I can still do hard things…
We had quite the adventure hiking Pikes Peak on Saturday! This was my first 14er (and it’s totally like a marathon, in the last couple of miles you think you’ll never do it again — today I’m thinking about when my next one will be)…
We started at 4:40 am and (in the dark) made a wrong turn only to end up at the Manitou Incline bailout point (they say not to do the Incline if you’re doing the full Pikes Peak hike – two hard workouts of their own), but we thought, why not? So we did the last half of the Incline and reached the top for sunrise (beautiful).
The first 10 miles were just fun and peaceful with gorgeous views. We could hear the birds and the creek and no city noises at all.
Once we passed the treeline (point of no return) it got tougher. I was fine the first mile, actually still feeling really good at this point, but then the elevation hit me like a ton of bricks with a massive migraine and nausea. The last 3 miles took us about 3 hours I think!
We found some nice guys who had ibuprofen for me, and another couple who were training to hike Kilimanjaro in a month, so they had parked at the top and offered to bring us back down afterward if we couldn’t get the cog one way.
People kept saying how great the donuts were at the top and how worth it they were, and I was like, PEOPLE! I want to throw up, I don’t want food!!! (and I have a sweet tooth).
Oh, and the, “You’re almost there,” when you’re still a mile out is treacherous! Totally like a marathon. Don’t tell me I’m almost there until I can see the finish line I had to really talk to myself that last mile and a half, my negative was so there…
Summited at 12:40 pm, so an 8-hour adventure, but we made it!!! We didn’t get a picture by the sign because by the time we found it, it was too far away for me to venture. I was a wreck at that point.
One-way cog was a no-go, so we did find that nice couple, and they brought us down (me throwing up before we left…)
Would I do it again? Oh yeah! I want to do it up and down next time, but I need to acclimate a little more with a few shorter 14ers I think. This is one of the hardest I believe because of the length…
12.5 miles, 7,500-foot elevation gain 8 hours, perfect weather, and lots of fun and misery It started raining as we hopped into our car to drive home!
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