need for direction or guidance, but more to quench a sense of curiosity and find reassurance in what I actually already know. I shuffled the cards, spoke my little mantra, and soon one card stuck out so much higher than the rest, waiting to be pulled from the deck.

I drew the “Wizard of Awareness”, no surprise there, and I have mentioned that the path is getting clearer once more.

“Your Soul knows best; be still and observe” was the headline with the rest of the message as followed.

Mindfulness is about being observant, and remaining neutral about what goes on in the world around you. This applies to the environment within you, too. If you struggle inside yourself, stepping into an observer position gives you a new, powerful perspective that neutralizes any discomfort or overexcitement. You have the capacity to see things clearly now, unencumbered by opinion or desire.

Wearing the world as a loose garment requires you to adopt a sense that nothing that happens to you is personal. People come and go, experiences evolve from one state to another in a continental shifting and change no matter how much you want things to stay the same. The wizard of awareness ask you to give up your need to define or limit what you’re experiencing now. It’s all good! Let it be, and watch the miracle unfold without any direct influence from you.

I am on track and reassurance was provided. 🙏🏼

Posted in Hiking, Inspiration, Life

The first full day

Monday was our first full day after the drive and securing our little get away spot. Studying maps and the surrounding areas the night prior, a plan was quickly made which area to scout out. The place selected was only a few miles down the road and turned into a dirt road. We drove until the road got too rugged and decided to give the Jeep a break, hiking the rest.

“The rest” would amount to 6 miles hiked, 44 flights climbed, and roughly 13K steps once everything was said and done. Don’t be fooled by this gorgeous picture through the serene and tranquil woods, as well as the seemingly even terrain. It was a rare sight and the trail was ascending most of the time. More than once I couldn’t help but remember in fright that I would have to climb all of this again, 44 flights in half the distance, 3 miles, since downhill never counts as a single flight climbed. And it was hot on top of it which makes it a not so ideal hiking condition for me. But despite the struggles and the huffing and puffing, it was peaceful. A place to connect back to to myself, a place to listen, and to see it all fall into place. What does that mean you may wonder!!!

We talk about the craziness in the world right now, the uncertain times, the unknown, the doubts, the fears and the worries. The mood is ever changing with every day ahead and we never quite know what is heading our way. We brace ourselves and try to be prepared for what’s next as our cup fills more and more. Until one day when it overflows and spills and we no longer have the ability to take on more. For myself, I never quite figured out when that moment comes, it just happens. When it does, I know it has arrived because things become overwhelming and hopeless. The skies turn gray, the tears fall easier, the loneliness has a tight grip on my heart, and no matter with how much wisdom I arm myself at that time, I just can’t seem to see past it. It’s a time I feel emotionally drained and exhausted from life, my circumstances, and the energy around me that constantly threatens to lower my vibrations. Creativity seizes and there is nothing worthwhile to write about. I’m unable to bring inspiration to the table and to you, as it has temporarily gone into hiding.

And then, eventually “I overcome” and can’t hardly understand how I could feel so empty. How I lost sight of the path in front of me that I must walk to a better life. Maybe it’s not that I forgot, but it’s just so darn hard at times and that cup has to empty completely to take on any more. A sign heads my way and a quote appears to reassure me that I’m finding my way again, to keep going, to stay the course.

“You often feel tired not because you’ve done too much, but because you’ve done too little of what sparks a light in you.”

This was the truth wasn’t it, I said to myself. Day after day going through the motions, doing stuff that brings little inspiration and doesn’t light a spark. A little like existing vs. living. I was wasting precious time, a precious commodity, something we never know how much we have left of. I knew it all, and yet I felt so severely fatigued that I merely existed through the days with little energy to change my stars. But then something happened and just like the night before as plans were made, a plan for myself was slowly falling into place. Soon, I would know that I was in the right frame of mind, under the right conditions, with renewed strengths and to do something about it, to not let it pass me by unnoticed.