26 miles, 14,000ft, 3 days. Yup. We did that. This backpacking trip in Colorado Springs turned out to be more memorable and eye opening than I could have imagined.
The first night Meg and I were doubtful about reaching the summit. It gloomed over us that night, making me feel smaller and more insignificant than ever. Thankfully those worries were a mere bump in the road to the glorious summit of Pikes Peak.
Day 2 brought us to a stopping point called the A Frame, which will forever hold a special place in my heart. It was here that we met four strangers whom soon became friends. We pulled resources together to roast smores over a much needed fire. One person had marshmellows, one had chocolate, and someone else had pretzles (a great substitute for graham crackers we learned). Just like that we bonded the rest of the evening campfire-side, over the deliciousness of smores. We agreed that night to hike the summit the next morning as a team.
With an early start on the day, leaving our camp at 7am, and a challenging 3 mile hike, we had made it. We summited. Our two nights spent shivering in our tent, and two days full of sweat and achy legs finally showed us their worth. The view at Pikes Peak was unlike anything I’d ever seen before, and taking the long hard road there made me appreciate it greatly (I guarantee you much more than those who drove to the top).
An unforeseen realization Meg and I came to is that the journey to the summit was just as jaw-dropping as the journey itself. We often stopped along our hike to gaze at the view (and to catch our breath of course), taking it in before stumbling upon another view. And those little moments of astonishment helped me grasp the full beauty of the hike.
Being in this sort of environment broadened my perspective of the world out there. All we did was explore, free from any desires to alter it in anyway. In my eyes, it is perfect in its most natural, organic state. The mountains, pines, and boulders exist for our benefit. They take nothing and give so much. It makes me wonder what other beauties are out there, calling my name to be seen. This trip is the start of many to come.