Love, Love this time of year! All of the seasons of living in Northern Idaho are spectacular, and as you know, I am a “sun and “summer” girl, but I love the Fall. Something about it. The way the mornings and evenings are cool and crisp. You wake up and it’s a little dark, and you head out the door for a run, and can see your breath as the sun is rising. The way things look. That haze over the mountains, the gorgeous burnt red sunsets, and the way everything smells damp, and earthy.
We have had a fun and full summer. A lot of racing and a lot of fun times with our family and friends. Fall is my time to wind down. Relax. Possibly run a fall marathon. It’s time for baking, apple picking, Crockpot cooking, and reading. Devouring book after book, until training picks up in a couple of months again. Taking in some quiet time.
Saturday, we had made plans for an “end of the summer” climb up Schweitzer Mountain, from Sandpoint. The day was breathtaking. We all met, and made the caravan drive up to Sandpoint. The girls and I were feeling a little wishy-washy, and the thought crossed our minds to let the guys go be guys, and we could spend the day shopping in Sandpoint, one of our favorite little towns to the North. As we drove up, we made plans, checking out the little shops as we drove through town. We got to where we were starting, and we changed into our biking gear. MAYBE, we will climb a few miles, and head back down for some shopping and lunch. The guys were ready to go!! Dennis, Randy, Corey and Greg took off, letting us know that they were going to head up, stop in at Mojo Coyote, have a beverage, and head back down.
We had cell phones and they would call when they were back down, and we could all meet back up. Us girls….we took our time. OK, just a couple of miles. We started our climb, talking away in our own little world. Then getting a little more breathless as the miles went on. We pulled off a few times to giggle, and look at the gorgeous fall colors, feel the breeze coming off of the mountain, and then we would jump back on our bikes, and keep going. Each time we stopped we would say, “Up or Down?” “Yup, ok UP!” The climb was amazing. Steep in some parts, with long, windy, switchbacks. The views were breathtaking. The day, perfect blue sky. You could see forever. Easily into Montana and Canada (Hello, Canadian friends)
I love when you make this kind of voyage with friends. Laughing, sweating, stopping to listen to our echoes across the mountains, talking about everything under the sun, taking in every ounce of the short days of fall. They make the climb that much easier. Such as life, I suppose. Those handful of people that make the days easy, light, and full of joy…Yup, that’s my friends. Making you a better person by being around them. Pushing you, encouraging you, even up mountains, that you didn't think you could make to the top.
Michelle and Brenda
Michelle and I
Bren and I
We stopped at what we thought would be our turning around point. Took some great pictures, and goofed around. Until we heard growling in the bushes. Bear? Mt Lion? We didn’t wait to find out. “Up or Down?” “Yup, ok UP!” We made our way to the last part of the climb. We knew we were almost there. We had about ½ mile left, and around the corner came all of our guys. Happy to see us. Whooping it up, that we made it!! They turned around, because even thought we only had a ½ mile to go, some of us have personalities (ok, me) that would have not been ok, not making the last little way. Up we went, all of us, the last ½ mile. What an amazing day!!! The perfect ending to the perfect summer. Bikes, beers, friends, and mountains, sprinkled with alot of laughter!
Getting close to the top!
We made it!!