Return to the Mountains

Today marked the first summer climb of 2017, and I’m grateful to report I summited Mount Sherman.  This is my 15th Colorado 14,000′ mountain and I have 38 to go 🙂  My partner joining me was the young and dashing Hieu Nguyen.  We both felt this was a steady, but relatively easy, climb of about 8 + miles and ~ 3,000 vertical feet of ascent.  There were a couple patches of snow and ice that were easily traversed with an ice axe and micro-spikes.

I spent the past month in Beijing and had some terrific experiences that I will remember for the rest of my life.  I saw historical sites I thought I would never see, reconnected with old friends and made new friends, and ate delicious ethnic food every day.  The list goes on and on.  Amidst all this, and as much as I enjoy travel, towards the end of the trip, there was a longing to go back home.  Not my physical home; mind you, the home for my soul … the mountains.

If you have never gone on a hike on the mountains of Colorado in the summer, then you are missing out on a true spectacle of nature.  The landscape comes alive with crystal clear streams, colorful fields of wildflowers, blue skies contrasting with remnant snowfields clinging to the shadowy sides of the mountains.  There is a stillness that swallows you whole.

The truth of the matter is I can be happy living most anywhere and doing most anything.  However, there is an indescribable joy and peace I feel when I am in the mountains.  I enter into this place of rest where I feel free.  The mountains do not care about what you do for a living, they do not judge you for failures from the past, and they don’t worry about what may or may not happen to you in the future.  There is a sense of equanimity about the mountains.  Everyone is equal in their eyes.  Yes, you too can rest …


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