I look forward to next week when I will take a week's vacation with my boys. I am pretty much spending my time in front of my computer planning my next stops. There is so much research to do and reservations to make.
It's good that I am far from hiking trails. It forces me to sit and work. Next week when I am in Boulder and closer to hiking trails, I will take a break and enjoy the beauty of Boulder.
I do enjoy walking around the lake in the neighborhood of Broomfield. Before it was built up, this area used to be farmland. I am happy to have one of the farms in my path. I love passing by it; especially when the donkey is out in the field. A few years ago, I read the book "Flash: The Homeless Donkey Who Taught Me about Life, Faith, and Second Chances" by Rachel Anne Ridge. It's fascinating to me how a one-person perspective about life can enrich mine. All I need to do is be open-minded to the author's philosophy of life to be affected and gifted by it. I love this book! It is light, funny, and full of wisdom.
I know I've said this in the past, but it still warms my heart whenever I meet a stranger who quickly becomes a friend. Dinner with Trish was comfortable and delightful. We both understand each other through our love and connection to nature. We shared stories and experiences of our traveling and camping style. Since that dinner, Trish and I have met again. I truly enjoy getting to know her. Since my dog sitting is ending, I am excited to stay with Trish for a few days. We are both going to visit Oregon and Washington states in a few months, but unfortunately, not at the same time. It will be great to share our notes and learn from each other.
It just is!!! Meeting people with the same mindset is a gift! Even though I only spent an hour and a half with Di, it was powerful. Di is inspirational! She is in her mid 70's and still car camping. I admire her for that.
I am glad that Christmas gives Ron and me time to spend together. I understand the time and effort he needs to put into his new job, so I take what I can. Ron wants to show me one of his favorite hikes, the First and Second Flatiron. Wow, not being used to hiking in high elevations makes me a very slow hiker (a very frustrating feeling). But it is ok. It gives me more time to enjoy this beautiful scenery. We have a little more time before dark, so we go for a short drive through the mountain to see Boulder Falls. I always feel mountains provide me with a sense of security. Even though they make me feel so small, the sheer size and presence feel like a hug.
I have a feeling, in the end, I will be an expert on traveling to Alaska. The amount of research and the time I dedicate to understanding this part of my journey sometimes takes so much out of me. There is absolutely no way I can see it all. I need to decide on places to visit and which to let go of. Since the way to get to Alaska is through Canada, the search is full of amazing places I don't want to miss. However, sometimes I feel I am more excited about the Canada part than Alaska.
Ron has a day off, and I'm really excited, so we go hike the Green Mountain West Trail (8,148′).
I love this scenery of green trees, high mountains, and a white layer of snow. I find myself still adjusting to the high altitude, but it's absolutely worth it.
Overall the last two weeks were productive. I have dates and places on my calendar and have made a few changes to my original plans that excite me. I decided, after all, to visit Zion National Park later in March. I am going through Utah to get to Arizona later in the month, but I will return when the weather gets warmer. Even more exciting is that Betsy is joining me. If you remember, Betsy and I met back in October when we both visited Smoky National Park. She invited me to join her group for dinner at her campsite. I mentioned that I was planning to revisit Zion National Park, and she said she would join me. We exchanged phone numbers, so I texted her the other day. How wonderful! We have a reservation for camping at the park. I can't wait to hike Angel Landing Trail again! Hopefully this time with less fear.