The trail to Bald Mountain is only a few blocks from my house, a five or six mile round trip journey to the highest point in the local vicinity. I used to like to climb up there at least once a week to see all the birds and enjoy the tranquility up there. From there the traffic can no longer be heard at all and almost no one ever goes up there.
It was about one year ago that Tricia lost the use of her legs and I had to care or be within a short distance in case there were problems, unless of course I could get someone to sit for her. But people are busy and a sick person hooked up to oxygen hoses is a scary prospect, so I pretty much just sat on my butt for a year. Getting back into shape this month has been a challenge. Weak and stiff muscles and bones don’t want to respond to the challenge as quickly as they used to.
But I have been diligently hiking the lower trails and my strength is coming back. There is a saddle between two peaks that is the next step from the lower trails and is on a pretty steep incline. Successfully made that climb a few times recently, so yesterday when I got there I felt pretty good and decided to just go for it. Yesterday was the first time in over a year that I had been there, I did it. I made it to the top of Bald Mountain. And I think it was some kind of breakthrough.
I didn’t spend the entire time on the hike thinking about the past, only of the tranquility of the present and some of the future. I noticed that I was just enjoying the fact that I had no place to be, no one calling me on the cell phone, nothing to hurry back down the mountain to take care of. In fact, feeling no guilt at all, I just turned the stupid phone off. There was peace to be found on the mountainside yesterday and my nature therapy seems to have finally paid off. For some, a lot of talking is the proper therapy. For me, some quality alone time in the woods is the best therapy.
The view from the top is magnificent and teeming with wildlife, albeit mostly quite diminutive, especially during the day. The birds were singing loudly and happily and hawks soared high above. The sound of the breeze in the pines is very soothing and the solitude therapeutic. The Mosquito Mountain Range is visible off to the west and Pikes Peak looms overhead to the south. The Rampart Range and Devil’s Tower provide the panorama to the north. The exercise was great and I’m looking forward to many more treks to the top of Bald Mountain. It makes me want to say to the world, “I’m back!” 🙂