How do you mark the end of a season? Or the beginning of a new one?
I’m recording this outdoor diary a little early this week. When you hear this, it will be sometime after September 14, 2020. But today it is several days before that. I’ve just come back from a two day, drop dead gorgeous adventure up near the Matanuska Glacier, and tomorrow I head into surgery for my hip, repairing my torn labrum and shaving off my bone so it doesn’t happen again.
Since that — and the weeks and months of recovery I’m about to set out on — is probably exactly as fun as it sounds, my running wives and I set out on a few days of adventure in Alaska. This week was supposed to be our incredible mountain running week, heading out and running 100 miles over mountains in just a few days’ time.
Then life happened. And I injured myself. And so here we are — instead of ultra running, getting ready for surgery.
Alaska is in full swing of fall, with leaves changing and temperatures dramatically cooling. And that was especially apparent where I spent the last several days. We hit the road in my friend Clare’s new-to-her Volkswagen camper van, dubbed Roxanne, and parked it in a spot so gorgeous it looked absolutely fake. You’ll have to hit up Instagram to see some of my pictures. I promise you, they have not been edited. Those views really happened. They looked just as fake in person as they do now. It’s incredible.
The end of Alaska is summer always feels like a sad break up to me. I’ve had this glorious summer love, full of long days of starry-eyed filtering with adventure. We have all the fun we can pack into a few months of warmth and light, pushing away thoughts of more serious times and responsibilities to come.
And then the season leaves. My summer love ends, leaving behind long sighs and memories. It ushers in more serious season relationships.
This past adventure was the perfect way to bid farewell to a summer fling that was not quite what I wanted it to be, but everything I could make of it, and perfect in its own glorious way.
Before my surgery, my PT told me that if I wasn’t feeling too sore, I could head out for a last run or hike. I decided she probably said “run and hike,” so I obviously did both. On our way back to town today, my friends and I summited the small mountain Lionshead, which looks out over the Matanuska Glacier. The leaves are on fire there — gold and red — and the views were absolutely stunning. They defy words.
And then, after ending our adventure with hot tub time, I made time for a 4 mile run this evening. I admit that now I am definitely sore, but it was a warm, wonderful, sunny evening — and every step was worth it. I’ve never taken running for granted, but I feel that way even more so now.
This week’s campout was on the cool side as the season changes. You’ll remember two of my running wives talking about their Montbell down puffy pants that keep them warm and happy. I own a Mountain Hardwear-made version that is even a little warmer, and let me tell you — I had worn them before briefly, so I only sort of understood the devotion Kate and Rachel feel. But this week? I almost didn’t take them off. These pants pull on perfectly over anything I’m wearing and provide instant warmth. Do I look ridiculous? Who cares. I look warm, so it doesn’t matter. Anyone who comments is just jealous, I’m positive. The pants are officially a part of all adventures forever and ever, amen. That definitely makes them an outdoor hero.
My surgery will be all done when you hear this, but I appreciate the healing vibes if you want to send them this way. You can check on me over at Humans Outside on Facebook or Instagram and see how I’m getting in that outdoor time post-surgery. Share yours with the tag #HumansOutside365. And until next time, we’ll see you out there.