Sunday, August 15, 2010

Next Time, Won't You Join Us?

Friends, I'm tired.
And I have some sore muscles...and a bit of a limp.
I have at least 40 mosquito bites.
That's not an exaggeration.
And I have the satisfaction of knowing that hiking 20 miles with a 30 pound backpack on my back didn't kill me...I have the satisfaction of knowing that we did something that has been on my bucket list for a long time...and I have a lot of love for my dad and my husband for making the whole thing possible.

Getting ready for the trip

The first few miles of the hike were uneventful.  We started at 9:30am and hiked until about 11:00am - when we stopped for lunch.  It was my first opportunity to experience Mother Nature's version of a bathroom...ahhh...nothing like being exposed for the world to see.  Well, exposed to the world of mosquitoes anyway.

My husband has a rating system for the outdoor bathroom experience.  He judges things like:

-the amount of privacy you have
-how easy it is to dig a hole to bury the evidence
-how many mosquito bites you get

etc. etc.

He judged his best experience as an 8.  I held steady at a -2.  We were camping next to a bunch of boy scouts for heavens sake...and you never knew when one might show up to interrupt your moment.

At about mile 3 or 4 Manda Lou, or Baby Sister as some of you know her, got ever so sick.  Take 10 steps and lose your lunch kind of sick.  Poor girl was suffering from a combination of altitude sickness and exertion.  (Although if you ask her she'll deny the exertion part.)  The rest of her experience climbing that mountain was walk a bit, throw up, walk a bit more, lay down on the trail, walk some more, throw up, take a nap, throw up, and walk...

My dad and my sister Tiffany carried Manda's pack for some of the way, but Jason carried her pack the last 3 or 4 miles.

There are a lot of reasons I love my husband...this is one of them.

The scenery was breathtaking, and thankfully the trail was pretty mild.  If it weren't for that extra 30 pounds and some light headedness due to altitude I probably could have run that 10 miles...except that I'm not a runner.

Jason and I hiked ahead and then spent an hour waiting for the others to catch up.  I was grateful for that hour.  I took a nap (which is probably when the mosquitoes took full advantage, disregarding the 6" of bug spray I had all over me), and enjoyed the beauty around me.

After hiking for nearly 9 hours we reached our destination:  Red Castle.

Another reason I love my husband is because he made this the most comfortable camping trip I've ever been on...minus that whole going to the bathroom behind a tree situation.  I was warm, our sleeping accommodations were comfortable, and I ate the most delicious dinner of spaghetti and meat sauce. 

We awoke the next morning to the sun warming our tent.  I loved when Jason snuggled deeper into our down comforter and said "I just want to be cozy for a little bit longer." 

We ate a disgusting breakfast of instant oatmeal (I think oatmeal is disgusting even at home) and then set off on another 4 mile hike.  At some point along the way I asked Jason if he could please just find a trail that only went downhill.  He said if he couldn't find one he would carry his trowel and dig a trail for me.  Isn't that love?

The hike out was long...and our feet hurt...and at some point along the way I think I told Jason I wasn't having fun anymore.  My poor sister Tiffany limped the last 3 miles due to some incredibly huge blisters on her baby toes.  She's one tough kid that sister Tiffany.  But when we finally made it back to our car after what seemed like days of hiking, we could all take a deep breath and say we did it.

I've got to tell you...there's something about accomplishing a life-long goal, and doing it with the people you love most, that allows you to smile for a good long time...while you're scratching the mosquito bites.


Kristin said...

Yay! You made it!!! You are a lot braver than I, but I'm glad you had such a wonderful trip and were able to cross one more thing off your bucket list. Welcome back!

Loralee and the gang... said...

One of the best trips I ever took was with my hubby and 3 young kids (almost 3, 5 1/2, and 8 years old), and went backpacking in the mountains to beautiful Tito Lake. So simple, because you can't carry very much, and so no fuss and bother. Once we got to the top of the mountain, we spent a day and a half just relaxing. I need that again! Glad you had a good trip in spite of your adversities.

The Insomniac said...

That was such a beautiful and inspirational story! It makes me want to go out and accomplish one of my goals on my list! Thank you for sharing and your husband sounds amazing! :-)

Anonymous said...

If it gives you ANY relief, I am scratching too.

Jason with two backpacks is the most prized picture here. Thanks for the bathroom description, Jason!

You Platts are amazing! Thank you for showing me Red Castle. I am ticking that off my list, too. Where do you plan to go next?

p.s. Pat on the back to Baby Sister, Tiffany, Daddy Platt, Jason and you, my dear. :)

Heather said...

Awesome job!! Truly.

It is beautiful! Look at Jason's guns too carrying that backpack!!

It sounds very difficult, but also like something you will always be glad you did.

Rest today. You deserve it!

Dazee Dreamer said...

congrats on the hike. even tho I know you were sick and really didn't want to go. Wait till your my age, hopefuly you wont' get as mean and rotten as me. Since I just say, not going.

Bossy Betty said...

What a trip and what an accomplishment too! Thanks for taking us along. Hope Baby Sister heals quickly!

Cox Family said...

JEALOUS! And I'm glad Jason has you Noelle!

Baby Sister said...

Psh. Exurtion exmursion. ;)

Cassie said...

Good for you I'm jealous I bet it was wonderful!!!

Sandra said...

Good for you! There is nothing like the feel of finishing a goal. Even the sore muscles and mosquito bites feel sorta good- like a badge of accomplishment.

(and I think you found a gem when you found Jason. He truly exemplifies love. Every time you tell us about him, I find something else to love about him.)

April said...

That looks like a beautiful hike, should I add it to my bucket list?

We are hiking Timp on Friday if you want to come!

Jessica said...

That hubby of yours is such a stud! I can't believe he carried TWO packs! Glad you all made it!

Amy said...

Whew! Glad that's over. Is it OK if "reading about hiking there on Noelle's blog" is the closest thing on my bucket list? I hope so. I'm checking it off.

All I'm saying is that you might reconsider the bug bites on your butt thing...just sayin'.

Joann Mannix said...

As much as I profess to hate camping, I do very much love hiking. Very much. And your hiking goal was just a crowning glory of triumph and inspiration. You look fabulous in your hiking pics, by the way.

And your spy husband, how utterly sweet and fantastic muscley arms, there too!

Poor, poor Baby Sister. Both your sisters sound like incredible troopers.

And just one more thing, I am so sorry I've been away. This writing, it's taken a lot more of my time than I realized. All my bloggy friends are always there, though, in my thoughts. Just so you know, I'm a-thinking about you, girl.

Beth Zimmerman said...

I would have stopped, hightailed it back to the car, and off to the closest hotel way before reaching the destination! Proud of you, girlie!

Lalis said...

Every time I have to heed nature's call out in, well... nature, a mosquito always finds my butt cheeks. Makes for an awkward time afterward, trying not to scratch and look like a hillbilly at the same time!

And I also hate oatmeal :)

Glad you survived!

Christina said...

I'm glad you had a good time, and came back in one piece! ;) Beautiful pictures!

RawknRobynsGoneBlogWild said...

Wow, it looks incredibly gorgeous there. Congratulations on making it through.

Anonymous said...

Woohoo! You survived and looks like you have some amazing pics to show for it! (and a totally awesome hubby - how sweet!)