Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Back to the grind...

I am back in Tampa after my adventure of driving a Penske moving truck with my friend Suzanne.

Here is the background information. Suzanne French and I have been friends for a while. I trust her and love her as much as you can for a dear friend. She is getting married to Anthony Hildoer on June 11th but Anthony moved out to Colorado 6 months ago and so Sue needed to get her stuff and his out there before their wedding. Anthony could not have time off since he has not earned Paid time off yet and so I said that I would goJ Road trip!!!

We left after I got out of class early on Thursday May 20th at 8:30pm on route to Denver CO. I have never driven past the east coast and have only been away from the East Coast 2 times, once for the MTC and once to drive around the Grand Canyon. Needless to say I was excited to be on a road trip with such a dear friend, a new challenge, and spend 3 days seeing the countryside of the Midwest and west.

Can I say that Kansas is Beautiful!!! We were driving in the afternoon looking out on clear blue skies with the tall plains grass waving the in wind. I looked out and it looked like a green ocean, oscillating and waving to the wind. I was thinking about what it would sound like if what I was seeing could be made into music. One thing I know is the song would have been calming and mesmerizing which is how it felt to me.

To be fair just in case Suzanne is reading this, driving through Kansas was a little tense at first. The wind was exceptionally strong 20-30 MPH. We stopped at a remote gas station and the attendant said “watch out for trucks because if one is empty that it could turn over in these winds…” We are like…great… The drive was comprised of one of us driving with both hands on the wheel, white knuckled, ram rod strait, looking forward, all to keep control because the wind would just send a particularly strong gust that would make you drive off the road if you were not ready. Even with that said, Kansas and our time driving through it was amazing. We met really nice people like a police officer who pulled me over at night and told us our tail lights were out…and rusty who fixed the lights (Penske tech), the stake and shake guy, and the hotel clerk. People in Kansas are great.

We got to the suburbs of Denver at 7pm and unloaded the truck with the help of people from Sue and Anthony’s new ward and then settled in. The evening and Sunday were relaxed. We went to church and then went for a long drive through the mountains…I saw snow on the mountains and we were going to hike up a trail and as we were heading up we heard multiple gun shots so we changed plansJ

Anthony was an excellent tour guide who drove us downtown in Denver and I fell in love with the city. It is a mixture of REI and Bohemia. There is music and little shops. There are bikes rushing by and people lying on the grass in the parks eating a picnic. It is clean and fun and happy. I love the downtown and then to have a people that embrace challenging themselves and enjoying the outdoors is amazing. I am definitely open to Colorado being a future home. We shall see.

I am glad to be back in Tampa and catch up on thing that I am behind in and look forward to seeing many happy years of my dear friends Suzanne and Anthony marriage.



Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Appalachian Trail Hiking Adventures

Hello Everyone:)

This entry has been delayed some but here I am talking about one great experience while starting another. I am in the cab of a pensky moving truck on route to Colorado with one of the most dear friends I have in my life, Suzanne French. We are driving the truck with all her stuff to her and fiances new house there. They are getting married June 11th and so want to be settled before that. I will make a blog entry every day for this trip but this one will be dedicated to my hiking trip to Atlanta for almost 2 weeks ago.

So I love being outdoors, it is not that I do not have happy times doing non outdoors things because I have many memories that have no affiliation with being out on some nature adventure or challenge it is just such a peaceful happy time for me every time. It is my experience that every time I have gone hiking, biking, kayaking etc...I have a great memory attached. It could be rainy and cold but when you get to camp or the top of the mountain or a beautiful place on a river I can see past the bugs, pain and cold and just feel completely at peace. I think sometimes when I cm climbing up a mountain that it is never going to end, then I tell myself that there has to be...someday...and then sometimes when I get to the top it is the most intense feeling of accomplishment and I can look out at the round tree topped mountains around me, with the warm sun on my face and smile with happiness.

So my trip this time to go hiking was different because I was getting met by a friend Mariah Turner. I have never been hiking in the mountains with a friend...most people are not interested in hiking for a week or do not have the time. I love the thinking time but it was great to hike with a friend:) Mariah is a person who does not view something as challenging as automatically something that will not be fun, or happy or fulfilling. It is one of my favorite qualities she has.

I met some amazing people this time around also, a woman, Becky who was hiking for 2 weeks on the AT without her husband this time. An amazing woman. We met and felt life we were always friends:)

I will write later about my current road trip.