Topping Out

This is hard for me to write, but after taking the time to think about my obligations, I’ve realized that I’m going to shut down my personal Tumblr blog for a while.

I’ve enjoyed writing about my Kilimanjaro climb for cancer, and my various hiking, climbing, yoga, and trail running excursions. Unfortunately, my job duties are increasing (I actually manage my work’s Tumblr page), and by the time I get home in the evening, the last thing I want to do is set up my queue or look at how many followers I happen to have that day.

Fortunately, I hope to be back online here one day, when things settle down. But come Friday, September 20, 2013, this little blog will take a break. So here’s to staying physically and emotionally elevated—whether it’s at 19,341 feet or sea level.

If nothing else, I hope in some way my blog has inspired others to get out there and take on a challenge. Thanks to everyone that has been a part of this cool journey.


This is really silly.


Zola Jesus’ “Avalance (Slow).” So simple and pretty.



I’ve been pretty busy over these past few weeks; it seems like all I can do is try to catch up on real life after my NOLS course ended in early August. To be honest, it’s been a challenge to get back in the swing of things amidst the Texas heat, especially since I miss the cool air of the Pacific Northwest.

Over the past month, I’ve been seeking solace in yoga. I’ve set most all my intentions during my practice to be at peace where I am right now. It’s been difficult for me to value daily moments and occurrences; things seems stagnant and stuck in the humid air of summer, and I long to be back outside, connected to nature.

But now that Labor Day has come and gone, I’m looking forward to the fall season and the slowly decreasing temperatures; to scarves, snuggly hats, sweaters, jackets, wind, crunchy leaves, rain, and eventually, snow—and to more adventures, whatever they may be.

Easy to know that diamonds are precious. Good to learn that rubies have depth. But more to see that pebbles are miraculous.
-Josef Albers’ theories on color teach individuals the value in opening one’s eyes and really looking—even at the most minute of things.
The Head And The Heart debut “Shake,” the First Song off Their New LP

As expected, this is a strong song and good sign of things to come when Seattle folk act The Head And The Heart releases their second album Let’s Be Still this October. Right on.

The difference between an adventure and an ordeal is attitude.
Unknown. A good reminder for each time a challenge comes my way.

(Source: queenofthedovah, via themountainscalled)

NOLS Pacific Northwest Trip Leader Seminar: Born to Bake | The NOLS Blog

I got a shoutout on the NOLS Pacific Northwest blog! But the credit goes to my teammates, who were quite the cooks. They even made a few dairy-free versions of baked classics for me, such as cinnamon rolls. For extra flair, we had a variety of spices from which to choose, and the bag in which they all lived was lovingly referred to as the “food repair kit.” All in all, much hot sauce and merriment was had around the WhisperLite camp stoves.


A sampling of photos from my National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) Trip Leader course in the Pasayten Wilderness of the Pacific Northwest. As each day passes, I become keenly aware of all the valuable skills I was lucky enough to gain on this trip.


I Will Be Back One Day

"I want to live in a land of lakes where the great waves break, and the night runs right into the day.
I want to be with ones I left but I’m way out west and the years keep on slipping away.
I want to run on the sacred dunes through the ancient ruins where the fires of my ancestors burned.
I remember that fateful day when I ran away and you told me I couldn’t return.
You made me swear I’d never forget,
I made a vow I’d see you again:
I will be back one day, and I’ll find you there by the great big lake.”

As if it were almost a soundtrack for my trip to the Pacific Northwest and my National Outdoor Leadership School (NOLS) course, Lord Huron’s “I Will Be Back One Day” played as I flew both in and out of Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. And during both arrival and departure, Mt. Rainier saluted our plane with its glorious presence.

In particular, the lyrics, “I will be back one day” stood out in my mind. And I thought of those words longingly upon landing in the 102 degree weather in Austin. I may finally be back home, but I’m hoping to make it back to Seattle again soon.

Lisa's reflections on summitting Kilimanjaro and raising over $10,000 for cancer programs and services at LIVESTRONG.