Queen of Trades; Travel and Photography- Category [Travel/Stories/Tips]

I don’t know if any of you guys have gone up Pikes Peak but I can say that I now have. 

IM not sure what I was expecting. I knew that I wanted to be amazed and I knew that I wanted to go up to the top. When I had driven up to the window the lady smiled at me and gave me a set of instructions. Since I was driving stick shift she told me to keep it on a low gear when I go down the mountain. She then told me that up on the top it was 2 degrees. Yea, 2 degrees! She then crouched a little and saw the cat cage in the passenger seat. She smiled and asked if I had an animal in the car. I replied and told her it was a cat. She seemed to be taken aback by that reply and after a minute she recovered and smiled. 

"I don’t think we have ever had a cat on Pikes Peak but, in any case just be careful"

Inside I was laughing a little because I knew that dogs were in the norm but cats, that was still a baffling thing to most people. I smiled and told her that she would be with me the entire time and to not worry. She smiled and waved me on through the gate. Once I was through the gate I stopped on the side of the road and set up the GoPro. There was no way I was going to miss this chance to record this drive up the mountain. 

After I got that set up I started on the 45 minute road to the top of the mountain. The speed limit the entire time you are going up the mountain is 25 mph and being someone who likes to make regular stops I can tell you that it definitely took way longer than 45 minutes for me to make the drive up Pikes peak. I had regular stops and took lots of photos with Spice. I wanted to make sure that I marked the occasion for the "First Cat to be up on Pikes Peak". I know, I know it sounds lame but for me it was a moment that I needed to make real. One of the stops I made sure to capture was Spice in front of the sign that lets you know where she is heading. 

For Spice I can say that she was not pleased about the change in elevation and made it clear by letting me know as we made our way up. We even stopped so that she can feel and see snow for the first time and she acted like it was the worst thing she had seen. In a small way I expected it but I also had hoped that she would love snow and jump right in. Turns out that I know her better then I originally thought. 

Driving up Pikes Peak with a stick shift was a challenge. I know my car pretty well but I am still not very experienced when it comes to going up steep inclines. It took me a while to get used to the shifting and to also get used to the idea that if you mess up or your tire goes all wonky on a chunk of ice that you will fall off of Pikes peak and more than likely kill yourself. So of course that was in the back of my mind. All in all though, I think the danger was worth the risk. Getting to the top of that mountain was so amazing and the view, my god the view. Hundreds of miles, millions of people below, and one planet to support us all. It’s crazy how your view in perspective changes when you see new things. 

Pikes peak is something I will never forget and next time I am in Colorado I know I want to hike up the mountain. That is something I can promise and for those of you that are still following when that comes around, well I can that there will be a recording of the experience. 

 Have you guys been up Pike's Peak? 

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I got to stop by Nashville for a small visit. I had planned to see someone who I knew from High School. When we went to school together we were fairly close and there were times when we hung out and I felt very calm around him. I felt very welcomed and I always had a good experience around him. He became my one friend that made it out of high school. He became a rock in this crazy world. It’s strange how people become anchors to the chaos. We may not talk all the time and we may not see each other often but time and time again we bump into each other and each time I get to see him, is a time in our lives that we spent growing our relationship. 

When I got to stay in Nashville I was very happy to make this stop. It had been two years and I know there has been so much that has happened. I wanted to sit and chat with a couple of drinks. I wanted the world to melt away and just for us to have real moments where we can look back on and laugh. I wanted that so bad that I could feel it in my bones and right now I needed something to hold onto. A good memory to replay in my head until it wears and tears. 

Of course we spent a few hours together when I finally made it to the house but the next day became a hectic realization. I forgot that he was engaged. The problem with being a female is that you get treated like a piece of meat. You get pushed around a bit, you get tested, you get looks, and finally you get questioned. It probably sounds weird when I break it down like that but, the reality is that those are the way most women think. When your man has a girl that is a "friend" you automatically make assumptions or want to know what the relationship is or was. Curiosity ignites and we want answers. 

Well I decided to just let things ride out and see how she reacts to me being in his presence. I can tell you that the time I was there we didn’t chat much and it was mostly because of how I am around groups. I like one on one interaction. If I want to chat with someone and catch up after YEARS of not seeing them, I want to do it in a fashion where we can actually catch up. I want to have a drink, I want to have some space, I want to share a moment in our lives. I don’t know when I will see him again and the next time I do see him, he might be married and by then I know that it will be too late to do crazy things together and just be us. 

So Yea, I had to deal with an emotional breakdown and face the facts. I had a moment where I realized what decisions I made in high school and I also realized how out of the loop I feel at random times. I just want my friend and that moment with him. Just a moment where we can have fun and not worry about anybody else interrupting our conversation. I just want to chat for hours and get lost in the life we are in now. Nothing more, nothing less. 


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There is always someone new I meet everywhere I go. It could be a little bit of a conversation, a one time hangout, a family cookout, or just a hike together. Some way, some how I always end up meeting at least one new friend. Really it is a an eye opener to see that there are people out there who are a little like me and who have the same interests. There are people out there who just want to chill, travel, and be able to experience the world. Meeting a new person every time I go out of my comfort zone has really opened doors for me.

Every morning I usually have a cup of coffee and because I was out of town and didn't want to go to Starbucks I had decided to go to the place called Bikini Espresso. Well because of this place I had made a lot of new friends and one of them happened to want to follow my instagram from the moment we met. For me it was like a golden moment in time. We exchanged instagrams, numbers and I gave her my business card. Slowly but surely I started to get to know her and before long we made plans.

She was so nice and let me into her home to hangout with someone like me who is a total stranger. I just buy coffee and here I am sitting in my baristas living room and just smoking together while we enjoy some awesome music. Of course we talked all day and had been hanging out with her friend who she also models with. SO instead of one new friend I now had two new friends. For me it was nice to hear other people's stories and to share my experiences with others. It makes me happy to share what I have learned and it's nice to have people who listen to you. It can really change you world.

I think though, in this case, it just showed that there are people out there that just want to meet others and have a good time. NOt everyone is so stationary and not everyone thinks that meeting strangers is bad. For me I got a new friend who I know can help out if I need a place to stay and will show me around town next time. I am so happy that I do this hobby and that I get to interact with all kinds of people in all kinds of places. It truly is something special.

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The Red Rock Canyon is an open space that has various trails throughout it. 

If you need a place to run, walk, walk the dog, or just get away for a day then go check it out! Its a nice workout and a good day outside!

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After I had finished up with Castle Bishop and started driving home, I felt like I spent my time wisely. It was nice to be by myself for a while and to just do something that I enjoy. Nobody was bothering me, I didn't have to worry about knowing anybody here, and I felt like a kid again. For that day the Castle became my playground. It was quite nice to have that moment and I felt like treating myself to one last trip to Subway and go myself a footlong Spicy Italian Sub. Now I don't usually eat fast food but since I was on a vacation/work trip I felt like it would be a nice little treat.

So I get subway to go, get in my car, and head back to the apartment. By this time it was dark and I was ready to have a cuddling session with Spice. I get out of the car, get across the playground I have to cut through, go inside the apartment and get to the door. I'M about the put the key in the lock when the door flies open and my friend greets me. His roommate is in the kitchen. I come inside and say hello. I put my stuff down and wait for a second for someone to say something. It was odd that they would just open the door and just let me in like that. It was almost like they were waiting for me.

I straight up and my friend goes "We need to talk about your cat" and Of course momma bear comes out. I turn and start looking for Spice. "Ok well what did you do?" Now for the sake of this I am not going to name them. I'M gonna call me friend Stan and call his roommate Kenny.


Frustrated and taken off guard Stan replies "My fault?" and laughs a little. Not wanting to state the obvious because I can smell the poop in the apartment, I go in the kitchen and run into Kenny. I greet him and ask where Spice is. He points to the corner of the cabinet area and low and behold, there she is. Shes growling, shes in a corner and she's hissing at my friends every move. So just to try and calm her down I approach her and she straightens a little and rubs against my hand. So while my focus is on her for a second I go for the plunge.


"So what happened?


I hear Stan make a noise and then take a deep breath. I straighten as I wait for his reply. He starts off on this rant about how she pooped on the carpet and attacked him and how there was blood on the wall. Kenny takes his que and slowly makes his way to his room. So I wait and he keeps going. "I was trying to get her out of the bathroom and out of the toilet because I don't want heer in the toilet. There's litter everywhere and I was trying to close the bathroom door so I tried to get her out of there. I had to then chase her out of the room and I tried to isolate her because she started going crazy so that I can calm her down."


I don't know how much he knows about cats, I don't know if he had listened to me when I first came into this apartment, I don't even know if he actually considered my warnings about how Spice was going to be very cautious around them and to not agitate her. To leave her alone. Well if he didn't get it when I first got to the apartment, then he sure did now.

Taking a deep breath I tried to explain. "You can't just chase her out places like that." scoffing Stan throws back "I don't want litter everywhere and she's creating a mess by throwing it everywhere and then pooping on my carpet!"


Me: "Look you can't just close off areas just because she's making a mess. Thats not ok and chasing her out of places just so you can keep a door closed is not ok to do to her. Not only that but the litter box is in there"


Stan:" I'm not doing that!"


me:"Yes you are, by chasing her out of a room."


Stan: "I'M trying to be reasonable"


Me: "That's not reasonable!"


Stan: "I just don't want all the mess that is final"


(this is not exact to the fight we had but this was the basics.)

Sitting there and petting Spice to calm her down more I looked at him and shook my head slightly. He just doesn't understand and because of that I did the only option I had left. I told him I would find another place to stay. I don't think he was expecting that result but when it comes to my baby, not listening to me when I gave specific instructions, and just being rude is not something that I tolerate. After a little bit silence he told me I could leave if I wanted and so I got to work on eating my dinner and called my dad. I wanted a second pair of eyes out there looking at the prices of places to stay and with his extra help I knew that I would find a good place to crash. Once I hung up with my dad I went to eating my sandwich and started ignoring Stan's pacing. I knew that Kenny was listening and staying low. This was a fight between us and as far as I knew Kenny wasn't involved.


After a bit Stan came back into the kitchen and told me I didn't have to go if I didn't want to. I listened as he talked and started to be more calm about the situation. In truth I don't know much about what he went through but I did know that he was a friend from Elementary school and that he went through a lot in the military. He's a veteran now, looking for a new start in this state. Unfortunately though I don't know what he is going through because I did join the military and I haven't gone through what he has gone through so, sadly I didn't feel like that was a good enough excuse for anything.


We came to talking about cats and what they are like when they are in stressful situations and we talked it out. We laid down new ground rules for the house and made sure that he listened this time when it came to my specific instructions when interacting with Spice. Isolating a cat that has no idea who the people are and is doing something new for the first time, is to be best left alone and approached with care. It's not an easy task but it can be done. So if you don't know much about cats or your interacting with someone else's cat, please listen if that person is trying to let you know how that cat reacts to new people or new places. Respect and trust are earned not given.

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