Mr W and I saw an exhibit at the museum last weekend on health that had movie on what one's body goes through when you're hiking at altitude. This led me to decide that I'd go hiking on my birthday, on a trail that I had hiked a couple of years ago and liked a lot (i.e. lots of wildflowers).
I used to hike more than I do now. I've also had to have some physical therapy this year on my hip, which I injured when I was in my 20's (playing Capture the Flag, but that's another story). So I guess it wasn't a surprise that I woke up at 3 am and started worrying that I might hurt myself, or have to turn back because my hip hurt, or that the dog would get hurt, or blah blah blah.
I considered going someplace else, but in the end stuck with the plan and just did it. The trail head was about 1.5 hours away, up our local canyon (the Poudre) and it was a beautiful day. The dog was about out of her mind with enthusiasm; it was really fun to watch. There were lots of little rivulets of water, so I bet the smells were amazing. I kept her on a leash, which was great on the uphill (got a little assist here and there) but hard on the downhill because she pulled a bit.
And, it wasn't as hard as I thought it was going to be. The parking lot is at 10,000' and the full hike was about 2 miles one way, with only about 1000' of elevation gain. Unfortunately, I only made it about 80% of the way, as there was still snow on the trail and it got deep enough that I was breaking through with almost every step. I'm a little disappointed, but I'm sitting here about 7 hours later and nothing hurts yet. I imagine my knees will be a little sore, but that's to be expected.
I might try again in a month, when the snow will be gone. I could certainly also pick something that wasn't so high up to begin with too, but it's nice to get the cooler air when it's hot in town. It was a good thing indeed to pull out my hiking stuff - pack, first aid kit, boots, etc., and have everything fit and feel good. I love my old boots - no blisters!
I picked up Mr W and we went to Whole Foods. They sell individual pieces of cake, so I got a piece and he got a cupcake. We are all caked up and I'm going to get him to bed so I can have a glass of celebratory wine and go to bed.
It was a good day.