This has been a summer of walking straight into not knowing. Some of you (to whom I'm eternally grateful for your support) have noticed my absence. Others, well, maybe not so much and that's fine.
The truth is that I've been a little like a tadpole these past four months, sprouting legs and leaving my watery haven to explore land. The first adventure was to the San Juan Mountains where I hiked hut-to-hut with three friends. Many bruises, cuts and mosquito bites were had and even more lessons were learned, a few of which I'll share.
One, be grateful for friends. I'm an extroverted introvert so those who are close to me understand my need to retreat from time-to-time and recharge. The three women I hiked with knew instinctively when to give each other space and when to come together. They are incredible people and I'm so happy to know them.
Two, your sense of humor is the most important thing to pack (other than good maps). We could not have done what we did without laughing loud and long at the many mishaps that we encountered (water shortages, being lost—really lost—again and again, the joys of dehydrated food).
Three, there's balance and then there's balance. I can balance a tippy shell in pretty rough water but walking along a tiny trail with thousands of feet of air to my side completely terrifies me. I need to leave my comfort zone every once in a while. That's a very important kind of balance.
It's been an amazing summer. Hiking in the San Juans. Rowing with kayaking buddies on the Boundary Waters. Camping in the wilds of Idaho, a place I'm happy to say I'll be spending more time in years to come. And rowing whenever I can.
I've included some shots of adventures near and far—and I'll get back to covering my favorite supermodel—the San Francisco Bay—soon.
Thank you for hanging with me and being patient.