Monday, August 2, 2010


Yes, you read that correctly; BMW. That's what we are: Burly Mountain Women. :)

This past weekend, Hannah treated Michelle and I to an amazing weekend out in the Poudre Canyon. (Brace yourself, there'll be LOADS of photos!!) It was so incredibly fun and refreshing. It's amazing what a little time away from the busyness of life and 'civilization' can do to your soul! (Or I could just be addicted to the mountain, either way, it was wonderful!) 

We drove probably 2 hours or so to get to our beloved campsite. It was so perfect. Quietly nestled away into the forest, we found the perfect location for our portable hotel. ;) Don't think this didn't come at a price though! We searched high and low for probably an hour, this is a very popular location! Every site had been reserved. We finally got out to read the fine print and found that we'd be able to camp out until Saturday noon - perfect timing for us to get packed up and head up the mountain. :)

We saw a moose and her baby on our way up to our campground! (I'm not sure where the babe is in this photo!)

Shelle and Hannah gloating in our sweet find.

I guess this photo doesn't show our tent very well... but the shadows are fun! :)

Just for fun, since we had an eight person tent for the three of us... we thought it would be kind of humorous to put up a 'room for rent' sign. :) 
The neighbors were amused.

After setting up camp, Hannah started our fire. She quickly became quite fond of lighter fluid... until she caught on that it doesn't keep the flame around for very long. Michelle surprised us with her vast knowledge of fire building and kindling capabilities! :) I was a bit of a lazy bum... perhaps later I made up for it in entertainment? We'll get to that in a moment. *sigh*

The night before we headed up to camp, Michelle was able to spend some quality time with a friend from out west at the Cheyenne Frontier Days (RODEO) / Dierks Bentley and Miranda Lambert Concert (I know, lucky dog!) While she was living it up, Hannah and I prepared for our big camping adventure!!! We borrowed this great book from a friend, Leave No Crumbs: Camping Cookbook. Initially, we'd planned to create this wonderful meal of green chili and pulled pork - dehydrate it all and take it up with us to enjoy... then we got practical and realized we'd have the car to tote it all up to our camping site and really needed food for while we were hiking the next day. SO, we made this DELICIOUS Mexican Lime Soup (you can find it in the cookbook too!) for our Friday night dinner, and strawberry/blueberry fruit leather for our hike. 

Everything went really well considering all the crazy mishaps and dramas that are ever so possible while sending three twenty-something girls into the wilderness for a bit of time. ;) The tent went up easily, our fire came together after some teamwork, the food turned out amazing (I'm salivating a bit just thinking about it!! Yikes!)

However, during all of our good times... I had some difficulties. Hannah and Michelle were both super generous and let me borrow pieces of clothing (since I didn't really pack all that well considering I'd be out here two weeks!) I had Shelle's sweatshirt on when I caught an ember. :( Boo. We were carrying on enjoying each other's company and having good, fun conversation when I felt the need to cut a piece of chicken in my soup (didn't want too big of a bite!) Yep, you guessed it, the Mexican Lime Soup spilled all over Shelle's sweatshirt AND Hannah's sweat pants. :( :( Double boo. 

We finished our dinner and enjoyed some delicious Candy Cane Lane peppermint tea BEFORE I UNsuccessfully attempted to potty in the forest (it'd been a while! Like, four years!!) Yep, I peed on Hannah's sweat pants. Gross. I know. It's okay though, she still let me come home with her and let me wear those pants yet again. :) What a gal. 

The next traumatic event of the night was while our conversation came to a lull, I thought I'd change OUT of the potty pants and INTO some long underwear when the chair I was sitting on DISINTEGRATED from beneath me! :( 

So, after all that excitement we decided to hit the hay and prepare for our exciting mountaintop adventure Saturday morning. I thought I kinda needed to potty again, but didn't want to embarass myself any more than I already had. (Not to mention it was dark out and SOMEBODY told me in Poudre Canyon you're never more than a mile away from a mountain lion, comforting!) Did you know it's really hard to fall asleep with a full bladder? Well, let me tell you, it is. And once you DO fall asleep... you have bad, bad dreams about Saudi men coming into your home and stealing your favorite Bible and perfume and lotion and your favorite Bible and then your momma tells you (still in the dream) that  you need to be courteous and feeds these thieves that have just stolen your favorite Bible and perfume and lotion and favorite Bible. Ugh. Stressful. Not restful. 

To make up for the lack of sleep, we had an AMAZING BEYOND AMAZING breakfast. (Actually, we would have had this wonderful breakfast whether I'd slept well or not, but it was so incredibly delicious. -Thank you, Hannah!) In the wonderful little cast iron pot thang, we boiled water for our oats, then we filled tin foil with apple quarters, walnuts, honey and cinnamon! Oh my goodness! Heavenly! The walnuts, honey and cinnamon caramelized into this magical concoction. It was like homemade apple crisp with that wonderful smokiness of the camp fire. YUM!

I'll let the photos tell most of the story of the hike... they won't do justice, so just know it was absolutely phenomenal and incredible. :)

Sweet action shot!

Shelle and the beautiful GREEN canyon!

Silly 'ol flatlanders taking a breather.

We hit a stretch that was super-duper steep!!! This was the deciding factor of how we came down, I'm glad we did, the way down was really pretty too!

Fighting for air, if I remember correctly. 

Victory is OURS!!! We made it to the top of the mountain! (If you look at the following photos, we made it just above the tree line - 11,500 feet!!)

I'll be honest, Hannah was ambitious to take two silly 'ol flatlanders up this crazy huge mountain in high altitude Colorado - we complained a bit on the way up... it really was quite the endeavor... HOWEVER, this incredible view and being able to sit and relax and enjoy lunch on the top of a mountain absolutely made up for every step up the mountain. Oh! And the feeling of accomplishment! Yeah! We did it! ;)

I'm pretty sure Hannah could sell this photo to REI or something and use it in their marketing scheme for their hiking gear. Doesn't she look rugged?!

The beautiful lake at the top of the mountain... see how clear it is?! You can see every rock at the bottom! See those little specks of snow on the mountain in the background? That's what feeds this baby!

"You are glorious and more majestic
than the everlasting mountains." Psalm 76.4 NLT