Wednesday, September 08, 2010

Fat Girl Hiking (said like you would say Dead Man Walking) Hanging Lake Edition

We took a weekend getaway to Glenwood Springs -- a fun place to go if you get the chance. On our drive home we decided to hike Hanging Lake. Even though I've grown up here in Colorado I haven't heard of it, but the info on the web said it was a one-point-two mile hike, so I figured no big deal we'd get it done in a couple of hours and get to Beau Jo's in Idaho Springs by lunch . Boy was I a whole lot of wrong! The nicely paved trail to the head of the trail to Hanging Lake was serene, I figured wow this was going to be a piece of cake, now I'm thinking that the people in charge of these things have one sick sense of humor faking us out like that. We get to the sign and to the left there's a slight incline, again, I'm thinking no big deal, as you go up the incline a bit you see a wall face of pure sheer cliff, beautiful cliff, but still cliff, and I wonder, is Hanging Lake way up there? -- Surely not! Well,folks, surely the heck yeah (okay in my brain there were more "choice" words used).

Ten minutes into the hike I need to take a break, I use taking pictures of the kids and scenery as an excuse. Twenty minutes into the hike more pictures, and some sips of water, Jason cautions me on using all our 'space' on our camera up so early into the hike....we haven't even gotten to the quarter mile marker yet. I'm wondering how I can get the family to turn around. That first incline was a baby step, now we're climbing over huge boulders --- umm okay I may be exaggerating a wee bit, but Jason's still needing to pull me up and at times I need to almost crawl (I wish I was exaggerating here). The kids are having a blast -- I'm feeling sick. I'm now starting to see people on their way back down and we haven't hit the half mile marker (Holy mother of GAWD). At least I don't feel like dying --- yet.

Along the way there are picturesque bridges, gorgeous scenery and thank the Lord -- benches. We park ourselves on one and have some nice cooling drinks, which does not stop the burning in my calves, but whatever I can't complain because I gave the kids a big-ol-lecture on how unappealing that is to listen to (me and my big-mouth-parenting). At this point the people coming back down are encouraging us to keep going, the view was worth it blah blah blah, I really wanted to do some serious harm. Meanwhile the boys are saying "wow mom this is the kind of stuff they do on the Biggest Loser" This time I wanted to do harm to my own flesh and blood. The boys then decided that the next Biggest Loser should be in Colorado and they should hike this trail (okay that's actually not a bad idea) ANDDDDD, I should be a contestant (offspring have no problem telling you the truth!).

Three hours later we get to the one mile mark, we still have the point-two to go. There's a bench, I shall call it the Bench of Defeat. We sat, had more water had some cliff bars. At this point I though maybe I'd die. I look up and see the last part of the hike, the point-two and there are railings, probably at a 45 degree angle UP on the side of a cliff. Physically, I figured no way...but with my fear of heights I figured no FREAKIN' way (again, the choice of language in my head, much more colorful). I told Jason and the boys to go on with out me, take lots of pictures, I was going to rest and head back down, they'd probably catch up with me pretty quickly. They went on and I sat there for a bit. Meanwhile this older gentleman with a walking cane and knee brace sat down next to me, told me he was 65 and had just rode his bike to the trail head from Glenwood Springs and just hiked up and if he could do it, I could and he even said I could use his cane. OH MY GAWD! Like a used car salesman he was relentless until I agreed to go up the rest of the way. Big sigh I did. The last bit was grueling. I must have been quite a sight dragging my fat self up the side of that cliff because more then one person asked if I needed help....I would gasp my denial and keep going up, listening to others encourage me and give me those 'atta girls'. Part of me hated that I'm in such horrible shape that I needed those, other parts of me were grateful no one was questioning my logic of making such a hike.

And then I MADE IT.

And it was beautiful...worth it? I'm not so sure, I'm still sore three days later.

And then I had to go DOWN....ugh.

So today, I went into Slimgenics, a weight loss center so that next summer I can do that same hike and be happy about it. I'll post more later...those posts will likely involve lots of whining.


Rock Chef said...

Hi, you posted again! Great to see you again!

Anonymous said...

Good stuff, Tracey! Love the pictures! I hiked Bird Ridge a couple months ago and collapsed as soon as I got home. There is nothing like making it to the top (okay, not quite the top) and knowing you've still got to make it back down . . . oy vey. But beautiful and yeah, worth it. :)

Colleen O said...

Thats right - AND you posted something on your BLOG!!

Amanda said...

There you are!!

Yeah, my older son looked at me (as I unwisely weighed myself on a public scale back in 2006) and announced, "Wow, that's quite a lot!"

Thanks kid. Oish.

Started NutraSystem the next week. I don't recommend it, by the way... but it did help kickstart me.

Good luck!