The trip was planned and I was ready for anything the Rocky Mountains had to offer. But we went to Alpine. Colorado(never heard of it), I had to rethink where to hike. The city was so small but it was awesome being out in the middle of nowhere. This trip was a mind opening experience. I had three hikes and two of them were absolutely great. The first hike was from one small town to another small town as I was getting use to the altitude. I learned from my previous experience of altitude sickness.
The second hike was in the Rio Grande National Forest. The different trees, mountain views, creek crossings and small waterfalls were nothing less than spectacular. My phone camera was awful but still it could not ruin what I saw in this hike. The trip out there was also something of a surprise. As we were driving into the middle of nowhere with no cell service on the brink of the backcountry, we are talking about a couple that was killed by a bear and no one found them for days. Really this was the only conversation in this situation with my back luck on hikes. This hike was truly magnificent experience though.
The third and final hike was the life changer. The hike on the continental divide trail in Pagosa Springs was the hike. 12500 feet above sea level was amazing. Seeing clouds at eye level and some below the mountain top, Seeing eagles soaring around you and below you. Looking down the mountain and seeing a majestic lake was just too beautiful to put in words. The hike up the mountain was very challenging but worth every step. Hiking over narrow ledges, rocky terrain and through forest like areas was just part of the experience. After this hike I wanted to hike everything everywhere. I still to this day look at clouds in a different way because of actually being that high up. I can truly say this was a life experience.
Hiking has officially become something I wanted to do all the time. I had one big problem, I was too out of shape to do any real hiking for a good length of time. In 2015 I started hiking my three local spots weekly but I still needed to do more to get my hiking to where I wanted to be. In 2016 I started running and exercising regularly. I ran 60 5ks in one year. I did most of my running on trails and became fascinated by trail running which lead back to hiking. I started the 52 Hike Challenge in November of 2016 and only got in around 11 hikes before I decided to cut it off and restart the 52 Hike Challenge on New Year’s Day. I now had places I wanted to hike and not many places I did not know about that had great hiking trails. I was watching places on TV, I was on the computer looking at day trip hiking destinations and now I was ready to attack the 52 Hike Challenge with knowledge and 50 pounds less that I was a year ago. As you will see, I go out crushing Texas state parks and my adventures begin.