Gratitude Challenge: The Start

For me it is about the little things. The little “pixels” of the day add up to an incredible big picture view. Plus details are fun, I like tedious work. A really good blog I follow started a series: “The Gratitude Challenge.” Every day for 30 days you write things you are grateful for. The first day just one thing and increase the number of things by one each day. I feel that we can all benefit from picking out the little things in the day and recognizing how they effect us. Here is day one.

1. Family: Happy Labor day everyone! Usually a day for family, friends, and food on the grill. Today my family is getting all three, minus me. I am obligated to go to work. Still I get to spend the early part of the day spending time with my family preparing the house for friends and food. I truly enjoy seeing the teamwork used to prepare for a good day. More than just that it is my family who has gotten me to where I am at and they are the ones who are always there. So on this wonderful labor day my gratitude is focused on family.


Ranger Gabriel: Make-A-Wish and Yosemite’s Youngst Ranger

Everyone knows that crying is good for you (; PBS explains why). SO, if you have not done so in a while, watch this video.

9-year-old Gabriel has always wanted to be a Park Ranger, Make-A-Wish made his one wish happen in a HUGE way. Check out Ranger Gabriel on patrol as an honorary ranger in Yosemite National Park.

Making a few changes

Happy Birthday to High Sierra Collective! The blog is a year old and I have learned A LOT in a year, a lot about myself and blogging. High Sierra Collective has morphed over the course of the year and so has my whole idea of what this blog is about. I would really appreciate some critiquing on my blog, seriously all of those comments you have been holding back, release them. I updated the about page, because I read it and it sounded like the mission statement of a major corporation. What more would you like to see me write about? I am thinking about changing my theme, too. Any suggestions?

The Good in the World

I had an interesting conversation with my father last night. He is incredibly intelligent and tends to keep up with current world news and actually understands what is going on (unlike myself who tries to keep up with it and rarely understands it). Towards the end of our discussion he reminded me of something: the world is full of good. When we turn on the news or read the paper, 99.99% of the time the headline article is something not so good: government issues, conflicts around the world, securing the border, one sports team loses to another (why is it not one sports team defeating another? Same story, positive vibe). My Dad reminded me “…good things, like what you and Mom did today.”

Yesterday was my ride to defeat ALS, the most beautifully painful thing I have ever done. Over 70 miles-we planned on doing the 100, it was in the mid 90’s and I was on a mountain bike (I don’t recommend that). All of the major climbing was in the first 30ish miles; grueling uphill climbs, one right after another for 30 miles. It reminded all of the riders of one thing: their pain. “They” are the people with ALS; the mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, grandparents who are confined to a wheel chair or a bed because ALS is slowly eating away at their body. Those are the people we ride for.

I was riding for my grandmother, Gale Crutcher. Cyclists were questioning me as to why I was riding a mountain bike. First of all, its the only bike I have (that is about 51% of the answer). Secondly, I would bet my life that Grandmother did not make a single complaint the 15 months she fought ALS. Who am I then to complain about being able to ride a mountain bike for 100 miles? (The irony is that she never learned how to ride a bike, bless her heart.)

The ride is over, my thighs are pretty sore, and I have depilated glycogen stores to replenish. More importantly, my Mom and I collectively raised over $1200 to fight ALS. The ALS foundation is still accepting donations for the ALS ride, so maybe you did not donate the first time I posted (which is totally okay) and you would like to donate this time, the link is below. Thank you all for subconsciously cheering us on, it is much appreciated!

My ALS ride site:


The Cup is Always Half-Full: Defeating ALS

Not all aspects of life are going to be full of joy and positive vibes. Even if your cup is half-full, there is still room for some disappointments and sorrows. November 25th, 2008 my grandmother succumbed to ALS, a disease that attacks the nervous system that leads to loss of all body functions and eventually death. One of those not so great things about life. Ever since that day I have worn an ALS support bracelet, for 2,030 days it has reminded me of her struggle and inspired my positive outlook on life.

On July 12th my mother and I will be partaking in an ALS Ride to Defeat, a 100 mile course through the Willamette valley raising money to help defeat ALS. Maybe you know someone who has or had ALS or maybe you know nothing about it, here is your chance to learn a little more about it or even help me raise money to work towards a cure. I find it hard to ask people who I have never met to donate to a cause they have probably never heard of; however, it is not about me, it is about the millions of people effected by ALS and the person every 90 minutes that is diagnosed with ALS. If you feel gracious I would encourage you to donate. If you can’t donate, pray for us or hit me with some encouragement in the comments(100 miles is a LONG way). Thank you all for reading. Remember the cup is ALWAYS half-full.

If you feel like donating here is a link: