Hiking

For some reason I’ve always gotten a strange pleasure from anything I’ve had to work extremely hard to get.

I can’t reach the top shelf because I’m too short? Try me! Got that chocolate!

You tell me I’m not cut out for this Communication course? Boom! Now I don’t just have an A, I’m also graduating with a major in Communication.

Oh so you say I can’t study abroad in Australia while interning while getting credit toward my minor? Well you clearly didn’t do your research like I did. Here I go!

Basically, if people would learn to phrase things as a challenge to me then I’d probably be more inclined to listen instead of stubbornly turning a cheek… Oops!

So along those lines, I seem to love camping even more if I have to hike a ways to get there, if its dark when I set up the tent, and if I shed a few tears because my boyfriend convinces me to place the tent on the edge of a cliff (ok, so in the moment I didn’t love it but he was right that the morning view was completely worth it). This summer I’ve gone on two epic backpacking trips and continually realize how amazing this state of Colorado is.

Trip 1: The ‘mainstream’ hike – Conundrum Hot Springs by Aspen

Trip 2: The hidden hike – Radium Hot Springs by Kremmling

The only theme? We like to hike long distances to sit in naturally warm water surrounded by rocks. It’s fun, I swear…

In early August we hiked 7 hours to Conundrum Hot Springs from Aspen, and then 5 hours back down again the next day. You may think it impossible to keep fifteen people on track for this long… and you’re kind of right. We got lost and separated but we ended up all finding each other, somewhere between the aspens and the natural springs perched 11,200 feet above sea level, and then spent the night drinking whiskey and wine by a fire. Below is our journey:

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A few weeks later, my “baby brother” (who is a good foot taller than me) came to visit and our Sunday went like this:

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  1. One hour hike up a cliff side with views of one of the largest breweries in the world, “America’s Mountain” (14,000+ foot Pike’s Peak), and the capital of Colorado.IMG_8358
  2. Waterskiing and wakeboarding through the only man-made lake in Denver’s city limits.
  3. A lot of waiting around while Teddy ate chips and nacho cheese… remind me again why we let him make any decisions?
  4. Driving out to the mountains and parking down by the river.
  5. Getting collected by Teddy’s pickup truck, in which we piled eight people and then drove to what “looked like a trail head” according to one guy’s Google Earth app a couple of hours earlier, when he’d had service…
  6. Being stopped by a padlocked gate, unloading all of our gear from the truck, reversing the truck in the dark, and then hiking through even darker dark into the woods.
  7. Turning right at every fork in the road and somehow finding the edge of a cliff where we set up camp.
  8. Waking up the next morning to the view below, followed by an early morning dip in this natural hot springs along the Colorado River.

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