I climb a lot of mountains. In fact I find great joy in conquering mountains with high elevations, but what I realize now is that spending more than a few hours at these high altitudes makes for a constant head ache, and runs that leave me looking like road kill.
I spent the last week in Colorado Springs, Colorado and hot damn did my lungs feel like they were being squeezed. I ran three times, and the first time I literally thought my heart was going to beat through my skin. I live at sea level, and gaining 6000 ft was an adventure in altitude awareness.
I was spending time with my family at the Air Force Academy, because my younger sister is a freshman there. It was parents weekend, so I gathered some of my hippie belongings and headed south.
The campus is beautiful, surrounded by trees at the foot of the rocky mountains. I’d have a hard time studying with all the adventure that surrounded me. Military life is fascinating to me, and it was fun to see my sister in her new element.
The architecture was great too.
I shamelessly admit I found the above statue extremely attractive. Not to mention the story behind the hero.
Post military activities there was one free day to explore. I recently saw an article that shared the “Most Beautiful Place in Every U.S. State” and it just so happened Colorado’s most beautiful spot was Garden of the Gods.
These red rocks formed millions of years ago through a shift in the earth. With over 15 miles of trails I was able to finagle three other members of my family to wander around four of those miles.
I discovered I’m not the only billy goat in the family.
This walk was by no means steep, nor difficult, but the elevation and heat helped bring my heart rate above resting. I enjoyed the views, but I’d argue there are probably other places in Colorado that are more beautiful. I’m partial to blue and green mountains.
I’d like to make it back to CO someday to explore more of the mountains, and to summit Pikes Peak. I’ll be sure to acclimate myself to the altitude first, it’d be a shame to pass out mid hike.
Q: Do you prefer red rocks, or green trees? I don’t think I need answer this one…