Adventures into the Madness

16 Miles of Courage


Just got back from our annual family and church community trip to Estes Park, CO and the Rocky Mountain National Park. Talk about inspiring!

For the last two years I have been planning and preparing for an across the park hike. With the help of wonderful hubby and many friends who took care of kiddos while I was hiking for 10+ hours (and picked me up at the end!) I completed that personal challenge this year! An amazing hike. 16 miles, nearly half of that above treeline in Alpine Tundra. Stunning views. Great companions that ranged from age 17 to age 62.

We left at 4:00 a.m. and hiked the first hour in complete dark, so we were at pretty high altitude once sun started to peek out. Every switchback, we’d see the sky in the East get a bit lighter and a little prettier. We reached Flat Top Mt. summit at around 7:50 a.m. The rest of the 12 miles hike is almost literally down hill. One hiker described the Alpine Tundra like “Ireland on Steroids” 😉 Beautiful green, rocky, rolling hills. The last 6 miles is in Ponderosa Pine forest complete with waterfalls and mountain meadows.

For me, who has never been “athletic” in my life, this was something of an accomplishment. I started running last summer to prepare for the altitude and the aerobic part of the climb. I’ve been walking all this summer to keep up my endurance. And while the other members of the group just kindof decided to “do it”, for me, it represented a lot of work, planning and bravery!

Three years ago, I wrote THIS POST describing my disappointment in myself for not doing the hike then. I think what I’m most pleased with is an inner bravery I’ve rediscovered since then. And I hope to build on that in new and exciting ways.

A friend who couldn’t go on the hike this year is already planning one for next. I think I might go again! But this time, I’ll know I can do it, and won’t be nearly as stressed, worried and freaked out. Whatever I do, I’ll have an adventure! Enjoy the pics!


Alien landscape
Alien Landscape at the top of Flat Top Mountain

Big Meadow

Flat Top Mt.
Proof! I made it!

posted under Frants
One Comment to

“16 Miles of Courage”

  1. On November 10th, 2010 at 9:42 am Amy Says:

    Those pictures are so beautiful and motivating. To think that you would do it next year is so brave! I can’t wait.

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