Angel’s Rest

“You sound ridiculously busy – I hope that you’re doing well and not taking on too much (‘no’ is still a word that exists in our language) so that you still have time to enjoy life.”

“You need to learn to just sit and enjoy yourself, like me.”

“You do need a vacation from your own life.”

Three quotes, all from people who know me well, all in the past three weeks.

When that many people tell me to slow down, I would normally heed those words and take some downtime. But I’m in a whole other place right now. I’m doing some big things professionally. And my personal life is beautiful, there’s no other word for it. I have so many great things in front of me and to look forward to. I’m full of energy. I would call my life “crazy,” but I’m in absolute control and completely focused. There’s a sense of passion, purpose, and urgency that’s been missing from my life for so long. I don’t even want to rest right now. It’s remarkable.

So keep all that in mind when I tell you that I came home from a party this morning with nothing on my plate today. I had plans to hike Angel’s Rest with someone, but she couldn’t make it. So I walked into my place, popped some Ibuprofen, and spent about 20 minutes playing Angry Birds on my tablet. This is it, I told myself. This is the day I do nothing.

Normally, I love relaxing and doing nothing — when I have someone to do nothing with, that is. But that wasn’t the case today. So I grew bored, threw on my shorts, and headed for Angel’s Rest, anyway.

The hike, even at less than five miles, was tough. I went a bit crazy last night, so I was nowhere near 100% today. But it’s still such a fun, rewarding trip. There are great Gorge views along the way, with an absurdly breathtaking, panoramic view atop the bluff. To the east, one can see Dog Mountain. To the west, Cape Horn and Camas. Cutting through it all, the mighty Columbia River.

Not going to lie: I feel so gangster when I look at Dog Mountain and am like “Yeah, I did that.” Then I see Cape Horn and am like “That was easy.” There”s Wahkeena Falls/Multnomah Falls hike down the road, which I’ve done a few times. There’s a definite sense of accomplishment when I can say all that — all from atop Angel’s Rest, no less.

With that hike, I’m at 76.4 miles since September. I’m not yet halfway through this “year of the list,” yet I’m more than halfway to hiking 150 miles. And that’s with the best hiking weather on the horizon. I’m already planning on hiking St. Helens,  with another two long weekend trips already planned. I’m feeling good about this goal. And life in general.

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