Archive for the ‘Places’ Category

A weekend away with the gals

This past weekend I spent just over 24 hours immersed in the beauty that is the Clarks Fork Canyon on the Shoshone National Forest. This was a trip that my friends Yvette and Veronika and I have been trying to make happen for well over a month now.

When we first planned the trip, we thought it would be a snowshoe, winter camping experience.  Well….Wyoming had different plans, so after a spoiled weekend thanks to my ER trip for vertigo and a shift in location due to intense levels of mud, we had a beautiful, warm spring weekend to enjoy!

After leaving my truck at the eastern end of the Lower Clarks Fork Canyon, we drove up to just east of Dead Indian Campground. We put our packs on our backs and began to wind our way through dense trees, along rocky mountainsides with steep drop-offs, and finally all of the way down to the bottom of the canyon.

The beautiful canyon as we were descending

The beautiful canyon as we were descending

Our plan was to cross the river and camp on the north side of the canyon. From cliffs high above the river, we spotted an area which looked like calmer water, so after we made it down to the edge of the Clarks Fork of the Yellowstone River, we headed back west about ½ mile where we decided to try crossing. Without going into great detail, we made it across!

We found a great campsite nestled amongst the big sagebrush and began setting up camp.  I had decided to go tent less, so my set-up was pretty easy 🙂 Next up, fire. During our successful river crossing, both Veronika and Yvette switched out there hiking boots for other shoes.  I did not have other shoes since when I left home that morning, a river crossing had not been the plan. So my boots got drenched during the crossing, and even though Yvette took her boots off, a step down into a deep part of the river filled her boots…so a fire to dry out boots it was!

That evening was beautiful and great fun. We watched a mountain goat high above us, made our dinners, and watched the evening sky turn to a blanket of stars. As we turned in for the night, I was beyond thankful for the day we had just had.

The next morning was a leisurely start as we made coffee and ate breakfast before breaking down camp and heading out the canyon to my truck.

My top 5 things for this weekend? Oh that is an easy list for sure!

5. I finally got to see mountain goats (yes plural!) on my beloved Shoshone National Forest! As I said above, we watched one on the first evening (he was a really big guy!), but then as we had breakfast the next day, Yvette spotted another mountain goat on the canyon wall above us. These creatures are magnificent!

The gals watching our buddy Kyv (yes we named the mountain goat)

The gals watching our buddy Kyv (yes we named the mountain goat)

4. My Ahnu Sugarpines. . I have worn these on a variety of hikes and a near daily basis since they were sent to me following last August’s Outdoor Retailer Show. While I have really enjoyed these boots before, this trip secured them as my current favorite light hiker. I have had drenched boots in the past, and even though I have tried to dry them out around a fire, they are always a bit wet the next day. Not so with my Sugarpines! A couple of hours around the fire and they were dry as a bone; my feet were very happy not to get blisters during the hike out 🙂

Drying out my Ahnu Sugarpines while "cooking" dinner

Drying out my Ahnu Sugarpines while “cooking” dinner

3. Big Agnes Ethel 0 sleeping bag. I had decided that I would leave my tent at home and sleep on a tarp to really test this puppy out! I was sent this bag for review following the winter Outdoor Retailer Show this January. While I have used it a handful of times camped out in the yard at home, this was its inaugural trip into the backcountry. I knew that it claimed to be water repellent since the bag is not filled with your typical down but DownTek. We were not supposed to have any precipitation, but as luck would have it, it rained on us at night. As I lay asleep in my comfy bag under the open sky, I awoke to the pitter patter of rain, which quickly became steady. I hastily threw my rainfly over my backpack, put it on the bottom of my sleeping bag, and wrapped the tarp up on both sides and over my head. By this point, my sleeping bag had already gotten wet and some parts were still exposed. After the short shower, I unwrapped myself from my tarp burrito and lay staring at the newly emerged stars. When I awoke in the morning, I was completely dry and had stayed toasty warm in my bag! A quick look at the top of my sleeping bag showed small puddles of water in spots…the bag did actually repel water like it claimed!! I was in love…

Check out those rain puddles!

Check out those rain puddles!

2. Sleeping under the stars. To me, it really doesn’t get any better than spending a night out in nature. The ability to fall asleep under a canopy of stars is something I am beyond thankful for. After the quick rain shower, I was treated to a sky full of stars and began recognizing different constellations as I drifted back to a very restful night of sleep.

Pure bliss

Pure bliss

1. Getting to share this experience with two remarkable women. This was my first backpacking trip in 2015, and I am so thankful that I got to spend it with Veronika and Yvette. These two women are badasses in their own rights. From being successful in their careers, loving parents to their children, devoted spouses to their husbands to being adventurous souls willing to go mountain biking, hiking, showshoeing, backpacking, you name it at any given time to being true, sincere friends, these women are just simply amazing. I’m so happy to have found such true friends and can’t wait to get back out for some fun with them!

Can't wait for more days like this! Photo courtesy of Yvette.

Can’t wait for more days like this! Photo courtesy of Yvette.

Going Places…but where?

I have loved animals my entire life and have always been very intrigued by places with endemic animals.  Pair that with my desire to see new places and strive to have amazing adventures whenever I can, and you get my latest exciting news….

I’m going to the GALAPAGOS ISLANDS in October!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

galapagos1

That’s right; I will be going way out of my comfort zone, traveling alone (well sort of…I’m going with a group my yoga instructor is putting together), and seeing an amazing location in what will no doubt be a trip of a life time!  

I will be spending time on the islands for 7 days and will see a great deal of the UNESCO World Heritage Site & Biosphere Preserve that is the Galapagos Islands. Want to find out more about my upcoming trip? Check out this information on my yoga vacation!

galapagos2

I am beyond excited about this and know that I will be chomping at the bit come October!!  Anyone ever been to the Galapagos Islands before?

The new stuff

Lately I have found myself willing to say yes to new things that I used to have to really dwell over before deciding on. NEWS FLASH: trying new stuff is fun!!!

As someone who tries to find adventures in everyday life, trying new things has afforded me that opportunity without even trying. We are always growing, changing, evolving throughout our lives (at least I think we all should be), so we are bound to try new things without seeking them out; intentionally setting out to try new things is even better!

One of the biggest changes for me over the past two months has been the incorporation of more and more veggies into my life.  Now if you have known me for any amount of time, you know this is a HUGE change for me. As a self-declared lover of only corn, green beans, and a few other vegetables, I have started trying things like white asparagus, spaghetti squash, and now even choose sweet peppers over chips! All of this is thanks to my new found love of Bountiful Baskets. Heck I even made all veggie red curry the other day…just veggies, no meat or rice even!

Mmmmm fruit & veggies are good...who am I?!

Mmmmm fruit & veggies are good…who am I?!

Another new thing for me of late was taking a class on how to make the perfect martini! Ok, so granted it might not be that hard, but it sure made for an educational, fun Tuesday night in Cody.

My first martini, well first one I actually made ;)

My first martini, well first one I actually made 😉

I also did my first snowshoe alone, ever! Last Sunday I went in search of the beautiful fresh power I knew had fallen up high the day before.  The temperatures hovered around zero, so I was skeptical as to whether my bionic boy would be able to make the romp in the snow with me. After getting to our location, Sydney ran around in the snow for a few minutes before it was apparent that the metal rod in his back leg was making him super cold and causing him pain.

He loves the snow but metal rods and cold don't mix well :(

He loves the snow but metal rods and cold don’t mix well 😦

I loaded him back up for a nap in the warm, sun-filled truck, grabbed my bear spray, and headed for the hills.  It was an amazing trek, and aside from what appeared to be one set of bunny tracks, I saw no animal or person until I wrapped up my 4 mile jaunt. While I hated not having my adventure buddy with me, I knew he would’ve been miserable, and I was able to enjoy the stunning silence that comes from a walk in the cold beauty of winter in Wyoming.

Welcome to my Wyoming

Welcome to my Wyoming

Although I have practiced yoga sporadically in the past, I have started taking a Power Yoga class at Yoga with Laura’s studio (which is yet another new thing for me!) and am really trying to put the positive, thoughtful elements of yoga practice into my daily life. By releasing negativity from my daily life, I have found myself at a much more centered, peaceful place in my life.

Yep, I also did a 2nd painting!

Yep, I also did a 2nd painting!

I am at a place in my life where trying new things is no longer as frightening as it once was. From making new friends to trying out new activities or foods, I am once again finding opportunities for self-development and self-improvement!

Oh I also spent a weekend acting as a “model” (definite first there!), but that is an entirely separate post!! Have you tried anything new lately??