Wednesday, July 2, 2014

Solo Trek

I was looking forward to my solo trek all week. As you may or may not know, I love hiking. JMan and I would often hit up the 14'ers and 13'ers every summer. As he started getting older, I'd go on my own as he had his own interests.

Given that it is a recovery week, and I really need to take it easy, I wasn't going to attempt an 8-12 hour hike up and down a 14'er. Those hikes are really strenuous.

I thought I'd head down to Castlewood Canyon. It's a short 20 minute drive from my house. During the week, there's no one really there.

This is about as rogue-y as I get this week folks.

I ran into a couple of people but very few.

I love being outside and having time like this. I don't understand people that load up their ipod and listen to music while hiking. To each his own, I guess. There is something to be said for just listening. 

The hike starts at the top of the canyon and winds its way down to the river.
This selfie is for Pamela.

When I got to the bottom of the canyon, it's time for "bouldering".  Do you see the path? No? It's wherever you want it to be. I know it doesn't look like it, but there is a river under all those rocks. It creates a bunch of small dams throughout the canyon. 

Again, a river that you can't see unless you are on the rocks, but you can hear it. Speaking of which, there are few things as cool as the wind blowing through a canyon. You can hear it coming like a tidal wave. It hits you and continues on its way. The sound through the trees has always been one of my favorites. 

Not to be all warm fuzzy. It really is pretty amazing if you haven't experienced it. As I was making my way around, I was laughing at how well I do recovery. In fact, a few weeks back, I mentioned to Coach that "NO ONE" does recovery like me. She responded with, "That is a new low TSS. WELL DONE." 

I take great pride in my ability to go easy.

That made me think of a few people. 

I love doing bike tours and hiking and just enjoying those activities for what they are, without thinking about how fast or far I'm going. A few years back, I did a bike tour with a friend. It was a constant competition. She constantly wanted to beat me to the top of the next hill or down the hills or on the flat. I didn't get wrapped up in what she was doing, but it sure was a buzz kill. I got to the point where I said, "I'm stopping for 15 minutes at the next aid station....feel free to continue on."
(Nature's staircase)
I do wonder what was the tipping point to knock all those rocks down the canyon walls? Think about it. Was it a little bird? After millions of years of snow and rain and wind, a bird lands on the rock....and that's it, down the canyon it goes.

(The original rock climbing wall. You can't tell from the picture, but this is about 40 feet tall)

Besides the bike tour, I've hiked with other people before. It always seems to be an extension of training for people. Instead of hiking, they need to get to the top of the mountain as fast as possible. This isn't a competition, people. There is time for training. There is time for enjoying life outside of training. 

What's the hurry? 

(This is at the very end where you hook back into a walking path. See? There really is a river there....and the bridge is more suspension like and bounces up and down with every step.)

I don't know. I guess I've had my time of rushing around like crazy, trying to get ready for work, getting the boys to practices, squeezing in my own training, being an active member of the rat race. And, I'm just done with it. I want to hang out with friends and have long conversations that go nowhere. I want to climb mountains or ride my bike or take a walk to nowhere in particular.

When I have time off, this is the type of thing that I'm doing. I'm sitting on a rock staring at the water rush by, and I'm not in any rush to get to the top.


I get back to the car. I felt so good and relaxed. I turn on Sirius. This song comes on.

I'm singing along at the top of my lungs with the windows down and the sunroof open.
For the first time EVER, I listened to the words.
Wow. Kind of different when you listen to a song with adult ears.