But there is only one event that gets my blood pumping: the annual Hunt for the Heart. The week before the big day (Valentine's Day, of course), the local newspaper hides a heart somewhere in Loveland and leaves clues each day that leads to the heart. The person that finds the heart wins a nice little cash prize in the vicinity of $500.
Needless to say, I am a bit obsessed. Luckily, so is my sister, husband, and many of our friends. And those that aren't as obsessed as we are? Well, they usually end up participating whether they want to or not.
(I have a vague recollection of my father walking a frozen river bank last year while I was stuck at work. That's love, people.)
So today was day three of the Hunt for the Heart. The clues have been tricky, but my sister and I figured them out (except for one small piece of yesterday's clue) and I drove straight from work to Devil's Backbone. You might have heard me talk about it before. Its a hiking trail west of town that I hiked for the first time in my life this past summer.
Today? Well, today I hiked it again. 60 lbs. lighter. Alone. In fading daylight. In 12* temperatures with a wind chill of 3*. Wearing jeans and a fleece jacket. Muttering the clues to myself as I trekked the THREE MILES up to the keyhole and back, stopping every few yards to look under benches, rocks, and signs.
Yes, I'm that crazy.
I spend 90 minutes *scouring* every inch of that trail looking for the heart. I didn't find it. Halfway back down the trail my sister and her friend met me going up. They looked until they ran out of daylight and then her friend went back after dark with her husband and their head lamps.
Yes, we're that crazy. I would have done it too if I had a headlamp.
Tomorrow at 5:30 a.m. my husband is going out to get the newspaper. And we will be damned if someone else is going to find that heart before we do! Forget that there are hundreds (maybe even thousands) of people in town doing the same thing. Clearly they don't have the level of dedication that I/we do. Nevermind that as I walked the trail, no longer able to feel anything south of my hips, I saw dozens of other footprints from others who had done the same thing earlier that day. Clearly they aren't as dedicated as I am because I DID IT WITHOUT THE PROPER ATTIRE.
My face is windburned and my hands are still numb. And even if I don't find the heart, it will have been worth it because this is what I saw today while I hiked Devil's Backbone on the outskirts of the amazing city of Loveland that I am lucky enough to call home... (warning: cell phone pics)