*I blantantly stole that title from Bill Bryson, one of my favorite authors, incidentally. Thanks, Bill.
About 10 days ago I went on a hike with some friends. There's something decadent about going on a hike in the middle of the day when everyone else is working or at school. Of course, I had to stay up until 2am the night before to finish my work so I could go on the hike guilt-free, but that's beside the point.
Last year I went on a fall hike with this same group of friends. It was a hard hike. For me anyway. I was huffing and puffing in an embarassing fashion. I tried to blame it on the fact that we were 1,000 feet higher than where we live, but, and this is just a guess here, it was probably because I was out of shape. I thought I was in shape. But apparently I wasn't. I vowed to do better if we ever did this hike again.
Fast forward to this year and we all decided to hike again. Several options were mentioned for a location, including last year's trail. Mercifully, my friend mentioned a location new to me and I jumped at it under the guise of "I've never been on that trail before." It had to be easier.
I had to be in better shape this year.
I had to conjure up a bunch of photo ops to give myself the chance to catch my breath.
Heading up the first hill. It doesn't look like it, but it's crazy steep. I'm bringing up the rear. And yes, that is snow.
It was a mostly overcast day, but occasionally the sun peaked through at us.
We missed hiking at the peak of the fall color, but it was still beautiful.
These are all Aspen trees.
It's always so great to get out and commune with nature.
Hmmm, what's this? Bear track. Very fresh bear track. Walking in our direction. Did he hear us coming and leave the trail? I was very happy that we were accompanied by two nutty dogs who were running and barking like mad.
The bear passes a squirrel. Or chipmunk.
My foot. The bear's track.
Soon we came to a really steep part of the trail leading down to a creek.
We decided it was time for lunch.