What went on:
Summer is finally in full swing here in Wyoming, and July was jam packed with adventures in the sunshine. To start things off, almost all of the activity guides that I work with went out on a scenic float trip together in the evening. We loaded up the giant blue inflatable raft on the bank of the North Platte River and shoved off for a leisurely booze cruise. I truly never get tired of spending time with this lovely group of individuals – both on the job and after work – so floating along the River was a wonderful way to pass the time and watch the sunset. To wrap up the night we drove to the nearby Pick Bridge and jumped off of it into the frigid water; it certainly was a day I’ll never forget.
After work one evening, John and I went to check out the Saratoga Lake near our house. When we pulled up we were the only people in sight, so we had the entire “beach” to ourselves. Koda went straight into the water and started running around like a madman, while John dragged out the crashpad and played guitar by the reeds. As the sky turned a magnificent combination of purples and blues, two of our coworkers from the ranch arrived and watched the sun go down with us. John and I have returned to the lake a few times since that night, and we have even found a nice gravel road that we can bike on from our house that runs along the circumference. I can tell that Saratoga Lake will become one of our go-to spots in town.
During one of our days off, John and I explored the Rob Roy Reservoir in Medicine Bow National Forest with our coworker Josh. The night before we set up camp at a secret little spot in the National Forest and ate s’mores under the light of a nearly full moon. Josh brought his inflatable paddle board with him, and we used it to get up close and personal with the reservoir. I have never really been a huge fan of stand up paddle boards, but that day at the lake changed everything for me. The only other time I had paddle boarded was on a small board in the Gulf of Mexico, so it was a lot easier this time around to be on a 12 foot beast on a still lake. I didn’t end up allowing Koda to get on the board with me this time around – the water was way too cold for an unexpected dip – but I would love to cruise around the lake with him as the captain.
The afternoon thunderstorms that had battered the ranch for the past few months have finally dissipated, which means climbing after work is now part of our everyday routine. The ranch has so many undeveloped rocks that are begging to be climbed, and searching for new areas is always quite the adventure. A group of us went out to a fun little spot on property with Paul Kihn, the ranch photographer, and the pictures he took are absolutely stunning.
Climbing at Brush Creek Ranch is predominately on a rope, but the bouldering potential is there. I was lucky enough to spend a few nights scampering up boulders before the sun set, laughing until my stomach hurt with my favorite people. We recently discovered an established bouldering mecca twenty minutes away from the ranch called Needle Peak. I have grown to love making up routes on boulders that have no grades, but it’s nice to visit a climbing area where everything has a name and a difficulty rating. Needle Peak is covered in quality boulders as far as the eye can see, and it’s proximity to our house in Saratoga makes it an ideal place to spend an afternoon.
What I’ve been digging:
I finally splurged on a SugarSky bathing suit, and I have absolutely no regrets. The female-owned company is based in the United States and makes quality bathing suits, towels, headbands, bandanas, and more in adorable patterns. I have been the proud owner of a SugarSky bandana for several years now, but when I saw their new line of swimsuits I couldn’t resist getting one with a topographical design. The one-piece suit has a scoop neck and a low back, and it is made out of the most comfortable fabric in the world. I am a huge fan of supporting small business, but if you’re on the fence about it rest assured that SugarSky products are better made and cuter than most other items on the market.
Like everyone else on Earth, I was all over the new season of Stranger Things this month. When I saw that the third season was coming out I was a little skeptical about it; the series did such an amazing job with seasons one and two that I was worried they wouldn’t be able to match it. The creators of the show didn’t disappoint though, and season three blew me away. I laughed, cried, and fell in love with the actors all over again. If you haven’t watched the new season yet – or the series at all, for that matter – you need to stop what you’re doing and catch up.
Here are my intentions for August 2019:
- Let go of fear. I believe that people have a habit of holding onto emotions – either negative or positive – simply because they have become accustomed to feeling that way. The hardest part of living in this world is knowing when to let go of something that has dwelled inside of you for so long, especially when it comes to fear. It’s so easy to bottle up fear and allow it to keep you from living to your fullest potential. Whenever I get scared – whether it’s about the future, a particularly hard climb, or self-doubt – I want to focus on letting go of fear and moving forward regardless.
- Communicate more with the people you love (and with people you don’t). Improving my ability to communicate effectively with the people around me has been a goal of mine for so long. I want to feel empowered to speak my truth with the people I love, and even with people I don’t. At the end of the day, effective, open, and honest communication shouldn’t be reserved just for the people you love.
- Don’t internalize. This is something that I have always struggled with, and working on getting better at it goes hand and hand with my communication intention. I tend to keep things inside when I should be expressing them, and I want to avoid doing that in August.
- Take more deep breaths. I guide a lot of people on the high ropes course at Brush Creek Ranch, and something I constantly find myself telling people when they get scared is to take some deep breaths. I typically have to breath along with them in order for them to follow through, and I noticed a difference in my mood and my attitude whenever I take a moment to stop and breathe. I want to try and take some time each day to get in touch with my breath and simply slow down for a second.
- When you hold a grudge you’re holding yourself back. I am so guilty of holding a grudge for way too long, and in the end the person who is negatively impacted the most by that is myself. I want to stop holding grudges (which essentially places the blame with the other person) and instead look inside in order to find out what the real problem is. If I have an issue with someone I want to tell them about it so we can work to resolve it and move on, and if that isn’t possible then I’ll simply reevaluate the relationship. This goes hand in hand with my communication intention; everyone deserves to know why you’re upset or annoyed with them – provided that you tell them gently and with their benefit in mind – and talking about how both parties can improve benefits everyone involved.
What are your intentions for August? Let me know in the comments, or shoot me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org. All photos in this post were taken by me unless otherwise specified in the caption.