I’m loosing my interest in blogging these days. Not to the point where I feel I will stop, but enough to leave large chunks of time between each post. In reality I find that I often want to share things that are messy, deep, or related to mental health, and I don’t have much energy left to try and convey my points well. I continue to be affected by the world around me more than I’d like.
I am also loosing my interest in hiking these days, but that is normal for me this time of year. The weather has gotten nasty, and the rain is more present than ever. I’m not against hiking in the rain, but my motivation is far lower when the mornings are dark and the days are wet. My motivation was higher last winter when one of my motives for hiking was to hangout with Duncan, which I suppose worked in my favor. 😉
I did manage one more higher elevation climb before the snow hit last month.
The hike we chose was to Rachel Lake, with the option to continue on to Rampart Lakes. We had read multiple recent trail reports stating the fall colors were out loud and proud, and I knew this was a “must do now” situation. On paper the elevation gain for the distance didn’t look bad. In reality, most of the elevation was in one spot – crawling over large roots and tromping through constant streams.
It was a bit intense.
This hike was brutal for me. I am in decent shape, but this hike kicked my ass. I knew going into this hike I would be run down, as I was due to start my period. Any woman out there knows the entire week before starting feels like cinderblocks are attached to our ankles at all times. The fatigue is intense, and I had already over done it with my running for the week. So I was tired, but I didn’t dare miss out on this epic fall hike.
I made it to the first lake, oooo’d and ahhhh’d the unbelievable fall colors, and then I started my period.
The air was chilly, so we didn’t sit and savor for too long. Just long enough to refuel the engine as mine was on empty after the climb it took to get to Rachel Lake. I ate a banana with generous scoops of Sunbutter, a Chomps meat stick with a potato, and two rows of Lily’s chocolate. I typically like to rest and digest after I eat, but if I sat too long my hiking crew would have had to drag me up the mountain to our next destination – Rampart Lakes.
Period be damned.
Now, while I was sitting on the rock in the above photo I was looking at the ridge on the other side of the lake thinking to myself, “no. no way am I going any further. Stick a fork in me – I am done.” Alas, I knew I would regret not pushing on, so we packed up our stuff and continued the journey. While my fatigue was still at a high, the exploration around Rampart Lakes was amazing, unlike anything I had seen on a PNW hike. Exploring almost always gives me a boost of energy.
Each one of these photos showcases a different lake in a network of lakes. I quickly discovered why the word lake was plural in Rampart Lakes. These pools of water were seemingly endless, in a choose your own journey type of way. There were multiple paths going multiple ways, each leading to a new mystical lake. Once we were up in this area we had no end destination, we simply wandered until our tanks hit E again.
We decided to pull the plug at a lake tucked into a basin, where once again we were met with breathtaking fall colors.
I was enamored by the view shown in the above photo. I did nothing to alter that photo, and there appears to be a vertical line drawn separating two drastically different mountain landscapes. The sun clearly hits the areas on the right side of the photo more than the left, and what a beautiful representation of differences. A perfect view to turn around at.
Our trek back down to Rachel Lake provided vast views of the surrounding mountains, and if I squint hard enough I can see the rock we ate lunch on.
The hike down from Rachel Lake to the car was equally brutal as the hike up, but in new ways. I don’t typically have knee discomfort while hiking, but I did on this hike. The large step downs over the roots had me daydreaming of sitting my fanny on the cushy seat of the Subaru. By the time we made it back to the car we had clocked just under 11 miles with nearly 3000′ of elevation gain (over half of that in one spot – sheesh.)
Needless to say I was shot by the end of the day, but I now have another wonderful adventure for the books.
I don’t anticipate I will have many more hikes worthy of sharing here for the rest of the year, which means if I blog it will be about day to day life. As a consumer I prefer reading about peoples lives, but as a writer I hesitate more and more as I get older. Ironically I care less what people think, but I am trying to be mindful that we are still in a bit of a weird place right now with the way the world is being torn in two.
As the literal darkness of fall and winter swallow us whole, my goal is to bring a small sliver of light to anyone who visits this small space.
Q: How do you stay uplifted during the darker months?
37 thoughts on “Rachel / Rampart Lakes”
Even bulbs need to go to ground for awhile, before they burst out, once again, in bloom.
Rest is essential, as is a bit of fresh air and visual splendor for the soul.
Loved the pics and travelogue!
I LOVE this analogy! I will be remembering this for all areas of my life this fall/winter. Thank you.
The Pacific Northwest is so gorgeous! You are doing better than I am if you’re only losing interest in blogging. I’ve lost interest in everything. We’ll miss you here, but…until we “meet” again, give that Duncan guy a hug. 🙂
I won’t be gone, gone. Just sporadic for sure. I’m loosing interest in it all too honestly, more so because I just don’t want to see the drama anymore on social media.
Yep. I’m sick and tired of people on social media (especially toxic Facebook) telling me that I’m a moron because I can think for myself and QUESTION what I’m told by those in power. The only social media I actually enjoy is Instagram because I’m a picture junkie. 🙂 And, it’s not a time suck. I post, leave, and don’t hang out there as men offer to give me money for shots of my feet. LOL!
I WISH I had people offering me money for feet pics, I would be all over that. HAHAHA. I’m with you about IG, I too am a picture junkie. I try my damndest to avoid the heavily political stuff, but sometimes it finds me and I CRINGE.
As far as blogging: it me. My output has slowed to a crawl. I still wrote but often it’s just too private to post.
As for getting thru winter, I can ride nearly all winter so that keeps my brain from wigging out.
Social media brings out the worst in some people. I mute or unfollow someone nearly every week. Maybe they should call it antisocial media.
Blog when you will. As the ad goes, well keep a light on for you
I mute people often too, it’s a must. I also unfollow people much easier these days.
A time for reflection over the past year, a time to rest and heal one’s soul, and a time for growth…..humble,grateful,and blessed, at that time life becomes easier and peaceful and then You can look to the spring when renewal occurs more sure footed with a clear head and heart.
It’s like doing a healthy cleanse , You know once done how good You will feel. Will check in from time to time, with hopes of more life lessons and pictures….stay safe, be well and see You soon 👍🙋♀️
I hope to see you soon, I miss your positive energy in my life! The fall and winter are indeed times to rest and heal. I’m ready for some healing!
I keep being uplifted by continuing to hike.
Amen! I switch to more running and biking when it’s not too nasty out.
I love how you write , you are so descriptive . Keep up the great work
Thank you. 🤗
Wonderful blog! Beautiful pictures and interesting commentary on the hike. *Almost* makes me want to hike…not really, too old. I absolutely LOVE that picture of the two different mountain landscapes, it is uncanny.
Isn’t it a neat photo?! I couldn’t stop looking at it.
Love that you got out to Rampart Lakes and captured some phenomenal shots. Congrats, nice work … and all those pains and toil will fade long before the afterglow from being out there! 🙂
I did! It was a phenomenal hike, your list was the catalyst to making it happen! Thanks again.
Stunning views! I’ve been struggling to carve out time for blogging recently… lesson planning has had to take priority over the past few weeks and blogging has slipped down the list. If you’ve not already come across it, I think you might like the @bigpandaandtinydragon Instagram account. I stumbled upon it a couple of months ago, and the illustrations and quotes are so uplifting. Always brightens my day when one pops up in my feed ☺️
I will have to look into that account, thank you for sharing!
Love these pictures!.Thank you for sharing your experience. I admire your passion for hiking. I wish I would’ve done that more when I was younger. I’m losing interest in blogging as well. I haven’t written anything only blog since August. But I am inspired to write a novel. So that will be my new aspiration. Not finding much interest in anything else. Keep sharing!
Ohh a novel! That is very exciting, I hope that adventure takes you to many creative places. Writing is so cathartic. I hope to find my creative interests again soon, I sure need them.
Thank you for sharing your journey, struggles included. We are all I think, collectively exhausted and I’d say the things that used to hold me up are finding that task much more difficult to accomplish. I do think that we can also help hold each other up, and this is perhaps one way to do it.
I of course, usually run and hike throughout the winter months. I don’t mind the dark in the mornings but I do mind the cold. No matter having grown up in MN, and my ability and knowledge to handle winter weather, I moved to the SouthWest for a reason dammit!
Strong work on that trail.Those are beautiful lakes and your pictures are astounding, and your words touching.
I’d agree we’re all a bit burnt out, perhaps more so than usual for this time of year. I’m thankful for access to my treadmill if I’m feeling unsafe or unmotivated to run outside.
I’m used to the cold, but sometimes I’m sick of the rain. 🤪
Ha! living in the desert I’m always grateful for rain, but I’m very over the cold.
I didn’t like the treadmill for a long while, like I was too good for it or some shit like that. Now though I appreciate them. You can get a good, safe solid workout and really focus on form or pace or zone out and just move.
I feel ya on the blogging motivation… Wishing we could go back to the early 2010s when blogging was the most chic form of digital communication 😂 we lost everyone to Instagram 🥲
I just miss when blogging was popular, and I don’t mean among the bigger bloggers…I just mean as a form of friendship. It was so fulfilling. I still enjoy it because I love to write and to share, but it will never be the same!
Glad you made that hike. The images are special memories. Be safe out there. I usually stay active with hiking or biking, but I have been in a slump.
I think a lot of us have been in a slump, so I’m trying to embrace it and allow myself more gentle forms of exercise and movement when I am feeling the need to slow down. It doesn’t help living in a cold and wet climate.
Right. You make the best of it.
A *very* delayed response… But WOW! What a hike!! It’s truly inspiring to witness you finding the energy and courage to do something that will bring your heart and soul so much joy. Your photos are breathtaking, and somehow, I’m guessing the “real life” version was a million times better. Simply stunning!
And take ALL the time away from blogging that you like and need! I unintentionally took a really long time away too, and I only started to ease back into semi-regular posting this fall. Listening to our minds, hearts, and souls when they tug us away is more important, especially when they guide us towards something that feels more meaningful and fulfilling. Your blog (and us readers!) will always be here whenever the time feels right to share anything that’s on your heart and mind! ♡
I never regret a beautiful hike, that’s for sure! My soul is crying for a bigger adventure, but the world tells me I must not go. A weird place to be.
I’m enjoying your beautiful pictures. You are quite a photographer!.
Also, i want to thank you for reading my article, “When Eating Organic Food Isn’t Enough. My journey toward a more Paleo style of eating.” It’s hard, but I’m staying away from grains.
Thank you! I love nature, it’s easy to photograph.
Avoiding grains is so so hard, but I also stay away from them. I also avoid dairy and all processed sugar. Once in a blue moon I indulge, and I pay for it every time. It took me years to get here so I totally get it.
I ordered organic Paleo bread from a bakery in CA. It is incredibly dense and heavy. After eating part of a small bun, I felt I had eaten multiple slices of bread and it was hard to digest. There must be a way of making Paleo bread that isn’t so heavy.
Oh man! I haven’t found a bread to eat, but perhaps you can try baking some of your own?
Baking one’s own organic Paleo bread may be the way to go. I’m still going to be looking to see if any commercial bakery has something I like.