After four hours of sleep, Mom and I headed to the airport for an early flight to avoid storm-related delays. We had to burn 100lbs of fuel before take-off to be within weight limits to land (tangential rant: What?! Wars are waged over oil and my pilot is burning fuel?). My second plane had to be de-iced but, (thank you, Delta), we did depart. Big Man met me @ DEN. After speaking nonsense for awhile, I thought to tell my brother that I hadn't slept much and could be relied upon today for neither accurate information nor decision making. Of course, he wanted to know if I wanted to go skiing. Since today was not a day to spend much time on decisions, I figured why not? It wouldn't require my brain to be in perfectly working condition. All I had to do was move my arms and legs -- seemed do-able. I came to CO for adventure and adventure will be had!
Tundra-like conditions met us in the mountains, exceeding anything my brother had encountered on previous "expeditions." Numb fingers and frigid noses kept us moving forward. I glanced right and the view made my breath catch in my throat (or was that the lack of oxygen at 10,500'?) -- a golden orb setting behind mountains, back-lighting evergreens, glowing through swirling snow swept off the mountains. As others' tracks were consumed by snow drifts, we broke our own trail. Altitude-induced arrhythmia reminded me that this was the thing of dreams -- pushing the limits and enjoying the view, recognizing my own insignificance compared with mountains' majesty, and then remembering how deeply I am loved.