Backcountry Birthday

I’ve always wanted to wake up in the mountains on my actual Birthday, this year my amazing husband made that happen.

Thursday evening we drove north towards Clear Lake. Thinking of an easy dinner that also includes tradition, we decided to order a pizza from our favorite ‘olde school house cafe’ and pick it up on our way to the mountains.

We arrived up at clear lake and quickly found a perfect spot to set up for the night, not many sleep here because it’s @ 12,000ft.  It was a very clear evening, so we set up the tent (without the rain fly) and set up our chairs before settling in to enjoy our pizza.

After pizza, we celebrated with a hostess cupcake and sparkler before mike gave me his gift on “Birthday Eve”. His gift to me was an actual medical book on high altitude medicine! How awesome! We spend a lot of time in high altitudes in Colorado and around the globe, so knowing more has always been an interest.

Before long the sun set and the stars starting to show themselves. I love the night sky, but this was seriously one of the best night sky’s I’ve ever seen. The milky way was very clear, the black outline of mountains on all sides and a sky FULL of stars. It was quite chilly at this point so I got in my sleeping bag and laid on my camping pad, looking up at the stars. I spotted 5 shooting stars and my man saw 8.

The next morning, we both woke up early and walked down to the lake for some incredible reflections! Then we ate our bagels, cream cheese and cold-brew coffee. I had asked for Birthday snail mail with wisdom, scriptures, promises for my next year, so I collected all my mail and brought it up to read on my birthday morning.

After soaking in the gorgeous morning, we packed up camp and got ready to hike the ridge.The trail is straight up the mountainside, so not far but incredibly exhuasting as you climb over 1,000ft in .25miles.

We summited and took it all in. No one else was on the ridge, just the wind and beauty! Coming back down was interesting as well with the steepness factor, but all in all it wasn’t bad.

Perfect start to my Birthday!!

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Escape the crowds

The longer you spend in the backcountry, the more you crave solitude. While some favorite  hikes have become overpopulated, we look for places less traveled. A big part of refreshment comes from being alone in nature, no one else around.

I found this hike online, but found that it is not heavily traveled. We set out and found that it was quite difficult, finding the trail head. Once we found it, it was our own private hike the rest of the day.

We neared tree line and the clouds started rolling in thicker and heavier. Though we did not make our destination, we enjoyed the quiet beauty of mountains looming above and valleys full of wildflowers.

Perfect date day, if I do say so myself. Once the school year returns, I’m really going to miss these times, however I’ve been soaking them up this summer and very thankful for the time we’ve had.

What do you like to do for date days? Do you prefer populated trails or solitude when you hike?

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Vallecito Fireworks

Vallecito has always been known for their fireworks show, a day or two before the 4th. In the nearly 10yrs I have lived here, I never made it up that way. Now that we live in that direction, it was time!

Being a newb, I totally picked the wrong side of the lake to be on, however there were hardly any people and it was a very peaceful spot. Because of our location, the fireworks were not impressive, however just laying in the hammock together made for a perfect evening.

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Perfect Spot
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Love just being together
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Amazing Fog from the earlier storm
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It does not get much more peaceful than this
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The show