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Posts Tagged ‘hiking’

I figure I’ve hiked Boulder’s Mt. Sanitas trail somewhere in the neighborhood of 150 times during the 19 years I’ve lived in the Boulder area. I know there are many people who have hiked it a whole lot more than I have, whose counts are in the thousands and who regularly scale mountains 10 times as high — but I have to marvel a little bit about why I’ve kept going back over the years.

Each time it is a thigh-trembling, heart-hammering, oxygen-gulping experience. Often there is cursing.

Truth be told, the last three years have seen only two or three of those treks (something about having a kid, starting your own business, getting old…blah blah blah). So when I headed up two weeks ago — on one of those shining, 50-degree days we’ve been having this winter — it was like reuniting with an old friend.

Mountain Sanitas, Boulder, CO

Self portrait on Mt. Sanitas. Tired but happy.

I was reminded of everything I love and hate about the trail at once. I always choose the Western route up — it’s steeper, but shorter. Before long, I start to sound like a asthmatic bulldog. But just when I’m barely managing to place one pathetic, plodding step after the other, I’ll spot a welcoming little turnout, with that heartening view of Boulder sprawling out below. Or sometimes a flatter, more forgiving part of the path emerges. I catch my breath and start anew, thinking, “I might actually make it to the top today!” Only to be passed by an 80-year-old jogging up the damn thing. And the whole cycle starts again.

Mt. Sanitas, hikers, Boulder, CO

Fellow hikers often include small children, dogs and elderly folks — all of whom are usually bounding past me.

Until I get to the top. And then it’s just pure endorphins. I actually have to restrain myself from hugging all those other sweaty, smiling people perched on the rocky outcroppings, sucking down water and drinking in the views.

On the way down, my legs always feel like jello for the first five minutes, and I think, am I going to be the first person in Boulder history to have to be air-lifted off Mt. Sanitas? But then, miraculously, my legs get used to the pounding, downhill motion, and by the time I reach my car, I’m positively giddy and pretty sure I could do it all over again, right then and there.

Mt. Sanitas, Boulder, CO

So on this hike two weeks ago, I promised myself I’d make time to come back more often. In fact, I headed back yesterday, just before the snow storm moved in. It was much colder — and tougher — than the previous time. But in the end, I found myself sending up a little thank you to the clouds for holding off just long enough for me to make it to the top and back, one more time.

Bird on Mt. Sanitas, Boulder, CO

This robin seemed to be assessing the air as a winter storm moved in.

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You know how I love me a bargain, and the GoLite warehouse sales are aisles, racks and boxes overflowing with bargains. Last time I went, the deals were incredible. I’m hoping for a repeat performance on April 23-25.

GoLite Warehouse Sale April 2010Reminder: For the best deals, you need to get there first thing on opening day, Friday, April 23. See ya there!

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Needing to put our feet to the earth and breathe some fresh air, my sister and I set out for a hike on Saturday. We hadn’t been to the Settlers’ Park trailhead since this summer, and we thought it might be fairly sunny and mud free (it was!).

We hiked up to the Red Rocks, which always reminds me of the New Year’s Eve when we climbed up here, found a perch on one of the fins and watched the celebrations and fireworks below — one of the best New Year’s ever.

We continued on the Anemone Trail, overlooking Canyon Road. There were only a few other people out on Saturday, but they were enjoying the sun and warm rocks as much as we were:

Settlers' Park and Red Rocks, Boulder, Colorado

Settlers' Park and Red Rocks, Boulder, Colorado

Thank you, Old Man Winter, for throwing us a warm and sunny Saturday!

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