My Colorado friends might roll their eyes at this post, because most of them have at least one fourteener under their belt, and others have a goal of completing as many of the 53 fourteeners in Colorado as they can. (Those not familiar with Colorado, hiking or mountain elevation can learn exactly what I'm talking about here.)
Me? I'm just happy to say that I completed ONE. I hiked Grays Peak last July with my husband. I didn't make it to Torreys Peak which was less than a mile from the summit of Grays, however. Instead, I opted to take a 30-minute nap on a boulder, 14,000 feet above sea level, the spectacular view of the Rockies spread out before me, as Mark ventured up to Torreys and back. Eh, you win some, you lose some.
Well, I hiked my second fourteener with Mark yesterday (his 4th!) -- Mt. Bierstadt. Here's a handy map, courtesy of 14ers.com:
Needless to say, I'm a little sore today. Not "I just ran a marathon" sore, but definitely close. It's a good kind of hurt though...knowing that I accomplished something that was, frankly, really really tough! On the way down as I gasped for the little oxygen that the altitude offers, and tried not to slip and fall into the river we had to cross over on a log (dirty-dancing style!), I resorted to repeating a simple mantra to myself. "Sleep, beer, Beau Jo's pizza. Sleep, beer, Beau Jo's pizza. Sleep, beer, Beau Jo's pizza..."
Mark and I stopped at Beau Jo's in Idaho Springs for an amazing meal on the way home to Denver. I took a much needed rest when we got home. Annnnd...we knocked back a few beers last night with friends in celebration. Mission accomplished.
Here we are at the summit (14,060 ft.):(Check out the rest of the pics from our 6-hour climb and descent on Mark's Picasa site here )
Sure, by Colorado standards, it's really not that big of an accomplishment. People out here run a marathon UP Pikes peak. They ride their bikes from Denver to Boulder and back. Some choose to rock climb in the summer and ice climb in the winter every weekend. Etc., etc. Well "Chrissy standards" are considerably lower. I'm pretty damn proud of making it to the top of two fourteeners.
And yes...it was the best beer I've tasted in quite some time!