Whenever I go out-of-town, especially to sea level, coming back to Denver is an adjustment, an almost 2 week adjustment. Since I went to LA for my annual girls trip last Thursday and returned just this past Tuesday, I was not optimistic about my ability to hike anything new or tough. We decided to go back to Roxborough State Park to see what we could manage. Plus this would be our 11th visit to a Colorado State park which means we made money on our pass today, yay us! The really nice thing about the park is the trail set up, you could easily hike all 3 big trails without crossing over the same terrain or going out of you way to get to the next segment. When I got up this morning I was worried that the Carpenters Peak Trail ( for trail details click the link ) may be too much for me and a couple of times it was. I definitely struggled up this mountain and had some altitude tough moments, but the physical activity wasn’t at all a problem. I was surprised when we came down this trail, I could do more. Between our 2 options I decided the easier Fountain Valley trail ( for trail details click the link) was the wiser choice. At the end of the hike we had cleared 8.7 miles based on the map and 9.5 miles based on my Fitbit, not too shabby. Plus we got a total of 189 flights of stairs climbed, I love my Fitbit I am obsessed with finding out how many flights of stairs we have climbed.
The quirky thing about hiking today was 2 fold, one we are desperate for some moisture here. It is so dry that our fire season is actually starting now instead of during the summer months. I remember our first month here people were thrilled that it was raining and at the time I thought it was cute, now I totally get it. I find myself trying out rain/snow dances in hopes the gods will favor us! The insanely dry weather along with warm temperatures also means the brown cloud of the front range ramped up early and got thick. You can actually see it in the picture of Denver at the beginning of my post. By the time we got home it was 10 times worse. The air quality warnings were red or high today, saying to avoid driving and stay indoors….which we ignored of course.
The other quirky thing is the temperature. It was nice and sunny this morning and while just under 40 when we started, we were quickly sweating and stripping down, but at the top of Carpenters peak it was windy and chilly we turned around almost immediately. I almost went to the shorts feature of my hiking pants during my second stage of taking stuff off but was so glad I didn’t do it. The trail itself had a ton of ice on it and so we knew it would be a muddy trip down. This trail is not one you want to do when it is muddy, its like hiking with 3 extra pounds of mud on your shoes or wearing 4 inch heels, going downhill on a moving platform.
The mud was pretty bad and another reason why I chose the Fountain Valley trail as my add-on option, because they cover it with pebbles pretty regularly and the mud and ice are not a problem.
The best part about today was practically flying out of bed to get on the trail. It has been a weird month+, traveling home for Xmas, getting sick for so long and then barely a week of exercising before heading off to my girls trip. I have felt like a slug and staying on track with my weight became really hard, harder than I thought it would. I need to learn how to control my eating and drinking behaviors on trips. But getting out there and hiking a hike that has gorgeous views and a nice climb is exactly the medicine I needed. Nothing charges my batteries like a good sweaty hike!
Next week should be a brand new hike and repeaters shouldn’t so frequently anymore.