I live an interesting tension. Asked directly, I’d tell you that I struggle to make a bucket list. I really just pick a challenge and go for it. But when pressed, I can tell you about this epic Greek Isles/Italy trip I’ve been jonesing to take, and my desire to spend some time in Savannah and the Outer Banks and…
One of the things that I tried to tackle several years ago, but failed, was climbing a 14-er. Colorado has 50-odd 14,000-foot mountains, and as a native, it’s almost embarrassing that I haven’t gotten around to climbing one, yet. I planned to do one with friends nearly six years ago, but got sick (really, honest-and-truly) and my car broke down, terminally, on the weekend we were going to go. So I plan to do one next weekend, with a group I’ve recently joined.
The difference between this time and last time, beyond my being six years older, is that six years ago, I was coming off my first and second triathlons, so I wasn’t worried about my conditioning. This time, I haven’t trained much, if at all. I take a weekly bellydancing class, and I go for a walk or a swim now and again but I haven’t trained in any coordinated fashion. The 14-er we’re climbing is rated as one of the easiest ones to climb, but we’re still talking about a 2,000-foot ascent at an altitude that is nothing to sneeze at.
So last weekend, I had a morning free, and decided to do a semi-challenging hike, to help me prepare. When I searched online for something reasonably close to me and reasonably vertical, I discovered a hike up a landmark near and dear to my heart.
Castle Rock is a little more than halfway to Denver from Colorado Springs, and we drove that highway often during my childhood. In fact, my second post-college apartment was in the little town about 20 minutes from the very southern end of the Denver metro area. I always thought about climbing it one day, when I lived there, but I never got around to it.
So Saturday morning, I went out. It was a gorgeous day. I took a ridiculous number of pictures. Here are just a few— just so you know I appreciate how lucky I am to live in such an incredible place.