Four Pass Loop, CO

Because we are only a little bit insane, Rob and I decided a few months prior to our wedding that we might as well take advantage of our lag-time in Colorado and do a short backpacking trip before heading to France. I, of course, found immediate intellectual solace in the idea of experiencing literal peaks and valleys so soon after exchanging our wedding vows and Rob, well, he just thought it would be an adventure. So, we committed to the trip, upped our gear game, completed some light training, and mapped out our route. We got married on a Saturday, and by Sunday afternoon we had left Telluride in route to Aspen. Our goal was to complete the entire 26.6 mile Four Pass Loop, located in the Maroon Bells-Snowmass Wilderness, in three nights, four days. While I'd done some light backpacking, this was the longest and most physically demanding trip that I'd ever taken with a weightier pack, and Rob was really wonderful in helping to make sure we were both prepared in as many ways as we could be. 

However, as often happens, there were just a couple of things that we weren't prepared for. The list is as follows: 

1.) Hitting a deer on the way to the trailhead. 

2.) Getting a half-days late start because of said deer. 

3.) Getting off trail due to late-season snow. 

4.) Having to make some dangerous high water crossings due to said late-season snow.

5.) Me, careening 100 feet down the snowy side of a mountain, hoping to not die (I didn't die).

6.) Rob, following me 100 ft down the snowy side of a mountain, due to said almost death.

7.) Rob, breaking his tailbone because apparently, rocks are hard. 

8.) Having to double back on the trail, due to said broken tailbone.

9.) Also, did I mention that Rob broke his tailbone?

So, give or take a few injuries, things didn't really go according to plan.

But you know what? Even though we weren't able to finish the complete loop like we hoped, we sure as heck got an adventure filled with a few gorgeous peaks and a whole lot of character-cultivating valleys. Rob got to witness me at my very worst (there is a strong chance that I chucked my trekking poles at his head during a particularly poignant moment of frustration) and I got to see him at his very best, leading with confidence and extraordinary zen. We also witnessed some beautiful sunsets, woke up next to a few gorgeous mountain streams, and took in some truly breathtaking views. While we may have gained a few scrapes and bruises, and Rob may have had to carry around an inflatable donut for the next month, at least we endured it together. And, well, if that isn't a metaphor for marriage, I'm not sure what is.