Happy August friends, I hope the transition to a brand new month has been joyful and smooth for you. It has been another hectic start here but the good news is we refrained from all things work this past Saturday. It truly felt like a miracle. Even with a lingering (condo remodel) deadline (yesterday) we managed to enjoy our first entirely free day, a first of the summer! Like anything, owning a business has its pros and cons. While the good totally outweighs the stressful we still have had to master our skills of carving out enough play time. All work and no play is not the way. We set our sights 12,162 feet above sea level and climbed to the peak of Mt. Crested Butte for the annual Living Journey’s fundraiser hike.
July of each year a peak hike is organized by Living Journey’s, a financially and emotionally supportive organization aiding families faced with cancer in our valley. The summit hike is a fundraiser in which participants raise donations beforehand and hike Mt. Crested Butte as not only a celebration but as an honoring of those whose lives have been touched by cancer. My mother-in-law is a breast cancer survivor and Living Journey’s supported her in many ways during treatment as well as during her recovery. It has become a special tradition in the last 4 years to climb Mt. Crested Butte with her and my husband. My mother-in-law is devoted to paying forward the goodness that was gifted to her in time where support was a lifeline. And we feel extremely privileged to do so beside her.
Each year draws me to reflect on what an incredible blessing it is to have our health, our loved ones, and these moving, memorable moments with one another. It grounds ones perspective to the importance and impermanence of life.
Saturday morning brought heavy clouds, steady rain, and with that the uncertainty of a mountain hike. The precipitation subsided but left thick, puffy clouds draped over Mount Crested Butte. It made for quite the enchanting landscape and created a moody feeling from a film scene. The peak (as seen in the first photo above) was engulfed in cloud coverage, at times the only thing visible were the mountain we were on and the other people on it. If you’ve ever wondered what being in the clouds is like, well then, there’s a glimpse.
If you live around or frequent the Gunnison valley it is likely you have climbed, biked, skied Mt. CB or at least ridden one of the ski-lifts. It is the most accessible mountain in our valley. Having the option to ride the lifts means most ages and abilities can endure the short 1.3 mile climb to the peak from the SilverQueen chairlift. This is a great advantage for those not looking to go deep into the back country on a lengthy excursion. Crested Butte Mountain Resort maintains the trail like the Ritz Carlton maintains their standards. The trail is wide and unobstructed and ropes line the edges for those needing extra stability. Informational signs are placed along the path educating visitors on wildflower species, alpine animals, and mountain manners. It is a 11.5 mile hike roundtrip starting from the foothills however, the well-kept dirt roads and defined trails make the journey less extreme. If you’re wondering, we took the lift!
From the peak one can see our whole 9 block town and surrounding developments. The winding slate river, long lake, and West Elk mountain range are hard to take your eyes off of. Having climbed CB somewhere around 6 times I can assure you the view never gets old. And if you’re wondering why we would hike the same mountain so often it’s because other than the yearly Living Journey’s hike (which is the same mountain annually) when loved ones come to visit and wish to climb a mountain this is where we take them. Except for my mom who we took into the backcountry on a more gritty adventure.
Each year proves to be deeply inspirational. Sharing a mountain with kids in their first year of life and adults in their 80’s from all walks of life, with all different stories. Hiking is an already exceptional part of living yet the addition of a cause elevates the experience even more so. I think its safe to assume the fox agrees, despite challenges life is utterly remarkable! p.s. How beautiful a creature is that fox?!
Thank you for joining me on yet another adventure!
I greatly enjoy connecting with you all ♥
Until next time, happy trails…