What Did You Say!?

MADHippiesLife.com

Bull Moose at Brainard Lake, CO

Have you ever had one of those moments where you just turned and asked someone “What did you say?”

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Breakfast With Bullwinkle

MADHippiesLife.com

Brainard Lake, CO

A recent trip to one of out favorite hiking destinations hinted to us that fall was definitely in the air and winter is not that far off. While it’s no real surprise, as we are in the Colorado Rocky Mountain Region, it just seems that it should be early October instead of September. Our advise, stop looking at the calendar and keep your eye on nature. The wildlife is actively foraging, the leaves on the trees are turning, the high peaks are dusted with new snow and the cool morning air just seems to have that “here comes winter” smell.

MADHippiesLife.com

St Vrain Creek

Many people might be thinking about putting away their hiking boots and camping gear now that the seasons are turning, while we just get even more encouraged to hike on. Each season holds its own unique beauty and experience, fall and winter indeed can change the same old hike into a whole new adventure.  We highly recommend year round outdoor expeditions to grasp how nature changes with the seasons and holds secrets that otherwise go unseen in the deep of winter. Now is a great time to educate and equip yourself for cold weather hiking.

Moose at Brainard Lake

Moose at Brainard Lake

We just couldn’t stop thinking [and noticing] on this early morning at Brainard Lake that the seasons are indeed changing. The signs are there and it won’t be long before we strap on the snowshoes, bundle up and hit the trail, albeit buried in deep snow. We hope to see you on the trail, hike on! And yes, the moose are still out and about at Brainard Lake, every morning and evening they’re on the southwest side of the lake enjoying the plentiful vegetation, stop by some time and have breakfast with Bullwinkle…you’ll be glad you did!

Go here to see more pictures of this outing and keep up with all our adventures!

Peace,

MAD

Day Dreaming

MAD

I want to run away with you. I want to take you to a high summit, lay in the wildflowers and watch the clouds with you. I want to laugh with you at the ridiculous claims we make when we call out the shapes, the animals, the faces and the odd ideas we come up with while looking at those clouds. I want us to fall asleep in the cool breeze as it passes over us. I want to awake before you and stare at your face and think about how much you mean to me, how much you’ve given me and how much I love you. If for just a moment this world would stop and allow us to disappear together…I want this daydream to become reality.

Peace,

MAD

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Journey or the Adventure?

Mt Audubon

Mt Audubon, Indian Peaks Wilderness, CO [13,223']

An all too often question we’ve heard on more than one occasion, “Is it the destination or the journey?” While some might say both, or the obvious of one or the other, we’d have to say the journey. Indeed this applies to more than just hiking, life itself is a journey in our opinion! We’ve been on many trails, and that term is used loosely to incorporate all of our experiences in life, and we’d have to say the journey is by and far what makes us the people we are. The stories, the memories, the challenges and the rewards all thrown into any given time and place throughout life molding and shaping us from within. Each and every hike we’ve been on is made possible by previous adventures as we climb higher, further and deeper along the trail. Being able to share that with someone in the midst of all of it has to be one of the greatest rewards in life. You might ask yourself, what’s the destination worth if the there’s no experiential journey?

See pics of out latest journey to Mt Audubon here

Peace,

MAD

In This Life and the Next

 

Mt Evans

Mt Evans

Isn’t life a trip? I’m just sitting here in the least liked place in my life, surrounded by things that are as unnatural as it gets, man made machinery and the like, where I usually find myself slipping into the dull routine of the chaotic process of a brain numbing day in – day out work schedule. It’s almost been 30 years, I’m still here and yet don’t want to be. If that isn’t a loaded statement I don’t know what is! Needless to say we, and I say we as in MAD, stuck through this routine throughout the years to make sure our children were well taken care of, the bills got paid and everyone was, for lack of a better term, happy. On the back side we’re wondering what now? It’s just us and we don’t want for anything other than to spend every moment of every day together. Money can never replace time, and time can never be replaced. Strange how you chase thoughts away when you need to be responsible only to start welcoming them back when you’re ready for another chapter in your life. Nonetheless, no matter where you are, where you go or even the process of how you got there or will return [if at all], the fact remains, there you are. Experiences make us the people we are and become, a continuous cycle of the ever-evolving human soul, which, in some eerily intriguing manner, feels like a full circle event, a point of contention perhaps, depending on your age and where you yourself seem to be in the grand scheme of life. The Talking Heads song Once in a Lifetime asks the ever pending question, “And you may ask yourself, well, how did I get here?” That’s a question we’ve all asked ourselves at one time or another, and certainly for different reasons. Today is no different, though perhaps clearer, all I can think of is how fascinating life is, how wonderful it’s been and how much I can’t wait for us, MAD, to experience even more of it together.

Mt Evans

Mt Evans

Backing up a few years…the question, or better yet, the topic, love? We weren’t looking for it, it just happened. In a day when it seems so many are searching for a deep, unfiltered and uncompromisingly raw lifetime relationship we’re a bit taken aback as to how our own relationship even began over 32 years ago. We were young [very young] latch-key high school teens with deep passions for the mysteries of life. Living well out of our time and set in our, then, unpolished ways, we weren’t looking for love, we weren’t really looking for much, other than a little peace from a world in chaos. Though, anyone who has ever been a teenager will likely agree, a world in chaos is indeed their immediate surroundings! Life was, as it were, what you made it, with what, if any, control we had as kids growing up in the mid 60s, 70s and into the early 80s. How were we supposed to know that we’d have that chance meeting at school, unknowing that when it did happen we’d both have a heart-stopping OMG – shoot me now moment. Our minds raced with wonder and curiosity. The impossibility of clearing our thoughts for a moment to concentrate long enough to breathe again. How is one supposed to respond in that moment when you run face to face into your soul mate, an eternal and all too familiar friend whom you seem to know but don’t? How the hell can any sane individual look into another person’s eyes and know from the depth of your being that this is the person you’ll spend this lifetime and the next with? What power in the known and unknown universe can corner two free willed individuals in the same space and time and watch the sparks fly as two are melded into one as if neither had much choice in the matter? Love at first sight? Fate? Who knows. Either way, the ride has been crazy, erotic and filled with raw passionate love and friendship enough for several lifetimes…

Indian Peaks

Indian Peaks

How can two people feel secure and familiar and yet have never met, in the present? What energy exists within people that can transcend time?  It’s truly a strange endeavor, being spiritual beings in a physical world.  Our own ancestral research placing both our families in close proximity across several states as they migrated west along with many other migrating families searching our young country from the vast corners of the world for their own utopia. If that weren’t enough, as we have shared our childhood memories over the years with each other, we realized that unbeknownst to us, we were within earshot on many occasions growing up. Amongst millions of people over time, how is it possible that we would have our eventual encounter as if it were truly meant to be? The statistical improbability that this would take place are staggering and perplexing and yet, here we are, over 32 years later and already a lifetime of events have unfolded, indeed are unfolding, as we continue down the path we’ve blazed together. Is there any naivete on our part? By and far, we know relationships are hard! 32-some-odd years later it still requires both of us to do our part. That’s not saying it’s a drudgery, it’s certainly not, nor has it ever been such. It’s just something we do, it’s something that everyone should do, regardless of what kind of relationship it is, we all should do our part to maintain them, nurture them and assure we’re owning our responsibilities. As many disagreements or misunderstandings as we’ve had over the years, there’s no denying the natural and undying love that remains through the emotional swings of a good argument! When all is said and done, no matter how heated, dramatic and convoluted we can become in our irrational moments, true love remains and stands the test of time, which, in some strange and cosmic way, seems to be not only constrained in this current lifetime.

 

Indian Peaks

So why am I sitting here in between the workload hen-pecking memories, dreams and visualizations of past, present and future? Honestly, I don’t know. It’s weird with me, I’ll hear someone say something in passing, read a story in the newspaper, hear a song on the radio or just happen to look down for no reason and notice an odd curiosity and be filled with thoughts that have been mounting over time leading me, directing me, calling me to follow and see what lies ahead. Like signs on the open road that let us know what’s up ahead, every now and again they begin to show up, here and there, perhaps in some intermingling plan set in motion by our own determination, sent into the future through unseen energies to unfold in the right time and place. G-d help me if I missing any of those signs because we’re truly ready for the next chapter to unfold…the energy is as intense as the first time we were intimate with each other. Life is truly a beautiful thing, when our mind’s eye is open and our attention is set on full scan we should be embracing it and enjoying the ride. Like I told a longtime friend earlier today, there are places we’ve been, places we’ve see and then there are places that exist for only a moment and we hold on for as long as we can.

Peace,

MAD

Campground Ethics

REI – TAJ 3

Camping in busy and crowded campgrounds is an activity we’d rather not endure, though there are times when it becomes a necessary alternative. While many are pleasant even in their heavy use seasons, there are some that would be better left to the unethical and inexperienced once a summer weekend campers. Even trails can become overcrowded in peak seasons, leaving those seeking peace and quiet wondering if they should have stayed at home if everyone is now on the trail!

A recent outing we went on to what should have been, or better said, what we hoped would be, a much needed relaxing and uneventful outdoor excursion felt more like a trip to a park in the middle of a city. Let’s just stop and think about this, why do any of us seek to spend time in the outdoors far removed from city life? Quiet? Nature? Hello? Bueller? Needless to say none of those things existed, bummer. In replacement we endured camp gatherings all around that brought with them all their typical inner city entertainment, yeah, they were all plugged in and sharing with the rest of us. If that weren’t enough, the complete and utter disrespect for personal space seemed to be nonexistent. People parking just about any old place they could find to stow their vehicles and walking through other campsites to get where they were going, ultimately the party! Wow, in all our years this one has got to top the list of bad camp ethics.

Is this a blog or a rant? Let’s just call it venting and hopefully it will fall on the right ears, that being the one’s who seem to think the above behavior is appropriate. If it’s a party you want, electronic entertainment or your basic shindig in central park, please, for the love of mankind and his sanity, stay in the city and let those of us who are looking for a serene wilderness experience find it in the unplugged and quiet setting of nature. Just saying :)

Peace,

MAD

Hidden Lakes, Mountain Goats and Summer Snowboarders

IMG_6367

Ethel Lake below the Summit of Mt Flora

Hiking Colorado’s high country seems to in our blood, we’re always up for an adventure come sun, snow or rain. Over the course of the last several days we’ve been full throttle hitting the high country and avoiding the rampant vampire mosquitoes that tend to plague the lower elevations after the snow melt leaves countless pools of breading grounds. Granted we love summer hiking, we welcome the first freeze to rid the trails of those little buggers! Hiking above tree line brings with it its own set of issues, namely the unpredictable weather. One day it’s all sun and blue skies, the next cool temps, clouds and rain. We’ll take it all as that is what it’s all about, nature on it’s terms and the experiences we glean from those abstract outings where adapting to the weather is as important as the trail conditions themselves.

IMG_6823

Hanging on Mt Evans [14,265']

The question has been asked many times, “the destination or getting there?” Who really cares! If you find a place that calls to you stop what you’re doing and heed the invitation to experience the out of the ordinary. There are places one can get to that are not only breathtaking, but mind numbing and flat out out of this world. We love finding these places along the trail or at the destination. A great time to stop, let go and just be in the moment.

Snowboarders dropping in on Mt Evans

Snowboarders dropping in on Mt Evans

Of course there is always room for the unpredictable, certainly from the weather, bet every now and again you get one of those surprises you couldn’t have expected to see. What’s a couple of hikers supposed to do when this happens? Find a nice place to kick back and watch it unfold. On this trip a few snowboarders hiked up to the ridge just beneath the summit of Mt Evans and dropped in! OK, it’s August and they’re looking for an incredible snowboarding adventure…well, they got it! It was fascinating to watch these daredevils drop in and endure what we called a “semi controlled fall” which they were successful at [Video and more pictures on MAD Hippies Facebook].

Mountain Goat atop Mt Evans

Mountain Goat atop Mt Evans

But let’s not end there…while the snowboarders were shredding, we found the mountain goats on Mt Evans shedding! It’s truly amazing how you can set out on a hike thinking that in and of itself will be the adventure only to find yourself finding surprises around every corner. It just goes to show you how wonderful getting out on the trail can be!

Peace,

MAD

Moose, Wildflowers and Sunsets to Die For

Sunset Brainard Lake, CO

Sunset Brainard Lake, CO

Our recent “need to get away” adventure took us to Brainard Lake a few hours west of Denver at an altitude of 10,500′ where we would leave the heat of summer behind, sleep under cool evening stars and experience moose, wildflowers and sunsets to die for.

StVrain

Wildflowers along St Vrain Creek

The colors of spring and summer in full swing along the St Vrain Creek. Any trip to this area will be first experienced through the color of the wildflowers that blanket the landscape. From lazy lakes in the valley to energetic streams along the trail to the high mountain passes and peaks still covered in snow, the color is an explosion of the full spectrum raining down on the Brainard Lake and Indian Peaks area. Indeed, Bob Ross [and his happy little trees] would have loved this place :)

Bull Moose at Brainard Lake

Bull Moose at Brainard Lake

Just when we thought our adventure couldn’t get any better, we enjoyed a surprise encounter of five incredibly majestic bull moose along the bank of Brainard Lake enjoying the willows as much as we were enjoying not only them, but, as the title of this blog says, Moose, Wildflowers and Sunsets to Die For!

See more pictures of Brainard Lake

Peace,

MAD

Lost in the Moment

InThe Moment

When we speak without words…
When we embrace without touch…
When we get lost in the moment…When our souls ache to be near…
…I’d walk to the ends of the earth to find you

MAD

http://www.madhippieslife.com

Monday Morning

Rollins PassNothing exotic…just us. Simple words describing a simple day. We got up early, made our coffee, mumbled a few sleepy words and then went for a drive. No place special, nothing exceptional, just you and me driving, holding hands and being in the moment. I watched you watching me, the occasional lost in the moment experience that seemed to go on forever. It was timeless, it was special, it was just us lost in the day spending time together doing nothing. I’d like to do it all over again, and again…and again. We don’t need to conquer the world or attain any status, we just need to be in our own space, in our own time for as long as that lasts. In those moments the world shrinks away and time stops. I can’t wait for it to happen again.

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