Castlewood Canyon

Jake & Jess @ Castlewood CanyonLast weekend we hiked Castlewood Canyon.  This state park is great, beautiful views, a cool broken down dam, a waterfall and a historical homestead. Jake’s taken me out to this park for a good hike twice before. The first time was a good quick little hike, the second was more challenging: I encountered a rattlesnake and on the hike back to the car I thought I was having a heart attack–no really–I was about to yell for a medic.


THIS trip was much different. We asked a friend to come along and planned it out to leave Sunday at 10a. Sunday 9 am rolled around and I was already on the ‘let’s just relax and craft’ train of thought when she texted “dude, I’m already dressed!”  okay okay, let’s dooo this! It was great having someone outside our relationship holding us accountable.

IMAG0579We did the FULL loop, 6.67 miles, up some steep hills, down some very muddy trails and this time we were able to see the waterfall. Beautiful.  4 full hours of moderate to intense cardio for Jake & I. Our friend, on the other hand, was trekkin’ like we were in a mall or walking through a parking lot!

Natalie & Jess @ Castlewood CanyonI didn’t have any heart attack scares but at the farthest point out I would’ve cried like a little girl if it were just Jake & I. It felt exhausting and a little much for me; however when I heard the phrases ‘It’s all down hill from here.’ and “We’re headed back now.” I was so relieved and ready for some Hot Tub time back home that I found the motivation to pick myself up off the picnic bench and move on.

I’d like to say Jake & I finished strong but I don’t think bent in half, dragging our feet, whining about a possible aneurysm (me) and feeling pain in the knees (Jake) could be called a strong finish. Instead I’ll say we finished with pride. Proud that we did get off the sofa, proud we took steps in the right direction and proud we were making strides in meeting our 2014 guidelines for better living.

We ate lupper at Red Robin (they have a great cobb salad!) and afterwards all three of us were stoked to hit the hot tub. We had our suits on, we were ready to walk out and to my chagrin the tub was closed due to a burst pipe earlier in the week. This was the second time I was near tears. Nothing sounded better than a hot bubbly soak after such a long and painful hike; maybe next time.

Lessons learned from this treck:

  1. The right shoes are imperative.
  2. The right socks are just as important as the right shoes.
  3. Layering is awesome – at the top of the canyon the wind was whipping so strong and it was a little colder than chilly, however as we started moving those jackets & hats were goners.
  4. Don’t ever start a hike without eating breakfast and Sunchips aren’t a sufficient snack for a 4 hour hike on an empty stomach.
  5. ALWAYS take a camera. always, ALLLLways, ALWAYS. I didn’t insist on taking one this time and really really regret it.
  6. Short girls should wear short pants; mine were caked in mud. CAKED. When I uncuffed the hem at home it looked like someone had made a mud-pie or three IN MY JEANS!

Next hike: Mount Falcon – apparently suffering at 11,531′ isn’t high enough and we need MORE altitude.


One thought on “Castlewood Canyon

  1. MOM says:

    Good Going! Proud of you guys!
    Jess- you are such a great writer felt like I was there!
    Love ya

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