Here's my Story
Why I take groups to the Rocky Mountains
During my younger years, my family took summer vacations to various well known National Parks including Grand Canyon, Zion and Bryce, and Mount Rainier. But, we also traveled to many parks that most would consider "off the radar". Take for instance, the Lake Quinault area of the Olympic National Park in Washington State; I remember walking through the waist high ferns, feeling the plush moss and seeing seven inch slugs of Hoh Rain Forests. Miles away, we walked across the beach and over rough rocks with tidal pools examining the sea anemone and life of Kalaloch Beach on the southern end. It was so cool!
But, the one place that stole my heart was Rocky Mountain National Park. We stayed at the Aspen Lodge and Guest Ranch in Estes Park, Colorado and we returned summer after summer. We were "regulars" to the staff at the lodge, whom I admired and wanted to emulate when I was older. I got my chance in 1983, when I applied for and got a summer job at the lodge as baker. I was in charge of baking cinnamon rolls for breakfast and bread and dessert for dinner and afterwards. On my off days, my fellow staff and I would hike the park. These were my favorite days.
|Me, bottom right, 1983, with the other girls.|
So, I kept going back to the park. I took my family, my kids. I wanted them to feel what I felt when I was hiking through the park. I wanted them to see what I saw: sheer magnificence replicated nowhere else in the world: the highest peaks, the coldest lakes.
|My kids, Liz and Stephen, about 2003, on Trail Ridge Road.|
During my summer of working at the lodge, some of us climbed Longs Peak, the highest peak in the Rocky Mountain National Park, standing at 14,256 feet. It was an amazing feeling, seeing the sunrise from the Keyhole, and eating a sandwich and a pop on top of this mountain, seeing for miles in all directions. I returned, when I was 40 years old, to summit the mountain again: this time, a solo attempt. I had been competing in triathlons and running marathons, so I knew my fitness was there, but I wondered if I could traverse the tricky, scary backside. I reached the summit by 8:30am, feeling a little crazy, but amazed at the feat nonetheless. It was exhilarating! Now, to head back down! I was exhausted, but uplifted in spirit at the accomplishment.
I knew not only this mountain, but the National Park extremely well. I was a personal trainer with a strong background in athletics. I wanted to share my experiences with other people, women in particular, who wouldn't ordinarily have the opportunity or the vision to see themselves standing on the highest peaks in the park. I wanted them to see what I saw, feel what I felt: the majesty of the Rocky Mountains.
Thus, I began my business leading groups of women into the Rocky Mountain National Park, of Estes Park, Colorado. Over the years, I have developed some amazing relationships with the people of the town, who are thrilled to have us back summer after summer.
And, do you know what I like best?
It's sharing sunrise from 12,000 feet.
It's the moment when one of my ladies reaches her arms up in the air and says, "Oh my God, this is the most beautiful place I've ever been!"
It's the moment, when friendships are shared among women of all ages and walks of life.
This is my story. This is why I do what I do.
What's yours? Email me your story, or leave a comment.
Live 365fitt forever!