Rocky Mountain High

We have officially walked up, over, and through the Rocky Mountains.

And if feels pretty damn good.

Originally I was planning on getting a ride over the mountains and continuing walking to the coast from the other side. Mainly for fear of death by ninja cougars or raging bears that would surely attack a lone female hiker and her adorable dog. (Movies and television have assured me that the truly vicious animals go for the cute girls and dogs.) However, Fate intervened by way of Ralph and Alice offering a partnership through the mountains. And boy am I glad they did.

Walking through the mountains was an amazing experience. It’s nothing at all like the Appalachians or any of the mountains we have in Maine. There is just nothing to compare to the Rockies.

We started by going up and around Pike’s Peak.

Pike’s Peak, from a distance

Then worked our way up through a few mountain passes

Ute Summit

Wilkerson Pass, elevation 9502

Trout Creek Pass, elevation 9346

And eventually through our highest elevation and toughest climb up and over Monarch Pass

And then it was all easy sailing from there…..ha, no. That’s a lie.

Monarch Pass, elevation 11,312

But when we crested our last mountain pass, and saw not another row of summits before us but wide open land…

wide open below us

..well that was a pretty amazing feeling.

There were days where I thought the mountains would go on forever, but of course they didn’t.  It was both harder and easier than I thought it would be, walking through the Rocky Mountains, and I’m really glad I decided to hike on through instead of hitching a ride.  An experience on this adventure that I’ll never forget.