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Longs Peak.

About a year ago I hiked Longs Peak. It was something I really wanted to do in Colorado and on whim one of my co-workers and I decided Sunday would be the day. We got up before 3 a.m. and made the drive through the canyon in the dark- scary. We put on our flash light headbands, loaded our backpacks with water and nuts and set out. Here is what I looked like from the top:
It took us 6 hours to get to the top. Everytime we turned a bend, we thought-- we're so close, and we KEPT ON GOING....
I was wearing 6 layers of clothing and was still numb when we got to the top. Luckily I had brought some extra socks-- we used them as gloves because there came a point where neither of us could feel our hands.
The early morning was incredibly peaceful and tranquil and you could hear little streams of water and the crispness of the air all around you. But when the sun started to rise- wow. I think I said that a million times. It was breathtaking. This is the key hole. Up until this point it is your typical hike... after this point you are pretty much on your own to figure out the best route and at times you are holding onto the rock for fear you will fall.
This picture does not do it justice. It was the most amazing thing I have ever seen. When we got to the top I knew we had a little time before the storms would roll in. We took our sweet little time- dreading the point at which we would have to climb back down the mountain.

I can probably say I will never do that again. It was a great experience, but it was pretty scary and I can mark it off my list. I was re-visiting some old journal entries the other day and I found this:

I hiked Longs Peak on Sunday morning. It was incredible. Everything about it. And I think in a lot of ways it is like my life right now. Exciting and anticipated but at times not clearly marked and extremely scary. I wonder when I look back in a year over this experience if I will see even more similarities? When I made it to the top I was freaking out in my head thinking about the climb down. Ugh. But I did it! The most dreadful things in life are do-able and the lead you to familiar places.

If I had to do last August-October over again, I don't think I would. I wish I could have bottled up all my tears and put them in jars and taken pictures of the jars because then and only then would people know how much I cried. Every day was a struggle. There were so many questions and uncertainties. But it was do-able and it led us to this familiar place with people that care about us and a beautiful place to call home. I am thankful for this time and for those challenges and for all of the many things that daily-life bombards you with.

I have really been thinking about life over the last couple days. Maybe because Sten is away and I have more time to be alone. Maybe because I talked to Emily today and it was refreshing and wonderful to hear her perspective on so many things. Maybe it was because I had a crazy weekend and I needed some time to re-focus and re-assess what I want my life to look like and be about. idk? But for now, the windows are open, the sun is setting and I couldn't be more content.