I will walk with my shadow flag

Into your garden, garden, oh

Pearl Jam

It’s day 5 and we hit our first legit hike of the trip! I tried to plan things to ease us all into hiking a bit. There’s no good way to train for the type of hiking we do out here in Illinois. Today’s hike was a nearly complete tour of the Garden of the gods that covered 8 miles with 800 feet of gain. Fairly modest compared to some of what we have coming up, but the last mile and a half was rough. I think the combination of the heat and 6,000 feet of elevation finally got to me as we were entering the home stretch, but we all pulled through.

Garden of the gods. Perhaps one of them is out there somewhere?

We started the day by dropping Molly off for a yoga class. Zoe, Ellie, and I packed the packs and loaded the waters. Apparently we’re a little out of practice on this as we discovered later in the day we didn’t think to pack any snacks. I also taught the girls how to play Euchre which will be a boon to our game repertoire. Soon enough, we spotted Molly coming back up the trail from the yoga spot and we were off.

Somehow in all our travels we’ve managed to completely miss the Colorado Springs area. While I don’t think it’s likely it’ll be a place any of us feel a need to return to soon, I’m glad we’re taking the time to do it this year. I’m super jealous of the people who have houses bordering the park. Imagine have this type of hiking as your local option! The Forest Preserves are just no comparison.

We began in the central garden area of the park. This is the place that all the pictures you’ve probably seen are taken, and also the area that all the people visit. The trails were paved, the people were loud, and after a quick mile or two of taking in the sites, we were ready to move on. Most of our day was spent on the outer ring of trails. With the exception of the named rock formations that had parking lots nearby we mostly had the trail to ourselves.

While we won’t have the crazy memories of the day that we will of yesterday, it was the perfect way to get back on the trail.

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