The last day of my trip, I had an extra few hours before I flew out. So what did I decide to do?
One of my top choices was to take a nice little railway car up Pikes Peak (a well known mountain in that part of the world). Unfortunately, I found out that the railway car was all booked up for the time I wanted to go up the mountain.
So....I had this crazy thought - I'd just climb up the mountain.
Ok, I admit, I didn't think it was that crazy at the time! (only after I started my little adventure did that thought float across my brain. Once I was almost done, I knew that thought was true! ;-)
Now it is 10 miles / 16 km to the top, which I knew I would not have time for (haha!). But there was a shorter incline of 1 mile straight up (about a quarter of the way to the top). So I set out and climbed those steps.
4,000 steps in total
I've never hiked by myself before, so that added to the adventure. It was fun to swap encouraging comments with other people that were also hiking up.
Along the way I took some photos (it helped to make an excuse for why I had to stop every 10 steps to breathe! Did I mention the high altitude??)
I took the 4 mile switchback trail on the way down. I was continually amazed by the red rock and the dry, scrubby, even desert-like feel of the countryside.
You probably cannot begin to comprehend my excitement at seeing a cactus on the trail. - I was VERY excited to see one!
Definitely a hike I will remember for a very long time! It was hard but so worth it.