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Fitness and Photography for Fun - A blog on staying fit by hiking and doing photography by David Mendosa

Eldorado Canyon Trail‏

September 26th, 2007 · No Comments

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It was the rain that did it. On Monday it rained all day. That’s unusual for this area.

After the rain cleared the air, Tuesday was as clear and shiny a day as I have ever seen. But the weather was too cool to go to the high country, so I went to the foothills instead. The temperature was in the 60s all day. and there was essentially no wind, also unusual for this part of the world.

I went to Eldorado. The original Eldorado, dating to the 1530s, was a mythical city of gold. The real Eldorado is a scenic canyon about five miles from my apartment. In the aspens that are beginning to turn I did find gold there.

As I was answering my email about 8 a.m. the clouds lifted and went somewhere else. After detouring a long way around an accident scene, I finally left behind what a lot of people think of as “the real world” and at 9 a.m. reached the trailhead for the Eldorado Canyon Trail in Eldorado State Park.

It’s a very steep up and down hike from the visitor center to Eldorado Falls on South Boulder Creek. It’s about an 8-mile round trip. It’s rated difficult and it was. But it wasn’t muddy as the rain had just damped down the trail.

Twice before I have hiked to these falls. Three trails meet there, and I hiked one of them a month or two ago. But this one is far harder, and until yesterday I didn’t think that I was ready to attempt it.

In the event I was more that ready. While it took me until 5 p.m. to get back to my SUV, I spent an hour or more just sitting around on the trail. Enjoying just being.

I took my time. At the same time I sometimes took the trail pretty fast. Whenever the trail leveled out and wasn’t too rocky, I jogged. The last time I had jogged must have been 20 years ago. I had never considered jogging with a pack on my back and trekking poles in my hands. But Karen inspired me to do this interval training. I had been reluctant because of the arthritis I had in my left knee, but it remained fine.

The most fun I had came when I was walking down a ridge and realized that it wasn’t a trail. The freedom of walking cross-country is what makes it such fun. The trail was lost, not me. All to soon I retraced my steps and found it.

I got the satisfaction of meeting the challenge that I set for myself yesterday. In one sense it was a high standard, as Friederich Nietzsche’s aphorism, “That which does not kill us makes us stronger” ran through my head as I hiked.

But I have reached all my goals this summer. There’s something to be said for setting goals so high that you don’t always reach them. It’s good to fail sometimes. It teaches us humility, something that people have sometimes said I could use a little more of. When we do succeed, the contrast with our failures makes us appreciate that success even more.

My resolution is to push myself to my limits. Sometimes I will fail. That’s a good thing.

Eldorado Canyon

Eldorado Canyon

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Posted in: Hiking, Photography

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