Update from Marlene, Wild Woman
We got an update from Marlene, who is very busy preparing for her triathlon this fall. She wrote in a quick update about her backpacking trip on the Colorado Trail with Gruffie. Next stop: Mount Blanc!
This 5-day trip on the CT was quite special. Just sharing it with this dear friend of so many years might have been enough. However, true to one of the basic tenets of Outward Bound, I experienced once again at 74 ¾ years of age, the fact that “we can do more than we think we can…..we are more capable than we think!” Though I’ve had it “in my mind” that I could reasonably do 10 mile days of backpacking at altitude, it turned out that we did 7.7, then 9, then 12 miles and the last two days were 14+ mile days! Of course, I ended those days tired, but feeling so proud and more capable than I had thought. What a trip this life is.
You will laugh at this… all those years of backpacking in my background, I managed to forget to ‘pack the pots’ for our trip (my agreed upon responsibility). One of these photos is of me trying to fashion a “pot” out of the “windscreen” that goes with my stove made of heavy duty foil. Needless to say, it burned. So we ate our lunch for supper – being unable to heat even water. Oh my. I can’t tell if I’m crying or laughing in this photo. Fortunately, we were able to intercept Lloyd the next night at a resupply point and retrieve the forgotten pot!
The second day on the trail, we decided to do some “personal research” of some of the hikers heading opposite of us on the trail (most hikers go east to west) and we were traveling west to east. We found that less than 25% of the hikers on that particular day were women. That made me even more committed to my fund raising efforts for “The Gruffie” as my way of contributing to the importance of more young women finding their way to this kind of experience.
Look at the photo Gruffie took of the sunset over South Park. What’s not to love about opportunities like that? Whew.
I feel like I’m in good shape for the trip to Mt. Blanc – though I doubt we’ll be doing 10 mile days. I’ll try to get a photo off to you before we leave of the “packing scene.” One week from today, we’ll be in France preparing for the beginning of our 110 mile extravaganza.
Thanks to Marlene for the stories and photos, can’t wait to hear about the next adventure!