I've always been quite open about hiking being my happy place. It's rhythmic, it's peaceful, it helps me clear my head. I may escape in the quietness of the trail, indulge my senses and engage my body while I'm at it. It's the one place (other than yoga) where I let go of all the things that ramble through my head. I hike at a walking pace and I'm content with that. I have friends that enjoy running with heart pumping force and losing their breath on the trail, but that's not my style. Occasionally I like to run back down the trail, but that's just a crazy rush to top off my experience.
Today I had some friends in town from California. I wanted to take them hiking and they obliged after I assured them we wouldn't be scaling straight up any mountains. I actually had my girls with me, so that sealed the deal, they thought well if your girls can hike the trail, we sure can. Considering it was Sunday and Boulder has it's well known hiking spots, I decided to take them on a local's trail, a bit off the beaten path. As we set out, I warned everyone that we may not make it to the top and that I'd more than likely be carrying Miss GL back down the mountain once we did reach our turning point. But to my amazement and delight, that never happened.
My girls hiked a little over a mile up the trail, it was close to 3 miles total round trip. We arrived at a spot that was an overlook you can reach by car, but we were all proud we took the singletrack trail up instead. I watched over my girls as we meandered up the mountain, GL making it her mission to remain in front of the group, holding strong the entire way. Sj is a bit more laid back, wanting to stay a part of the group's conversation, noticing small plants on the trail, or even a smoke plume off in the distance somewhere on the flats. Both of them an organic part of the group, not hindering progress and maybe even inspiring carrying on to go just a bit further. Never once did the girls complain on the way up or down, which made me a proud mama. They are naturals on the trail.
We encountered some rain, heavy wind gusts, and of course moments of full on sunshine. One minute coats were on, the next they were making us sweat. Ah, Colorado always the same very unpredictable weather. You have to plan for everything when you hit the trail.
We ended our hike with dinner on a rooftop patio and a fabulous panoramic view of the trail we hiked. The girls earned their strawberry shortcake dessert. I sat back and cherished the making of memories, rethinking that hiking is my solo activity, for clearly I have a team of girls that can hang on the trail just fine.