Sunday, August 15, 2010

If a bear...


In our most recent adventures, we hiked a 14,000 foot mountain. Here is the story of our experience:

At approximately 3:57 A.M. I felt Steven moving around. I had been praying for the last 5 minutes that he would forget about wanting to hike, and we would stay in bed until well after the sun had been in the sky. My prayers were ignored as he gave me a gentle push, and told me we needed to get up. I finally talked myself into telling myself he would do the same for me when ski season was finally here. So after throwing on hiking clothes, leashing the dogs, and grabbing our packs we were out the door into the cool morning hours. We were headed for the Mt. Bierstadt trailhead, which is a little over an hour from our apartment. All was well as we had exited I-70 and made our way up a winding dirt road until we came across this little jewel...
The road to the trailhead was closed due to rock slides. I entertained the idea that I might get to go back to bed when Steven told me to find out more about the hike up Mt. Evans. This was his day so I looked up the Mt. Evans trail with my sleepy eyes. I found a trail called the Chicago Lakes Trail that said would summit Mt. Evans. Just as quickly as we had went up the small dirt road we were on our way back down. The sun was starting to rise so we had some good views on our drive towards Mt. Evans.

We made it to Echo Lake, which is where the trailhead for the Chicago Lakes trail is located. The sun was lighting the sky now so we parked, and quickly got started. We didn't have a map so we went off what I'd read on We found the trailhead, and started what we thought would be our journey up Mt. Evans. At the very beginning of the trail we saw a small female elk eating some grass. The dogs went insane, and scared her off. It was so quiet in the area we were in that we could hear her hooves beating against the ground as she ran away. The trail was decently wide, and very well marked. It was protected by dense tall pine trees so the air smelled fresh, and we knew we'd be safe in the event of a pop up thunderstorm. Because we were in such dense trees with little other foot traffic, we would call out, "HEY BEAR!" every few minutes so the bears would hear us coming. Luckily the only wildlife we saw was another hiker. We felt like we were going in the wrong direction as we were heading in the opposite direction of Mt. Evans and we were going downhill. The hiker we came upon had a map, and he informed us that the Chicago Lakes trail does not go all the way up Mt. Evans. Trusting his map more than we decided to turn around. By this point it was around 7:30AM so we decided to eat breakfast by Echo Lake, and discuss what our plan was going to be for the rest of the morning.

After trail mix and homemade banana bread, we decided to go to the lodge across Echo Lake to see if they had any trail maps. They were all sold out, but the trip to the lodge was not wasted as they had toilets! After using the loo, we decided to look at an informational booth near the lodge. It wasn't much help. We decided to give up, and just drive up Mt. Evans so we could at least get a good view for all the trouble. I must say I was a bit excited at the thought of a relaxing drive. We were at the toll station when my resourceful husband tells the ranger of our previous plans to hike Mt. Evans. He told him we were really bummed that there was no trail to the top. The ranger chuckled and let us know that there was indeed a trail to the top.
We could meet up with it at Summit Lake. My dreams of a peaceful car ride were over.
The views to Summit Lake were breathtaking.

We finally arrived at Summit Lake to find the temperature much cooler, and a stiff breeze blowing. We were going to hike up and around to reach the top. It was about a four mile hike to the top. This was a much smaller hike than we had originally planned for, but we were excited to make it to the top. We started up the trail where we found a sign in box to let the rangers know who was on the side of the mountain, and how long they planned on staying. After signing in we continued up. The first section of the trail was very steep so with the breeze and working with the dogs we had to stop a few times to catch our breath. We found a nice spot to have lunch so we stopped on the side of the mountain with a view of the Chicago lakes that was at least 2000 feet down to enjoy our sandwiches. After a quick bite to eat we were off again. From our hike we had views of the Continental Divide (which we stood on when skiing at Monarch), Pikes Peak, and Denver. This trail was not as well marked as the Chicago Lakes Trail. We had to keep an eye out for cairns, or piles of rocks, to know where the trail was. We saw several marmot on our hike, and we even got to see a small family of them. I'd love to share pictures of this part of the experience, but Steven left the camera in the trunk thinking he'd save on the extra weight!

We were on the backside of Mt. Evans when we decided to eat a little more. Hiking is a lot of work! We were also at about 13,000 feet at this point so our bodies were feeling a little funny because of the altitude. While we were snacking we saw the same hiker who let us see his map on the Chicago Lakes trail. He apologized for leading us astray but we were glad to see each other again so close the the summit. After our snack, we continued the rest of the way up to the very top. The view was amazing, and the sense of accomplishment to know that we had hiked to the top was great. We took in the sights from the top for awhile, and then decided to head back down due to the dark clouds that were starting to set in. It was important to get back to the car before an afternoon storm started because we were well above tree line so there was no protection for us in the event of lighting. A ranger let us know that there was a shorter path down the front side of the mountain. It was much steeper than the path we had taken, but it was a great deal quicker than the other trail. There was a thick layer of grass with boulders sprinkled everywhere on our way down. We saw a lot of small animals and even came across a few mountain springs that provided a cool drink for the pups. After about a 4 hour hike we were back at the car. The sun was behind the many clouds that had settled in, and we were glad to be back to the safety of our car. Our trip up Mt. Evans started as chaotic, but it ended in a tranquil manner.

Our next 14er looks to be Pike's Peak via the Barr Trail. We'd like this to be our first backpack camping experience so as soon as we complete our gear then we'll be finding a free weekend to head to Colorado Springs.

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Kimble's Do Denver


We, mostly me (Ruth), pledge to get better at updating this blog!

It's been a busy time for us. Steven is continuing to learn the ways of property management, specifically through the community director's lens. He seems to be enjoying work, and is continuing to succeed within the company. I'm a proud wife! :)

Aside from being a great community director, Steven is continuing to be a great husband. He's proving to be a handy man around the house. So far he has fixed the screen door, a plugged sink, and a slippery shower curtain! He has been teaching the kids (dogs) new tricks. Madison can now play dead, and Oscar "speaks" on command.

The job search continues for me! I just took the Colorado state exams for my CO teaching license. I'm getting signed up for many different sub lists. While this isn't the ideal working situation is opens up free time for visitors and, more importantly, SKIING! :) I am know that God has a plan for my career so I am trying to be patient.

In other news, WE ARE OFFICIAL COLORADO RESIDENTS! After a VERY expensive visit to the DMV we are now equipped with pretty green and white Colorado license plates. Unfortunately, in Colorado the cars must have a plate on the front and back of the car. This means no more BSU plate for me, and Grey Baby (Steven's car) is getting drilled into. It has taken some adjusting to get used to the new plates, but we are excited to be over that hurdle.

Other than getting to know a new town, searching for a job, succeeding at a job, and becoming CO residents; we have been entertaining like crazy! The Kimble family has been our most recent guest experience. This brought a new element to the Moll Inn as the Kimble's have three children ranging from 18 months to 9 years. Colton showed us how to baby proof the apartment while Cassidy and Annalee win a gold medal for draining the energy out of Madison and Oscar. Garry reminded us of his humor, and Jennifer juggled ten tasks at once proving that she is still super mom. Here is what the trip looked like:

  • Thursday - Left the airport to come home to a MUCH needed breakfast. Played Steven's made up games with the girls, and climbed on a boulder at a park near the apartment.
  • Friday - Hiked around Eldorado State Park then headed to Steven's company picnic where we all engaged in some intense whiffle ball.
  • Saturday - Experienced the American Girl store then the girls headed to Heaven Fest to listen to the likes of Casting Crowns and Barlow Girl. The girls received autographs from Barlow Girl! The boys walked around Denver then headed to the Cubbies game at Coors Field.
  • Sunday - Ate at the foot of Mt. Evans at a cute little cafe. Experienced snow in August on Mt. Evans, saw Elk along the highway, and enjoyed our departing dinner together.
  • Monday - Left the apartment at 4 AM to send the Kimbles off to Jason's family in New Hampshire.
It was great to see the Kimbles! We miss them very much. We video chat a great deal with them, but there is nothing like seeing them in person. We are trying to talk them into coming out to ski with us this winter! Jennifer says they'll come when Colton is a little older!

Our next guests to arrive are the Vogel's for Labor Day then Mom and Dad Zeilinga with Meme for Steven's birthday in late September.

Let us know when you are heading out!!

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Up to no good in the wood...


It has been a busy month. We moved to Englewood, Colorado, I had a final the next day, and then I left for Malawi, Africa for 16 days.

We had a great trip with a lot of good people. It is really nice to surround yourself with genuine people who share the same passion for travel. That's all I'm going to say about the trip. If you want more details...COME VISIT US IN COLORADO! :) We can also Skype sometime if travel isn't an option. There will be pictures up on shutterfly soon. I'll post the link when I get them up.

Upon arriving "home," it doesn't feel like home because we'd only been here one day before I left, I was greeted by my sweet husband and two furry kids. I had two days of rest and then we had friends from Indiana drive in to spend the week. They arrived early to surprise our friend Josh on his birthday, July 4. Since they've been here we've hit up all the sights, laid by the pool, ATE, and enjoyed each other's company. I've added more books to my reading list thanks to Katie, our English Ed book loving friend. They'll be leaving Saturday.

Steven and I will get back to the daily grind. He's been working in northern Denver as a Community Director for a property up there. It's been nice getting to see him in a tie everyday. :) I've been finishing up my graduate assistantship, class, and applying for jobs like crazy. A mix up with my license is putting things in slow motion right now, but I trust that God has a plan for how this is all supposed to turn out. Hopefully I'll be starting my first year of teaching in August, but if not I'll find a part time job and continue taking grad classes.

Some interesting things to leave you with about our new home:

  1. Our apartment came with a loft.
  2. 4 miles away is Columbine High School.
  3. We are within a good walk of a light rail station.
  4. There is a bike path that runs along the backside of the property.
  5. Sadly, there is no longer an awesome view of the mountains from our apartment. (I miss the Springs!)
  6. Our apartment came with a washer and dryer!!!
  7. We have vaulted ceilings.
  8. 20 minutes/8 miles separate us from our good friend, Josh.
  9. Denver has a Sunflower Market.
  10. There are no mule deer or mountain lions creeping around neighborhood.

Monday, June 7, 2010

Back Home In Indiana...


I'm taking a break from reading for class for a bit, and I decided I should post about my most recent visit home.

My nephew, Cayden, turned three on May 22. I like to check flight prices often just to see if any sweet deals are coming up. In March the tickets to come home for Cayden's birthday were insanely cheap. So after asking Steven if he would mind, I booked a flight home. I had texted Jenny, my oldest sister and Cayden's mom, if she would mind me coming home for his birthday. She immediately called me freaking out. She thought it would be wonderful. Now if you've ever met Jenny then you know that she has big ideas about life. You can tell from her work ethic and the way she does things that she wants things to be perfect. She came up with the brilliant idea to keep my trip home on the down low. The only real loud mouth who knew I was coming home was Cayd. When Jenny would ask who was coming to his birthday (he had a Spongebob themed birthday) he would say, "Aunt Roofie!" She had intended for him to say, "Spongebob." Luckily, the little man didn't let it slip! Curt came to get me at the airport late on Friday night, and I helped at the flower shop Saturday morning. Then I anxiously awaited the arrival of the birthday guests from Cayden's room upstairs. After everyone arrived Curt came to get me. With a Spongebob mask covering my face I stepped onto the back patio. Everyone was back by the garage in the shade. Aunt Diane was the first to notice. Everyone just stared for a second. I don't think my mom could believe her eyes. Finally, Aunt Diane said, "Is that Ruth?!" Mom came running up to the patio with tears in her eyes. She said, "I didn't want to believe it because this family is known for sick jokes!" It was so great to see everyone, and we had a fun filled day celebrating Cayden's birth.

The rest of my time in Indiana was spent visiting with family and friends. I made it back to Vogel's to try out Cayden's new slip n' slide which made me feel old because my body was sore after playing on that with him for three hours.

It was a great trip home, but I was excited to get back to Steven and the kids (we call our dogs "the kids").

We've been busy packing for our move this Friday. Steven has been making the LONG commute to Denver everyday so I know he is excited to move. I'm going to miss the Springs. My mom is coming to help us move. She'll get her Wednesday, and we are excited for her arrival.

Until then I have a paper to write, a quiz to take, four chapters to read, and a final to study for. I better get back to studying! :)

One last thing....I leave for Africa Sunday. Please pray for a safe trip! Also, please pray that Josh and Steven don't get in any trouble while I'm gone!!

Pictures of our hike up Blodgett Peak should be coming soon...

Friday, May 14, 2010

This and That

Well, Steven will be proud. I never blog, but I'm in the mood this evening. :)

A lot has been going on since the last post...

I was offered a second grade teaching position with Fremont Elementary, which is the school I am currently working for as a special ed assistant teacher. I would LOVE to teach at this school because the staff is amazing, and it is a good group of students. The same day this great news happened Steven also got fabulous news...promotion number two! Steven has landed himself his very own property in....DENVER! He is the new Community Director of North Creek apartments on the north side. Of course he accepted the position so I'm back on the job search, again. Prayers for a great teaching position would really be appreciated!

Along with Steven's promotion means another move. The commute would be about an hour and twenty minutes, and it would include going through Palmer Divide everyday, which is a hot spot for terrible weather. After going back and forth between an apartment and renting a house we decided to go with an apartment. Click here to check out the apartment we're considering. We are really interested in floor plan F. Hopefully we'll be settled in before I leave for Africa. Fingers crossed!

More big news that has little to do with Steven and myself...Josh got a dog! It is a 4 month old dachshund named Swarley (Pronounced like Harley, but with "Sw"). He's adorable, and our dogs are getting along great with him. Madison is very motherly toward him, and Oscar is still evaluating the situation. It's been fun getting to play with a puppy.

Some fun news: I went to the dentist and got an A+!! Mom and Dad are saying, "Unbelievable!" I always have cavities despite my obsession with dental hygiene so this is an occasion to rejoice!


I'll be leaving for Malawi on June 13, and I will be returning to Colorado June 30. We will be going to Mtendere Village Orphanage again, and we will be taking donations with us. If you are able to donate, and you are interested here are the details:

We can take checks, which will be cashed to buy supplies for the orphanage. These can be tax deductible. Let me know if you are interested in the tax deduction, and I can get AFC to send you a receipt. You can either make the checks out to me (Ruth Moll) or Ambassadors for Children. Every little bit can help. Even if you can only do $10 you will make a difference in the life of these children. (I wish I could take everyone with me so they could experience what life in a developing country is like!)

Here are some items that the orphanage is always in need of:

  • Mosquito Spray (95% or higher DEET to protect from Malaria infected mosquitos; You can find this at most camping stores.)
  • Feminine Products
  • Pens
  • Scales (to weigh mothers at hospitals)
  • Batteries
  • Lotions
  • Soaps
  • Shampoo
  • Razors
  • Flip Flops
  • Pencils
  • Crayons
  • Bubbles, Balloons, Hot Wheel Type Cars (The students go crazy for these things!)
These items can be shipped by June 11 to:

Ruth Moll
850 Vindicator Dr. #305
Colorado Springs, CO 80919

Well, that is it for now. :)

Saturday, April 17, 2010

As of lately, we have had some minor changes.
I am no longer going to be working where I live. I start Monday at a new location. It is much bigger than where I am now and it is beginning a renovation. My supervisors tell me that I will be a good fit because my strengths will help with some of their weaknesses. It will be a big change of pace. I'm glad to have the opportunity where I can prove myself.
Also, last week Ruth and I sponsored a child in Costa Rica. His name is Magdiel and he is 2-years old. His family has a seasonal income of $52 dollars a month. The organization we are working with is through our church and all our money goes directly to his needs (food, shelter, education, healthcare, etc.) We will be sponsoring him until he is 16 and has an education or skilled labor training. Until he is old enough to write himself, his mother will be writing us back and forth. We are really excited to have Magdiel in our lives.
Otherwise, not much else is happening. Ruth is finishing her schoolwork for the semester of grad school. She is interested in some book suggestions for her to read this summer. I have been re-reading The Lord of the Rings and another book called Comfortable with Uncertainty written by a Buddhist nun named Pema Chodron. We took the dogs to the vet today and they are both in excellent health. All the vets and techs said that Madge was the sweetest dog they have ever seen. I will probably spend most of the rest of the day at the dog park. The weather here is gray, damp, and cold. It reminds me of an Indiana winter.
Josh is going to come down tonight when he gets off work. The property where he works is also going under renovation and he is bringing me 2 large potted plants. I'm really excited.
Also, so far our guest-schedule consists of Fred, Kathy, and Papa (Kathy's dad) coming down at the end of April. Des (friend from Tuesday night club, Folk Tales [see previous post]) coming the first or second week of May. Katie and Matt (and more?) are coming early July. Kimbles are coming the end of July/August. Ruth will be gone the 2nd half of June to go back to Malawi so if you want to come visit you better plan in advance.*

*all dates subject to change. :)

Saturday, April 10, 2010