Sunday, May 21, 2006

"Don't trust anyone under 14,000 feet"

For some of my veteran Peeps, this is a re-run, but I figured, Conan O'Brian (my FAVORITE television personality) does it all the time and people still love him, so I'm going to have a little re-run since I've been a little pressed on time.

ANYWAY… I’ve just planned another trip with Terence, who’s one of my very good friends, for another adventure in the wilderness this year. We’ll be taking three days to head out to the wilderness, deep into the woods, far beyond civilization, and into the land of the bears and rocky mountain bighorns and who knows what else.

Here I am with a bad llama at the trail head. This was taken after our trip.
For some reason, this llama got left behind by his owner. I think he was being a bad llama.
I started looking through the photos from our last escapade. When Terence asks me to go on an adventure with him, I force myself to say “yes” and commit to it. It’s just harder to do this now that I’m a wedding photographer, but it’s also what life is all about. Some of the most valuable moments in my life are on our wilderness adventures, so I found a good week late into the wedding season where I’m not going to be hard pressed to come back from the mtn’s, having to clean up and go straight to a wedding with blistered feet.

Let me tell you a few things about my friend Terence… he’s not what you and I would consider ‘normal’. Terence is a Paramedic here at Denver General Hospital. He sees a lot of crazy stuff, but that’s for another post… in some other blog. Terence enjoys long, painful, arduous treks and prefers to start moving at night. One year he dragged me out on my most brutal trip to try and bag Challenger and Kit Carson (two 14ers) in one day. We started hiking at like, 10 PM and reached the base of Kit Carson at 5 AM. We took a 2 hour COLD nap on a rock, and headed up. That was the only sleep we got, as we finished our trip, returning to our car in the middle of the next night, hiking straight through.

Here's Terence leading me through our trip last summer. It was probably about 5 AM in that photo.
Our bags were covered because of all the thunder storms, and as you can see, we travel light. ;)
He’s a little nicer to me now. Last year we started our hike at like 2AM and reached our camp a little lower. It rained and stormed and I was too afraid to take out my camera for the most part. And it was so bad that I skipped to the section on “Lightning” in my Outdoor Emergency Care book, to pretty much find out that I was just KIND OF screwed. I brought along my OEC book because I was trying to get certified for Ski Patrol, which I wasn’t even guaranteed a spot for, but very hopeful. Anyway, I did get certified and I did work my first year of ski patrol and it was awesome. And now I’ve gotten off track.

Shot from the inside of my tent. Bear Mace, my OEC book, flash cards and gummy treats!
I got a lot of studying in on that trip because of the thunderstorms.
One thing I value from the adventures I’ve been on with Terence is that he pushes me. Not off mountains, and not to where I’m in a life or death situation (I’ve been on one too many of those), but just a teeny tiny bit past my comfort zone. And as a result I have seen some of the most spectacular views in the world that not just anyone gets a chance to see in their lives.

Summit of Mt. Sneffels. It was freezing and I had some good blisters on my feet.
Legs felt like rubber bands. Hurt so good! To give you some interesting perspective,
the solid thing by my left hand is an alpine lake that we would have camped at if it weren't for the thunderstorms. Instead we camped out lower, below the tree line.. Our ending elevation!
I met Terence in college when we both set out to American Adventure Expeditions to become whitewater raft guides. We were rookies together. We became good friends when we were going through a painful and freaky three weeks of training for that job. We have been on a lot of crazy excursions from there on out. Terence is also the person responsible for leading me to 3 Pikes Peak Ascents, which is a RUNNING race from Manitou Springs to the summit of Pikes Peak. About an 8,000 vertical foot gain in 13.6 miles. Oh and one Pikes Peak Marathon, 26 miles (we had to run back down). I did OK, placed in the 400’s of just a little over 800. Terence did awesome and came in like, 82nd place.

Terence running through a field of flowers. Looks like one of those commercials you
see on TV advertising... uh, nevermind.
Anyway, I wasn’t planning on this becoming a tribute to my good friend Terence, but that’s what has become of this post, so here’s to my wing man, Terence. Looking forward to our adventure!

1 comment:

Sethery said...

Your pictures make me want fall in love with the people in them.

I really like the candidness of your wedding ones.

Really impressive.