Alta run. Included, I think, 11 campground loops for a total of 12.5 miles. No major wildlife sightings - just a bunch of rodents.
Big weekend coming up. Jake and Andrea are getting married on Saturday and they have asked me to officiate. Since I'm a big believer in marriage and also a big believer in Jake and Andrea, I'm happy to do it and incredibly honored that they asked me. I'm hoping they aren't expecting a ton of professional polish out of me as performing weddings is not my main gig in life. But they can expect a ton of sincerity and heart-felt well-wishes for their future success.
The wedding will take place at the Alta Peruvian Lodge which is a special place for me and about to become a more special place for Jake and Andrea. Ann and I began going to the Peruvian 20 years ago early in our marriage before we had children. These were some fantastic times and probably the main reason why we decided to move to Utah from South Carolina in 2002. These trips really stretched our budget but we felt like it was worth it. If you live outside of Utah and are ever in the market for a ski vacation, I would highly reccomend Alta and the Peruvian Lodge over the more swanky and touristy Park City resorts. Alta is one of the most mind blowingly beautiful places in the world and you meet the best people there - genuine, authentic, unpretensious.
Nowadays I spend a lot more time up at Alta in the summer months. For partly selfish reasons I hold cross country practice there every Thursday although it is a GREAT place to train. Practice starts at 9 am and I sometimes run with the kids, but more often these days I will go up at 7 and run by myself for 10 to 15 miles before the kids show up. I find that I crave the solitude and these Alta runs are the highlight of my week. It's also difficult to describe how good it feels to be healthy and fit enough to enjoy the mountains to the fullest. It overwhelms me with gratitude! I hope to be running and skiing at Alta when I'm 90. I hope to be plodding around the Albion Basin campground in the year 2050 and maybe even bump into a sixty year-old former Alta cross country runner doing the same thing who would thank me for introducing him/her to these runs. I could die at that moment and be content.
For every hour I spend at Alta, Jake and Andrea probably spend ten. I can tell that they connect with life and each other in the mountains more than any place else. When they go on vacations, it's usually to visit OTHER MOUNTAINS! This is no small thing. In future years I hope they will not lose sight of why they moved to Colorado and then Utah in the first place. Life will take its' toll. There will be financial stresses, career stresses, possibly kid stresses, and there will be times when they feel a bit beat down by life. What I hope they will remember is that the greatest happiness and contentment comes from knowing that you have ordered your life in such a way as to allow you to live in harmony with your values, with what is meaningful to you. The opposite is also true. Life's greatest frustration arrises from knowing that you have lost control and that you are out of harmony with your core values.
I have this confident feeling that when Jake and Andrea are 90 and looking back on their lives, that neither will say "we spent too much time in the mountains".
In other words, make time for the mountains!
They asked me to include a few personal thoughts during the ceremony and this post was mostly thoughts that came to me on my run today.
* Hopefully they will post plenty of wedding pictures here on the FRB.