Living Life Above 8,000 Feet

The altitude affects everything from the tree line to the carbonation in a bottle of bubbly.  I’m waitressing to earn my keep here at the Rustler Lodge in Alta, Utah and popping bottles in the dining room is part of the gig.  The warmer the bottle, the higher the pressure.

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The higher the hike, the thinner the air.  Upon acclimating to the elevation, I am beginning to feel living at the end of Little Cottonwood Canyon; especially now that I don’t huff & puff quite as much up a flight of stairs as I used to. Every day the lungs are feeling  stronger, which makes earning my turns ever enticing.

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The first storm cycle nuked a rocking 52 inches.  This should be the norm for the area, but unfortunately Alta Ski Area hasn’t broken 500 inches in a year since 2009 according to www.onthesnow.com. The beauty of mountain culture is the general collective happiness to be alive and in the mountains. There is nothing like living about 8,000 feet with others who share that same thirst for high altitude adventure.  Here in Little Cottonwood Canyon, optimism and hope fill the air as all the guests and locals cross their frosty toes.

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Oregon V. Utah

From laws to landscapes Oregon and Utah span the scale of uniqueness.

Oregon ranks high in its moon like volcanic structures that pierce the sky and illuminate the eye.

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View of Mt. Hood from Burnt Lake Oregon

Utah on the other hand, is chalk full of peaks; many of which happen to be connected unlike the Cascade Range of volcanoes that pimple the west coast.

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Unknown Mountain Range SE Adjacent to Utah Lake

Oregon’s forests are moss covered and fairy filled.  I’ve never hiked in anything so lush without having to cross country boarders.

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Punchbowl Falls, Columbia River Gorge Oregon

Don’t let the desert fool you, the water is Utah is steamy and dreamy.

Diamond Fork Hot Springs Uinta National Forest Utah

I will say, I miss the west coast ocean swells…

Cape Lookout Oregon, Falcon Cove Oregon, San Juan Islands Washington

…and the epic spring/summer mountaineering.

Mt. Hood Summit 11,240 ft.

Its silly to compare volcanos to mountains, or oceans to hot springs when they’re all equally as nourishing in their own light.  Any experience at the same destination is going to be a new journey.  Comparing, analyzing, and thinking in general keeps us from “living” in the NOW: which is where I want to be.  Here I am Utah!  Let’s be friends.

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