September 9, 2017

If I told you that this was the highlight of my weekend, I would be lying. It wasn’t just about this moment, but a whole handful of moments all rolled into one great weekend spent in the wilderness…


picking wild raspberries, learning new trails, seeing new country and tracks in the mud, cooking dinner in a dutch oven over an open fire beside a babbling creek, quality time with my 2 and 4 legged loves.


The changing of the aspens into their brilliant fall colors, the moose that Bill (the mule) was convinced was stalking us up the mountain, sleeping beneath a  brilliant star dusted sky,  serenaded by love struck bull elk…


and SO many more little (big) moments. That was the highlight of my weekend.






Labor Day Weekend (part 2)


September 4, 2017

I woke on the cot again this morning, stiff and sore, with a small white dog curled against my legs, pinning me in the sleeping bag…but you already know the rest of that story.

Today we took a trail up to where the water comes from, and then we went further, up and over, and down and around. Watched a couple of young bulls across the draw. I longed for my camera, but didn’t want to stop everyone and dig into the panniers to retrieve it. Three days in the mountains and I have only used the camera on my cell to record the abundance of beauty that surrounds us. I need to figure out a way to remedy that.

Another beautiful day enjoyed with great people. Tomorrow I head back home to get ready to return to work. But I take with me the memories of these places, recharged and refocused.

~ until next time…


Labor Day Weekend

~Panoramic sunrise~

This morning I woke up on a cot in a rustic cabin in the mountains. My hips ache, my bladder screams, I feel dusty, dry and weathered,  I really didn’t sleep that well…and I am loving every detail.

Yes, I prefer my huge, comfortable bed and morning showers. But I will give up those luxuries for the experiences that can only be found in places like these.



Finding shade


Lunch break


We came down, where?

Today we rode a trail that I have never been on. The views and occasionally the steep narrow trail were breath taking. I looked off into valleys I have never seen and some that I have traveled before. We all safely maneuvered around unseen bog holes on the top of a mountain, looked up at Franc’s Peak from a new point on the map, and repelled down a mountain side. (who knew you could repel with mules and horse 😉 but I am pretty sure we did )   Rested in a patch of trees for lunch, and filled our water bottles from the creeks before climbing back up and over a high mountain pass to return to the cabin just before dark.



and the day ends much like it started, on a cot in a rustic cabin in the mountains. My hips ache, my legs are tired, I feel dusty, dry, weathered, and a little sun burnt.  I am the kind of tired that can only be gained by time outside and plenty of fresh air… I am loving every detail and can’t wait for tomorrow…


*Cell phone image*

Last night as the daylight was draining from a long hot day, I decided go for a walk. Standing there in the setting sun, I took a few moments to say my goodbyes to an amazing lady that I had met nearly 24 years ago. When I turned around to head home~ I observed a couple of young bucks silhouetted against the amber sky. I stood there quietly admiring the scene, breathing in the moment…

Grace, thank you for your strength and inspiration. You will be missed by many ❤

Grace Carlson

May 9, 1908 ~ July 21, 2017

109 years of age



Aaand.. that’s a wrap!



Well, today is the last day of August. It took me a while, but I have officially caught up! Now if I can just keep from falling behind again.

Last Sunday morning I finally found some time to go outside to the chaise lounge on our patio. I curled up under an old beloved blanket. A hot cup of coffee beside me and birds of every size and shape wiping by my head arguing over who gets what from the feeders that I have hung in the trees around the yard.
As I sat there absorbing the relaxing morning, I felt a tugging regret. Why can’t I just seem to find the time to do this more often? Is it work? responsibilities? life? chores?…

It’s just so hard sometimes…

Ok, who am I kidding? I love my life!  There are places I still plan to go and things I hope to accomplish while I am still able.  You only get one chance at this life and I intend to make the very most of every single second.


Besides, with views like this ~who would want to sit around on the patio anyhow?


August 27th, I was finally able to get in a ride in the hills. Hot, dry, smokey, but SO worth every hoof beat, laugh and memory.

Tomorrow is September. My favorite month. Have I mentioned lately that I love where I live?

Cloud Peak


August 19, 2017

* 13,116′ in elevation

(by the end of the day, my ifit claims)  * 26.8 miles

15 hrs on the trail

My memorable moment for the month of August.

4:30 a.m the alarm drags me from a fitful sleep. I roll out of bed and wake the boys in the next room. Josiah is still asleep in his jeans from the night before. I am certain that I slept better than he did. 🙂  I heat some water for a quick cup of coffee and we start to repack our things. I am a bit apprehensive, but genuinely looking forward to  a day (or 2) with my boys and the challenge that lies ahead of us.

6:30 a.m  Backpacks strapped to our backs and a my camera in my hand. We stop in front of the trail head sign for the proverbial selfie (have I mentioned that I hate selfies?)


It was a beautiful morning. A little ice had built on the lake overnight and frost clung the grasses along the trail waiting for the sun to peak over the rocky cliffs above and melt the chill away.






Rocks, rocks and more rocks…

Don ‘t look back son, we aren’t going that way~

at least not until we reach the peak, then we will HAVE to go back that way 🙂

Looking back the way we came


Tyler on the Knife edge, numb legs, thin air, pure determination and heart.

“It’s not about having top of the line gear, youthfulness, or skill. It is about putting 1 foot in front of the other ”  ~ Emma Gatewood.

2:20 p.m. 13,116 feet.



What goes up…



With a brief stop along the banks of a high mountain lake to set up camp in case we needed it. A quick lunch atop a giant boulder, a 1/2 hour detour back tracking in search of a lost item and then time it took to dismantle camp before heading back out, so that we could rest our weary bodies that night in our own beds.

9:30 p.m. 15 hours on the trail.  A mother that was more in need of quality time with her boys than she realized. I am so proud of their heart and determination. Point that drive in the right direction my boys and you will go far in life. One foot in front of the other and before you know it you will be admiring the view on the other side. We all know that just because it’s down hill, doesn’t mean it is easy. Just make sure that what ever you do in life, you do it right.


Thank you for taking time to hang out with your mom. ❤



I had an extra day off of work and had been looking forward to a 3 day weekend.

I was hoping to spend at least part of that time in the back country. Saturday and Sunday, priorities took precedence over being able to slip away, but I was still hopeful and biding my time.

Monday morning the mules, horses, and lunch, were finally loaded up and we  headed toward the mountains. As we rounded a corner in the road I could see the draw that marked the trail head in the distance. It was shrouded by a black wall of water. As I watched the storm crawl up and over the mountains,  I felt my hopes of a leisurely ride in the back country wash away.

I had been looking forward to a ride, even if only a day ride, but the prospect of being soaked through, and fighting mud all day honestly didn’t sound all that appealing.

As we turned around and headed back home, I felt quite disheartened.  I went home and spent the day catching up on chores. As the afternoon approached I took a few hours and went for a hike behind the house, hoping that the exercise would change my mood. It was a great hike, but I was still feeling sorry for myself when I got home.

I decided to try and do a little catch up on editing photos. I plugged my camera into my computer and downloaded the pictures that I had taken over the weekend…

and… I was humbled….

“What screws us up most in life

is the picture in our heads of how it is supposed to be”