How Colorado Made Me Discover I Love To Hike (and you will too)
I love to hike! I never thought I’d say that… but living in Colorado for 6 months is what caused me to have this epiphany. Before visiting Colorado I traveled to Europe and various states throughout the US, but most of my time has been spent growing up in New York City.
So keep on reading if you’re curious to find out how a city girl like me found a love for hiking and how you can too!
Some Back Story
Let me first start off with a little back story. For those of you who don’t know me, I was born and raised in The Bronx. For the majority of my 25 years I went to private catholic school and spent my time with family and friends. Most of my fun activities included exploring all that the city has to offer. I am also blessed in the fact that my mother always wanted to make sure we traveled and experienced new things outside of New York but that never really entailed hiking.
Somewhere between Sophomore and Junior years of college I started to realize how much of the world I still have to explore. Maybe this piqued my interest due to the fact that I grew up in such a melting pot of cultures to begin with, or maybe it has always been in my innate nature to try new things and learn about other ways of life. Regardless, as the years passed by my love for travel has increased but it wasn’t until two years ago that I started to discover my connection with nature.
During COVID I spent a lot of time in rural north western Pennsylvania. At this time I started to think about how seeing all the National Parks in the US would be a dream come true. Mind you, I never even went on a hike before! Silly me I didnt even know what I would have gotten myself into. To my surprise I ended up meeting my partner Luke who had plans to do contract outdoor recreational work in Colorado come April of 2021. Who by the way is an avid hiker. So as the story goes I ended up choosing to go with him to Colorado!
Okay so now getting to the good stuff!
How Colorado Made Me Discover I Love To Hike
As soon as we drove through the Eisenhower Tunnel on Interstate 70 I was at awe with the view of the Rocky Mountains. They towered over me but didn’t make me feel small. Their snow covered peaks warmed my heart. It was like driving through a Bob Ross painting. As the weeks followed and I settled into our new short term home at 9,000ft elevation, I started to explore the forests and nature trails surrounding me.
I was excited to immerse myself in nature, I mean after all that’s what everyone did around here. It seemed like everyone in the surrounding towns were health conscious and outdoorsy. There is a different energy that flows through the mountains. A slower pace compared to the city, but also a deeper appreciation for the environment. Up here, it seems like people cohabitate with nature instead of living on separate planes of existence.
I learned that people actually climb fourteeners for fun! The term “fourteener” means a mountain over 14,000ft in elevation. To help you understand what that really entails, it means starting the climb at 6am and traversing a continuous uphill hike until you reach the peak.
I found out by accident how this feels. Let me tell you it’s not for the faint of heart.
I’ve also learned that you can get lost on trails! So be careful, pay attention to the signs and bring extra water and supplies. Go figure a city girl getting lost on a hike…that experience put me in my place real quick.
The most important lesson hiking taught me was to be thankful for nature. From the trees that provide us oxygen to the fungi that grow beneath our feet breaking down organic matter. To the sun that provides us warmth. They are all here to be our friends.
Colorado has made me discover that I love to hike, because of the accomplished feeling you get after completing a trail. I also love to hike because it recharges your battery so to speak. Hiking means being surrounded by nature and in return being at one with the universe.
I bet that if you spend time connecting with nature in the mountains of Colorado you’ll soon turn into a hiking fanatic as well!
To Sum It Up
Colorado has made me discover my love for hiking and there’s no turning back. I now feel more prepared to continue on my journey of visiting all the US National Parks. Colorado is a unique place on earth. It holds a high vibration and a special place in my heart. From red rock to white mountain caps, Colorado is truly one of a kind.
Whether or not you make it out to Colorado, find a local hiking trail. Start off with less mileage than you think you can handle. Take it from someone who tends to overshoot on what I can handle. What can I say? I like a good challenge! But for real, enjoy yourself, be at one with nature, and take it one step at a time.