Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Road Trip: Mt. Elbert, Colorado

Two years in a row, my husband and I have driven to Leadville, Colorado, to be part of the race crew for a friend who was riding in the Leadville 100 Mountain Bike Race. We rented the same cabin above Twin Lakes again this year, because the view is unbeatable. Surreal, really. 

Sunrise view from cabin, Twin Lakes.

Sunset view from cabin, Twin Lakes.

This year, we chose to undergo the arduous hike up Mount Elbert, Colorado's highest peak. I just thought I had been exercising enough. But the trail is so steep that by the time we had reached the 12,600 mark--well above treeline, thank you--my legs finally rebelled and stopped pulling me up another step. I sat among some rocks, sheltered from the wind, while the rest of my party climbed on. A chipmunk kept me company. I fed him some bread off my peanut butter sandwich, but I didn't like the way he was having to smack on the bread, so I switched to almonds. I hate almonds, and my trail mix was full of them, so I stacked some on the rocks, and this greedy, grateful little guy stuffed as many as he could into his cheeks, then dashed off to stash them in his hidey-holes. 

Now, I'm kicking myself for not getting pics of the little guy. All I took was video of him snatching the bread. Ah, well. He kept me entertained while I waited for word from my party. A long while later, my husband sent me a text saying they had reached the summit. It took them another 45 minutes to hike back down to me. By then I was well rested, but they were in pain. We all wanted off that mountain, so we started down immediately. It took us (them) four hours to reach the top and two more to hike back down. I have never been so sore in all my life. Every muscle from my hips to my ankles is letting me know that they didn't appreciate the abuse. 

But we've made it home again, and my work-out regimen is about to kick up a few notches. The mountain defeated me ... this time.

Mt. Elbert. Above the clouds by 8 a.m.