Posted in Achievement, Challenges, Hiking, Moments

Profound “matters”

Here I am again, with yet another picture of me standing in “The Wave.” It’s been a week since the hike and never in a million years could I have imagined the impact this hike and this experience would have on me. Anxiety, fear and initial worry has transformed into astonishment, appreciation and gratitude. As the days pass, I realize that this was so much more than just a hike, than just an adventure, seeing a new place, pushing myself to once known now vanished heights, more than a road trip and getting out for some exercise. Little did I know how important this hike would become for me, and that it would be turning point and therefore the memory of a lifetime. In the end it would mark that very special moment that made all the difference. If you haven’t read about how much I cursed the hike initially while I was in the middle of it, you can do so here. Sometimes we just don’t understand what’s ultimately good for us in that particular moment. It takes hindsight and a different perspective. One that is much easier to come by when we are comfortable and don’t have to huff and puff, scaling mountains and physically exert ourselves. Who has ever enjoyed that? Believe it or not, some do, I just don’t happen to be one of them, although I often wished I was and that this feel good feeling didn’t require all that much effort. Deep down I know it wouldn’t stand for the same if it did, yet I have to remind myself of it in the midst of struggling to achieve that high.

One week later and with each passing day more clarity sets in and the gratefulness is growing to new proportions within, making my chest swell up like a proud parent. For the first time I am not ashamed or feel that there is something wrong with giving myself some kudos. For the first time I am not searching for ways, subconsciously or conscious, on what could have been better and how I could criticize myself. Now matter how much I dissect the adventure, there is nothing but appreciation. I am seeing this experience from all angles, in every way. I recognize all that it was and still is, and it is blown wide open, including my heart, with no secrets to hide, leaving me in amazement and awe. I have reached a different level of gratefulness and therefore this has turned into a profound “matter” for me. I am content, at ease with what I have achieved, and nothing needs to improve, nor does anything requires changing.

A week later I can see how much this hike has meant to me and how many others have lived vicariously through my experience. I have received cheers and congratulation messages. Compliment over compliment and many have stated that they have found inspiration and hope in my journey for dealing with their own chronic dis-ease. A week later the picture is still developing as new realizations find me and feed me with hope, pride, a gratefulness like no other, and a self love and respect that has come to the surface and never quite existed on this profound level. A week later I see this experience that others have named as brave and courageous, through a different set of lenses. Quotes such as “No guts, no glory” are embodied and lived, experienced word for word and the meaning is understood with a great new appreciation.

I have also come to realize that my journey with the RA always required that “profound matter” to carry me through the darkness. And it was a matter that was never given to me, but rather it was self created, self invented and self driven. It was self initiated, from a mind set that was not about to give up and has always believed, while keeping hope alive. When I talk of this particular darkness, I am talking about my bouts with the RA, overcoming it and sending it into remission. Within this week I’ve received comment in regards to my post about hiking the wave on social media. Others who fight the same battle as I do, and who have never been able to send the RA into remission. I count myself extremely lucky and blessed that I have been able to do so several times. “Why me” has taken on a different meaning as well and I am learning about the underlying reasons as to why. I believe that I am meant to share this journey. Perhaps to spread hope and shine a light for others stumbling through their own struggles. And if that is my purpose and my meaning, then I most humbled accept the challenge. Looking back on this now, I realize that it took something profound each time when I battled this pain. Something that would fill and sidetrack me with such intensity and interest that it allowed to replace some of that darkness with rays of hope and light.

After the initial onset of the RA and after being diagnosed with what felt like a death sentence, someone special introduced me to hiking. It felt crazy to think of hiking and physical exercise while I struggled to dress and complete basic daily functions. Why do something that inflicted even more pain, was my initial thoughts. But I did it and I learned that there was much more to life and working your butt off, having no time at all for yourself and no balance from day to day. I fell in love with Mother Nature and combined my time out with my passion for photography. I gifted myself that time out, made it a priority and it was me who put me into the foreground. It was me who decided that it was important enough and it was me who made it happen. I was presented with a gift, an opportunity, but I had to seize that opportunity and put it into action myself. Nobody could have done it for me. I got stronger, slowly, and eventually I overcame, with the RA going into remission. During a flare up, years later, and the RA coming back, that “profound matter” became my artwork and I started to paint. Again, the same happened and the RA subsided. Later it was writing and this blog was created. Yet later, I became an energy healer and certified as a Reiki Master. Expanding beyond Reiki and taking a holistic approach, co-creating my life, my nutrition and being actively involved was a great approach for me, but the past 3 years and many lifestyle changes have been extreme and brought yet another flare. The worst one and most powerful / painful one yet. I tried to rely on everything that I had learned in my battle with the RA, but it wasn’t enough and nothing really seemed to help and do the trick. I needed something new, an experience, an adventure, a hobby, another “profound matter.” It was time to level up once more and gather new insight.

I was searching and looking everywhere, not really finding anything. Until I became complacent with my days and the same routine. My new circumstances were wearing off and I was searching for my purpose, about what’s next, about the next chapter. I had taken the first steps to create the new, but then I was hanging there, in mere limbo, existing, with the days passing by, just making it, for another day of the same. That could not be my purpose and what was in store for me. I never believed this status being “it.” I was dwindling into the rabbit hole, a routine, a sense of just waiting for things to change, to get better, to adjust to my new, of coming to terms with all the changes, of people leaving in the midst of it, of ending relationships and a big part of my life, and trying to understand it all. I became very vulnerable, very soft, very raw, fragile, emotional almost unstable at times. I needed to break and shatter to prepare myself for what was next, only I couldn’t see it while it was happening. Again it took hindsight and not resisting. To let it unfold, to go with the flow, to trust, even when the path seemed unclear. And then I started doing the work. The hard stuff, the inner work, facing the shadows, the darkness, the less desirable aspects of being human, of being me. I became actively involved in my future, the things that needed to acknowledged and worked on. The things that needed to change, the things that needed to be healed foremost to lay a new foundation. By then my awareness, as well as my consciousness had taken on deeper meanings as I leveled up once more and started to see, feel and experience things at a new depth.

When it comes to the RA, I still believed that anything was possible. That it came on it’s own and that it could leave on it’s own again. Many would consider such an approach as foolish or naive, but then again this was my way and by no means would I recommend it to everyone. For me it fits and for me, it has worked and that’s all that matters. What I needed was to not create an environment where the RA wanted to hang around. You see it thrives on stress, fear and worry. It loves misery and it steals your hope and otherwise positive outlook. It’s a battle to see the bright side when you are riddled by pain and there were times I didn’t know how to make it out of the hole I found myself in. Luckily for me, the slightest break, even if just for a few hours, brings the biggest motivation and a will to go on that is unmatched and surprises me to no end. Despite of all the uncertainties, and this pain potentially being my new future, I surrendered the need to force and control the outcome once more. But I refused to believe that this fate was meant to be mine and if it was, then it was out of my control anyways. All I could do was trust.

A plan was put into action and I forced myself to walk more, gritting under pain every step of the way. I needed to build resilience for Germany as I surely need to go. I understood that everything had transpired the way it needed to, that nothing and no experience could have been spared, missed or fast forwarded, it was needed and everything had it’s place,b coming an essential lesson in my learning process. Now was the time and I started walking. More and more, building myself up and falling back again. A fight that was motivating at times, yet a vicious cycle of defeat during other times. You know the story and I don’t need to elaborate. I have recorded my struggles, challenges and victories well over the months of this year and beyond. And then “The Wave” came into my life and you had a chance to read about this as well.

Now a week later, I see that experience as one of these “profound matters” and exactly what I needed and what I had searched for. Could I have done it earlier, while I was searching to find that one special thing that would carry me through the darkness!!! We know the answer to that all happens on their own schedule, in divine timing. You have to be ready and be prepared on all aspects of it. The foundation has to be laid, the mindset has to be right, and the opportunities have to be recognized and seized. Further it requires physical and mental strength, a willingness to go on and that special extra to carry us through. To me this was more than just a hike. I have gone on more difficult challenges and longer ones in the past that instilled equally a sense of pride and accomplishment. But this one marks a turning point for me. The end of the extreme suffering and the limitations that this period has brought for me. This hike has reminded me that miracles happen every day, that anything is possible and that rewards will follow when we don’t give up. When we surrender and express gratitude for what is. I went into this hike with zero expectations and whatever was meant for me, I would gratefully accept. No regrets, no guilt, no shame, all replaced by motivation, a will to try, to be actively involved, to giving it my best. That was enough, regardless of the outcome. And now, once more this hike has shown me what wonderful things can happen and what gifts we receive when we drop those poisoning expectations that so often bring negative outcomes to so many situations. This hike has fueled me and motivated me. To sit in this magical place has been a spiritual experience that has restored and tipped the balance of light and darkness. For now it has laid a new foundation, one that I build upon daily. It has provided that turning point even if the actual point was created slightly before to make it physically possible. It was the moment of realization, the moment that enabled what’s to come. A moment I will never forget and that will always remain as one of theses “profound matter.”

Posted in Adventure, Challenges, Hiking, Mother nature

I made it…(with support and help)…and I’m here to tell my story

2021 has been a year of many different endeavors and adventures, but when it comes to hiking this is my biggest and my only one to report this year. It still seems surreal that I got to experience this place and that I made it. This is my story of what it was like.

If you follow this blog regularly, then you know that on the physical front and health wise 2021 has been a huge challenge for me. I have encountered one of the most powerful RA flare ups, which had rendered me unable to hike and accomplish normal daily tasks. For months, days were filled with pain of different levels and just walking on slightly uneven ground presented a huge challenge for me. Walking was hard, period, and I felt stiff and uncoordinated. And then came a break and I managed 2 miles and then 3 miles before the trip. Two days before the “Wave” hike I made it to 4.2 miles and 4 Miles the next trying to build up my endurance. My feet felt like they had gone through a meat grinder which didn’t help ease the anxiety I had about the hike. From the beginning on after learning that we had won the lottery and permits to hike the wave, my excitement was muffled about this rare and at times NEVER in a lifetime opportunity that I was presented with. I had my doubts that I make it, that I would be physically able to do it. I was nervous all the way up to the trailhead and beyond. 4.2 miles was the furthest I had managed so far and what was ahead of me was a 6.4 miles round trip, another 2.2 miles. I should be able to make it if I take my time I convinced myself. Too late to turn back now and I knew it was now or NEVER.

The trail started out in a wash, a dried up riverbed that can flood quickly and at any time during flash floods. These floods can occur rapidly and suddenly, carrying a wall of water, 12 ft high from storms that often occur far away. Challenge #1 keeping an eye out to not be taken by surprise or off guard should such a thing happen today. This was not the way I planned on being swept away today.

A half mile later, following the wash, a trail was leaving the riverbed, leading into a short but steep rocky climb to higher elevation. I took my time, huffed a little and thought that just recently I would have not been able to made this climb. Overall I was glad to be at higher elevations as this 12ft wall of rushing water was still in the back of my mind. What followed next was a good stretch of sandy path that was actually easy on the feet. Cinnamon loved it and pranced around with temps still on the cool side and an overcast sky. Partly cloudy was the forecast in the mid 60’s. By the end of that stretch my phone said that I had gone nearly 1.5 miles already and I felt confident that I’d make it. After all I was halfway there already while assessing my energy levels and current condition.

The sandy, soft on your feet section ended across another wash that appeared wet and just recently flooded. In front of me was a moderately to steep rock wall. “What, we have to climb this wall” is what I recall myself saying and it was in that very moment that what was described to me as an easy trail taking on a different meaning. Easy? Apparently your type of easy and mine are a lottttt different I thought. You got to be kidding me. Slow and steady does it and I climbed the wall, feeling then already that a few times I was hitting my physical limitation. Yeah it was cooler which is better for me to hike, but going from 0-100 in practically no time of adjustment was something else. This would push my limits at the end of a major RA flare. Pure adrenaline pushed me on, but this was only one way and I would have to make it back again as well. I remember fearing that I’d exhaust all of my energy, that I’d run my tank on empty, but that 6.4 miles round trip number still brought some comfort. Hopefully some time of rest would be enough to recover for the way back.

What goes up must come down and on the other side of the rock wall that I had just climbed was waiting the descend. Worse than going up for me with the arthritic knees and having to step sideways down the steep “Paul Bunyan” steps. And of course I made that as well. Further hilly stretches of ups and downs, with sand and slippery rock followed where you either follow the footsteps of others who came before you in the sand or the pictures on a map you are giving that shows landmarks along this mainly unmarked trail to the wave. 4 miles had passed, aren’t we close yet? I should have arrived already. “See the people (the tiny dots) ahead of us….that’s where we are going. “You got to be kidding” made a reappearance and by now I started to feel anger, frustration, fear, worry and doubt, all rushing in at the same time. An encouraging “I am proud of you and you are doing great” was shot down by me saying that being proud had nothing to do with this. That this was borderline stupidity, that I felt in danger, at risk of getting hurt, of doing more damage to my joints, that I had no health insurance if something did happen, and that it might was a bit much for Cinnamon to manage as well, since she had never gone this far in her little short life. Again, just like before I called for higher protection to be able to make it and to keep me safe throughout it all. This was not what I had signed up for and I felt that the decision of whether to be able to attempt that hike was taken from me and had never been mine to make. How foolish, I thought, feeling misunderstood with no clue of what I endured with this relentless disease so far this year. It’s so much more than just a little arthritis pain. It’s excruciating, debilitating to the point of that it is deforming your joints and bones. Not to mention the fatigue and all the other side affects it brings along with itself. Honestly, had I known, I most likely would have not gone, and I’m sure it was no secret even though the words were never spoken. But like always anger always passes, and in all my big achievements it was better for me not to know what was ahead of me. Perhaps I would have doubted myself, not believed in myself enough to make it, stressed myself out prematurely or what have you, despite of my strong believe that we can achieve anything if we put our mind to it.

The tiny dots ahead of us were scaling another rock wall. Steeper and more daunting yet, than the initial one and prior ones I had climbed. Between us a sand dune with deep sandy parts and another descend. Wet sand, wet and dry rock and sheer cliffs caused extra need for caution. It was slow going with one step forward and two steps back in the sandy, climbing parts. Having reached the rock wall we took a break and it was suggested that we don’t have to go any further. I was still fuming at that point, but frustration was turning into desperation, fear and another prayer. How could I have lived with that decision and the only way I would have stopped, denying myself and everyone the view of the destination would have been if I felt Cinnamon was at risk. We were so close, stopping or turning around was not optional, I would have never lived this one down. On we went to the final stretch, the final climb, dousing Cinnamon once more with water along her backside to keep her cool. The overcast sky had cleared to partly cloudy and it seemed like the temps had shot up by 20 degrees which caused part of the difficulty. Unbelievable, in November, and I can’t imagine hiking this in 100+ degrees that it easily reaches in the summer month.

The final ascend was the hardest, steep and slippery. Here I was in my new shoes, men’s walking shoes to accommodate my wider foot now that had spread out over the summer, courtesy of the RA. In my opinion the sole and profile of my shoes seemed non sufficient for such a task, too flat with not enough profile and it wasn’t proven as secure yet that they could handle such terrain. Not to mention my own ankles and agility. I don’t know how many times I thought that any minute I would roll my ankle over the uneven ground and having to walk sideways, over the angled rock. All while keeping my eyes peeled for rattlesnakes, tarantulas and scorpions.

And then we had finally made it. We had arrived at a (for me) once in a lifetime opportunity and stood at the entrance to the wave. I knew this would be my only time seeing it and that I most likely would never make it back here again. Here I was 5+ miles later with another 5+ to make it back to the trailhead, grateful and overcome by this natural beauty. How many times had I been in this position before, cursing, on the brink of wanting to give up, on the edge of tears and anger, somehow finding the courage and strength to push on and be rewarded with something that is always worthwhile in the end. You just can’t drive up to a location like this and the most stunning views require hard work to get there. Before the hike I knew and thought to myself that this adventure would definitely show me what I am made off, although deep down I already knew the answer to that. It’s amazing what we can achieve by sheer willpower, when we don’t set our own limitations and believe that anything is possible. There truly is no guts and glory in the passive, in waiting, but it is in the daily choices we make for ourselves and we are always one choice away from a completely different life.

We were able to stay a few hours and take as many pictures while enjoying as many angles of the wave as possible. In the end we had it all to ourselves which was my favorite part. Listening to the silence and feeling the magic of this place that definitely holds a healing vortex, I sat in stillness, grounding and replenishing myself for what was ahead. Eventually leaving, we allowed ourselves plenty of time to make it back with breaks and before darkness would hit. Getting back took actually a bit longer and I chalk it up to just being tired from having walked so far already. I was extra cautious to not make mistakes and get careless because of fatigue. Surprisingly my feet felt decent with the extra cushioning of the metatarsal pads I was wearing inside my roomy shoes, but they were tired to say the least. Back at the trailhead and 10+ miles later, it felt surreal that I got to see and experience this magnificent wonder. That I had made it and could mark this off of my bucket list, being given that second chance after missing my first one as I left for Germany to care for my sick mother in 2018. That I could share this adventure with someone special and that I had help and support through the sketchy parts. Surely I would have made it on my own if I had to, but it would have been far scarier, with additional time requirements shortening my stay. It will be an experience that stays with me forever and a testimony of the human spirit and making not even the sky your limit.

Now a few days later, I made two posts on social media in hiking with dogs and another group, with this very picture and a much much shortened version, basically just expressing gratefulness of being able to hike it after my major RA flare up this year. I am overwhelmed by the outpouring and support and the comments I have received. I am humbled by how many people have been touched by this story, how many still have this as a lifelong goal on their bucket list and how extremely lucky I have been to have seen it. The responses have shown me that we all are in need of a good story to motivate us and to keep us going. That we all carry each other home and that we are the co creators of our own such story. Keep shooting for the stars my friend, you have just witnessed that anything is possible.

Posted in Healing Vortex, Hiking, Mother nature, Planet Earth, Spirituality

Sneak peek – “Wave” teaser

I just can’t help myself and I have to interrupt my regular scheduled post, to bring you a little taste of “The Wave.” If you follow this blog then you know that I embarked on a huge adventure for me and here is one of my very own pictures. The full write up or write ups will follow shortly to describe this 10 mile journey round trip with all its challenges and obstacles. But what a reward and it’s definitely a magical, spiritual place. In the meantime we are homeward bound and safe and sound. Stay tuned…

Posted in Challenges, Hiking, Mother nature

The Wave

It’s been a year of abstinence for me. A year that lacked the announcements of physical achievements, of climbing mountains, and exploring other never before seen trails within Mother Nature. It’s been a year of abstinence from hiking and my Camera Roll is missing the spectacular images that are added year after year, except this one. I simply wasn’t able to hike because of health reasons and a major RA flare up. Recently, my life has shown improvements with the shedding of some burdens, responsibilities, trauma bonds, wounded inner children that were integrated and healed, shadow work, adjusting to my new life, the help of new shoes and metatarsal pads, loving support within family and friends and probably even more, not listing here. I am working on gently and carefully rebuilding my strength without doing too much or causing further setbacks. It’s a delicate balance, one of which I am still an eager student to and which I still haven’t figured out completely. What seems to work one day, doesn’t the next and therefore the statement that not all days are equal still remains in effect stronger than ever. Finding out what is too much and what is not enough requires an intimate relationship between body and mind and I am listening closely and feeling with every fiber of my being. Either way, I am venturing and I am daring to take the next step.

Back in 2018 we won lottery tickets to The Wave in Arizona which is a sandstone formation in Arizona. Each day names are drawn from a lottery type system to keep traffic down and to preserve this natural phenomenon. Only 20 people are allowed to visit each day. To win requires luck with a persistence and determination to try over and over. Well, we had won, but I couldn’t go because an emergency presented itself and I booked a flight to Germany to be by Mom’s bedside. I was sad to have missed this opportunity, seeing this magnificent place of which pictures never do it justice, but I had no choice and it was neither optional, nor was it here or there not booking that flight. It was the right thing to do and I did without a question or hesitation. I just wished these dates would have not crossed. Ugghhh…Murpy’s law would have its own way.

Three years later, good things come to those who wait, or those who are patient and persistent. We won tickets once more, what are the chances? Instead of jumping up and down for joy, my excitement was initially very stifled. I didn’t think I could do it and some doubt still finds it’s way into my mind. Not going is not optional I was told as these opportunities may only come once in a lifetime, if ever. How lucky to be presented with such an opportunity for the second time around. We are embarking on a 6 day trip to visit “The Wave” and other sights within the area. Short little hikes are planned with some sightseeing directly from the car. It will be different no doubt, especially with a dog in tow and plans have to be made to visit dog friendly parks as well as accommodations. My fingers are crossed tightly that I manage somehow and I will be careful every step of the way. Hiking to and back from the wave will be my biggest distance challenge since last year and although daunting a bit, I trust to make it and keep positive. I will approach this journey with no expectations and whatever I get to see and experience will be a great gift and a bonus. If I need downtime and have to miss a day, it will be ok as well and gratefully I accept what is for me at this time. This will be my one and only adventure this year and it couldn’t be to a better place. This time of year the temperatures are comfortable for me and the sweltering heat has subsided. It’s the off season and hopefully tourism is much slower than during the summer months as well. I can’t wait to report back to you and share some of my own pictures. Our visit to this monument is scheduled for November 1st although I will be gone from October 28th through the 2nd of November. Fingers crossed all goes well. I am packed and like at any sleepover or trip my toenails are cut and other grooming rituals have commenced. Yeah don’t ask, it’s something learned from Mom as a child, something that apparently will stick with me for the rest of my life. Funny how all of this seemed to have happened on auto pilot. A given routine that doesn’t require a conscious thought or a plan, it just happens 😜.

My posts are scheduled and responses might be a little slow but what else is new and this happens even when I’m home, haha. You know I value you and I will always get back to you. Much love to all of you beautiful souls.

Posted in Adventure, Hiking, Mother nature

Natural Stone Arch

Just a little picture for you today from my recent get away trip with the Cinnamon Girl. While I have been to this area numerous times in the past, it was during this trip that we discovered something new, a natural stone arch we never saw before. Just goes to show you that you can visit a place a number of times, and are still likely to see something new each time you go. Also different times a year, different seasons and cloudy days vs sunny days, all can pose an impact and might provide the feeling of seeing something for the very times, even though you’ve been here before.

Here is a picture of us en-route to have a closer look to the arch and to take some additional pictures. It wasn’t long after finding the arch that we discovered the little dome shaped cave that provided a good resting spot and escape from the sun. It’s times like these that turn into precious memories and have us look back remembering with a smile on our face.

Posted in Hiking, Inspiration, Mother nature

Gateway of the Soul

Slowly but surely the air quality declined as the winds kicked up and drew in the smoke from various wildfires still at large. I realize that I have been lucky this summer and for the most part have outrun the hazardous air quality. Instead of chasing blue skies, I have chased smoke free skies. The fires near me on the California side allowed me to explore my home state of Nevada a little more, and there are some cool places to be found, especially camp grounds. The problem is that water is scarce and if it’s hot, it’s even hotter in the desert. But it’s a dry heat and much easier for me to tolerate than the humidity.

I continue to get stronger when it comes to the health front, although as of lately and with the changing season it seems like the joints are getting more achy again. Let’s hope this reminder of how bad it can get doesn’t last. Improved health this year has supported my need for freedom, to find myself, adjust to changes in my life and to simply escape at times. There are times when I must leave this world – just temporarily. Taking sanctuary to the mountains and deserts, back of beyond, where the pavement ends. To wilderness, to the Gateway of the Soul.

Posted in Hiking, Inspiration, Mother nature

Yosemite swimming hole bliss

This picture was taken a few weeks ago, on the same trip as climbing the steep, slippery granite en route to Cathedral Lakes. We went on to explore a new area of Yosemite National Park, and it’s hard to believe that after all these years of visiting, there are still hidden gems such as this one to stumble upon for the very first time.

Walking through the meadow, a well graded trail was meandering alongside the river. “I wonder where it leads, let’s just check it out” was what led me to this unexpected and pleasant surprise. It was so beautiful that we actually returned for a second day and you can find another picture about the area here and here.

There are several small cascades along the way with various pools and swimming holes such as this one that was just too tempting to pass up. I just had to take a dip. It was a warm summer day where you quickly adjust to the coolness of the water. Perfect for achy muscles, and a little swim in an alpine lake always does me wonders. I always feel twice as strong afterwards and everything is moving smoothly as if having received a well oiling. Any swelling and inflammation mostly dissipates and it’s pure magic. Besides,to have a backdrop like this with the Cathedral mountain range in the background, how I could it not be.

Posted in Adventure, Hiking, Mother nature

The Descent from Cathedral Lakes

It was time to tackle the descent from Cathedral Lakes to allow plenty of time without having to rush. It’s crazy how much quicker it goes going downhill, but I still find the constant pounding on the knees and putting the brakes on just, if not more strenuous as climbing.

Nearby thunder was still in the air and could be heard off and on. It was time to go and I enjoyed the play of watching the clouds make way to bright sunshine, only to cast shadows on the peaks a few seconds later. I surely gotten my fix watching the “Puffies” dance that day.

This picture was taken on the way down and you can see Tenaya Lake in the distance. The non-existing trail continues over the even steeper drop off in the middle of the picture. Yeah it’s so steep it literally vanishes and looks like there is nothing more but cliff. Most of it had to be tackled in switchback motion, a zigzag pattern to ease the incline or drop off. My trusty hiking stick always by my side and often bracing myself.

In the end I made it of course. I’m here to tell the story. It was surely an adventure that left me feeling accomplished and grateful to have finally seen this place. It would become one of those hikes throughout the summer, strenuous and in high elevation, but ultimately conditioning me into better shape. I earned it and I am grateful for the memories.

Posted in Achievement, Hiking, Mother nature

Cathedral Lakes

Finally…I made it to the top, and it took this and this to get here.

Long ago the once considered elusive path was conquered and now lying behind me. Of course I’d still had to make it back down, but for now nothing but adrenaline and pure achievement was rushing through my veins. I could finally check this one off r he list and say that I had seen it with my own eyes. That I had made it despite the odds. No doubt did I feel accomplished, and quickly gave thanks to perseverance, to my body supporting me and making this possible, as well as to my willpower and not throwing in the towel midway.

Thunderstorm clouds accompanied us all the way up to the lower lake, and circled around us with the occasional not too distant thunder. Luckily it never rained and the smooth granite would already be slick enough going down. Being wet would have only added an additional element of danger and luckily it wasn’t something we had to worry about.

A tiny little baby chipmunk came to say hello, and yes I did shared a saltine cracker with the little guy. In exchange he allowed me to watch him and get some close up pictures. At the lake, I got to dip my toes into the cool blue, stroll along the edge and admire the landscape with all the puffies (clouds) that were ever changing the view. Was it worth the effort…what do you think?

Next stop the descend. 😳

Posted in Achievement, Hiking, Inspiration

Soul Rocker

On the way to Cathedral Lakes and a little victory moment, having conquered what was impossible not too long ago. This was my Soul Rocker moment and you can read about part 1 + 2 by clicking the links above.

Today it’s about a new word that found it’s way into my path. “Soul Rocker” and here is the definition.

Soul Rocker,

One who lives from the heart, with compassion for all, and possesses a tenacious enthusiasm for music, life and the planet.

-Michael Franti

This was such a moment