Don’t forget to check out part 1 and part 2 of our westward road trip!
Adrenaline kept me upright for the first few hours the morning after listening to the bear (or whatever it was) battering away at a fellow camper’s food locker. I’ll still never know if it actually was a grizzly bear, but I couldn’t help but think about Paul’s warning that they had a grizzly that visited the campground.
As we inhaled our half-cooked hash browns and overcooked scrambled eggs at breakfast—they were warm and the air was a brisk 35 or 40 degrees—-we pondered our plan for the day. It was only a matter of time before my high-strung bear anxiety dissipated and I entered extreme sleep deprivation auto-pilot. If there’s one thing that I need, for my own sanity and the sanity of those around me, it’s at least six hours of sleep every night. I would be operating far under threshold today, and we were expecting a grueling day of hiking, exploring, and further altitude adjustment.
The thought lingering in the back of my mind was that I would need to do it all over again for at least two more nights. We were debating staying at our campsite two more nights for the eclipse, making it a total of 5 nights in Grand Teton instead of our planned three nights. There was a solid chance this could shape up to be one of the most miserable trips of my life if I had to stick out five nights sleeping in a tent with a grizzly visiting the campsite every night.
We packed up and headed towards the park. Our plan was to hike String Lake around to Jenny Lake and up towards Cascade Canyon. When we parked the car, applied our sunscreen, loaded our packs with food and water bottles, and were just about to hit the trail at 8:45 am, we noticed a vital element missing. The bear spray. Sam remembered seeing it in the tent since we kept it there last night as a precaution, and it must’ve still been there. After the events last night and all the warnings we’d heard, there was no way we were hiking without a can of bear spray.
Continue reading “Grand Teton National Park: Hiking Near Jenny Lake and Cascade Canyon”
We did it! We shoved ourselves into a minivan with strangers (whom soon became friends), ran three times in less than 20 hours, and traversed the length of Cape Cod as RAGNARians. It was a whirlwind of an adventure, and one I hope to do again someday.
It’s hard to describe RAGNAR with words and photos. The entire aura of RAGNAR is unlike anything I’ve ever felt, whether at a race or at any other event. Our team—one of the 500 teams taking place in this epic logistics whirlwind—was split between two vans with six runners in each van, but we competed as a whole unit. While I strived to do my best as an individual runner, I was equally invested in cheering each of my van-mates at the start and finish of their runs. It’s a team event, but so much of my time was focused on preparing myself for my solo runs because I never knew exactly when I’d be running again. It’s more mental than physical, and that was a challenge for me.
Continue reading “Ragnar Cape Cod: A Long Recap of a Really, Really, Really Long Race”
I’ve put a lot of time in this final post of 2016. There are a lot of things I could write about because this was a very big year for me in terms of mental and emotional growth. Sam and I traveled to a bunch of beautiful places, officially moved to a new city, learned a lot about each other, learned a lot about the world, and truly lived this year to the fullest. How could I possibly sum up everything I learned in a year into one blog post? I already have a tendency to write too much, but come on. I wouldn’t even want to read that.
Instead, when I thought back on everything that happened in 2016, I realized that essentially everything I’ve felt in the last 12 months can be honed in on a specific day. To be more accurate, the entire summation of this year comes down to approximately 15 seconds around 9:00 pm on Sunday, July 24.
For 15 seconds, a gun was pointed at my chest. Then Sam’s chest. I knew everything I’ve ever wanted to know about myself in that short period of time.
Continue reading “My Most Significant Moment of 2016”
So…with so many things happening over the past two weeks (both “adult” things and “fun” things), time has been a little short for writing. Rather than leave y’all hanging without hearing from me in a while, I thought I’d try something new: a video journal entry!
Check it out below, and let me know in the comments if you’re a fan 0f this format or not. I had fun making this, so maybe you’ll see more of my YouTube face in the future. Trust me, I do miss writing, but this saved me a lot of time (because I need that time to make/eat cookies).
Have a great week, everyone!