Monday, March 4, 2013

Last Hurrah: Hut Trip Day 3

When is someone going to invent a contraption to pause time?
After a warm breakfast and packing up the mess we'd made, we gathered for a group shot before starting our last hike together. 
Remember how your ass bones felt after you took your very first spin class.......suddenly becoming so aware of their tender existence? That's how your clavicles and hip bones feel after hiking with a pack. I had no idea how bruised my bones were until I re-strapped into my even lighter pack, no longer equipped with food and drinks we consumed. 
I was so distracted by all the commotion of group shots, and capturing my last view of the sun before it disappeared behind the thick wall of snow clouds, I failed to recognize the tree stump positioned directly behind the tip of my snowshoes. Would you like to guess what happened next?
If you know me, you probably guessed right........I stumbled into the stump, the end of my snowshoe with nowhere to go, and fell, feet flailing in the air, flat on my back! I was stranded like a turtle, my pack weighing me down. All my life I've been the tortoise, not the speedy one in anything, but always making it to the finish line, slow and steady. Never did I ever think this analogy would come to life........I had actually become the metaphorical tortoise.
Whether it be a good thing or even more embarrassing thing, the good news is I didn't have to lay there disabled for long, since everyone saw the catastrophe, multiple heros stepping forward to my rescue.......after having a giggle at me of course.
Going downhill was like being in a love hate relationship. 
The love part coming from a view just as easy on the eyes as the hike was my the legs, reaping the benefits of all the labor a couple of days prior.
The hate, stemming from the cold hard fact that vacation was about to be over. Not only was I going to miss all our new friends and their accents, but I was going to have to once again say goodbye to my mountains. This was it, my last hurrah for a while, and I'd better soak it in. 
I ditched the music to savor the sweet sound of snow crunching under my feet, knowing that I wouldn't need the motivation for such an easy return. The feeling was amplified by the sound, providing the perfect shock absorption to just enjoy the ride. 
About half-way down, the skiers started to catch up with us, then just as quick as they appeared, disappeared into the future, swallowed up by the vast trail. Heather's pants were so bright, I think I saw her coming through the back of my head.
We paused for one last mountain view in the first clearing before mission "get to the bottom".  
Angel and I actually took a little jog in our snowshoes, which was surprisingly easy and fun! 
Once we were satisfied with our distance from the front runners, we slowed to a walk again to allow chitchatting about nursing and travel.......great girl talk, the best thing about having friends and the great outdoors for working out. 
It only took a whole 1 hour 26 minutes to reach the trail head we started at a short 2 days prior, and as easy as it was, my heart rate stayed in the 130-165 range the entire way, resulting in a 500 calorie burn!......How about that for turtle time?!?!?
This is the happy face of a girl who knew a hot shower was in her near future!!!.....
......But not before stuffing our faces with some tantalizing pizza, pepper poppers, and draft PBR at North Side, a necessary pitstop in Breckinridge. Your eyes are not tricking you, that is a salad on top of a BBQ pizza....
The last leg of our drive back to Denver should have been short, but alas, the snow finally decided to have it's way with us. 
Just our luck...........why break tradition of driving back to Texas in an untimely blizzard just like every year before?
Sleep was detrimental, but that night as we did just that, the storm pushed on. And on. And on.
Roads were so overwhelmed with snow by 6am the next morning, schools were getting canceled and postponed.......and we were driving home, having to stop every 30 minutes to 1 hour, just to knock the build up of snow out of the wheel wells of Ol' Blacky to keep the brand new tires from getting ruined!!!! 
By the time we reached New Mexico, we thought we'd finally driven out of the massive storm's road destruction.......
.....A dream shattered near Folsom, with icy roads and a fog so inclusively dense we couldn't see more than 3 car lengths in front of us.
"Please. Oh please," we hoped, "Don't let Texas be affected too." Crossing our fingers and toes, we decided either way we'd chosen the best route, since Kansas was getting hammered with snow storms. 
Turns out, Mother Nature had mercy on our time schedule and granted us access to clear roads for the stretch of our home state. 
After a very long day of driving, we made it home just in time for an adequate night's sleep before Patrick had to be at work.........I on the other hand, had a very difficult adjustment ahead of me. Going back to a polar opposite schedule is for the birds. 

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