A fullllll dayyyyyyy with no training?! Then we shall HIKE!!!!!
I used the wonderful Alltrails app to find a few suitable-looking trails, and David chose Shadow Canyon out of those. It was listed as “moderately hard” and as dog-friendly, so we were pumped. We drove the fifteen minutes to the South Mesa Trailhead and began our journey.
FOUR HOURS LATER we were still hiking up. What started as a lovely looping dirt trail… turned into A foresty slightly-bouldered path to a vertical, rocky slope. Our asses were burning, and I’m sure Lacey felt the same.
We met a man around hour three and asked him how far to the end- it’s never a good sign when that question is met with a grunt of laughter.
An hour later, though, due greatly to the encouragement of fellow hikers heading back down, we MADE IT TO THE TOP. It was only a partial top, though, because you could choose to either go left, to the South Boulder Peak, or right to reach Bear Peak. Well, this couple whom we had been competing with (we’d overtake them, they’d overtake us, it started friendly then got uglier as the incline increased – you know what I mean) took the left path so we chose the right.
I have no pictures of this because I left my phone (David left his with my backpack behind us on the trail), but trust me, it was breathtaking. The Rockies charges across the horizon, some snow-tipped and some dark brown-blue. The air smelled sweet and striking, like cedar wood and pine sap, with a wildflower mixed in. We stayed there and stared for a while.
When we were ready to leave, we left. We were quite hungry and the one water bottle we brought simply wasn’t enough. Lacey had her fill of the mountain creek’s water but David and I were pickier. We tripped and hopped down the trail, went the wrong way a few times, began to lose our shit (in the way which convinces passers-by that you’ve taken advantage of the legalization of marijuana) and FINALLY we made it back to the trailhead. Now, bodies aching and lungs still not recovered, we are stretched out in the two pieces of foam we call a bed in pure blissful rest.