Sue Oldroyd and I hiked Grandeur Peak yesterday. We enjoyed an incredibly beautiful autumn day with the most gorgeous color of blue sky against the yellow leaves on some quakies but also on the scrub oak that seems to be the last to turn. Grandeur is exposed so it was a perfect fall hike. The sun hit upon us and felt wonderful. We kept stopping to look back toward Mt. Olympus- a view I love from this trail. You can see the rocky peaks of Mt. Olympus as you look to the south and across some really lovely pine forests. Sue and I got to the top where you have to scramble over some rocks but not too bad. When we were through viewing the world from this vantage point, Salt Lake City to the west, Parley’s and Park City to the east, Mt. Oly to the South, we started down and quickly were on our butts trying to get down the rocky way. We were surprised that the going was so tough because the way up didn’t seem that hard until we realized we were going the wrong way. And, just like you do when you have gone the wrong direction and would really like not to backtrack and go back up the step incline, we looked to first, find the trail and second, see if there was a way we could get to the trail, bushwacking, I’m sure, without going back up. We decided that we really needed to go back up and knowing both our personalities that was a hard decision. We both pretty much like to think that we could go another way and be just fine. So I started back up and climbed and climbed the summit for the second time! When I finally got to a higher spot, I could see the trail and it was clear that we had to keep going even higher to reach the right trailhead. We eventually saw a cairn and realized where we had gotten off course. All the way down, we were so grateful to be on a trail and the correct one, to boot! We kept reflecting that there was a bigger lesson to be learned like take more notice of your surroundings, and/or don’t just barrel down a hill when it doesn’t feel quite right, or how about how great if feels to be safely on the right path with level ground beneath your feet? I like that one best of all. It feels so great when your life is in balance and if you are like me, it doesn’t take too much to get it off kilter.
For example, last week I went to the dermatologist and I had him look at this bump on my leg right beneath my knee. I noticed it first when we were in the Tetons in August and I thought it was a spider bite. But then it didn’t go away so I asked my oncologist about it and he didn’t think it was anything to worry about so when the dermatologist thought an orthopedic doctor should look at it I started to get worried. After all my scares, if there is one thing I’ve learned, it’s this; I have no idea what is going on in my body and I haven’t a clue about how cancer can strike. I’m a novice every time. Never once, when I started in with the headache right before I was diagnosed with a brain tumor, did I think it could possibly be a brain tumor. But, I was lucky enough to get into an awesome friend who is an orthopedic surgeon this week and he looked at the bump, then took and x-ray and could see that it wasn’t a tumor in the bone so that was a relief. No one really knows what it is so I hope it will just go away. But, here’s another thing I’ve learned. Your body doesn’t act in strange ways for no reason, there’s a reason, and usually things don’t just go away. It might not be life threatening but there’s a reason.
A very sad thing happened this week that I’m trying to understand but I know there is no way to understand. One of my students took his life Monday night. He seemed so happy and well adjusted, it was so shocking and it feels so very tragic and wrong. He is very missed and mourned at Skyline.
Joanie and Sue with SL Valley behind us