Tag Archives: Recreation

A Walk to Remember

No, I am not talking about that overly-sentimental book/movie by Nicholas Sparks. I’m talking up uphill, climbing rocks, push to get to a Flatiron. Remember that time I talked about how you can use other exercises than using machines for a good leg workout? Forget that. Climb up to the freaking Flatirons. I may have done a leg workout the day before, but that hike accentuated my leg ache more than I can explain. I was hurting the next day, which is always a great thing (if it’s the good kind of pain).

We climbed up to the one on the right

I had made a date with a friend from the nursing home I work part-time at to go for a hike. She told us about Chautauqua Park (where we saw the Reel Rock Film Festival) and how it had tons of trails. We had never gone there to explore any hiking–we had just adventured there once to see those films. Well, let’s just say it wasn’t what we were expecting or what we were prepared for. I, sadly, forgot water for Chris and I (good job there, bud) and we had bellies full of food eaten at the dining hall at the park.

According to my pedometer, it was 4 miles up. It was a steady slow incline at first, and then at the actual flatiron base, it got rocky and steep. My friend was doing it pretty well (she brought water) and suggested we do this at sundown for an amazing scene. Well, we got pretty amazing views without a beautiful sunset to coat the sky. Since it was a Saturday, there were lots of other people, from a group of twenty college boys to couples to dog walkers. Everyone had great trail etiquette and was very friendly.

View to the East

It took about an hour to get up to the top of the flatiron, winding around it, up rocks, and steep hills. Though we were sucking in oxygen the whole time, having a serious case of dry mouth, and cursing our legs for being so sore, we had a great time.

View to the West

The views were absolutely incredible, and I can’t wait to see it during sunset and also when more leaves change.

Leaves slowly starting to change…

We were exhausted afterwards and pretty sore the next day, but it was definitely worth it and we will do it again very soon.

Made up to the top!

Oh and just to throw in here…Misty’s gotten quite adept at walking on small surfaces. Who doesn’t like a kitty picture at the end of a post?

Help, I’m adorable!

Holding on for Dear Life

Yes, that’s us: desperately wedging our chalked, cramped fingers into the cracks of humongous rocks, boulders, and man-made wedges. We have started the awe-inspiring sport of rock climbing (thanks to Marga and Megan). It’s an unreal workout, working your finger tips, to your hips, to your toes and leaves you feeling incredibly sore the next day–especially in the forearms.

Boulder Canyon

One of our first days of just arriving in Boulder, Marga and Megan took us to Boulder Canyon to do our first outdoor climbing. We had both done various indoor climbs, just for fun, and nothing serious. This was a whole different story. The fresh air whipping past you as you’re trying to figure out a reach to your next hold, the incredible view from all sides, the real-life feeling that gets you energized–all on nature’s rock. It’s great. You feel giddy afterwards, even us rookies on easy climbs, once you finish, because you look down from the top and feel pretty awesome that you climbed all that (with amazing belayers).

I think our first climb was a 5’6, a standard ‘easy’ one, and it was a blast. Now, Chris is afraid of heights (pretty much the only thing he’s scared of), and he crossed the tyrolian which is two ropes doubled over secured between either rocks or a tree or rocks and rocks which hangs over a river. And then, he goes ahead and climbs up a freaking mountain. Pretty awesome for facing your fears, I’d say. Anyhow, unfortunately we didn’t get pics of that climb, it was so much fun.

Fred using the tyrolian to cross the river

Our next climbing adventure was indoors at the Boulder Rock Club, a totally immersive climbing gym with tons of walls and a pretty unique gym area too. Tons of levels of climbing from 5’3 to 5’12+ (something I won’t be able to even try for at least a year). We had a chance to do a bunch of them, trying out our skill with no fear of falling. We also got to try out bouldering, an activity Chris really loves. It’s just climbing low to the ground (but still very hard stuff), so you don’t need equipment. It’s a killer workout and really fun to challenge yourself with it.

Chris on the rock wall

And finally, I got out on another trip with Marga, Megan, and Fred. We went to Boulder Canyon again, but this time in Avalon. For me, it was definitely a step-up difficult-wise. The climb was a 5-7+ and it was at a slant with less big boulders and rocks to grab onto and more just flat surface with cracks in the rock to jam your fingers into.

The hike there was pretty nice, too, very steep and climbing up rocks (but not exactly rock-climbing). We got to use the tyrolian there too (as seen in picture above).

So on this climb, I struggled a bit more in where to place my hands and feet. It’s not about grabbing as hard as you can. It’s kind of like an art: it’s about grace, balance, and pressure. You just need to lightly snug your fingers onto a hold (even the smallest of holds) and you will find support. I also found that I definitely need to work on my flexibility as I almost pulled my groin as I was reaching up for another hold. But, again, that feeling when you get to the top is great. And if you know me, I love feeling sore or even having tired muscles the day of.

Marga very generously donated her old climbing shoes to me so I am slowly on my way to getting all the gear (kind of an expensive sport). We’re on the hunt for some shoes for Chris. Also, once we feel steady money-wise, we definitely want a membership to the Boulder Rock Club as they have great climbs but also a cool gym with equipment like rings, finger holds, and a rope. I am so grateful for my family introducing us to this sport, it’s something we will DEFINITELY be pursuing.