Monday, April 28, 2008

Albuquerque: Uniquely Southwest

This past weekend we struck gold in Albuquerque, New Mexico. It’s our former home and continually draws us back into its rich cultural heritage and vast landscape. (ok, we just like it there and miss our friends!)

If you enjoy unique experiences, we suggest attending The Gathering of Nations, North America’s largest Pow Wow. Each Spring tribal artists, healers, dancers, drummers, and singers inhabit Albuquerque for this multi-day event. This is the place to learn about some of our Native American cultures and people.

Have a great week all!

Monday, April 21, 2008

Grand Canyon: Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim

“Go outside
and face the east
and greet the sun
with some kind of
or chant
or song
that you made yourself
and keep for
early morning”
*excerpted from The Way to Start a Day by Byrd Baylor

On April 19th, 2008 I embarked on another Grand Canyon, Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim odyssey (my third time running this route)

This year, I almost did not attempt the Big-Deep double-back. A recent car accident left me stunned and a bit physically damaged. It also fueled self-doubt. I began to wonder if anything mattered……Why did that guy bash into the back of my car? Did my life matter? Do I positively impact or contribute to anyone? Am I a good mother? Do I uplift and contribute to other peoples’ lives?

With much guidance from the right source, I was able to settle my mind and set goals for the run. These were:

1.) to focus my mind “in the moment” for the entire duration of the “run”
2.) to think only loving thoughts
3.) to lead with my heart wide open

Starting by headlamp at 2 am, I slowly and gently descended the Bright Angle trail reaching the North Rim in just 7 hours. Feeling strong, after a long break, it was time to return to the South Rim. By focusing on being fully present, the experience was timeless and pleasant…..until…….until….until I Bonked!

It seemed like I would easily break 13.5 hours for the round trip …until I passed through Indian Gardens on the last ascent. With 3.5 miles to go, my body was done…cooked….toasted. In short, I bonked hard. Staying with the experience, reaching outside myself, I slowly, ever so slowly, took 2.5 hours to climb the last 3 miles back to the Bright Angel trailhead. Ugh!

I’ll probably need to run this route two to three more times before I get the hang of doing a Rim-to-Rim-to-Rim. Upon reflection on the goals I'd set for this adventure....I successfully achieved each one in excess of anything I've ever accomplished or experienced before - that was indeed a true miracle.

My favorite piece of gear on this year’s outing was my Backcountry Access Stash Diva pack. The freezeproof hydration system performed brilliantly, keeping my water supply cool despite the blistering 90-degree heat.

Rim Job Stats - Bright Angel Trailhead, start and finish
47 miles roundtrip
11,000 ft elevation gain
15 hours, 50 minutes (includes over 60 minutes of breaks)
Carrying a 13.5 lb backpack

Have a great week.

Monday, April 14, 2008

Flashing With Silver

Spring-like weather is finally upon us here in beautiful Boulder, Colorado. Longer days coax the sub-alpine flowers skyward as the sun gently transforms the snow into joyous water.

“Flashing with silver
Follow the wild goose cry
Dip, dip and swing
Dip, dip and swing”

This popular canoe round is often heard from paddlers on the Gunnison and Colorado rivers.

The surging Spring run-off reminds us to stay in-the-flow of life. With that in mind, we busily prepare for Pow Wow season and look forward to re-connecting with old friends, forging new relationships, while dancing in the spiral of life.

As an experiment, why not try to stay in-the-flow? Observe what happens in your life. Have a great week!

Saturday, April 5, 2008

Spring Snow

“The Eskimos had fifty-two names for snow because it was important to them: there ought to be as many for love.” Margaret Atwood

Spring in the Rockies is a time for love
a time of awakening
a time for gentleness
a time for renewal of spirit.

Friday, I joined the crew for an awesome ski tour in Rocky Mountain National Park. It felt good to be out with these strong, fun, high-quality people. They understand the energy patterns of the seasons, and the beauty of our sacred mother earth. They especially understand how being in snow transmutes its magic upon us in a unique way, unlike nature’s other mediums of soil, rock, rain, water or wind.

The sun warmed our spirits as we descended the soft, cushy layer of pow.

Click here to see a few pics from the outing.

© 2007-2008 Jill Salva