Posted in Adventure, Hiking, Inspiration, Mother nature

Back at the ranch

With the trip concluded and back at the ranch (back home), there was no denying that my time spent, brought much needed bliss to my soul. I had scaled mountains, and pushed myself to new heights, crossing a waterfall with rushing waters, while feeling more sure footed than usual. My body felt stronger than ever, and I had the feeling that I had turned a corner, reaching a new milestone. A few times I felt near tears, wanting to give up and just sit it out, not taking another step and just give in to that inner voice of exhaustion that wanted me to stop, give up, and rest. I struggled with it especially during the last hike, but it became apparent that much of it is mental and that you can push past it, and so I did. I slept on the ground, under the stars. I grounded with Mother Earth, a little stiff the next morning but full of healing, and I saw majestic places many never see in their lifetime.

Sure I had trips like that before, and was no stranger to moments like these, and yet something was different this time around. I didn’t immediately knew what it was, but the answers literally fell into my lap. Something had shifted, something was no longer the same that would allow me to continue in the same old fashion as always. I was no longer the same and I like to think that I was evolving to a better version of myself, one with improved health. I couldn’t pinpoint the exact time it happened, but being out there, I felt it and it was liberating. Pain is the worst, debilitating, and robs you of your life quality. It was gone for the most part and I would say that walking more, kundalini yoga and my spiritual growth, all contributed to this shift. Now that I was “here”, I also knew that new circumstances required new measures because if you continue to do the same old things, you will get the same old results. And if you are not happy with your now, maybe you need to take a different approach to yield a different outcome. I was ready to move on and recognized the moment.

Either way, I felt gifted and grateful, and somehow I knew that I was perfectly aligned to take the “Now what” question to the next level. To somehow find the courage to take the next step in this transformational journey of my life, even though much of the insight would come in hindsight and was only revealing in tiny pieces.

Shortly after getting home, one of the gifts that fell into my lap was the discovery of a book about natural remedies for all kinds of ailments. I felt called to expand my learning and take the occasional dabble in homeopathy I was already practicing to the next level. I’ve long loved the natural approach to healing and I’m not a big fan of conventional medicine and big Pharma. There was a time, long ago when I had to take the steroids and the harsh medicines that did more damage than good, because I was in so much pain from the rheumatoid arthritis. Back then I couldn’t function and had to mask the pain so I could go to work and earn a living. It was a costly bandaid to ease the pain but treat nothing in any way. Much has changed since then and it’s been years that I tossed those harsh drugs into the trash. With the help of energy healing I have learned to control my pain levels and with an entire year + under my belt, my focus is shifting to repair the damage caused from this chronic disease I carried for so many years. Sure it can flare at any moment and come back full force, but in the meantime I’m arming myself with knowledge and health where I can to combat it if it does.

Not too long ago I discovered essential oils and I fell in love. I have treated allergies, headaches, pain, an earache, stress, swelling and inflammation so far with great success. Was this the next step? It surely felt it was.

Posted in Hiking, Inspiration, Mother nature

Relief Reservoir

And finally I was at the top. After 4+miles, 68 flights, and close to 10.000 steps. Along the way I was rewarded with beautiful Waterfalls, Rocky Cliffs , and Rushing waters. A spectacular hike with too many pictures to show and many more special moments to refer to.

I had done it. I climbed up, up, up and away and was driven by the new, a place I had never been before. That always seems to fuel the fire a tad bit more and helps muster reserve energies I never knew I had. It was windy at the top, but beautiful. It felt serene and the feeling of accomplishment was rising within my soul. I sat and scanned the area, from the snow dotted peaks where a trail continued to meander over it’s pass, to the shoreline and it’s cliffs. A few backpackers arrived scouting out the area for a suitable campsite and I couldn’t help but marvel in how amazing it must be to camp in a place like this under the full moon or a dark sky full of stars. It’s beyond words let me tell you.

Soon we would make our way back down to the trailhead and sometimes down is more strenuous for me than up, believe it or not. A steep trail down with giant stone steps and boulders is tough on the joints, while a steep trail up gets your heart pumping while sweating out all these toxins. I guess each has their pros and cons. The trip would come to an end this very evening and already I knew that new insight was gained from connecting with Mother Nature and from being still. From leaving it all behind and letting the daily routine be replaced with adventure and new motivation. And still I had no clue how much of it would present itself in the days ahead.

Posted in Hiking, Inspiration, Mother nature

False Summit

“False Summit”, have you ever heard about it? Imagine yourself hiking up a mountain, your eyes keenly peeled on the top, the top you believe to be the summit. Ah, it’s not so bad you think, you can do it, as you motivate yourself to set one foot in front of the other. After all, how hard can it be right? I’ll just take my time. Ha…

Finally you reach your summit, but the celebration is short lived as you realize you have not reached the top at all. Beyond your summit, a new summit is revealed that requires more climbing up to heaven. And sometimes this goes on for several summits. “Are we there yet, how many summits do I have to conquer, this can’t go on forever.”

No pain, no gain right, and being rewarded with such splendid views (picture) along the way, how terrible is it really! Fact is that if you want to see these places that you can’t just drive up to and admire from the convenience of your car, YOU HAVE TO PUT IN THE WORK.

Those times, are times of struggle, but also times of huge success stories for me. It’s a time you get closer to yourself and find out what you are made of. It’s a time you will be proud that you made it, as well as a time you gather momentum and newfound inspiration. It’s the best motivator and I would say that everything worthwhile requires hard work and is never easy. If it was, everybody would be doing it. Remember…

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 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 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.

Posted in Adventure, Backpacking, Hiking

Not a bad spot

Being in the vicinity of where we wanted to stay, we arrived at this beautiful lake that reminded me a little of the Yosemite, the fjords of Norway, and the Königssee in Germany. With only a few hours from my house in Nevada, I suddenly felt transported as if I was in a different country. Once again the wind carried me exactly to that magical spot that without a doubt gave me the feeling that it was here that I wanted to stay for awhile. It’s quite amazing how it works, going without major planning, have a vague idea, winging it and always finding a spot like this. It’s a feeling and you will know once you have arrived.

Just minutes from the road, amongst huge boulders that provided shelter from the wind, nestled on sandy ground between shrubs and mature trees, a big cave nearby that had to be inspected first to not disturb any potential creatures such as bears, the tent found the perfect spot for to embark on the first night. Sitting on a rock ledge with this view to marvel in, the day slowly was winding down and coming to an end. It was quiet and it was peaceful. Just t he sounds of Mother Nature and it’s creatures filling the air. It would be a comfortable night as far as temperatures go and it was then that the thought crossed my mind that I had overpacked again and would most likely carry everything back home, unneeded and unused. What else is new? Not even the thought of having to carry all this weight on my back, deterred me and finally made me master the science of packing light.

Posted in Adventure, Backpacking, Hiking

Driving into solitude

Day 1, and this was literally the first picture I took on my recent get away and hiking excursion. Doesn’t it look peaceful already?

Heading towards Sonora Pass at an elevation of 9000+ ft, there are still patches of snow that can be found and some survive all summer and are part of year long glaciers. The temperatures at that elevation dipped into the upper 20’s, low 30’s at night and we decided to cross and head down the pass on the other side for lower elevations, and more comfortable temperatures. The first day was mainly spent driving, hiking a short 2 miles and scouting out the area for a suitable camp site in the wilderness. Campgrounds are slowly opening up again, but as mentioned before, this was going to be a backpacking trip, away from modern comforts and away from the noise and people.

There was a sense of adventure in the journey and I remembered an old saying that the journey is the destination. Or is it the destination is the journey? It really fits both ways I think as long as you find yourself taking a journey. You don’t need to have it all figured out and things will always find their way. And so they did and we found a great place to camp just a short distance from the road with free parking.

I found myself glad of not having to carry my heavy pack for miles and miles. Just before I had felt ready and strong, despite a few concerns, but something happened on our travel day. I got a little altitude and car sickness from the winding pass and all of a sudden I didn’t feel so strong anymore. I felt disappointed in myself that yet another obstacle was standing in my way as it does so often with a chronic disease, but all turned out well in the end and we found a breathtaking site. Stay tuned…