7.18.2010

who likes nature? i do. i do.


camping= driving up to a spot, popping your tent, sitting in lawn chairs around the fire, hot dogs for dinner with s'mores for dessert, going to the bathroom in the provided site bathrooms, retreating from the elements in your car if necessary...right?

WRONG.

that my friend is called CAR camping.

there's another way to camp.
it's called backpacking.

backpacking= walking miles uphill with the equivalent of a toddler on your back, choosing your own spot, popping your tent, eating whatever you can carry with you and doesn't need to be refrigerated, cooling your chocolate in the stream so you can still make s'mores, grabbing your shovel when nature calls and trying your best to 1. stay out of sight and 2. maintain impeccable balance, and hoping your tent keeps you safe from the elements and the bears that may or may not attack you in the night.

needless to say, i learned a lot this past weekend.

the most important lesson of all being that i actually kinda love the outdoors.
and backpacking is fun and car camping is semi lame.

here's a visual recap of the trip that could have quite possibly changed my mind forever...

we headed out on friday morning and were greeted by just about perfect weather

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we had our first waterfall sighting.
waterfalls are just...so...amazing.

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seeing beauty like this makes the hike more than worth it

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it's important you know how much i hate ledges...and drop offs...given my track record of coordination.
outside i'm smiling/inside i'm panicking.
little did i know the ledges that were in my future.

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as some of the guys were sprinting up the mountain, we took a break and took advantage of the photo op.

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for the second half of our hike we were surrounded by wild flowers.

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yes. he went up to the top, set down his load, and came back to help the rest of us.
fist pumps and leg kicks for my hero.

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we arrived at our campsite!
(reminder: you can't get to places like this in your car)

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after setting up our tents, it was time for some exploring...
more waterfalls? yes please.

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no matter where i'm at, i feel the responsibility to represent asia.

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and there's always time for a close up shot.
reflection in my glasses=perfection.

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after our explorations, it was time to head back to camp.
dinner over the campfire? yes please.

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day 2 we hiked from our campsite to...
ice lake.
one acronym...
omg.
beautiful doesn't even begin to describe it.

i worked on my photo poses...

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...while nick worked on his cannonball.

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we admired the wildflowers as we prepared for our next hike to island lake.
and minutes later i was on the verge of a panic attack.
why you ask?
ledges...and drop offs...and no hiking boots...and fear...pure, unadulterated fear.

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fortunately for me i had someone to hold my hand the whole time...
he even let me hold onto his waist as i stared at the ground whimpering and walking as slowly as a dung beetle.

after i came back to my senses, this scene made it all worth it.

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and there were llamas!
it doesn't get much better than that.

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after a day full of hiking, napping, reading, and quality time in the hammock...

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it was time for dinner and
S'MORES.
i am convinced you can't camp without s'mores.
they are essential to the experience.

nick is a fan of the golden brown marshmallow.
(although i like them burnt to a crisp and torch style when you take them out of the fire).

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heaven in chocolate, marshmallow, graham cracker goodness.

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sunday we said farewell to our site and headed back down the mountain.
bonus of the morning: beating nick to the car.

on the way back to denver we decided to stop off at black canyon national park.

gotta love the group shot!

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and then...
we found RHODE ISLAND.
we're on a search for license plates for all 50 states and now we're down to 4 (louisana, south carolina, vermont, and new hampshire i think).

it was a big moment for us.

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on the way out we had to get a photo with the sign.
apparently we will now be collecting pictures of us at national parks (or so i've been told).

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life lesson #485767
God created a beautiful world; you should go see it.


xoxo

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