Category Archives: WEST

Hiking Handies Peak

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The view was spectacular —but the climb itself was my milestone.DSC_1624

Six months after ankle reconstruction surgery, I had hiked to the top of Handies Peak, one of Colorado’s fifty three “14ers.”*  In the previous week, my ankle had carried me high into the San Juans, up vertical DSC_1608climbs to impossibly blue crystal lakes and over treacherous rock slides to exposed wind swept crags.

With my surgical scar hidden beneath the strap of my hiking sandal, none could see the evidence of my three bone and ligament grafts acquired in November of 2012. The few determined hikers we encountered around Durango, Silverton and Ouray saw only a like-minded mother and daughter, paused only for photos and occasional gasps of the thin air.

OK, I may have smiled a little more than the average hiker as I crested Handies —but it’s tough to contain the exhilaration of beating “you can’t.”263448_10151136090428148_585337907_n

* Mountains with an elevation of over 14,000 feet.

 For more inspiration, read the free download sample of “Stuffing Sandwiches Down My Shirt… Strategies and Inspiration for Crutch Users.

Stuffing (kindle)

 

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Roadside Views from HWY 89

Until our hiking trip through southern Utah a few summers ago, I disliked driving. Previous to that summer, my long distance automotive experiences had been heavy with interstate hauls through billboard jungles and carpool driving that racked up almost as many miles but with more predictable signage. Bo-ring.

Utah’s mesmerizing Highway 12 changed all that for me. And a couple of years later as we zipped up SR 17 and Highway 89 toward Flagstaff, and eventually, the Grand Canyon and Page, Arizona, time once again lost shape and substance.

As the landscape shifted from a flattened desert dotted by saguaros, prickly pear cacti and ocotillo plants into the more vegetated Verde Basin and then to the exposed sedimentary rock of the Colorado Plateau, my mind decelerated, simply absorbing the transitions.

I found my pause button.

Photo ops diminished as the landscape shifted from vast expanses to don’t blink cuts through mountain passes, but I imprinted enough beauty in my brain to make it a lasting memory—and began savoring the simple pleasure of driving from here to there.

More album photos: Heather Dugan Creative on Facebook

Flagstaff Things To Do

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Row, Row, Smile!

photo boat 1

This scene at the San Francisco Maritime National Historical Park made me laugh.  I’ve been one of those kids in the boat, silently gritting my teeth in a smile, waiting for each of my siblings to do the same and in unison.  I’ve also been the parent, aiming for “natural” expressions that disappeared once I peered through the viewfinder.

photo boat 2

Note the multi-tech approach this group takes: video recorder, digital camera and cell phone.  I’m sure the kids have darling faces, but it was the adults who caught my eye.

San Francisco Things To Do

Find  San Francisco’s best hotel views at Oyster Locals.

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