Take a Hike, But Don’t Forget to Smell the Roses!

 08/10/2013 | 02:45 PM 
Hiking at Herman Gulch

Article and photo submitted by Phil Jarzen

Clements Community Center offered a mountain hike to Herman Gulch last week. It had been about ten years since I had last taken a mountain hike, so I was looking forward to this adventure along with eight fellow hikers from the community center.

We had a picture perfect Colorado summerday to enjoy our excursion, and our party of eight, for the most part, followed the buddy system as teams of two began the hike with a partner of similar hiking skills. Now I must say that I was not in the type of physical shape that I should have been in for a hike of this nature. The hike was very demanding from start to finish because of the terrain and the change in altitude. A lot of people passed me on the trail, and by my best estimate, after two hours of hiking, I had traveled approximately two miles of the three and one half miles required to complete the outbound portion of the trip.

After about another half hour of hiking, I came to the realization that completing this hike in its’ entirety was not in the cards for me. I let Don, my hiking buddy know that I was not going to proceed any further. There had been a number of beautiful vistas and spectacular blooms of flowers that I wanted to photograph, and decided that this would be the best option for me to pursue.

As I have grown older, a couple of life’s lesson came into play on this journey. The first was to recognize your limitations, and stay within them. Even though everyone else in our group successfully completed the hike from start to finish, I will have to improve my strength and endurance before taking on another challenge of this type. The second lesson which came into play is the realization that the journey is just as important as the destination. I still enjoyed the fabulous scenery and views, and will enjoy sharing a few of the many photographs I was able to take.

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