I could not be more proud of my big girl.

On Saturday she and her Daddy hiked the family’s traditional “first mountain climb”, Courthouse Mountain.  It is 12,152 ft. in elevation and 8 miles, round trip.

The big square one at the end — that’s Courthouse

there she goes!

My sisters and I all remember it as our first real mountain climb with our Dad and once I posted pictures on Facebook, I got pictures and remembrances from cousins who did the same.

The meadow near the base of the mountain is where my youngest sister, Amber,  got married.

Lovely place, lovely bride

And Courthouse is the scene of my sister Stephanie and my favorite “our childhood was weird” story.

We were probably eight and five years old and Amber was still in a baby backpack.  We  climbed Courthouse with our mom and dad and made the top.  But, as often happens in the summers, a thunderstorm rolled in and suddenly we were on a steep grassy meadow, exposed to the lightening.  My dad, an experienced mountain climber, decided the best thing to do would be to stash me and Stephanie under a rock outcrop and help my mom and baby sister down the mountain as quickly as possible.  So, here we were, two little girls huddled under a rock as the thunder crashed and echoed all around us.  It was raining hard and we could hardly hear ourselves talk.

I remember that Stephanie was scared (at this point she’d probably say — OF COURSE I WAS SCARED!  We were abandoned on the side of the mountain in a thunderstorm — she can be a bit dramatic) and that I made up stories about how we were mice and this hole under the rock was our home.  We ate those pink and vanilla wafer cookies (still a requirement for all us sisters on a camping trip) and held hands.  I’m sure it was only 15 minutes or so and Dad came racing back up the trail and helped us hurry down.

The steep meadow and rocky outcrop still there to shelter children

So when Violet and Mr. Incredible went on their hike of this mountain, I stayed at home with the little boys and prayed for good memories, and for the thunderstorms to stay away!

How much do I adore this picture?

She did awesome.  She was a great hiker, and Mr. Incredible said she talked and talked the whole way up, telling him every little thing that was in her head.

at the top and signing her name

In Colorado we have a group of mountains over 14,000 ft. we call 14ers.  Violet says she’s ready for her first 14er now.  And yes, we have a family traditional first 14er as well.  There’s a story or two about those climbs as well.

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