This post is going to be a bit different, because I let my dog Friday write it. Well, not actually write it (her paws aren’t dexterous enough to type) but dictate and proof-read it for me. She’s approved the format and content, I was only the typing dummy. I, er, we, hope you enjoy it.
Written by Friday
HI I AM FRIDAY I AM A DOG AND I LOVE HIKING!!!!!!!!!
WE DID HIKING ON THE WEEKEND. IT WAS FUN!!!!!! WE DID HIKING ON MISSOURI MOUNTAIN AND MT. BELFORD AND IT WAS SO PRETTY!!!!!!!
THEN WE WERE ON TOP OF A MOUNTAIN. WE WERE ON TOP OF MISSOURI MOUNTAIN. I ATE BEEF JERKY AND I LOVE BEEF JERKY!!!!!!
WE WENT DOWN AND THEN WE WENT UP AGAIN. GARRISON LOVES TO GO DOWNHILL FAST. I LOVE TO GO DOWNHILL FAST TOO!!!!!!!!
TO GET TO MT. BELFORD WE WENT UP ELKHEAD PASS BUT THERE WERE NO ELK. I LOVE ELK I LOVE TO CHASE ELK!!!!!!! THEN IT HAILED AND WE ALMOST WENT BACK BUT THEN WE KEPT GOING.
THEN WE WERE ON THE TOP OF MT. BELFORD. IT WAS SO PRETTY!!!!
MAYBE WE WERE GOING TO DO MT. OXFORD TOO BUT THEN THERE WERE CLOUDS THAT MAKE THE LOUD SCARY NOISE AND WE WENT DOWN INSTEAD.
I LOVE WHEN WE GET TO THE TREES BECAUSE I CAN RUN THROUGH THE TREES AND I LOVE TO RUN THROUGH THE TREES!!!!! I AM VERY FAST!!!!
WE GOT TO THE BOTTOM AND GARRISON WANTED TO SIT BY THE RIVER. I WAS READY TO GO!!!!!
GARRISON HAD A SNACK AND I WAITED TO LEAVE. I LOVE HIKING!!!! I LOVE DAYS LIKE THAT DAY!!!!!!!
(Note from Garrison: I tried to explain to Friday that on the internet, caps lock indicates yelling, but she wanted it written that way. Even though she grossly overused exclamation marks, I think she has pretty good grammar for a dog and I like her simple phrasing. I’ll have to let her make posts more often. Good job, Friz. Regarding the mountains we climbed, Missouri Mountain and Mt. Belford are both 14ers and sit in the Belford Group of the Sawatch Range. They measure 14,067′ and 14,197′ respectively and are accessed easily off of US 24 outside of Buena Vista. Mt. Oxford, 14,153′, is often combined with these peaks and sits only 1.2 miles east of Belford. As mentioned, nasty thunderheads prevented us from the triple-header even though Friday had more than enough energy to get it done. We’ll save that summit for another day. -G)
(Note from Friday: I LOVE WRITING!!! WRITING IS FUN!!!! I LOVE HIKING MORE!!!!! THANK YOU FOR READING!!!!!!)
Planning and packing is half the excitement in taking a trip. The possibilities are so vast and the potential experiences seem endless. I’m deep in this stage currently.
- What do I need? What can I leave? Is this the right gear? What would I really like that maybe I’m forgetting? The constant checking and double checking of gear and supplies is a daily chore, a light humming in the back of my mind. I’m glad I already love gear, cause I’m starting to accumulate a bit more. And luckily, I have tons of friends who have offered the use of some bits and pieces.
- Flights. Security. Bags. All fun stuff. Yes, a big part of my job is travel related, so I’m pretty used to navigating airports and packing efficiently. Still, that bit of anticipation comes through and gives me a mild case of the jitters. Passport doesn’t expire for five more years, so I should be good.
Taking care of home
- Oh! I have a dog! What should I do about little miss Friday? Luckily I have an awesome roommate in SJohnson and my family lives in town. Add to that a landlord who loves Friday and she ought to be well taken care of.
- Mail, bills, work, etc. Most of those things can be put off for an opportunity like this. Hello, “Out of office auto-reply”, you’re my new best friend. Automatic bill pay is a close second.
As my friend LJ says, “There’s so much to feel in the beginnings and endings.” I’m feeling it all now. More to come.
Everyone does it: get to work, start sipping your coffee and peruse the happening on Facebook. It was during this morning ritual when I came across the following post from Sean Swarner:
Anyone know of a cancer survivor who’d like to hike Kilimanjaro? They could qualify for an Adventure Support Grant through CancerClimber and go FREE!! email us: firstname.lastname@example.org We’ve received a number of emails and making the decision will be made soon…
…and I thought to myself, “I know me, and I’d like to do that. I’d LOVE to do that. I’VE GOTTA DO THAT!”
I jumped on it. I was given directions on how to apply and started working on my essay immediately.
I enjoy writing. I really enjoy writing about things for which I have passion. I put a lot of passion and effort into the essay I submitted to CancerClimber and was really proud of the result. (Maybe I’ll put a post up with some off my essay in it…)
Honestly, though, I think the picture I submitted sealed the deal. I have a ridiculously adorable dog. So, of course, I had to find a good picture that had her in it. How could you say no to a face like Friday’s?
The essay and picture were submitted and I began the waiting game.
A few weeks later I received an email from Sean:
I wanted to personally reach out to you and see how your schedule was looking for July 14 – 29? I wanted to congratulate you on your survivorship and say thank you for being one of my inspirations and for giving me hope. what you’ve been able to accomplish since your diagnosis is quite impressive and I’d love to hear about your adventures!!
What. Is. This. I don’t even.
We’ve had a number of essays submitted and after reading through them all, our review board has decided that you seem to be the most logical and most qualified, as well as the most deserved person for the CancerClimber 2012 Africa/Kilimanjaro Adventure.
Is this. Is this real?
And then: unbridled, jubilant celebration and rejoicing commenced.
Since then, it’s been early morning runs, hikes up 14ers and long bike rides.
I feel strong, confident and well prepared.
Almost all of the logistics (ie, gear, vaccinations, travel) have been worked out and I’m staring down the barrel of the last week before departure.
CancerClimber, you rock.
If you wish to donate to the cause, please visit:
Thanks for all your support folks.
I don’t know the story behind this sign, but I love it:
It sits at 8,500′ on the top of Signal Peak, just behind the Western State College of Colorado campus.
My gal Friday and I decided it would be a good afternoon jaunt. I wanted to hike Mt. Crested Butte but wasn’t sure the weather would hold, so rather than risk a potentially fruitless trip, we stayed local. I carried a full day pack to help in my training efforts. Gotta get used to the weight on my shoulders!
The round trip (according to BLM’s site) is about 10 miles with nearly 1,000′ of elevation gain and took just over two hours. Guess what? This being my first try on this run, I set a personal record. Yup.
The weather was perfect. Cloud cover provided a much needed reprieve from the typical afternoon heat. We encountered very few people out on the trail and enjoyed a nice snack at the top.
As I made my way down, I noticed some awesome colors behind Tenderfoot Mountain. Unfortunately, I only had my BlackBerry with me, but I captured this picture:
Following my run, I decided to try a technique that JCarr has often told me about. My house is a five minute walk to the river. I went straight there and sat down in it, shoes, shorts and all. It was freezing. And glorious. I’m no scientist, but apparently the cold water constricts your muscles and helps flush out the lactic acid and other nasty soreness inducing buggers. I sat for 10 minutes or so and stood up with a new pair of legs. It felt fantastic.
It was another great day in an even greater place. I love calling Gunnison home.
Colorado is rad. RAD. RADICAL. ColoRADo.
On the way back from Denver this weekend, I stopped atop 12,126′ Cottonwood Pass. I haven’t explored much more than the surface of this area, even though it sits less than an hour from my house. Shame on me, because it’s awesome.
Friday and I ventured along the South Texas Creek section of the Colorado Trail and were rewarded with blankets of alpine meadows, lush forests and solitude. Five minutes from the busy summit of Cottonwood, we found ourselves in secluded, peaceful wilderness. It seems like most people are like me: have been to the top but never really explored it.
There were several times during our run/hike that I paused to acknowledge how amazing the scene was. I distinctly remember thinking to myself, “We’ve got it made.” And we do. We live in a spectacular area of the world and have the freedom and ability to experience it at a whim.
After exploring the trail for a bit I decided to gain a few nearby summits. We worked our way up a few unnamed 12ers and called it good at 12,600′. Training is going well. Really, one of the best parts of this whole trip is having a built in excuse to get out and play. Yeehaw.
I’m feeling good after training day number one. Friday and my friend Danielle kept me company (and from slacking.) It was a beautiful afternoon at the Big Green Monster. The workout looked like this:
- Walking body squats
- Knee pulls
- Quad pulls
- Spiderman lunges
- Shoulder swings/rotations
- 7 hill sprints, 1 minute rest between
- Body jumps 3×10
- Lunges 3×10 each leg
- Burpies 3×10
- Crunches 3×25
- Bicycle 3×25
- V-sit 3×30 seconds
- Plank 30 seconds
- Side full arm plank 2×30 seconds each arm
Hill sprints are a great way to gain fitness fast. I plan to do a circut like this each Tuesday and Thursday, with a bike ride or run on Wednesday. Mondays and Fridays will be rest, and the weekends will have me doing a long hike or ride to get some endurance cardio in.
I have a lot of work to do, and not much time to do it. I’ll need to be diligent and consistant. In that vain, I’m going to meet with Dr. Scott Drumm today. Drumm has advised me on training for big events in the past and has agreed to give me some exercise and nutrition pointers for Kili. I’m looking forward to what he has to share.
“This is all so new. And we are so in need of it, a new rain. My clothes become wet, and goggles are spattered, and chills start to feel delicious…I am a pioneer now, looking onto the promised land.” -Robert M. Pirsig, Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Mainenance