New Life Goal: Hike Pikes Peak

by Christopher Paul on August 14, 2006

So I’m out in Colorado for a week visiting my family and my wife and I, being hikers, are looking for a good trail. The last time we were here two years ago, we stayed just outside of Boulder and hiked around there. We loved it and although not fully acclimated to the altitude, we did ok.

This time, we are staying in Denver and don’t have a guide to help us find a trail of intermediate difficulty. My wife, however, is fantastic at finding places to go, food to eat, and things to do so I’m not worried. But in researching some trails to hike, I realized that one day I want to do a multi-day hike up Pikes Peak.

Pikes Peak is a 14,000+ ft high mountain in Colorado Springs. When I was a kid, my father drove up the mountain road to the observatory and although I loved the top, I was very nervous going up and down on those narrow, winding, dirt roads. Two years ago, I did that and I had a great time driving it (although I think my wife was a little nervous).

On the way down, we picked up a father/son hiking team who had reached the top somehow but wanted a lift down the mountain so they could shorten the return time. It was after speaking to them that I got the idea to hike Pikes Peak but kind of put it in the back of my mind because I wasn’t an experienced hiker.

I’m not now so I’m not going to do it this year but NEXT year, I hope to be in good shape for an attempt. I’ll bring the needed gear and arrange to stay at one of the half-way lodges that are 7 and 8 miles into the 16 mile trail. I think for my wife and I, we must train hard for this and stay at least a week to get used to the higher altitude before trying. I don’t want to end up like C.W. McAllister if I do this.

This year, I’m going to try mountain biking and visit Winter Park Resort. If I can’t do an intermediate bike trail this year, I’ll add it to my life goals just like I added the Pikes Peak hike.

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