Once Upon a Time... I Climbed a Mountain

It has been quite a while since I've written on this little blog of mine. A lot has happened in the past few months... more than a lot - things that have changed me forever and in ways that are purely inexplicable - but I won't write about that now; that's for a later time.

Right now I'm going to write a little story, the beginning of many little stories, actually. I've decided that, since I'm not so great at writing about the day-to-day events of my life, I'm going to write about the moments - big or little - that I want to document for one reason or another. It's going to be my "Once Upon a Time" series, and there will be no rhyme or reason to their order or significance. They will be purely be whatever stories I fancy remembering at the moment. Some stories will be short, some will be long; some will be simple, some complicated; some will be side-splitting, some extremely sad; they will all be mine.

And thus, with that sorry excuse for a recap and explanation for my absence, I will begin...

Once upon a time, I climbed a mountain.
Not just any mountain, mind you, but Mount Royal. Perhaps it is named as such because it is a Royal Pain-in-the-Rear to climb? I'll let you be the judge of that, but it was certainly no picnic! Oh my livin' heck. Just thinking about that beautiful mountain makes me tired. But alas, I'm getting ahead of myself. Let's start at the beginning.

First, I'll introduce you to The Womack Clan, comprising of three couples:
Charlie (father-in-law)
Bernice (mother-in-law)
Jonathan (brother-in-law)
Rachel (Jonathan's wife, sis-in-law)
Patrick (well, you know him... my favorite redhead)
Nicole (duh... that's me)

The Womack Clan was invited to a lovely little Colorado wedding last summer over the 4th of July weekend and we decided to make a family vacation out of it. First stop: Copper Mountain, Colorado, where the wedding was being held. We actually stayed in this cute little town not far from Copper called Frisco; we instantly fell IN.LOVE. with the condo, the town, the mountain view, the food, the weather, everything!
I cannot remember which day it was (sometime after the wedding, possibly the day after), but the two younger couples had been doing a bit of P90X before the venture to the mountains (that's another story...) and we four decided that we would love to get a little workout by taking a hike - we were in the mountains, after all! Jonathan got to work looking up the closest and best hike for the four of us and found Mount Royal. After doing his research, he convinced us with his lackluster attitude that it was, indeed, the hike for us. I mean, really, the trail is only a mile and a half long! Let's go tackle that little trail, shall we?!

I'm never listening to that man again.

The four of us crazies got gussied up for the trek up the trail and had Charlie drive us over to the trail head. We're so dang cute, aren't we? And by golly, we were excited, too!

 (Pardon the sans makeup look... we weren't fools enough to think that it would make a difference.)

And then we started up the trail. I don't know what impression we were under, but it was most certainly the wrong impression (ahem... thanks to some lying fool of a dumbkid)! Let me tell you, that was the worst, longest, most excruciating 1.5 miles OF.MY.LIFE. Oh sure, it's only a mile and a half. A MILE AND A HALF IN WHICH YOU CLIMB 1,500 VERTICAL FEET.
Let me say it again for you.

Rachel and I thought we were going to die. We were never, ever, NEVER EVER going to get off of that [explicative] mountain alive. And if we did, that tall, skinny brunette of a future doctor wasn't going to live to tell the tale. Oh sure, the first 1/4 mile was peachy. Nice and mellow. Then came the mountain. Up, up, up you go, and when it stops, nobody knows! We felt like we were Frodo and Sam as they were led up, up, up the treacherous stairs of Cirith Ungol by the plotting Gollum... sigh. No technical explanation of that vertical climb will do the dang thing justice, but let me just say that it was 100% awful. And what made it worse was the native elderly people and pint-sized children passing us up on the trail at lightening speeds. At lightening speeds, I tell you! Forget the dogs, they were totally digging it. Thank heaven for those little aerosol cans of oxygen and 237 clif bars that we brought along with us... yes, oxygen. We're from sea-level locales, folks!

By the time we got to the top, I had decided that I was going to spend a bit of time up there; we didn't complete the most ridiculous hike just to turn around and slide back down the mountain - oh heck no! We each munched on clif bars and apples for lunch while Rachel and I sat our tooshies down on logs for a stinkin' break and tried to sip on the water we wanted to guzzle. We admired the incredible view several times. We goofed around. We ate and drank and admired some more.

Alas, there came a time where we had to go back down the mountain, which was a task in itself, for what was so ridiculously steep coming up was insanely tricky to walk coming down! I cannot tell you how many times we slipped (and sometimes fell) simply because we didn't have the right shoes or footing for such a steep walk downhill - I know that Rachel had the wrong shoes period and was spitting nails the whole way down, but she was a trooper if I've ever seen one! The following picture is from the easy part of the trek downward. Do you see how the mountain slopes at the turn? Yeesh.

Eventually, the four of us made it back to the base of the mountain in (mostly) one piece. We gave Jonathan a hard time for weeks to come, but all in all, I think that we were all glad of the accomplishment that was climbing Mount Royal. Even if we did think that we were going to die in the process.

I'm sure there's some inspiring metaphor in there somewhere, but I'm going to leave it right where it is - I'm exhausted after all of this mountain-climbing reminiscing!

Oh, yeah! And they all lived happily ever after... once they were no longer on Mount Royal. ;)


  1. Ugh! That hike was a doozy. Made better by two of my most favorite people in the world. Love you sis!


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