SECOND CHANCES

I’ve found myself reminiscing a lot this week. In 3 days I leave for my Alaskan adventure and as I look ahead and look forward to the experiences to come, I can’t help but think back with a grateful heart to all the amazing experiences I’ve already had this summer and all the incredible people I’ve shared them with.

Camping in Moab, Utah!

This reminiscing started when Luke (my boyfriend) and I were driving home from Steamboat over the weekend talking about our weekend’s adventures, all the fun we had and amazing people we met and he said something that pulled all my thoughts and feelings into one single sentence. He said “I love our life”. And man, is he right.

This summer we’ve hiked to hot springs in Taos, New Mexico, sand boarded in the Great Sand Dunes National Park, spent a weekend camping and hiking in Moab, Utah, hiked, camped and kayaked with my mom in Red Feather, CO, completed tons of day hikes, spent a day on a boat surfing and have had two successful farmers markets in Steamboat selling Luke’s artwork. I love every bit of our weekend adventures but today I want to talk about a particular one we had two weekends ago that really stands out.

Kayaking with Mom

We were in Steamboat for the weekend for the first farmers market of the summer. This was Stains and Woodgrains first time participating in Steamboat’s farmers market so we made it a weekend trip to check out the place and mix a fun day of hiking in after our market day Saturday. Steamboat was actually the first place I visited in Colorado and it’s the place that made me fall in love with the state when I was in 6th grade. All 3 of my siblings and I qualified for the Nastar Nationals ski race hosted in Steamboat so my parents decided to fly us out so we could compete (tale for another day). I finally went back to Steamboat in the spring during my sophomore year of college for a girls weekend trip and six years later, I finally just went back again!

Stains and Woodgrains booth in the Steamboat farmers market

During the girls trip we started on a really pretty hike called Fish Creek Falls right out of town. It’s a very popular hike and I’d recommend you do it if you ever find yourself in the area. We made it about 1 mile up the trail before we turned around. I think we just didn’t feel like hiking and weren’t mentally prepared for the elevation gain ahead. (Mental preparation for hiking needs to be a whole other blog post in itself!) But, ever since I didn’t complete the hike six years ago, I’ve wanted to go back and finish it and two weekends ago I finally did.

Fish Creek Falls upper waterfall

Now this hike isn’t overly long or strenuous compared to a lot of hikes we do but I rarely do not finish a hike unless it’s unsafe to continue and this ones been marked unfinished for quite some time now. I was excited to finally complete this trail and see what I never got to before, and it turns out I missed a lot of mountain beauty the first time around, but it also got me thinking about second chances. We don’t always get things right on the first try and I believe that each failure leads us to an opportunity for a second chance. Whether that second chance comes 6 seconds, 6 days or 6 years later, if you want it, the opportunity is yours to make.

Failure when trying something new helps us navigate the once unknown a little better. With new knowledge gained through experience, more planning and preparation I discovered the waterfall I hadn’t before. And it was incredible.

So here’s to embracing failure and the second chances that come with it, and continuing to love our life because it’s the only one we’ve got.

Until the next tale… Happy trails.

-Hannah

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