It was perfect.
Just me and my man…
… and Simba Roo and Mad Max.
We hiked up Barr Trail (7 miles) on Friday and set up camp halfway up Pikes Peak. We almost left the dogs at home, but the sheer joy of a worn-out Max too exhausted to jump or bark or nip changed our minds.
We arrived at Barr camp around 3, set up our tent and then found a small outcropping of rocks with a view of the peak. We nibbled on some snacks and toasted our six years of marriage. Six years of companionship. Six years of laughter. Six years of ups and downs to rival any 25-year run.
Max and Simba pretended to spot a squirrel.
We ate some dinner and climbed into our tent. As much as we’d made eyes at each other during our snack time, we were limited in any further adventures.
After all, the children were right there with us.
The next day dawned with a whole different anniversary to think about. Just two years ago, on July 2nd, we lost my dad in a tragic drowning. I traced over those events in my mind as Brian and I hiked to the bottomless pit. A nine mile hike round-trip, it gave me plenty of time to think and reflect on the day, and on my father.
I thought back to when I was just a little thing and my dad took me backpacking. I remember complaining every few minutes. “Can we take a break now?” “It’s really hot.” “I think a snake just bit me, I should probably rest.”
He was so good. “Sure,” he’d say. Or “How about a few more steps? I bet you can make it to that rock.”
I think my dad would have been proud of me on Saturday. I not only made it to a rock, I climbed up a few, shimmied over another and scrambled around several more.
And I know he would have loved the view.
Awed and weary, we spent some time resting and then headed back. By the time we made it to camp, we ate dinner and fell asleep with the sun.
Yesterday, the caretakers at Barr Camp encouraged us to check out Ad-a-man Rock. It was amazing. Off in the woods, it was a large rock set on a massive cliff. We scrambled to the top to see the incredible view. I was totally wrapped in the moment until those dogs ran around to play… every time they went close to the edge, I barked out mama words.
“Not so close!”
“I mean it, you two.”
“Max! Simba! Back up or it’s not going to be pretty.”
They happily stood at the edge and grinned at me over their shoulders.
We climbed down and walked a bit more before returning to camp to pack up and head home.
So here I sit today, pleasantly worn out after traversing 27 miles with my husband. I’m finally clean (I could have planted flowers in the dirt left behind in the tub yesterday) and I’m sitting on my front porch. The American flag is flying and children are playing on our street.
I celebrate another anniversary today: Independence Day.
I find myself grateful for a country that contains such majestic beauty, such marvelous freedoms and such lovely people.
So yes, we packed it in this weekend. Deep joy, longing sadness and fierce pride – and as I wrap up the day, and I think of sharing this time with you, I am grateful for friends who care enough to read the stories of my world, who share in the joys and the sorrows – because you get it. The richness of joy, the depth of sorrow.
Friends, I pray your weekend carried more joy than pain and more love than loneliness…. And if not, that our God held you close through it all.
Thanks for sharing the journey.
Elsa, once again your heart and your passion poured through your story. You write beautiful vingettes of your life and I love that you share them with me! Keep writing girl! You inspire me!
Six years already? It doesn’t seem possible. And the pictures are better than any fireworks display — God’s majesty, for everyone to see, everyday.
Great weekend with the Love of my life!
Oh Elsa, you inspire me and I thank you for sharing your thoughts and stories! I miss and love you and your amazing heart! Congratulations on your anniversary!
Your story is indicative of the trials and joys we all face in our lives, only through the grace of our Lord do I make it from one day to the next. Divorce necessitates change, most often not for the better, as families are ripped apart only to be reunited piecemeal. There were so many different ways I desired to celebrate the Fourth of July, none of which transpired. But, by His grace, He used me to bring comfort and solace to others which allowed me to focus on something other than my own worries. Congratulations to you and Brian (not bad for an old guy with one kidney).
Thank you for yet another wonderful memory/story. I got tears in my own eyes when I saw the picture of you and Dad. I miss him sooo much! It certainly was an emotional weekend here too…the bitter sweet of loving someone so much. I will take the bitter any day over not having had the sweet. (DId that make sense?:) In other words, the pain and heartache at the end of the investment of knowing and loving people is worth it!
Happy belated anniversary, by the way!! So glad you got to celebrate it together in such a special way! You two are AWESOME!!!!
Love you, sis!
Love you, Wendy!
Elsa, Happy Anniversary! I think your time away with your Man was marvelous, I am quite jealous. My anniversary was on the 5th and it was hard since my hero is in Iraq. I loved to see your beautiful picts. We really need to do lunch soon!