The Dream Life…With a Job

… It’s not so bad.

Anyone can work full time and train hard for their projects.

The other week I listened to Beyondtalks at a local brewery. TNF’s MountainAthletics program, with Cedar Wright as the coach, was helping two men FA a new 5.12 in Yosemite Valley around their 9-5 job.

That’s great, I thought, then blithely: That’ll happen to me one day when I’m old.

A week later I walked into a gear store a found myself with a second job. I’ve been training for the upcoming Psicobloc competition the same week Team WallE summits Quandary peak to raise money for The Colorado 54, and now my training time was looking thin.

Surprisingly, the experience has thrown me back to Biology class, when I would get in early to grab a seat behind the classroom’s full work counter. When the professor crawled through a slow slideshow of DNA particles, I snuck in sets of pushups to the great entertainment of my seat mate. Being in lenient public school, I did the same in guitar class. Tony was a great friend of mine who dreamed of being a police officer and we trained almost together every day, climbing the football goal posts, the buildings, and getting into competitions when we were supposed to learn Greensleeves on an acoustic.
So I sneak in what I can at work. I stretch a lot, drink tons of water, and get a short run in before going into work, and a short run after work.

Hiking partner on Mt. Sherman this weekend.

I’m also continuing my personal project to all 54 14ers in Colorado during the weekends. I’ve pretty much completed just the shorter day hikes, and I’ll have to start working on the longer, Class 3 and 4 routes.


Dead battery? To the Palisades.




Luckily, the base of beautiful mountains was not a bad place for Wall-E’s battery/alternator to go kaput.

Left to right: Mt Meeker, Ship’s Prow, Palisades, Diamond, Long’s Peak summit




























Best. Day. Ever.


That rocked!!!

In preparation for Long’s Peak, I wanted to jog up Rocky Mountain National Park’s trail to the bouldering area called Upper Upper, in Chaos Canyon. This would be an uphill jog into talice fields, and some snow.

Well, I saw this…









And probably because of an endorphin rush, I was like, YEAH. I’M GONNA SLIDE DOWN THAT.


best day ever kavu day


















And on the way down, I saw this…







All in all, an awesome day. Then my van’s battery finally died, and today’s Long’s Peak summit is now delayed a little while.
But, it was a good day over all.

Be young at heart, work hard, and play harder.

– Tiffany Hensley




#VanLife Protection: The Katana

My substitute teacher in Microeconomics was named “MR. P”. He loved Arabic, could beatbox, and when a boy with turrets  in our class walked outside and was kicking and swearing at a tree to the bewilderment of a passing teacher (who he took a moment to register and call a bitch) our dear teacher told us, his hands in his pockets and quietly taking in his runaway student, “You know…life is sometimes like a movie.”

Space-saving multipurpose in WallE. $10 Hammock covers storage, provides hanging space with shower curtain hooks at top - AND - clips to the back of the van for a second bed.
WallE’s Storage/Bedroom/Second Floor

I’ve been finding that we all have stories, we just get dragged down in the details and stress to realize what’s actually going on is a great reel of miniature stories that only the present persons can appreciate and tell as their own tale.

Yesterday I stopped by the Salvation Army to drop off some space-eating items in my van. (Short list: the asbestos-laden insulation that had been kicked and beaten to death in storage for two months; the $100 Jasmine guitar my mom bought for my first music class; some clothes items.) The workers were around my age, with hairstyles like hipsters, and one imparted to me that he also lived in a van. Done, as I was jumping in the cab with Dog to peel off and climb, a truck pulled up behind mine in the Drop Off area. The two workers began pulling out treasures and I blurted, unable to stop myself, now that I’ve become so impulsive, from asking: “Is that a SWORD?”

“Do you want it? Granted Gary here doesn’t want it…no, Gary? Alright, it’s yours.”

Tashtego - 3/4 Border Collie & 1/4 Australian Shepherd - 100% Cattle Dog
WallE’s #VanLife Dog

Due to the katana’s dangerous properties I will not disclose it’s location in the van. And I don’t ever intend to use it. But it arrived wrapped in a story, and I enjoyed my asbestos-for-steel trade yesterday.

Sometimes life is like a story.

Though not significant to write here, I intend from now on to share these great short stories and possibly the older ones that I’ve told only my close friends. It’s a great exercise, and a few people have told me they enjoy reading my stories. So I will pile on the words, the stories, and the photos and videos for those few who enjoy them.

Mt. Bierstadt

I’ve been think a lot lately about the standard of living and quality of life we choose to have in our lives.

In the US, we are technically guaranteed a baseline of quality largely envied by the rest of the world, but still somehow find ourselves unhappy. Why is that? It’s because quality of life is not ALL about political, social, and economic freedom.

But it’s not all mountains and hippies and grande open views, either.

It’s just appreciation.

And that said – I’m so psyched I live in Colorado!!!

Tale of Fun Fails

A group of us set off today looking for projects in Mt. Evans. We spilled out of two cars into a rainy drizzle. As we hiked, it hailed – hard and freezing. But as the saying goes, “If you don’t like the weather in Colorado, wait five minutes.” It wasn’t five minutes, but eventually the sun warmed us up. Then it rained hard again. We took shelter.

IMG_2468 So did Dexter.

The hike after was a cold one, and when we made it to the Dali, found two nice Canadian guys. Go figure – there’s no such thing as a mean Canadian. I got some nice shots, and tomorrow there will be more!

Waking up at 5am, I will follow Duttle – Estes Park’s famous training/nutrition hardman – to his 14,000′ elevation sport route, which needs to be finished being bolted. 5am!? I know, brutal. But the beauty of promised donuts in the morning will outweigh the cold, hard enduring struggles up a 6 mile approach, and the fun physical economics of aching legs.

I look forward to taking photos, too, of course.

Long’s Peak is an inspiring landmark, perhaps my favorite in Colorado – even more than Snooze Coffee!

Two 14ers, Evening Training

When Nick Duttle suggested hiking adventures, I was ecstatic.

We arrived at the climbing at 4:15pm, topped Torreys at 6:18, then Grays within another 20 minutes. Finally, we bombed down, so Duttle’s little Toyota Carolla could crawl out of the baby-head studded dirt road from which we’d come, right off HWY 70.

Such a great adventure.

Crag Dog Life with a GoPro Hero3

From Mad Rock’s vimeo channel: “Tashtego explores the bouldering area with Tiffany’s GoPro Hero3 while she and her boyfriend work on Moon Arete V10 with new friends at Horsetooth, Fort Collins, Colorado. Soundtrack is The Cave by Mumford and Sons.”

Taken over 2 hours, my dog roamed around while we projected Moon Arete. I tried to nail the true perks of being a crag dog.

Tiffany Hensley – Life of the Crag Dog from Mad Rock Climbing on Vimeo.