Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Colorado mountains

I just got back from a 6-day trip to Colorado, which included hiking mountains, visiting Grandma and attending a wedding. I'll post in chapters. The first chapter is Mountains.

Why climb mountains? It's for the view, of course! Okay, that's a quick answer, and obviously it's not always true. The top photo shows the best view we got during a lot of steep hiking up Mt Yale. We still went all the way to the top to get the great family portrait below... that could have been on any old rock pile. Despite the clouds, the weather was pretty good for being 14,000 feet up. This was last Thursday.

On Monday, we did a quick hike up Mt Evans where Wiley enjoyed the view below. We actually started lower down than this parking lot. We hiked about a mile to reach the summit, although most people simply drive the whole way. Clearly, we didn't hike this one for the wilderness experience.

Finally, on Tuesday we got a great view and a mountain to ourselves. Getting to the top of Mt Columbia was a tough 4000-foot elevation gain in 5 miles (one way). This certainly isn't the toughest 14-er in Colorado, but it kicked my butt. Actually, I've done 16 of these 14,000+ peaks and all but two of them have kicked my butt (those two weren't easier, I was just in incredibly good shape that year). Even that short one mile hike up Mt Evans, required many breaks to catch my breath and convince myself that there was some reason to keep going.

I still can't explain what reason I find for pushing myself up these mountains. It's the same reason I train to run 10k's, knit challenging projects, and go to school for another degree.

(There are a few more photos from the trip on Flickr).

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