Volcano, Maderas, Ometepe Island, Isla de Ometepe, Vertical, Climbing, Jungle Gym, Monkey in the Jungle, Central America, Nicaragua

Magical, Mystical, & Vertical

Volcano, Maderas, Ometepe Island, Isla de Ometepe, Vertical, Climbing, Jungle Gym, Monkey in the Jungle, Central America, Nicaragua

I have discovered a new love.

A new love that transpired when the perfect combination of loves culminated with the right timing, the right place, and the perfect climate.  The spark began while running with a group of feisty women in the Hollywood Hills of Los Angeles. Hot, dry, dusty, vertical, early, still sleepy transitioning to stubborn persistence and elation, endorphin rushing at the crest of a steep relentless climb.  Years later, there was tranquility, and stress relief, escape from intense projects and hectic commuting in the city. A quick jaunt across the lake to the mountains on the outskirts of Seattle. Charging up the hills into the trees after my border collie lab, then dashing up and down and back and forth on switchbacks through the woods, nothing felt more free or wild.

Time moved forward once again, and with the passing, of both my beloved dog and inspiring running coach, I find myself reveling in the glorious sunshine. Here in Nicaragua, true loves have combined. Travel, photography, adventure, climate, and vertical climbing. Los Angeles was too. much. city. and Seattle’s grey cold winters couldn’t keep me. Here on the trails, I encounter the jungle. Humidity, howling monkey sounds, roots, fallen twisted tree bridges, narrow passageways through rock formations, swinging vines, and boldering problems, sometimes cacoa and sometimes coffee.

I love running up volcanoes.

The Fuego y Agua 50k introduced me to Volcan Maderas on Isla de Ometepe. The sister volcano Concepcion (seen above) is still waiting for me. Here in Granada I have crested Mombacho. Here in Nicaragua, I have 17 more to go. I have my vertical goals cut out for me. And many more hours running in the jungle to look forward to.

This post is dedicated to Gretchen Lohr, friend, mentor, running coach extraordinaire.

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