This weekend was amazing. I spent most of it up in the mountains, and it was incredible (not to mention difficult to breathe). Friday night I went to Golden, Colorado at night and drove up to Lookout Mountain. The dropoffs on the side of the road on the way up were sickening, and I could not look out the window without feeling totally helpless. We parked and walked up to this huge light-up M, for the Colorado School of Mines. From the top, the lights seemed to go on forever. I could see Boulder, Castle Rock, the lights from downtown Denver, and it was absolutely beautiful. There were big black foothills in the middle of the city lights, which made me think there was some kind of power outage or something in one area because it just looked like huge dark areas. Being up there felt like a scene from a movie: girl moves to Denver, girl explores, girl sees all of Colorado from a mountain at night (*cue “All of the Stars” by Ed Sheeran*). I did get altitude sickness after being up there, which really really sucked, but I would do it all over again in an instant. The air was so cold and it hurt to breathe and I was freezing, but it was really kind of magical. I am being continually reminded of how incredibly lucky I am, even to just be here and say I am alive. I am alive with life and excitement for life and people and love and new things. I am alive with love for life and for my friends and family and the places I have been and the places I have yet to go. I am in love with experience.
Saturday morning (as I packed last-minute trying not to throw up in my room from the altitude sickness) my LLC left for a retreat in Jamestown, Colorado. Jamestown is a little under two hours away from the University, past Boulder and up where no one had cell phone service. We did a high ropes course and had an amazing weekend of bonding over hurt, triumph, and love of life (can you tell I’m on a “love of life” high?) I took a million photographs and wow, is this state beautiful. We even found a little water, and the Minnesota part of me was ecstatic. Sunday morning a few of us woke up at 6:15 in the morning and went on a sunrise hike with the ranger who was staying with us. We hiked a quarter of a mile uphill and by the end I truly thought I was going to die from lack of oxygen but the view was so, so, so worth it. We watched the sun come up from behind the mountains as we sat on top of a rock formation. The mountains were dotted with evergreens and rocks, and there was one tiny cabin way out there (can you say goals?!). The silence when nobody was talking was like nothing I had ever heard before. All you could hear was the sound of breathing and the wind. It was just people and nature, coexisting. Again, I was taken by how absolutely captivating this world is. What is there not to love? It really puts everything into perspective.
Anyway, I’m just kind of on this the-world-is-so-incredible and I-love-everything-and-everyone high right now. I love it here. I am so, so, so thankful and grateful and just overwhelmingly happy.