We went on an amazing (amazingly loooong as well as amazingly wonderful) hike… TO THE WINDOW in September… and I am just slow to post about it with moving and being a busy bee! This “window” I speak of is located along the south ridge of the Rio Grande Pyramid (the pyramid is the highest peak in Colorado’s eastern San Juan mountain range at about 13,800 fee above sea level). As you can see by the pictures the window is pretty much a perfect notch out of the mountain ridge, allowing a “window” to look out/through each side of the range. This was the most breathtaking experience I have ever had (I am not referring to my breath here, but it was a struggle to get my breath several times). It was very exhausting and trying but incredible and I would do it again! Most do this hike over a 2 day time span and also summit the Pyramid as well, but we will save that for another time. We WILL be back to do that! My dad wants to do that and I would not miss out on doing that with him! This was our biggest adventure of the summer for sure! I believe it was around a 20 or so mile hike round trip and was very rewarding to accomplish it and see the beauty!
We thought it would be a good idea (we… as in my husband because he is always looking out for what is best) to use our heart rate monitors on this hike not only for the curiosity of it, but to monitor the workload on us. I can go a while with a high heart rate, but then after a while I will crash because it is not something I can maintain all day, so knowing we had over 20 miles to hike in a day’s time with a lot of elevation gain – (already at a high altitude, it was good to try to keep our heart rates lower for as long as we could in order to have adequate energy all day). Just walking at a high altitude is harder on your body than at a lower elevation. So this meant more resting than usual and a slower pace than we thought – especially for him having to wait for me while I kept my heart rate lower. This ended up being a great thing to do because most of the elevation gain was after we already hiked around 10 miles! It was awesome to have the energy to climb up that last 1,000 feet with enough energy to make it 10 miles back to the truck! We left the window about sunset – so you can imagine that we hiked home in the dark! We had our tent and were prepared to stay the night and had whatever emergency supplies we needed, but after a day life that, all that sounds good is a hot meal, bath and warm bed! We hit the trail and got back in half the time as it took us to get there!
A lesson can be learned from this too… Life is a journey, and hopefully a long one… if we are always in a hurry to get somewhere and don’t enjoy it (the process) then we can miss out on so much and wear ourselves out. If we would have pushed it and tried to set a record in getting there by a certain time (which we could have I am certain) we may have been too tired to enjoy it or had an injury, or been too wiped out to enjoy the next day! Instead we took care of ourselves along the way and took time to enjoy it so we could enjoy more for longer!