Best Thing That Ever Happened To Me

I’ve had my share of life’s ups and downs
But fate’s been kind, the downs have been few
I guess you could say that I’ve been lucky
Well, I guess you could say that it’s all because of you

If anyone should ever write my life story
For whatever reason there might be
Oh, you’ll be there between each line of pain and glory
Cause you’re the best thing that ever happened to me
Ah, you’re the best thing that ever happened to me

Oh, there have been times when times were hard
But always somehow I made it, I made it through
Cause for every moment that I’ve spent hurting
There was a moment that I spent, ah, just loving you

Songwriter: James D. Weatherly

Carolyn and I recently celebrated our birthdays on a delayed basis by heading to Truckee, CA for a stay in the Lake Tahoe area. These were special birthdays because I turned that magical, minimum age for being able to receive social security benefits (Of course I’m waiting) and Carolyn hit the double nickels. Carolyn has worked to put this trip together doing something that we had never experienced. So we headed to the mountains on our favorite airline, Southwest, and found a place to stay at our favorite hotel group, Hilton. If you don’t know by now, Carolyn works for Southwest and I work for the Hilton family of hotels.

Our first standby flight to Reno went just fine as we actually found seats together. This is often unusual since we are typically the last on the plane. After arriving in Reno, we grabbed our rental car and lo and behold I discovered a Costco located only a mile from the airport. Yes I just had to go to my favorite store for supplies, you know beer, bourbon, chips, dip–the essentials. After that little delay we headed off to Truckee to check in to the Hampton Inn and begin searching for our first adventure hike of the trip.

We found our way into Donner Memorial State Park. If you don’t know about the Donner group, you should check it out as it is fascinating history. We went into the museum and talked with a park employee, who was very helpful and suggested we drive up the road aways and hike some of the Pacific Crest Trail along Donner Peak and Judah Summit. We didn’t start until 3:00 or so but we did the loop trail and a side hike up to Donner Peak.

It was quite cold and windy but beautiful. Our elevation gain was over 1300 feet and along Judah Summit the wind was howling. We did 6 miles in 2.5 hours only getting off trail a couple times due to snow covered areas. We only encountered two hikers that were returning to trailhead at the start and two more as we returned to the trailhead.


This hike is absolutely gorgeous with great views of Donner Lake and some ski resort close by.

After we finished we headed back to Truckee and their historical downtown for an Alibi Ale Works Taproom. Great downtown area with the use of old buildings and turning them into a variety of restaurant/bar, coffee shops, retail uses.

Second Day, we head off on a road trip around the lake stopping for a hike through Paige Meadows on the Tahoe Rim Trail. We hiked on a beautiful day for about four miles. From there we headed up to Sugar Pine Point State Park which is just beautiful.

Back on the road we looped Lake Tahoe stopping in South Lake Tahoe at South Lake Tahoe Brewery. What a magnificent road trip for the day. After completion we headed back into historic downtown Truckee for a dinner and a beer. Retired early knowing that Carolyn had big plans for Saturday. Mount Rose looms ahead.

After day one, I was pretty beat up with back, hip, foot hurting, but I felt pretty good Saturday morning and we took off for Mount Rose. It is a beautiful morning as we head to Incline Village and on and up to Mount Rose Trailhead. Temperatures are good with the sun shining brightly. We arrive around 9:00 and begin the five mile climb to the top. Mount Rose has an elevation of 10785 feet and for the hike we will be climbing over 2200 feet to the summit. The trail is not too heavily traveled but it is nice to know there are others out on the trail. The first 2.5 miles is fairly mild with the final 2.5 miles adding significant elevation gains. At the beginning of the trail, the views of Lake Tahoe are breathtaking and worth just a short hike but we are not denied as we encounter icy walking conditions from a previous snowfall and muddy conditions from the melting snow.

The last mile is basically a scramble but a trail is prominent and no technical knowledge skills needed.

The wind is blowing and the temps are cold as we reach the top but it worth it. My breathing relaxes and we get to soak in the 360 degree views of the area from Reno to Tahoe.

We head back down and finish before 2 with a total travel time of 4:27. The thrill of finishing a hike like this is worth the toll taken on my body parts. I am beat up and worn out but at the same time I am jacked up on adrenaline highs. 

Carolyn and I head back to Truckee but stop in Incline Village at Alibi Ale Works to toast our accomplishment. Once arriving in Truckee, we figure we should stop at Truckee Brewing Company as well. After showering, we head to Fifty Fifty Brewing Company for a beer and dinner that includes an elk burger. Haven’t had that in awhile and it did not disappoint. 

Sunday morning, we eat breakfast at Marty’s Cafe, and have coffee at a local coffee shop. Truckee has not disappointed and we hate heading back to reality. And just so you know, we never once set foot in any casino. We were all about experiencing the great outdoors. We get on our flight with out any problem, separated but we both end up with window seats and back to Phoenix. 

What a great way to celebrate birthdays and each other. Craft Beer and outdoor adventures, doesn’t get much better then this. These adventures would not be possible without Carolyn. She has inspired me to new heights, adventures, and things that I would never have done without her. Believe it or not, she even enjoys the craft beer breweries as it has become traditional for us to hike and enjoy something new. Carolyn has been my great motivator and she really is the best thing that ever happened to me.

I’ve had my share of life’s ups and downs
But fate’s been kind, the downs have been few
I guess you could say that I’ve been lucky
Well, I guess you could say that it’s all because of you

Oh, you’ll be there between each line of pain and glory (Lots of pain this past week but oh the glory. Thanks Carolyn!)
Cause you’re the best thing that ever happened to me

If you don’t know who Gladys Knight is well you missed some great music. Here she is at 71 knocking it out of the ballpark. 


About timfruth

Longtime public educator who retired. Love the outdoors and rapidly adjusting to a new me.
This entry was posted in Craft Breweries, Hiking, Marriage, Relationships, Road Trip, Uncategorized and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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