Friday, April 23, 2010

Hitting The Hiking Trails, Mt. Sanitas in Boulder

There's something about the Colorado sunshine that just seems to warm my soul from the inside out. A few weeks ago, the weather just magically turned into beautiful Spring. For some reason with the change of weather I've been drawn back to the mountains. I've given into the lure of dirt trails, rocky steps, and picturesque views. Sometimes it's hard to justify an hour on the treadmill when mother nature created the most beautiful opportunity to work out right in my backyard.

I've been revisiting my old favorite hiking spots. Some places I haven't been in years, which is truly a shame to admit. A couple of weeks ago I invited a friend to join me up Mt. Sanitas. Sanitas is a trail I've hiked more times than I can count. It's what I consider to be a mellow hike, but worth the work out. 3 mile loop, 1200 feet in elevation gain. I would take Guinness our black lab hiking there everyday before we had the girls. I know all the subtle nuances of the valley trail, where it's washed out, where to expect certain types of flowers, and where the run off drains into a ditch. Sanitas is a place that has always been special to me, brings back so many good memories.

Now that the girls are both old enough, I want them to be by my side exploring the endless hiking trails. Spring hiking is the best because the sunshine is strong enough to warm you, but not too intense where it makes you feel as if you are going to pass out. Hiking with the girls is a completely different experience for me as well. It's more of a exploration of fine detail coupled with a stroll type pace. When I hike on my own, I'm definitely not running but I like the feel of a workout. I know it's a good hike if my legs begin to shake on the descent. I love having the opportunity to stop and observe while taking some cleansing breaths or a sip of water.

The landscape in Colorado is interesting. Our mountains are mainly covered in brush and pine trees. Often the most breath taking beauty comes from rock outcroppings formed in just magical ways that lead your eye from one edge to another. Occasionally there will be a flowering cactus on the trail, which is a delightful surprise. There's a very special wild flower (possibly the manystem pea) that grows in June, it reminds me of a wild orchid and can be found near wet areas such as creek beds. It grows on vines and is just beautiful gently cascading up a patch of yellow brush or the pine tree backdrop.

It's a wonderful feeling to be getting back to a place I once loved to be everyday. I mentioned on my hike up Sanitas, that as of just a year ago I would've been spending my Saturday morning shopping at the mall. Mindlessly buying things I didn't really need. This new channeling of my energy is very much nurtured on the trail. Better yet, it's free. When I return home I feel refreshed and reinvigorated.

Even though we had some wild weather today, which went from heavy down pour of rain to huge fluffy wet snowflakes, I am hoping to hit the trail tomorrow morning. Saturday mornings seem to be the perfect opportunity for me to get a little time to myself, embrace the beauty around me, and sweat a bit of the week's stresses off of my shoulders. Fingers crossed I won't need Sorel boots...

9 comments:

  1. I am glad you posted this, I was thinking about doing one as well. Something about being out in nature cleanses my soul. Its pretty much all I want to do these days. I am still game for tomorrow if you are!

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  2. What a GORGEOUS photo Denise. Love it~

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  3. Oh, I so miss Mt. Sanitas. I got engaged at the top. It was my daily local hike for a long time when I was lucky enough to live downtown. I had to adjust to the lower trails when I started hiking with a kid on my back, but I loved still the same.

    I need to make friends with some hikes closer to Denver now!

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  4. Wow, thanks for the sneak peak on spring hiking! gorgeous photo. Enjoy!

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  5. Mt. Sanitas is beautiful. Good for you guys for getting out and doing something for your health. Nothing like working out in mother nature! - MH

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  6. I'm so in for a hike with you when we get back from vacation. Can't wait!

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  7. Fabulous. I feel refreshed just reading about it.

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  8. Beautiful photo and great post....A night of blog hopping....Hope you will stop by and visit me....Enjoyed reading your blog tonight...

    Teresa
    http://teresa-grammygirlfriend.blogspot.com/

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  9. There is nothing more motivating that walking or running outside. It makes you feel good about everything. And walks in Spring are even more magical since you can peel off the layers of coats and sweaters after so many months. And now I want to hike....

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I always appreciate the gesture to stop and take a moment to comment. Thank you!