Hiketober: I Can See Clearly Now

Hiketober in Colorado is simply amazing, and the reason is that there are so many places in which to hike, that it makes it easy to find trails close by that are Hiketober worthy. That was not the case in New England because there aren’t enough mountains to handle all of the fall hikers out there.

My East Coast family went hiking this weekend and they sent me pictures of the lines of traffic that there were just to get to the mountain. This was later followed by a text saying that they couldn’t even get to the summit because the foot traffic was so heavy.

Sounds to me like they need to spend a little bit of Hiketober here next year…

My crew, however, likes to sometimes go with Meetup groups, especially considering that’s how this crew of friends all met – on a hike with Meetup.

For those of you that are not familiar with Meetup, it’s an online special interests site where you find people who like what you like, and go out and meet up for activities. New to Colorado, I decided in July to go on a local hike and met some of the people you see in my pictures. Our Meetup group, Trails and Ales, I found last year way before I moved, thinking it sounded like a fun group to join, and sure enough I have been more than happy to be a part of it!

This past weekend we headed out to Evergreen, the same place I wrote about back in August (Adventure Days). This time we hiked a totally different part of the Three Sisters trail that I did then.

That’s the other thing about Colorado trails – you can go to the same park and have a totally different experience because there are so many trails in those parks!

Starting out

Starting out

We ended up going a whole other way that I didn’t even know existed, and it was worth the views once we got up toward the top of the trail.

One of the weather changes I’m learning to adapt to is this lack of definitive seasons. Sure the leaves here are changing, indicating that fall has surely arrived, however the temperatures are not nearly as indicative. Throughout the hike, the temperature rose to the mid 80s, and stayed there throughout the day. I’m definitely not used to 80 degree weather in October, at least not consistently, and I’m realizing I need to keep some of those hot-weather articles of clothing on hand, just in case.

Sweeping views

Sweeping views

 
We ended up doing about 7 miles total for this hike, but unlike New England, these hikes are not always rugged and vertical. We were greeted with a few switchbacks, mostly dirt trails, and a few open spaces toward the end.

Definitely not my New England hikes, that’s for sure. But I prefer these hikes here, because those who are not avid hikers can go and meander through the trails, and pick and choose the easier ones if they wish. With the exception of a couple of climbs back East, I felt for the most part, the hikes were a little more challenging, and to do most of them, you needed to be in pretty decent athletic shape.

Not here. While most people are typically athletic, there is such a variety of activities and levels of hikes

What we can see

What we can see

that just about anyone can get out there and be active. That’s why I love this place – it offers so much of what I’d been missing out East. I wanted more play time, and more space to play. I wanted to be part of groups that put their outdoors time first, and wanted adventure!

I’m finally tapping into that part of the self that has been struggling to engage fully in the beauty of nature and of being.

A few years ago when I got my family and friends to join me on Hiketober, it was mainly because I loved playing in nature, but didn’t have too many playmates to come along with me. I thought it was, at the very least, a good excuse to all spend some quality time doing things that I love, but also that I was hoping they’d love as well.

Luckily I did garner some interest, but nothing like I have here.

Hiking buddies are the best buddies

Hiking buddies are the best buddies

Now, only two weeks into Hiketober, I know that this will easily be the most fulfilling month of hiking I’ve done for this time of year.

Not only is it easy to find people who want to hike, but they are finding hikes to do as well. The planning isn’t solely on me.

Finally feeling like I’ve settled into this life a little more, I can honestly say that besides being excited for Hiketober, I truly have found more of what my soul needed: just to play!

Colorado’s weather and outdoor lifestyle is truly in alignment with what I’ve sought for years, and I’m understanding now the pull I felt three years ago to this place. I know why I’ve been brought here and am seeing how all of the pieces are finally making sense.

Play time

Play time

I just needed to play. I just needed to be outside. I just needed to find happiness that was about me, and not about anyone or anything else.

I am on that path, stepping fully with each foot solidly on the ground.

Hiketober is my favorite time of year, but now that I’m here, I can see clearly that it’s all that I’ve been looking for and more.

I can see clearly now

I can see clearly now

Golden trees

Golden trees

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