Yesterday we hiked to Hidden Falls in Curt Gowdy State Park.

It is a 2 mile there and 2 mile back kind of trek. The hike in is quite easy.  Some moderate ups and downs, but mostly, it is fairly flat.

This area is GORGEOUS!  It is completely covered in wildflowers this time of year. Every hillside was flecked with orange Indian paintbrush, bright yellow and black-eyed Susans, purple tansy asters, mountain bellflower, and white yarrow just to name a few. The trail, as you might imagine, follows along crow creek into a ravine surrounded by beautiful and colorful rock formations.

Hiking in we noticed here and there some of the pines were bare and burnt from the top down. We could only guess that lightning had scarred these trees from the many thunderstorms that roll over the plains.

When we reached the falls Jake dove in.  He disappeared behind one of them for a while and then came out the other side!  He convinced us all to jump in and I’m so glad we did!  The front falls cascade over a big boulder and on either side of that huge boulder you can swim back into a large cave behind it to find a third waterfall!  Amazing!  Also, I’m convinced that in the darkness I saw some cave drawings up high on the rocks! Maybe not.. but maybe yes!

On the way back a storm started to roll in.  The sky opened and it started pouring rain.  We were soaked through.  Imagine standing in the shower with all your clothes on, except there’s also someone spraying you with a hose at the same time. Yeah. Soaked.

Lightning was striking all around us and we could feel the thunder rumbling the ground. I’ve never been so close to a thunderstorm! It was terrifying and exhilarating. We heard a loud pop, saw lightening bolts overhead, and sparks flew as hit touched down just 50 yards away on the trail behind us.

As I stood there in the rain, my skin tingling and the sky roaring, electric, alive. I thought to myself about all that was in me. I thought about what I’d leave behind if this was the end and about how much more I want to give.

My thoughts were interrupted by his hand reaching for mine. 

“If you die, I’m dying too.”

I want to remember what this feels like. I want to remember what it feels like to be young, alive, and full of love, because these brief moments of awareness fade as quickly as they arrive. These moments are gift. Life is a gift. 

“There are no promises. Look deeply at joy and sorrow, at laughing and crying, at hoping and fearing, at all that lives and dies. What truly heals is gratitude and tenderness.” -Pema Chodron

Today I am full of gratitude. For my life, my love, my friends, and this beautiful world we have been given to share. ❤️

Now enough of that “life-is-awesome-go-hug-a-kitten-crap” it’s time for pictures!

All Iphone photos – Processed with VSCOcam with a6 preset