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Summer 2023 adventures!

Back in March, I spent part of my spring break in southern California visiting my sister. The weather left something to be desired, but everything else about the trip was wonderful and I came home super excited to share it with you all! That was six weeks ago and – as evidenced by the fact that this post is not about California – my enthusiasm has not translated into words. Writing those posts has been like pulling teeth and, as a result, for the first time in a long time I’ve found myself with no completed posts in my queue.

I honestly haven’t done a lot else on the adventure front since then that warrants its own post. There have been a couple short hikes with friends, but not much else. Between the never-ending winter that makes me want to stay indoors and the mountain of work that always accumulates at the end of the semester, I’ve been spending most weekends at home. But summer is fast approaching and with it, lots of exciting things to look forward to, so I figured I’d give a sneak peek into what I’ll be up to and what you can expect to read about in the near(ish) future.

You know, after I finally (hopefully) manage to write about California.


I have two weeks of the semester left, and then it usually takes me a solid 7-10 days to recover and feel like interacting with people again, which brings us to Memorial Day weekend. This year, Pat’s cousin is getting married in Connecticut so we’ll be heading across the country for that. However, we decided we weren’t going to pay to fly all the way to the east coast on a holiday weekend without doing some additional traveling while we’re there, so after the wedding we’ll be piling into a car with Pat’s dad and stepmom and spending a couple days in Philadelphia. It’s a city none of us have ever been to, and we’re excited to immerse ourselves in some important pieces of our nation’s history and see if Philly cheese steaks really live up to the hype.


Weather-permitting, we’ll be starting off the month with an overnight backpacking trip in Rocky Mountain National Park with friends, though I’d give it about a 50% chance of actually happening. Weather in the Colorado mountains in June is notoriously variable; it could be beautiful and sunny or it could be snowing or it could be anything in between.

(We will not be backpacking if it’s snowing.)

In the middle of the month, I have plans with a couple friends to climb my first 14er of 2023, and I might try to squeeze another one in there at some point as well. Again, weather dependent.

And lastly, Pat and I may be heading off on a Midwest high-pointing trip at the end of the month, which we would likely combine with a trip to visit some of my extended family and possibly even a visit to a nearby National Park Service site. We have some logistics to sort out still, but I’ve already spiraled into planning mode and I’m hopeful we can make it work!


July will begin with the third annual mother-daughter Montana roadtrip. This year, she and I will be heading to the farthest northwest reaches of the state, a region both of us have scarcely visited. We have a jam-packed itinerary planned, including museums, lakes, waterfalls, hiking, a scenic boat tour, and hopefully even some kayaking.

I’ll be back in Colorado for about ten days, some of which Pat and I are hoping to spend in the southwest corner of the state. It’s our absolute favorite part of Colorado, and between stunningly colorful alpine lakes and at least a dozen 14ers, my to-do list for the area is ever-growing. Hopefully we can manage to check off at least a few items this time around while basking in the endless beauty of the San Juan Mountains.

Snapshots from the San Juans

And finally, it’s back to Montana at the end of the month for ten days in Glacier National Park to celebrate our first wedding anniversary. To say I’m excited for this trip is an enormous understatement. Glacier is my absolute favorite place! Pat has never been to the park and I haven’t been back since 2015 so I’m very much in withdrawal. I have what is probably an unrealistic amount of hiking planned, including a handful of hikes I’ve done before and some that will be new to both of us. My mom and sister will be joining us for a couple days too, and we’ll also be popping up to southern Alberta for a day to visit Pat’s brother and his family.

Glacier National Park

But perhaps the most exciting part of our trip is the final 2 nights, which we’ll be spending at Sperry Chalet. This rustic backcountry hotel can only be reached on foot, and it’s not exactly an easy hike to get there. It’s also very small and insanely popular, so we were lucky to get a reservation (when I got the email, I gasped so suddenly and loudly that I scared the crap out of Pat). Once there, additional hiking trails climb up to viewpoints, lakes, and glaciers above the Chalet. It looks incredible and I can’t wait!


Hopefully I won’t be completely exhausted after July, because I have two backpacking trips planned for August. Both are just one night in Rocky Mountain National Park, one with my mom and one with Pat. He and I didn’t get our first choice of permit, but the thing with Rocky is there’s so much beauty that a second choice is usually still pretty fantastic.

Our second choice destination back in 2021

Other than that, I may try to summit a couple more 14ers. My original goal for the summer was at least 8, but as other plans have taken shape, I’m realizing I’m going to be away from Colorado quite a bit so that may be a goal I have to adjust. But hopefully I can at least manage a few more, bringing me closer to my eventual goal of summiting all 58 (I’m currently at 8).


I know, I know, September isn’t summer. Except, according to the calendar, it is. And Colorado weather in September is still very much summery. So for me, at least, summer lasts until Labor Day weekend. And we will be wrapping up our summer of adventures with a trip to Utah to summit the state’s highest point. It’s a 28 mile (45 km) roundtrip hike to summit 13,528 foot (4123 m) Kings Peak, so this is not a small undertaking. For us, it will be a 3 day/2 night backpacking trip. Hopefully. We originally planned this trip back in 2021, but suffocating forest fire smoke forced us to pull the plug at the last minute. I’m hopeful that all the snow and rain out west will keep forest fires at bay this summer and allow us to finally stand atop Utah’s highest point.

When our Utah high point plans got thwarted, we ended up summiting the New Mexico high point instead

Phew. Are you as exhausted reading about all of this as I am after writing about it? It’s going to be an absolute whirlwind, but now when you don’t hear from me on WordPress for a few days at a time, you’ll know why.

I hope you all enjoy following along with my adventures once I get around to writing about them (follow me on instagram for more up-to-date photos and stories), and I wish you all a summer full of sunshine and adventures as well!


56 thoughts on “Summer 2023 adventures!”

  1. Wow, you have quite a jam pack itinerary planned for you guys – I think summer is going to be too short 😉! There are so many fun things to look forward to! Hope everything works out as planned … and even if it doesn’t, I’m sure you’ll enjoy every adventure that comes your way anyway!

    Liked by 2 people

  2. Quite the plans for the year! And beautiful places. I usually plan a few larger trips then wing the rest, often deciding that week where to backpack or hike.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. Best of luck with your ambitious plans this summer. It certainly sounds like you’ll be spending a lot of time outdoors and on the trails. We went to Glacier almost a decade ago and I’ve been wanting to return. I’ll just have to live vicariously through your travels for now.

    Liked by 2 people

  4. That’s one busy – and delightful – summer.
    We have the exact same goals for our first times in Philadelphia: museums, museums, museums . . . and eat a Philly Cheesesteak.
    That potential trip to the Midwest to bag another high point sounds AWESOME! I hope it works out for you. 😉

    Liked by 2 people

    1. I LOVE Waterton! One of my favorite hikes of all time is there (Crypt Lake). Unfortunately we won’t have time for that this trip, but Pat has never seen the Canadian Rockies so we will absolutely be back for that, hopefully in the not too distant future.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Sounds like a busy summer. I bought a SUV tent to go camping. I know I know I’m a baby! Not really just getting up off the ground is getting harder. Anyway I am going to San Angelo SP in May which they say looks like a mini Utah. In June I am doing Possum Kingdom Lake, and in July I am going to Copper Breaks up on the Red River. Of course in August it’s Montana and Yellowstone with my sister oh thst’s your mom also. Wish you could be there too. In October I am thinking to go to Caprock Canyons which is the extreme southern section of Palo Duro. So have fun and be careful on those 14er’s
    Uncle Rick

    Liked by 2 people

  6. Whew! Yes, I’m exhausted just reading all about your adventures but excited for you nonetheless. I agree, the San Juans are the best and my favorite part of Colorado as well. Enjoy your travels.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. The San Juans have such amazing wildflowers, it’s the best I’ve seen in the state by far. Hopefully you’re able to see them yourself one day!


  7. Sounds delightful, Diana. You and Pat will have your hands full and feet busy. 🙂 I didn’t realize that you are still in college. What’s your major? Peggy and I are planning on doing some backpack treks in the Sierra’s this summer as we load up our small trailer and head West from Virginia again. I’m hoping to do an 80 mile trip to celebrate my 80th birthday. We’ll see. Grin.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Backpacking in the Sierras is on my bucket list, they look so beautiful. Have a wonderful time!
      My days as a student are behind me, I’m on the other side of things now as a professor.


      1. Oh, good, on the professor bit, Dianna. I was imagining you as an older (but not that old) student. 🙂 What’s your subject?
        I spent 50 years wandering in the Sierras from Lake Tahoe to Mt. Whitney. I still return whenever possible.

        Liked by 1 person

  8. What a great summer of travel and adventure. I’ve never been to Philadelphia either, and your Philly to-do list is exactly the same as my Philly to-do list: museums, museums, museums, and eat a Philly Cheesesteak Sandwich.

    Your potential trip to the Midwest sounds AMAZING. I do hope it works out! 😉

    Liked by 2 people

  9. It is always nice to have something to look forward to, but you have outdone yourself with your summer plans. Your talk about Glacier in Montana got me thinking about the Canadian side of this park (Waterton). It has been a long time since we have been there. Maybe it is time to start thinking about it again. Thanks for sharing your exciting plans Diana. Happy Wednesday. Allan

    Liked by 2 people

  10. Sounds like an exciting summer!! I hope the weather will be wonderful! My family will be in Glacier the last week of July, maybe you’ll cross hiking trails with them. If you see a girl getting mad at her parents for not hiking fast enough it’s probably them ha!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. I got exhausted reading about all of your summer plans, whew! But I have no doubt you’ll have a wonderful and exciting time. I’m dying to visit Glaciers, and I’m really glad you’re going, especially to celebrate your first wedding anniversary– a huge milestone! Wishing you the best with end-of-the-school-year shenanigans and a lovely summer (PS I hope to read about your visit to California soon, from a Californian herself)!

    Liked by 2 people

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