Everyone: You Are Always Doing Something, Going Somewhere...
What Are You Seeking?
Let me take you take back a decade or more into my life…I grew up in Miami, FL, and for those who are familiar with that city, the only thing close to a "hill" or "mountain" is Tropical Park, where I spent a lot of my childhood memories spending family BBQs. When I was about 8 years old my family moved to Germany for about a year where we lived in a small town called "Hof", I recall running miles of trails with my dad and older brother to beat the sunset, climbing mountains chasing springs for water, collecting fresh mushrooms, smelling fresh pine trees, listening to the echo of falling branches and the different sounds of birds singing. That was the last time I ever climbed a mountain, so I thought. Fast forward to 2009 when I moved to California and set foot on the famous Runyon Canyon, the windy road through the Hollywood Hills, the dirt trails, the panoramic view of Downtown LA, it was so exhilarating to see that view, it was literally a high. Little did I know that I was just scratching the surface to what I would soon call myself a Summit Seeker!
In 2012 I reconnected with some old high school buddies and jumped at the chance of my first official backpacking hiking trip to the Grand Canyon. I had no clue what I was about to endure, both physically and emotionally. The only thing I owned was a pair of hiking boots, that I would soon break in, everything else was borrowed from a backpack, not suited to my size, to hiking pools, tent and sleeping bag. I covered 35 miles of dirt, rocky, steep terrain in 3 days. I have never experienced so many emotions in such a short amoumnt of time. Excitement, anticipation, nervousness, questioned my abilities and endurance, what if I fall off this ledge, moments of pure solitude (even amongst my hiking buddies) clarity, gratitude, bliss, exhaustion, challenged, feelings of wanting to give up, physical pain, tears, frustration, lucky, accomplished, blessed, ecstatic, fulfilled, liberating, wanting more, a vision that only I can describe, from what I saw, felt, smelled, touched, there are truly no words to describe the ultimate summit seeking (or in this case down to the canyon) feeling you get upon completing such a journey. My footprints will forever remain on this path that many, yet few have ever walked on. The ultimate reward is the aftermath of digesting your trip. I came to realize its the journey that took me to my ultimate destination that is the most fulfilling. Its the feelings that we tend to bottle up within ourselves, that come up, and facing them head on in such an enormous field of pure nature, that allows you to truly self analyze, there is no hiding from them or keeping yourself distracted with everyday hustle and bustle of life. You cannot be a quitter, even when the night came upon us, and I already been trekking 8-10miles during the day, and we still needed a few more miles before reaching camp, blisters on my feet, my legs felt so heavy to even take strides, I did not have energy to lift my hiking pole, at one point my legs gave out with a small pebble on the dirt trail and I fell to the ground with a 38lb pack on me, tears flowed down my face, I wanted to give up…but somehow you dig deep within, and realize you still have enough energy that you yourself didn't even think you had to get you where you need to get too…its ignited by determination! We all have it, just some seem to settle for less, but its that ultimate push, that takes you places you once dreamt, making you stronger both physically and mentally to achieve the impossible.
Why I Call Myself A Summit Seeker:
It is my connection with nature and self. With each summit I seek, aside from seeing nature at its purest, untouched form, sights not imaginable on such peaks. I reveal myself in a wholesome manner, its me against me, My success is not measured by reaching the top, but by the transformation I encounter both physically and mentally. Each summit, no matter how short of a distance, or arduous the terrain, it brings forth a reflection of self, that I carry throughout my personal everyday life. Nature truly has a magical and transformative way that only you find when you get lost within it! Every summit, brings forth a different feeling or emotion, but no matter what I may encounter, it leaves me with sense of peace and yearning for more, each stride taken liberates me from who I thought I was, to who I truly am!
I want to dedicate this to my daddy, who opened my eyes to nature and adventure. Little did he know his little girl would be the one to follow his passion for adventure seeking.
To Arturo Codina a high school classmate, turned adventure guru friend who reached out to me for what would be my first of many hiking adventures, my new addiction to hiking, a member to REI and collector of backpacking gear.
A collection of my Hikes & Summits Seeked from 2012 to date
(in no particular order and from what I can remember)
*Grand Canyon- Hermit Trail, Tonto Trail, Phantom Ranch, Bright Angel
*Zion National Park- Keyhole Canyon, Pine Creek Canyon, Subway, Angels Landing
*Lake Ediza, Mammoth Lakes- 12miles RT
*Cuyamaca Peak Loop- 7miles RT
*Mount Woodson (aka Potato Chip)- 7miles RT
*StoneWall Peak, Cuyamaca- 4miles RT
*3 Sisters Waterfalls- 4miles RT
*Cedar Creek Falls- 4.5miles RT
*Sycamore Canyon, Malibu
*Mt. Fitz Roy, Argentina- 13.5miles RT
*Mt. Whitney- 22miles RT
*El Capitan- 12miles RT
*IceHouse Canyon, Mt Baldy- 7miles RT
*Cowles Mtn- 3miles RT
*Pacific Crest Trail- 1st 20miles from Mexican Border
*Hi"ilawe Falls, Waipio Valley, HI 3miles RT 1300ft waterfall
*Diamond Head Crater, Oahu, HI 1.6miles RT
*Maunawilli Falls- 3.2miles RT
*The Bridge To Nowhere- 10miles RT (bungee jumped at the bridge)
*Multiple small trails to waterfalls or secluded beaches via the Hana Drive in Maui
*Cape Byron-Eastern Most Point of Australia
*Ka Lae- Southern Most Point of 50 states
*Laguna Esmeralda, Ushuaia, Argentina- 6miles RT
*Sendera Costera, Tierra Del Fuego- 4.5mile RT (end of the world)
July 2015- I will Conquer The Grand Teton, Wyoming