It’s true, I am an independence baby, firecracker, and red, white and blue child. It’s a fun birthday to have too because as long as I’m in the United States I get the day off work. If I’m really lucky, like this last weekend, I can even squeeze in an extra day and go off into the wilderness for 4 days!
Mike and I made the treck to Stanley Idaho for a climbing adventure weekend in the Sawtooths. We took the shuttle across Red Fish Lake and were greeted by a string of red ribbons and notes from my mom. She had snuck across the lake on an earlier boat and surprised me with a little scavenger hunt. Well done mother!
So the three of us Mike, Mom and I hiked up to the Elephant’s Perch and Saddleback Lakes in the Sawtooth Mountains. It took about 3 hours and in the last mile we gained about 1400 ft of elevation. The lakes though, and the views… wow totally speechless! We had an amazing campsite at the base of the Perch, I slept so well, we ate well, and took a mellow start to our climbing day.
Although Myopia, a 9 pitch 5.11a, has great reviews and is a supposed three star route, it was not exactly my cup of tea. The majority of it was laybacking, and blocky, and I was just not in the mood for it. Luckily Mike’s attitude and the views saved the day. We made it to the top after 3 luna bars, 3 tubes of shot blocks and 3 liters of water in 10 hours. It was a long day… I’m okay with days like that though, it was hard, it hurt and at times it made me want to cry or punch things, but we made it in good spirits and smiles. Not all days will be perfect, but there are shiny spots and we chose to hold on to the shiny spots. Oh and we saw a huge mountain goat!
The rest of the weekend was full of skinny dipping in alpine cold water, naps, walks, photos, fishing, and fun conversations. I have had a fair few birthdays now and I feel lucky to say I have spent the majority of them in the mountains. It’s a great way to recharge, reflect, stay grounded, and re-caliber my perspective.
I am so thankful for the mountains and their fresh air, my mom and her amazing light, my boyfriend and his killer attitude and climbing skilz, and my birthday for providing the best possible day for me to celebrate life and adventure.