Brad desperately wants to live in the mountains and away from people and I desperately want to live in the city with lots of people. They say opposites attract, but what happens when opposites retire??? Brad took me to Basalt, Colorado to check out another mountain town. Suffice to say cocktail hour started very early.
Today I saw a post on Facebook where a wife said she could not think of a better way to celebrate her anniversary then to spend the day on some hard and long bike ride. REALLY - that is the best way? I could think of a million ways to celebrate that did not involve a possible heart attack.
Brad made plans for us to do a short, little hike at Hanging Lake on our way home. Because I have no idea about elevation or miles for that matter, 1.1 miles seemed manageable. After all I had done several 4 mile hikes. Let me just give you the Hanging Lake stats - you walk a quarter of a mile on a concrete, flat path which serves as a deception to the pain that awaits you. The trailhead goes straight up the mountain with a 1,000ft elevation for 1.1 miles. Because steep elevation in a short distance is not hard enough, the path is splattered with big, small and slippery rocks you have to climb up and over. Mind you these rocks range from 15-20". The only relief were the 7 bridges where I contemplated jumping. In fact, there is a path sign outlining how to deal with a bear encounter. At that point, I was praying a bear would eat me to stop this torture.
What I really hated - people coming down with smiles telling me "You got it" and "It is not that bad" or "You only have 400 yards". 400 yards means nothing to me. Just tell me measurements that I can understand like walking from your office to Nordstrom Rack. The pièce de résistance, "It is so worth it". The only thing worth it would be a stocked bar and a masseuse.
At one point, I sat on a rock contemplating my options when an older, overweight woman with an ankle brace stopped on her way down, looked me straight in the eyes and said if I can do it, you can do it. YES I was shamed into finishing. I did my last switchback and ran into Brad (he was walking down the mountain to find me). He raised his arms and screamed, "OMG you made it" and then tried to hug me. He is a confidence builder that man. Then there it was ... the big boulders and railing that needed to be climbed to see the glorious waterfall. I prayed like a bitch that the railing would hold as I hoisted myself up to each rock because on the right was a drop off and if you were to fall over the railing or the railing broke, death awaited you like a bad boyfriend. Then I knew what Brad was trying to do.
Coming down was even harder. I warned everyone in front of me that once I got my mass going there was no stopping me so step aside. It was comforting that Brad kept asking me if I was going to have a heart attack the entire way down. God Bless the young and handsome dad who put his hand out to help me. It was either that or I was going to take out his kid. As we reached the bottom, Brad turned around and told me to smile ... seriously, can you fucking believe that? I went ballistic. Brad and I have been together for 30+ years so he wisely got the truck picked me up at the end of the concrete path and greeted me with two beers.
I told Brad if that did not kill me, he was shit out of luck. We are heading to Red Rocks for Gary Clark Jr tonight and will need to walk 380 steps so apparently he has not stopped trying. I am putting my foot down at the Manitou Incline with a 2,000ft of elevation over less than 1 mile with 2,744 steps.