It’s overwhelming, this place. Colorado.
Especially for someone like me who didn’t grow up in the mountains or anywhere near them; for someone like me who has only vacationed overseas and at sea level. I loved my northeast childhood and my southeast adulthood and my tropical vacations. But watching the sun hang above the Flatirons then dip below its peaks is, in fact, absolutely overwhelming for a Florida girl like me.
It’s how I feel every time I hike or explore a new road on the bike. Overwhelmed. Totally transfixed.
I want to scream, “Do you see what I’m seeing?!” Even when no one’s there.
Last weekend, after cycling a garbage fifty-something miles in the morning, I couldn’t stay inside on such a beautiful day, so I rinsed off, grabbed whatever food I had in the fridge, filled up my Camelbak and headed for new trails in North Boulder. I have so little free time these days, so I pray for good weather and try to take advantage of every second I have to explore.
My free time took me to the Foothills off highway 36, which means nothing to you but it’s just a short drive away and that’s one of the reasons I picked it.
It started off pretty easy. On my first trail, there was just one short and steep climb that gave me a beautiful view of Old Stage—a truly painful road to bike up—at the top.
Since I dead-ended, I turned around and headed for another trail close by, hoping it would be looped rather than another out-and-back situation.
I walked along the Foothills path that connects most of the trailheads in the area and made my way toward Wonderland Hill. It was a wind-y, rocky, LUNG-BURNER that snaked me up the side of the mountain and onto a landing I almost didn’t make it to. My legs were screaming. It’s hikes and trails like these that really make me question my fitness.
But what a damn view at the top.
I was listening to a podcast on the way up, but once I reached the very top and the trail flattened out and I could finally catch my breath…I took out my headphones and just listened. And watched. I could see and hear the stillness; it’s more potent the higher you go.
I couldn’t help but cry just a little bit at the top. I walked in circles, breathing out “oh wows,” taking photos that will never best the real thing. It’s so beautiful and even though I’ve been here for six months and have a Colorado address and Colorado license plates…I still feel so new to this place. And still so overwhelmed by it all.
The trail did end up being a loop. A big loop, in fact, and by the time I reached my car, my legs were burned toast with butter and all I wanted was to be horizontal mindlessly scrolling the social medias like you know you totally do too OK.
On the drive home I thought about the itty bitty cactus plants growing on the edge of the trail and then about hiking boots and how they’d probably be on sale this time of year… and I thought about how six months ago I never thought I’d be thinking about cactus plants and hiking boots after an afternoon in the mountains.
More tears. Because…overwhelming, to say the very least.
On to more adventures very soon.
Push on, PUSH ANIMALS >>>