March 21, 2009

mind game that is hiking

Yesterday we got all ambitious and set out on a 6 mile hike in the Fort Collins area. We both had the day off and wanted to prove we are the kind of people who are interesting and active and do things.

The problem with hiking is this: I think I like it. At least, most of the time I think I do, which is how we found ourselves crawling over rocks, sweating through three layers of clothing, and gasping like drowning people.

Why does hiking always sound so great? And how do I repeatedly forget the experience and fall into the same trap over and over? In the moment, it just feels like some sort of hellish punishment with no end. And this particular trail had enough obstacles involved that there was no pausing to take in the scenery for fear of tripping, unless forced to pause because of the crippling burning in the leg/chest area.

I will say this: the hike had a lovely view at the end going for it. It also had a downhill return trip going for it. Which is, I think, how hiking works its voodoo on me. When my lasting impression is eating lunch on a rocky cliff looking over the hills and eastern plains, followed by a speedy and almost effortless (although ankle-crunching) descent, by the time we get to the car I'm all, "I'm so glad we did that! We are so outdoorsy! I'm not in pain, I just have the pleasantly tired feeling like I spent a long day at the beach!"

Fortunately, we made the wise plan to pay a visit to the New Belgium brewery afterwards, and although it was insanely crowded, and we looked and smelled like a pair of ragamuffins, sampling cold free beer was a perfect bookend to the day. And I will most likely go hiking again.

(I did take pictures, but on my regular old camera, so the film isn't developed yet. Sorry.)


  1. I do the exact same thing almost every night... but right now, a hike entails a walk around our block. The first half is up-hill, then the rest is back down again. I hate hate hate the first half... but feel so good as i saunter down the back half that I am always excited for our next walk. Silly stupid pregnant woman.

  2. I wanna see pictures soon, though, k?