The Best Views Come After An Uphill Climb

“And into the forest I go, to lose my mind and find my soul.” ~John Muir

Thing 1 heads back to college next week. In between packing and getting in last-minute visits with high school friends, he’s been trying to fit in as much time in the great Colorado outdoors as possible. This summer he climbed three 14ers, rode his bike over Vail Pass (10k feet), and this past weekend he and his father rode from our house to downtown Denver and back again (56 miles). He and I had discussed going out to climb another 14er today, but decided to sleep in and hike a little closer to home. So this morning we went to Roxborough State Park. It’s one of our favorites and it’s ten minutes from our front door. We’ve been hiking in the summer and snowshoeing in the winter at this park since the boys (I can’t get used to calling them men) were young.

Since the original goal was to climb a 14er, we decided to hike Carpenter Peak, the park’s longest and most strenuous hike. During the past few weeks, Denver has been inundated with smoke from the fires in California; today the skies were crystal clear by comparison. We started hiking around 8, but it was already quite warm. We found ourselves lingering longer in the shady spots than we might normally. Joe was patient, waiting for me when I had to stop to catch my breath. But finally I was spurred on by the rising heat to push for the summit as quickly as possible, and we started making good time. When we finally made it to the top, we were rewarded by being the only ones there and having the clearest views we’ve seen in a while. And when the hike was finished we’d logged over 7 miles and climbed about 123 flights. It was a nice morning workout.

I will miss having Joe around to kick my butt into gear, but maybe I will be able to use today as a springboard. Then when he comes home for Thanksgiving, we can do this hike again and I can show him the progress I’ve made.


  1. “Thing 1” !!! Hah! A moniker that stuck! That was for Halloween, if I recall?
    It’s so curious, yours is the first family I’ve watched “grow up” from a blog.
    I recall those days when they were so little. Grade schools and high schools and a new house.
    It’s not like following a family on TV because it’s real. And not even like reality TV ’cause it’s people “I know” and a woman that has replied to the notes I’ve addressed to her.
    They may be “men” to their contemporaries, but they will always be the “boys” to you. (And to me, too!)
    For me, there are also “girls”.
    One is 45 this year, the other 36.
    Still “girls” to me!

    Best regards,


    1. I suppose they are always boys and girls to those who knew them when. It’s the same way that I can’t believe I am 53 because I am pretty sure I am still 22 inside. Thing 1 and Thing 2 are taken from The Cat in the Hat by Dr Seuss. It just always fit for them. And I have appreciated our “conversations” over the years. They often give me food for thought and they always make me feel good. 🙂

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