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THE MERRELL BLOG: WHAT'S NOW. WHAT'S NEXT. LET'S GET OUTSIDE.

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Outsiders

Life Outside the Cubicle: Our First Full Week

14ers Summited this week: 6
Miles hiked this week: 45.2
Elevation gained this week: 21,500 ft

So, we’re sitting in the Wally La-La Laundromat in Buena Vista where they have free wi-fi and coin operated (hot) showers as well as laundry facilities. We just climbed our 6th 14er this morning since our trip began. That puts James’ total to 30 and mine to 20. We still have 30 remaining to climb this summer. The first day (Shavano and Tabeguache) was definitely the hardest with the most mileage and elevation gain in one day. Plus, our feet weren’t used to the pounding that 11 miles and 5400 feet of elevation loss (descending is harder on your feet) inflicts. But after a week, we feel pretty good.

After climbing Shavano and Tabeguache, we spent the rest of the week climbing Mt Yale, Mt Antero, Mt Princeton, and Mt Columbia.  We were planning on traversing to Mt Harvard from Columbia’s summit this morning, but really strong winds and low visibility from being in the clouds convinced us to turn back.

We have really started to enjoy sleeping in the Xterra every night.  It took us a night or two to get used to it, but now it has become super comfortable.  So comfortable that we weren’t looking forward to hiking in and tent camping at the base of Columbia last night.  We haven’t paid for sleeping accommodations yet, and hope not to all summer.  We’ve been picking up a red-box dvd in town when stocking up on supplies, then heading out and watching it in bed before we fall asleep.

Exerting this much energy everyday really shows you how sedentary our lives have become. There were days when we were working where I woke up in the morning, walked 30 ft to my car, drove to work, walked maybe 100 ft to the front door, and up 3 flights of stairs to my desk and sat in my cubicle all day until I walked to my car and drove home. Don’t get me wrong, we were still fairly active – we mountain biked and ran a few times a week but that was by choice. There’s nothing really requiring us to exercise anymore. Our food is readily available, we have cars to get from A to B, we have everything making our lives easier. I think about this a lot on the trail when we hike on old mining trails and I think about when they used to mine for gold and how hard it must have been. They probably didn’t have goretex. After a week of working this hard, I feel like our bodies were meant for this.

James & Kirsten

7/13/2011
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