I realize this is the most clique title I could ever give a post. But keep reading, it's a notable story, and it doesn't go the way you're probably thinking.
This is the view you see, but here's everything not shown:
-The 4 AM wakeup call
-The last minute pack/stuffing because I have an irrational fear of not packing enough shirts, even though I wear the same 3 shirts every week
-The 45 minute TSA security line and my ponderings on why so many people want to fly at such early hours
-The flight to Memphis where I woke myself up from snoring so loud. Embarrassing. Kind of funny. Still embarrassing.
-The second flight from Memphis to Denver where a cat sat in front of me and meowed pitifully the entire 2 hours
-Hailey arriving in the Denver Airport
-Hailey getting lost in the Denver Airport
-Hailey taking the same train multiple times in the Denver airport because she kept jumping off too soon in fear it would exit the entire airport and she would be separated from her precious rose-gold suitcase
-Hailey finally taking a chill pill and letting the train take her ALL the way to baggage claim
-Hailey and the rose-gold suitcase being reunited once more
-Walking outside into the fresh Colorado air for the very first time and realizing their air is not Maryland air
Everyone told me the air and elevation is different in Colorado. I half believed them, half assumed I would be fine. I was clearly not fine. I was in denial. I was in denial that my body was not Wonder Woman. You are not Wonder Woman. You need O2.
The mountain top experience from yesterday's adventure was not that I am some great, philosophical photographer. Rather, it was the realization that I am a dumb 23 year-old who thought just hopping off a plane and hike/driving up 14,000 feet with a travel-weary, O2 lacking body is one of the worst ideas I've had. But the pictures turned out stunning nonetheless, so sometimes you risk passing out for the memories. At least that's what I'm telling myself.
After my friends, Laura & Kari, picked me and the rose gold suitcase up from the airport, we road tripped out to Pikes Peak. We jammed out, ate too many Five Guys fries, and I stayed glued to the window, taking it all in. As always, the pictures tell a greater story than I could ever try to write; therefore, the pictures will now take over telling the story.
It started hailing as we climbed Pike's Peak- it was crazy how fast the weather changed!
When the front moved in, the mountain that was at first clear, blue skies, turned an entire different mood
And that was Day 1 in Colorado. What they lack in oxygen, they make up for in scenery. But oxygen is still really good to have.