Caren Ware's Blog

December 15, 2015

New News is coming

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 7:42 am

Itz ABOUT TIME I catch you up on what is happening in the journey of Caren Ware.

April 20, 2015

Yosemite…in the moment, 2015.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 11:05 am

IMG_3234 IMG_3241 IMG_3247 IMG_3250 IMG_3237But for today, I am learning to be in the moment.  BLOG…I will catch you up on the adventure stories from these past years.  But for today, I am with Paul. And we are scaling a trail that takes us up the granite walls and to the top of Yosemite Falls.   It’s a mini section of Kilimanjaro type intense hike up out of the valley floor. Though nothing of the intensity of hiking high elevation, this is as wicked steep as any hike could be.   That’s 1000 feet per mile and a 3,000 foot climb just to the top of the rim of Yosemite Falls. Do gym stair masters or squats and lunges get you ready for the pounding that much vertical up and down will be? The roads are still closed for the winter season up to Tuolumne Meadows, so we hiked there. These few days were epic, and the hikes were memorial. We have to admit. Man, the quads and the soles of our feet are sore, but can you beat the views!!! Yeah, California has an incredible backyard I had almost forgotten about.  Today.  I am thankful to spend time in Yosemite with a  man that balances a business and a love for the outdoors.  He said we could ditch Los Angeles and get to Yosemite Valley in less than 6 hours.  I didn’t believe him so he proved me wrong.IMG_3187 IMG_3205 IMG_3180 IMG_3241 IMG_3247

Yosemite is in full SPRING and is stunning, as it IS one of the world’s wonders. The Yosemite Valley was benefitting from this past trickle of a storm. It at least gave it a dusting of snow to feed the falls. The dogwood trees were doing their best spring display. I am so thankful to be the ‘fit’ type that would blast up there just to hike and enjoy. You don’t have to be an uber athlete.  You just have to enjoy being outdoors!  Oh, the replenishing joy of sweating, carrying a day pack, eating cheese and crackers while the Sierra Mountains fan a crisp breeze through your hair.  Granite rock.  Sky scape almost too unimaginable. It was an epic day and a stunt well worth sneaking out of busy Orange County for.  I loved the opportunity.

But I need to share the drought in California is blatantly real. We ventured through Bass Lake to peak at the summer camp I worked at. The docks were laying on dirt. And in Yosemite , the Merced River that is snow run off feed and flows through the valley floor… is a meandering mill pond. California…every one of us NEEDS to start doing our part to CONSERVE. We are in  one of those  real kinds of times.IMG_3162 IMG_3207 IMG_3306 IMG_3310 IMG_3300 IMG_3178 IMG_3165 IMG_3221

A LOT to LEARN… wandering through Yosemite to Yosemite. Three years in between.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 10:45 am

As you can page back through this blog.  I based my journey to a marathon on every continent from Jackson Hole, Wyoming.  There, I knew I could re-train to scale mountains, jump streams, handle sub zero temperatures, and just heal the heart by being in wide open spaces.  I started on this path by putting most my life in storage.  I was 50. I hooked up a small trailer to my truck and headed northwest. My first stop was Bass Lake, to re visit  my college summer job spot at a  camp.  From there,  I went through Yosemite Valley and over Tioga Pass.  Remember, I ended up in Lee Vining, Nevada near midnight and the few motels were booked.  I drove on and got utterly lost in the middle of Nevada in the middle of the night.  My phone gps lost signal and I lost my way.  I spent the night in the bleak, black night in my over IMG_3178 IMG_3226 IMG_3274 IMG_3278 IMG_3279packed truck to awake on a vast, dry salt bed.  My road had been paved, became dirt, and dead ended here.  Here, being nowhere.  It took most the day to retrace and find the only highway across Nevada.  And in that day, I was corralled by a Nevada State Police to turn back and hole up in  a dinky town I think was called Jack Ass. (Oh, I think it was Jack Pot?)  A prairie fire was burning across Nevada and I would be safest there. I have since read that mid Nevada is one of the remotest places on earth.  I definitely, unwittingly found that out.

So back to Yosemite.  It meant a lot to me to return there, almost three years later.  Did I ever think my original trek toward Wyoming and  the continent marathons would take this many years? How was I to know? I failed to put a time limit on such a quest. But I don’t think you get to. Life doesn’t give you the window to look ahead on who you get to meet, what you will get to do. Nor does it tell you how long recovery will take, especially if you take a life course wtih no road map. To become the real quest this was, I had to really let go and as the saying goes, let GOD.  I have historically  needed to be in control. And my shucking the years of all my business  to do what most would never dare, (that is to just take off on a new turn) well…  this  put me on a life route that you can’t control, and of course, catapult you into the unknown. You are bound for  surprises.  And bound to find yourself lost some of the time.  I was definitely on a trip I  would not get to orchestra though I thought I secretly  could write the future lines of my life. I thought my actions of trekking would write a preconceived, precious story, not a precarious one.   I  was in a transitional consequence of my life and, to be honest, didn’t know what to do or where to go. So I chose to explore. This means inside and out.  I purposed this motion. What does the law of physics say about something in motion?  It is at least going to go somewhere.

That somewhere is my very real story still left to be told. It is my life.  It is yours.  I propelled my inertia with a theme.  I had always felt ‘fitness’ offered fit things and made a life that much more interesting.  Thus came the MANTRA “FINDING FIT”.    And  in finding FIT things to do,  the reality  became the beauty in finding self, albeit , through sometimes very raw, real, and very hard lessons. That’s the story  worth being told. IMG_3302 IMG_3226

March 10, 2015

FINDING FIT in small towns. Meet my friends, the Whitley’s

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 11:42 am

Sandpoint, Idaho. IMG_3011 IMG_3010 IMG_3009 IMG_3004 IMG_3002 IMG_3005 IMG_2998 IMG_2987 IMG_2974 IMG_2982 IMG_2960 IMG_2958 IMG_2957 IMG_2952 IMG_2950 IMG_2949  IMG_2953 IMG_2941 IMG_2942 IMG_2939 IMG_2938

As I whirl through this year ( pulling together the real stories and the realities of travel, the raising of my kids and ‘the boys’, taking in so many exchange students and needs, working on my daughter’s wedding and graduation)  I see what is so charactieriscally me… one open weekend and a small sliver window of time.  And what do I do?  I am on an airplane headed to Spokane, a rental car in reserve, and driving toward the Canadian border.  I am taking Paul to meet a town and my friends, in Sandpoint, Idaho. Sandpoint nestles along a corner of  Lake Pend Oreille, the fifth deepest lake in our nation with silhouetted mountains as the backdrop.  You can hear the Canadian honkers and watch Bald Eagles soar while dodging the deer and moose.  Feel hometown American; hard working people that ride their mountain bikes and ski  Schweitzer Mountain Resort. A banner announces the Gun and Horn Show. Great restaurants with live music are just part of Sandpoint, Idaho.  But it’s the Whitley’s that draw me here.  They are dear friends and amazing athletes.One of the daughter’s and  the mom coach a gymnastics studio.  Another does graphic, fashion design and her beauty and poise is amazing when captured on film. And the son fights fires, skis back country, and did hugs, hellos, and a bar be que than headed off on an all night drive to Seattle to be able to compete in that city’s stair climb. Not to compete, but to win it. I have plenty to say able the depth and uniqueness of this family, but in one sentence.  They give back.  They coach, mentor, and build confidences in whomever has the privilege to brush with their talents in an obscure, almost hidden place. We shared treasured moments at the tippy top handle of Idaho.  A pure delight to witness kids giggling and team cheering at their gymnastics studio . Being homeschooled, the mom built in a lifestyle long before daily workouts became a popular norm.  The years of layering makes extraordinary. To see the conditioning and craft of  silk acrobatics by Chantel Whitley. Disciplined and driven beyond most,  but balanced with the ability to enjoy, celebrate living, and relax.  We chat over specialty roasted  coffee at the ranch with Bo and Michael.  Witness the love for  their Lord and  livestock.  Oh, to find Schweitzer  mushy and pitted with mud. Skiing did  not  take on the form of worthwhile snowfall this season. But  you know  what?   I had a better time just spending time with people. And learning Adventure is not always on other continents.  It can be in what we make of our own backyards. I am enjoying exploring the USA.  I am enjoying rekindling friendships. It really is about the people.


March 3, 2015


Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 10:19 am

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Joshua Tree National Park is only hours away from Los Angeles and worlds away from people.  Well, save the campgrounds.  It’s a tactical game to get a site.  Most play hooky from work and come out on a Thursday.  Avid climbers rotate their sites with friends making arrangements to pull in when they pull out. We left on a Friday morning, arrived well after noon, and were told at the entrance we would possibly have to drive out the other end of the park.  We could search through the five camp grounds, pitch camp on BLM land past the protected wilderness, or park in the few backcountry areas and hike in a mile.  We specifically came for the experience of car camping with the luxuries of a walk in tent, Coleman stoves, a bar be que, firewood, and blow up mattresses. I left my lightweight, headroom only backpack tent, my beloved jet boil stove, and thermorest pad behind.

We came to erect a comfy temporary shelter and a fully functioning outdoor kitchen as a base camp. And from it, wander the desert wilderness. I had never been into the Little San Bernardino Mountains.  There was a storm coming.  A big one that would bring rare precipitation to the desert.  I knew the clouds, mood sunsets, and crisp air would be the perfect formula for surreal photography. I was about to be treated to just that, save we had to secure our real estate for a camp site. Joseph and Mary style we spent the afternoon finding “no room in the inn”. Finally near sunset, and near giving up we found possible the only two spots left in all of Joshua Tree in an area called JUMBO ROCKS. It had over hundred sites and only two left. This area has brittle rock that is hard on the hands and hard to climb. The climbers were all hunkered in at Hidden Valley.

We nestled the jeep next to an enterprise rental van. A creative pod of girls from Los Angeles had decorated the inside of the van and had it lined with the exact blow up mattresses we had just bought. That’s actually some of the draw of Joshua Tree. Camping around the voices, music, fires, and fun of other people. People were out there in all shapes and sizes. House size motorhomes to bubble trailers, and then… the tents. Two more girls arrived in a pick up full of firewood and a borrowed army camo shelter that proved to be a challenge to set up in the wind. The wind is a sure prelude to a storm and the temperatures were well below freezing. But not for these gals. All seven of them piled in the van and it bounced with giggles and muffled conversation and who knows what else. Camaraderie.IMG_2880 IMG_2878 IMG_2870 IMG_2869 IMG_2876 IMG_2883

Joshua Tree National Park.  You can jeep in it.. Whatever happened to having to get out and set the four wheel drive hubs? Paul is a pilot and specifically choose his jeep with bells and whistles. It’s all about pushing the right buttons and raising the clearance while putting it in auto mode to brake down over boulders. So thrilled to be introduced to a new world of wilderness I had never explored before.  Thank you, Paul, for taking me out here. Berdoo Canyon would only be accessible by the heartiest of four wheel drive vehicles. And Paul knew his favorite spots because he spent a lot of time searching through this wilderness by air, jeep, and on foot.

I had always come to Joshua Tree to climb. BUT YOU can  HIKE  IT!  This arid place is idea to explore all fall, winter, and spring.  Summer temperatures are life threateningly high.  They remain above 100 degrees most the summer.  The storm we ventured through proved winter can bring temperatures well below freezing and wind chill factors to zero, but the winter can, within a day, rise to the pleasant seventies, eighties, and even nineties. A real draw for what America calls the ‘snowbirds’, a population of Midwest middle age and over, who own motorhomes, and flock this way to avoid sub zero winters back home. 2014-2015 was a good year to get out of the cold.IMG_2905 IMG_2894 IMG_2900 IMG_2893 IMG_2892 IMG_2889 IMG_2888 3 2

Get a map out and look at the almost endless Mojave Wilderness. The two of us hiked all day and into the sunset and never saw another person. Trekking ahead of the storm front was breathtaking and snap worthy! Most any BODY can walk.

My blog is to encourage people to explore…anywhere and everywhere. And reap the benefits of casual fitness and the fullness this brings. You don’t have to be an athlete. You don’t even have to be disciplined. You just have to choose to start DOING IT.

Joshua Tree took on a new interest to me and became a new one of my wildernesses.

Joshua Tree National Park covers a land area of 790,636 acres – an area slightly larger than the state of Rhode Island. A large part of the park, some 429,690 acres, is a designated wilderness area. Straddling the San Bernardino County/Riverside County border, the park includes parts of two deserts, each an ecosystem whose characteristics are determined primarily by elevation: the higher Mojave Desert and lower Colorado Desert. From Wikipedia on JT.

NOW, HERE’S THE BLOG QUESTION.  How in the WORLD did I get from the top of Kilimanjaro, basing all my past two year’s expeditions from Jackson Hole Wyoming to trekking across Joshua Tree? It’s another many stories.  Stay tuned for the fill in year.  Life transpiring and inspired by the seven continents endeavor.IMG_2922 IMG_2918 IMG_2902 1

December 10, 2014

Hanging AROUND

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 12:22 pm

Exum Mountain Guides allows for an amazing experience in the Tetons. Without having to worry about your own equipment and level of ability…or getting yourself in a situation that may be hard to get out of, or over your head (a common occurrence in my life!) I love spending time in the Tetons with EXUM. They do training days and bucket list climbs like summiting THE GRAND and MT MORAN, or a simple, blissful day crawling up crags and hanging overclimb2 20140904_124611 20140904_121354 20140904_114126 20140904_113538 20140904_113414 20140904_113131 20140904_111959 20140904_111852 precipices. Exum Mountain guides all gifted guides…certified and trained. They are of the stock that summit all over the world. It’s my hope to raise funds to bridge the world between EXUM guides and the guides I met and have learned to love that are from Tanzania and guide Mt. Kilimanjaro. I am working to bring two to the United States just for the experience of seeing where their clients live and come from. They will get to speak and meet with adventurers. It is the first step to form a foundation that will help them be a business that self supports and employs people in their country.  Thank you, Exum Guide Scottie McGee for a restful, inspiring day in the mountains.

November 24, 2014


Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 11:40 am

There are many ranches throughout the Teton Valley. And many more heading out toward Pinedale or past Moran. All within a beautiful hour’s drive. But right in Wilson, only 20 minutes from Jackson is the Snake River Ranch that herds over 4,000 cattle. The ranch hands are true American cowboys and cowgirls, headed up by the Putman Family. They brand, rope, ride, and are one of our nation’s best barrel racers and rodeo steer ropers. And they came up with an experience of a lifetime, Introduction to Rodeo. It is a chance to drive onto a real working ranch and saddle up. But not on any ole trail horse. On an athletic, trained 1500 pound plus animal. The Putmans and ranch hands make a morning or afternoon of teaching to rope, herd steers, and race barrels. It is a privileges to just be with professionals who live their craft and give tourists a try. Just the setting of grass, flowers, trees, the Snake River running by, and the Tetons as the back drop is refreshing. Jamie, the owner, is a pleasure of solid instruction and useful sharing. And ELMO, the muscle ripped quarter horse I got to ride. Well, love at first sight! I loved this opportunity so much, I signed my college son up, flew other girlfriends up to try, and got Mark Bradley to use that smooth flowing golf swing to rope some steers. I got all A plus reports from them for this rare opportunity to play cowboy for the day. My son and his cousin were entertained by the cute cowgirl that about broke their fingers in a gripped handshake when introducing. Surprising the experience of being on a trained horse, doing something so uniquely American. I think the twangIMG_5401









john of The Wild West is in all us.

August 16, 2014


Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 1:27 am




IMAG0013Most people draw a line down the middle of a paper and write PRO and CONS. Not me. I have to draw that line down life and live the pros and cons out until I feel I have completely exhausted the options. …’like this, don’t like that.” “ Tried this, didn’t try that”. “Experienced this. Than experienced that.” I saw an Oceanography van drive by and its tag line across the side of the vehicle said, “Experience is the Teacher.” It’s kind of like the eye exam. “Is this clearer, or that?” “Now, how about this? Clearer still or the same?”. That is how I have lived the past year and half. So why would coming back from Africa be any different? I needed to decide if locating in Orange County, California was going to be a better foundation for the new business launch and the set up of Peak Experiences and Finding Fit? Or was remaining in Jackson, working the seasonal surges, and using the off time to set these new projects in motion. Both, I was to find had the exact same strength of vision.

After the RABBIT RUN, I remained in So California and sent out resumes, interviewed for a few jobs I almost hoped I would not get, got my nails done, ran the stairs at all the beaches, and started working for Roadrunner Sports as a side gig while starting up a new fitness event company.

I have to catch you up on the projects and the results of the vision test on life.

April 21, 2014


Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 10:08 am

SUNRun PRODUCTIONS and ITzABOUTTIME staged THE RABBIT RUN in Irvine, California. These events will help fund PEAK EXPERIENCES and projects on TORETURN for the porters guides, and their children. It was HOPPING. Racers, runners, joggers, walkers, strollers and loads of helpful family, vendors, and volunteers made this happen! IMAG0097





















Putting a smile on everyone’s face while putting a smile on faces in foreign places. Adverse conditions are universal and can make anyone frown. They are in the states. They are abroad. What it takes is acknowledging needs and doing something about it. I choose to do so in a FUN way. Keep blogging and see where I am taking you..and me…and our character.

April 10, 2014

What goes up…must come down.

Filed under: Uncategorized — Caren Ware @ 12:44 am

The ‘trek’ off the mountain would prove to be as character requiring as the determination up it. Down. Down through the snow and by the glaciers. Down to where the sun rose and its hues are now bold. Years prior, a man had fallen at 17,000 and broke his femur. The group retold his story, and how the heroic porters had carried him to a point of airlift, over 6,000 feet below. In this same area they had heavy frames with wheels that were used to gurney a failing climber down. We would hike by porters paid to return the gurney to 12,000 feet. They weighed near one hundred pounds. The porter was paid $5 to return it. IMG_5058


So it was unnerving when one in our group took a slide down a couloir. Luckily, though not getting up for far too long, he only acquired a few bumps and bruises. It was steep stepping up Kilimanjaro. Now it was treacherous maneuvering down. Everyone was tired by the night, the climb, the lack of oxygen, the emotion. I could put to use why I went to Jackson, Wyoming. I wanted my ability and agility back. I wanted to be able to bound over rocks and surefootedly hop from them. And that is what I had spent the past year doing. Bouncing over rocks, streams, up mountains, down canyons, over prairies, through forest, into an unexpected and treasured relationship I hoped would go somewhere to… well… all of which was to make me solid, capable, healthy again. Well, at least the outdoor activity had.
I liked the rocks, the uneven, moving earth. I liked that I liked it. One of the guides nodded me forward. “I can keep an eye on you from here”. That is all I needed. I loved being able to move fast and deftly. I knew descending would be the devil to knees and joints, but I also knew, I had trained for this. Bound. Step. Solid. Move. Step. Bound. It took half the morning to get to even a view of the tops of tents at base camp. I was hurting from the mishap of allowing myself to get so severely dehydrated during the marathon. My joints and muscles still are mad at me even a month later. But I had descended well and quickly. It was good to be at 15,500…where, ironically, I could now breath easily. IMG_5054



I was the first to arrive and here is where the second celebration party began. The porters. They sincerely were happy for the triumph. And they were really in wait to see what I had to tell about it. I had taken the time to get to know the porters. They were old, young, some smiled, other’s not ever. They now had names, and personalities, and I felt a family love for them. The same one that drew interest into making those Hispanic boys family back in Los Angeles. We jabbered. Kidded. Laughed. Shared. And I had no idea how hard the next half day would be as we would have to pack up Base Camp and descend to a safer altitude.
As we waited for the group, the porters and I took turns playing with the camera equipment. Smile. ‘Say heezzze,” they’d laugh. Some shyly hid their teeth with a smirk smile. A common condition was eroded front teeth. They said it had something to do with the volcanic conditions of this area and what was in the water. IMG_5047







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