Thursday, September 2, 2010

Never Say Never

I'm fairly certain that on many occasions, I have looked at the beautiful, looming mountain on the Westside of our city and said to myself, "I will NEVER hike that."

But when my husband announced that the activity of the day for his 30th birthday would be to hike Pikes Peak, I laced up my shoes and joined these lovely people for a 5 hour climb to the top.

We started our hike before the sun made its appearance for the day, and the first part our hike was lit only by the moon -- and the tiny flashlight on the back of Mark's iPhone. I'm not what you would call "light on my feet" in the broad daylight, so I tripped and stumbled my way through those very dark 45 minutes.
I was so glad to see the sun and enjoyed this sunrise very much!
As we hiked past timberline, things got a little ugly, and a little steep,
and a little windy, rocky, and cold. (Ok, ALOT windy. It was the knock-you-back-drain-your-energy-steal-your-breath kind of wind. Made me quite cranky, honestly.)
I think my favorite part of the whole day was when I walked over this hill. We had just completed one of the coldest and steepest parts of the hike and we could finally feel the sun on our faces.
And best of all, at the top of this hill we could see our goal. It was the first time on the hike that we could actually see where we were headed. In general, I like to know where I am headed.
There were a few (like a million) more beautiful views on the way up,
and then things got bad. Really, really bad. I looked up at the rock pile and thought, "You have got to be kidding me. There's no stinkin' way I'm hiking up that. I'm pretty sure we must be lost. And hopeless."
But I did it. I showed those rocks that I'm the boss (a very tired, fussy, slow boss) and made it to the top. And the top is where you get your reward. I'm not talking about the joy of overcoming the challenge. Nope. Pikes Peak has more to offer at the top.
Pikes Peak has doughnuts. Delicious doughnuts. Doughnuts that have been features on the Food Network.
And if it's your 30th birthday, you get a special flaming birthday doughnut, accompanied by a bunch of friends who are too tired to sing the whole birthday song and just kind of rush through it so they can get back to eating their doughnuts.
A quick pick by the sign that says "I DID IT" and we were on our way back down.
Four hours of down that is - and curiously, down isn't any easier than up.
Back into the trees and then we saw that beautiful trailhead sign that told us the end was in sight.
What a challenging day - and I really am so glad we did it.

But for the record - I am not interested in conquering the list of things that I said I would never do. Nope, this was enough for now.

3 comments:

Brockman said...

Way to go Beck! I'm very impressed. I've only hiked up half and it took for-evv-errrr.
The photos are great too!

wildflowers said...

hey! i came across your blog via another.
love your photos. i am into photography as well. the art of it.

good job ob the hike!!

we too are adopting from Ethiopia :)

Brie said...

Way to go! Always wanted to hike Pikes Peak, but don't know if I'll ever get to. I love taking the railway up, though and yes the dougnuts are yummy!