Monday, June 7, 2010

Rocky Mountain Adventure #4

Waking up this morning, I thought about the day ahead and the ones just past. I love being with my children. I love being in Allison and Chris' home, playing with their dog and enjoying life. It is hard when I think to remember, today I will be leaving to go home. Home to business deals and other important but distracting necessities, that keep me from being closer to some of the people I enjoy the most.

Don't get me wrong, I love my job, I really do. Especially when I know I have made difference. Especially when I have helped someone reach their goals. I also really enjoy the team I am building in Mill Valley. But, I only wish the family was all closer, and these times together were not so few. Maybe someday. But until then....

We all gathered our things while Chris headed off for his duty with the National Guard. Because our plane would be leaving that evening we kept a little closer to Denver. We drove out to Littleton (where my sister Vicki used to live when her children were little). I recognized the names of several of the streets. We traveled on a little closer to the mountains until we came to Chatfield Reservoir. We parked in a lot that mentioned an Audubon walk, got Dexter the dog and our leader...Mr Dex, took off down the trail.

A big difference in this walk was the shade we were blessed with. The trail followed the South Platte River under the shimmering leaves of the spring green aspen trees. Those beautiful Colorado wildflowers marked the trail, and the sound of birds created a symphony the Gods would savor.

I don't know if the water nearby helped keep the temperatures at bay, but it was decidedly more comfortable than yesterday when there were moment when I felt I might be getting heat stroke.

Someone mentioned how clear the water was so I walked over to the shoreline and was surprised to see shells laying in the sand.

The plants growing along the way were varied and interesting. This plant looked like wild grapes. Which made me think of my Aunt Gertrude's Mustang grape jelly from Texas,.

We discovered Dexter's love of the water at the Russian River. The DNA test Chris and Allison did on him said he was 75% Border Collie and then a blend of lab, Chow and a variety of other dogs. I think we found the lab part of the dog.....

The bright green of the spring grass lit up the trail with the vibrancy of a light show.

The flowers are there if you just stop long enough to look.

Was it the camera me or Patti and Glenn leaning?

All along the hills in this area of Colorado are fields of gold. When you look closer this is often what you see....

The river winds through this lush landscape

The I-phone Glenn and Patti took with them were put to good use...
Glenn used his to mark how far we have done, and Patti snapped some photos along the way.
It takes a keen eye to see these fairy tale blooms

Even the leaves are interesting if you look close.

If you look beyond the log you and see a splash...this was a duck landing on the water....

We saw a few people fishing along the river. I wondered if this was the river of which I saw a photo of Laura (my niece) catching a fish.

As we emerged from the shaded trail we walked into a field. but there were still flowers growing...

We walked overland through a field/prairie... here there was no shade but big long views were not few and far away.

The trail we walked reminded me of wagon ruts.

Patti with the Rocky Mountains behind her.

The surprise to me as we neared the reservoir was that there are Herons in Colorado. I think of them by the Bay not by a lake a mile high.

On this small lake there were dozens and dozens of boats.

The demi team on a lake overlook.

Fishing on the lake

Without the shade I had to dump some water on my head to cool off....

Finally we returned to the aspens and some welcome shade

A covered pavilion near the Heron overlook

And on we went

Getting closer to the parking lot....

The trail widens

But the flowers are still there.

Dexter still in the lead.

Horses crossing the Platte

Dexter is never too tired to swim....
The opening of one of those flowers I saw ready to bloom.....

And finally a great big Flower saying goodbye to the Californians

The next time we walk together may be the Breast Cancer 3 day. I hope we will fidn some time in August to go for a good long walk after Wine Wars.

Each of us has taken up the challenge, not unlike Allison did when she went to Graduate School. We have set a goal. The first goal... is to train and prepare for the road ahead. Each of us walk and train and work to make our chances of success in the 3-day a certainty.
By the time we walk in October we will know we can do it.

The next goal is to make enough money to make a difference in people's lives. As I walked I was bitten by a mosquito. Usually these little insects leave a small bump and create a little itching. But the thing bit me in my lymph node-less arm. Throughout the day the bite spread until by evening it was 4 inches across.

It was a suitable reminder of the reason why I am walking.
My Cancer 15 years ago and the treatment I recieved still effects me. The chemotherapy left my heart scarred in one of the chambers. Having all my lymphnodes removed means that when I get a cut or any other kind of "injury" to my arm it is in danger of swelling. The mastecomy means, I have one breast and need to wear a prothesis. The fact that I have had Cancer means my children are more likely to also get Cancer. And that means I walk each day in my training knowing it is time to create a world without Cancer.
It makes me incredibly proud that our daughters have a passion to do the same.
It makes me proud to know that as Allison moves on from her Academic career she knows she can make a difference.

If you would like to acknowledge that Passion and Fire....
Make a donation to someone on our team.
Each and every one is fighting their own battle, and being a warrior against this disease that has taken so much from so many.

We left to go back to the " real " world knowing there
is nothing more "real" than the love and support of friends and family.
Thank you for yours.