August Challenge Complete!

Friday, September 3rd 2016


Fly to Denver to meet my friend Kirsten who I have known since first grade.  I have never been to her Denver house so was excited to see her home and spend the day with her.  As kids, she and I did everything together, including burning our school uniform after 8th grade graduation.  (sorry mom) She is one of the funniest and sweetest people and I was so glad to be able to visit her and do something that I had never done.

After our 8th grade graduation ceremony. Such babies. My mom made this dress I am wearing.
After our 8th grade graduation ceremony. Such babies. My mom made this dress I am wearing.


This was our senior year of high school after a NHS ceremony.
This was our senior year of high school after a NHS ceremony.


After I got in, we had an awesome brunch at a place in downtown Denver called Sassafras. This restaurant was an old home, turned into a brunch place and just as cute as could be.  The waiter talked me into the chicken fried eggs and buffalo hash.  It was REALLY good.  Kirsten said Denver people LOVE to brunch!

Cheers to old friends making new memories!


I could get used to brunch….


Chicken fried eggs and buffalo hash….thought it sounded interesting but it was also delicious!!!
Even the napkins were cute. Just vintage fabrics wrapped your silverware.
Even the napkins were cute; vintage fabrics wrapped your silverware.



After brunch, we visited the flagship REI store that was so unbelievably large you could get lost inside.  There were four levels and a Starbucks with a large outdoor patio.

Flagship REI

After taking in Denver and seeing Kirsten’s cute house, we head to get a few more items like peanut butter packets, beef jerky and granola bars at Whole Foods  and come back to get to bed.  We had to get up EARLY!!!


Saturday, September 4th 

3:15 AM Alarm goes off to get up and going for the drive to the base of Gray and Torrey’s Peak.  Kirsten’s finance Chris, drove us there in his new Subaru (which is a super popular car in Denver) and we were so glad to have him as our personal expert.  He and Kirsten have done several 14ers and know exactly what time is best to go, what to pack, where to park and what to do.  He was a lifesaver!!


5:30AM We arrive at the base of Gray and Torrey’s peak.  You know that feeling you get when you are about to compete in something like a game or a race?  That is how I was feeling.  Adrenaline was flowing and I was so excited to get started.  It was only 38 degrees when we started, but I had many layers on so I was fine.  Kirsten and Chris wore headlamps to get us through the trail until the sun came up.


I have to admit, it took a little while to get adjusted to the altitude so I was glad I had spent the day before in Denver.  As we hiked higher and higher, I was huffing and puffing.  You defiantly need to be in shape to do something like this.

6:30 AM-The sun comes up and it is breathtaking!

The sun coming up over Grays (left peak) and Torreys (right peak)



Beautiful Colorado sunrise over the mountains
Good morning Colorado Rockies!! This was a little over an hour into the hike.


There were several difficult parts of the hike.  I thought this rocky part was one of them.  It was steep and your legs are already tired from walking uphill for a couple hours.


imageHere we are pretty close to the top.  Above us is the ridge that connects Grays to Torreys.




The clouds on the tip of Torrey’s peak


The forecast the night before called for storms and snow, so we were happy to have a little sun.  As we hiked higher and higher the wind was colder and stronger.  My gloves were wet as we got close to the top so I had to take them off and my hands were absolutely freezing.  I did bring an extra pair of wool socks in my back pack so I put those on my hands and it worked to keep me a little warmer.

I was SO cold at this point, I didn’t check the picture to make sure it was ok.    My eyes are closed and I am freezing! BUT we did it!



The views were something out of a magazine. You just can’t even believe it is real!




On the way down, I added to the Cairn.


A couple of panoramic shots on the way down.


Around 11:15 AM We celebrated with a beer at the bottom! It was close to 6 hours of hiking and seeing some of the most beautiful scenery I had ever witnessed.  According to my watch, (this screenshot was taken right after we had finished) it was close to 10 miles. After running a marathon and a few other races that might not seem like much, however this was a MUCH different 10 miles.  It was constant climbing and altitude.  My legs were on fire and afterwards I was quite sore.

These stats were taken at 11:15 AM. What a morning!

Cheers to 14ers and Colorado!  This one was AMAZING and I would love to do another 14er again.  Did you know there are 53 different ones in Colorado?  Ours was class 1 and that was plenty for me.  Some other classes require ropes and climbing.  This 14er at Gray and Torreys was perfect.  Great views and just enough challenge to make it fun!


How did I benefit from this months challenge?

  1. Got to hangout with a good friend, Kirsten in her city, meet her fiancé and see her favorite places in Denver.  She and Chris are so cute!
    Kirsten and Chris xoxo
  2. Learned what it takes to do a 14er from getting up early and on the trail to all the supplies needed for if I choose to do another one.  (which I hope to do)
  3. Learn how to control altitude sickness….LOTS of water and a little help from my doctor who prescribed me something to help
  4. Got to take an impromptu trip with my family (who I didn’t think would be able to come)
  5. Walked around Vail Village and watched the boys throw the football in the green space and have a fun family dinner
  6. The Cook boys got to rent ATV’s while I was hiking and had a blast!image


Rev it up, Boys!


7.  My family and I got to White Water Raft down the Colorado River on Sunday.  There were amazing views, lots of fun and laughs.  Our guide Zach was awesome.  I highly suggest Sage Outdoor Adventures.  Patrick used them for the ATV rentals and for the White Water Rafting.  Nice people that do an awesome job!

Right before getting on the raft
Our guide Zach, showing Patrick and Thomas, our leads what to do!
Jack and I enjoying the ride


8. Got to see my two boys share lots of laughs together.  It is nice when it is just the two of them and they have to learn to entertain each other.  Made this mom happy!

Uh oh Jack….Thomas is coming. (I swear I just wanted a pic)



Stay tuned for next months challenge…….

10 thoughts on “August Challenge Complete!

  1. Amazing Lori!! What an accomplishment! Way to go lady!! Love reading your posts, can’t wait to see what’s next for you!!

  2. Lori,
    I am so proud of you! The pics were beautiful!! Looks like it was a fantastic time! Can’t wait to hear all about it!

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