Snowy hikes do a body (& heart) good!

Romping through snow is one of my favorite things.  Add in gorgeous views and great friends and you have yourself one spectacular way to spend a day!  I was lucky enough to have two days just like that in the first half of October.

To say that September ended with an emotional thud and October started off not so great would be an understatement.  However, if you know me, you know exactly what I did next.  I got outside to find my peace and center…and boy did I 🙂

I swear my friends always seem to have the best timing.  My friend Yvette told me about a summit attempt she and a friend of hers were going to do of Sleeping Giant here on the Shoshone National Forest; she asked if I wanted to join them.  So I figured, why not?!  With fresh snow having fallen in the week leading up to this early October hike, we weren’t sure if snowshoes would be needed or not.  A last minute decision not to bring them as we left the car likely cost us the summit that day. 

My hiking partners for the day, Yvette, Aticus, & Jarren

My hiking partners for the day, Yvette, Aticus, & Jarren (& Sydney of course)

While we didn’t reach the summit due to time and daylight, I did find some of what I was searching for during that glorious 13-mile hike in the snow and mud.  I found the beauty of fresh snow, untouched by human hand.  I found the inner peace of being surrounded by nature in all her glory.  I found friendship when it was needed the most.  Lastly, and most importantly, I found happiness in that 3,000+ft elevation gain.  The day left me physically exhausted (Sydney was so exhausted he didn’t move the next day!) but mentally and emotionally revived.  I also learned the valuable lesson of the importance of a trekking pole on a winter hike 😉

My beautiful stop...no summit but gorgeous views

My beautiful stop…no summit but gorgeous views

As if that day wasn’t great enough, I am beyond lucky to have friends throughout various parts of the West, and since I wasn’t working (thanks a lot federal furlough), I took the opportunity to drive down to CO for a weekend of fun and friends.  Luckily, Heather was gracious enough to invite Sydney and me to stay with her and Tally.  There were many great parts of that trip, but my highlight was a Saturday morning hike through the snow that allowed me to see old friends and finally meet others in person.  The hike along Butcher Gulch Trail was the perfect opportunity for me to get to reconnect with Aleya (as well as meet her cool boyfriend & spunky little sister) and Whitney and finally meet fellow Wisconsinite Dave

Dave, Aleya, Whitney, & Heather taking a picture break

Dave, Aleya, Whitney, & Heather taking a picture break while Tally runs by

Sydney and Tally had a blast bounding through the snow as we all chatted our way up the mountainside.  We ended this hike at a beautiful vista and decided food and beer were in our near future.  This hike reminded me that even though distance exists, I have some of the best friends a gal could ask for!

Sydney & I are lucky to have great friends!

Sydney & I are lucky to have great friends!

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