With my clinical curriculum requirements done, I was able to snag my fiancée away for a birthday weekend to Colorado to hike through Rocky Mountain National Park. We had 3 days of great hiking and bouldering.
We hiked through a good variety of terrain on day 1, including streams and boulders and culminating in passing the snow line and trekking through 4-foot snow. Fortunately, the bulk of it had been compacted by previous hikers, so it wasn’t dangerous to get through. I think we started out that day around 8-9a and ended around 5p.
After the first day, we needed a recovery and we got a lazy start on day 2 around 10-11a or so. After some debate, we found an awesome waterfall trail that we scampered up, slowly bouldering and climbing during the day. The trail was the initial portion of the Lawn Lake trail, and we essentially stayed on the river portion of it – the Roaring River. Ultimately we climbed up the elevation and made our way up to the trail to follow it down to its trailhead. During the day we were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of some bighorn sheep! We concluded around 6p.
On day 3 we had a late evening flight and the whole day to hike. Amanda and I hiked on a wonderful trail that led us to Gem Lake and ultimately to Standing Rock.
On this last hike we tried out our bluetooth portable speakers and made good time to the Moana soundtrack. I also figured out that the Alltrails app is great for tracking your hikes and giving you an idea on your distance and path. It allowed me to easily find our way and get this data:
One especially memorable experience occurred on our descent while we were resting at Gem Lake. We sat basking in the sun and eating jelly beans. Another couple had been similarly sitting a little farther on the same rock. After some time, they stood up to leave and as they left, one of them bent to tie her shoe. As she stood up, she hit her head on a jutting rock, causing a 2-inch laceration. She then fell backwards and tripped on a root.
As observers, we were 20+ feet away, and we both got up and helped. As we were in the middle of the wilderness, there wasn’t much to do other than to clean her wound and dress it. We stressed to them the importance of getting sutures, and slowly followed them down and saw them off. It was a telling moment because, outside of a healthcare setting, I felt like a competent provider. I knew their day had been ruined, but I think the pair of us budding young docs gave them some mental relief and first aid.
After wrapping up my last two months of medical school ever (ending with a sub-internship in internal medicine and a month of vascular surgery) in Cincinnati, OH, I trekked through the glorious Midwest towards Nebraska, to my home for the next five years stemming from my radiology residency training.
My expedient trip was motivated to be reunited with my future wife and to celebrate – her birthday, my match results, heck, even my birthday. It has been a rare delight to spend time with her during our hectic schedules, and, with my lull in training, I was afforded the pleasure of planning another delight for her.
First, I coordinated with her friends to set up an incognito get together at a new restaurant that we had yet to try – Stirnella Bar & Kitchen. While they coordinated the dinner, I assembled a scavenger hunt consisting of rhyming clues that I scattered around the city at locations significant to us. Each clue designated a subsequent destination, and at that location she would find another clue. Because she was turning 27, I wrote out 7 clues and placed them in envelopes. I then delivered them to said locations, with instructions given to the hosts or greeters at each memory.
After the game was set – everyone knew to meet us at dinner, the clues distributed, her lectures concluded – the fun began. Amanda drove home to an empty house, with the starting envelope in place on her table. She quickly put together what I had made, and she began deftly solving the clues and walking down memory lane – where we had our engagement dinner, where we had a photo shoot, our first beer together in Omaha, etc. Judicious use of the location tracking app Find Friends was involved.
One place – the Joslyn Art Museum – had no attendant (or people out, for that matter) on account of the hours and the weather. I had placed this as the second the last clue – clue #6, and I met her there to give her the clue (as the clue detailed) take her to the surprise dinner.We headed to the restaurant and she was overjoyed to meet the group of her friends who had gathered for her day. Finally, we headed home and had a slice of cake we had made per this fun video.