The Perils of Colorado Hiking Moms

I’ve fallen into a pretty great routine with the kids back in school and I can’t believe how fortunate I am. I mean, I actually have time to write! I filed my column early! I’m picking up freelance assignments! I have time to respond to emails! My house is clean! I’m starting to travel this week!

I would’ve written that above paragraph in all-caps but figured exclamation marks were less annoying. #Fail

My day always starts with work before dawn and then once the kiddos are nestled away in school, I play for a bit. Thursdays are my hiking days with a few of my besties. It had rained a lot the day prior so I worried the trails would be mucky. I gave them two choices: Hike up up up up the Apex Parkor head down a paved valley.

Without hesitation, my friend Jenn pointed up and up up up we went for a pretty rigorous hike but with stunning views.

Those are my kind of friends.

And believe me, I have great ones. Last Monday, I asked my friend Tina to hike a new-to-me trail on the lower part of White Ranch Park. I’d hiked the Belcher Hill trail several times but had never attempted a neighboring trail, the Longhorn.

I do a lot of hiking by myself but try to stick to areas I know will have at least some foot traffic, just in case something should happen to me.

Which is very, very likely.

And there was something about the Longhorn that made me hold off until I had a buddy to do it with. For once, listening to my gut paid off.

I love Tina. We’ve been hiking friends since Hadley and her son Nolan were babies and she did the HealthOne Red Rocks Fitness Challenge for three months with me last summer.

That basically means she knows what she’s getting into by hanging out with me.

But we were not prepared for the Longhorn. Not only was weather REALLY hot (hopefully our last 90-degree day) with zero shade but it was steep. Really steep. As in this-is-never-gonna-end-steep. After a long while, we started to wonder if we’d missed our turn but it seemed unlikely–we were going at a snail’s pace.

See those smiles? We’re faking

After what seemed like eons, I skipped ahead a bit and saw it: a sign, just as the trail started mercifully leveling out. And you know what that sign said?

No, it was not a trail marker but rather, a testament to the journey we’d just endured:

I anticipated our loop would take us between 1-1.5 hours (the standard length of my hikes).

It took us three hours.

Forget my worries about Tina not speaking to me after that little adventure.

I wasn’t speaking to me.

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