Failure or Fulfillment?

Rocky Mountain National Park
Rocky Mountain National Park

If it’s not obvious to you by now, we love the outdoors! We love full immersion of our body, mind and spirit into the raw and unfiltered wild that surrounds both man and machine.

Our goal is to one day leave the hustle and bustle of modern society and transition into wilderness living. Unfortunately that can’t happen soon enough. Alas, until that time comes we continue to trek often, as much as possible, into the environment of our vision of life together in the untouched and unviolated areas of our nation’s backcountry.

Until that day comes we plan, we dream and we take each failure not as a loss but as a fulfillment of experiences that will provide the essence of a life without  the conveniences that are at the fingertips of everyday life in the big city. Instead of quick solutions that are prepackaged we will become innovative, creative and proud of our accomplishments to overcome what many now see as primitive survival.

Glacier Gorge, Rocky Mountain National Park
Glacier Gorge, Rocky Mountain National Park

A recent hike in Rocky Mountain National Park gave us time to think a little more and consider some of these life changes. The trail, environment, weather and energy output to thrust oneself into an alpine setting in winter, much less any season, is no easy task. Planning, education and preparedness are essential to a safe and enjoyable outing. But that challenge is our gain, forget the positive results we get from each and every trek we head out on, those are just bonuses carrying out in the background. Being in such a place just seems to invigorate us, cleansing our souls, calming our minds and leaving us in such a physically pleasing state that we are able to just sit back and know well the feeling of fulfillment.

Time spent together learning, growing and making memories to share and think back on in years to come.

Taking Shelter From High Winds in Glacier Gorge
Taking Shelter From High Winds in Glacier Gorge

What an amazing day in the high country of Colorado. We knew it would be windy, we knew there was a storm brewing… Prepared as we could be we headed off for a few high lakes to get in a good hike before the weather came crashing down with yet another good ole fashioned Colorado snowstorm. Packed powder underfoot, drifts to the side, we made our way up the trail.

The wind howled over head giving clues to what lay ahead. The views nothing short of high quality postcards around each corner as we managed our way forward going ever higher and deeper into the wilderness.

What came next was just amazing… semi-clear skies and hurricane force winds stopped us dead in our tracks! Knowing full well where we were on the trail and where we needed to pass though to get to our destination it was a no-brainer that we needed to abort this hike and turn back. Bummed? Perhaps a little. But as we like to say, “live today to hike another time.”

We sat behind a large rock out of the incredible winds and realized how, once again, the experience was amazing. Nature was at its finest [raw and real] and we thoroughly enjoyed what we had done, seen and witnessed. There was no failure here, just more fulfillment of life, love and the desire to be in an environment we find so much peace in. Indeed these are the feelings and life lessons we want to go forward with as we continue our life together.

Watch a video of our experience with the winds on the MAD Facebook page. [Don’t forget to turn up the volume on your device to hear the wind in all its fury!]

Peace,

MAD 🙂

Life, Love and Experience

Mt Flora, Continental Divide Trail, CO
Mt Flora, Continental Divide Trail, CO

It’s not just about hiking…it’s about spending time together, it’s about being in an environment that promotes tranquility, it’s about surrounding ourselves with natural and raw energy, it’s about life and love and how small we are in the eternal and unimaginable universe. Hiking just sets the stage for experiences, memories and discovery.

Peace,

MAD 🙂

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Winter Wonderland

Chatauqua Park in Boulder, CO
Chautauqua Park in Boulder, CO

After a good ole fashioned snow storm moved through Colorado, we were itching to hit a trail and experience the beauty of Colorado in the winter. This past week we also learned that a favorite trail of ours that had been closed for over a year because of severe flooding had reopened making our choice of outings a no-brainer. Winter gear packed in the truck, we headed out excited to hit a snowy trail and enjoy sunny blue skies in Boulder, CO. The Royal Arch trail might not be a long trail, or even a high altitude mountaineering experience, but that notion soon fades as you hit the trail and are quickly thrust into a beautiful and serene environment among the amazing Flatirons of Boulder. Hiking in Colorado is no doubt a wonderful blessing, hiking in Colorado in the winter just seems to take it to the next level. Whatever the case we are indeed in the midst of some amazing mountains that never cease to amaze us in any season all year long.

Enjoy the photos of our hike on our MAD Facebook page and let yourself get lost in the beauty of nature at its finest.

Peace,

MAD 🙂

Resisting the Wind, Absorbing the Experience

Flattop Mountain [12,324'] in Rocky Mountain National Park
Flattop Mountain [12,324′] in Rocky Mountain National Park
Our latest outing took us back to Rocky Mountain National Park on a summiting adventure atop Flattop Mountain [12,324′]. Well equipped, we met nature head on as fierce winds were blowing off the peaks as if to say “try if you will human, but this place is for the determined only.” Determined we were…slowly, methodically and carefully we put one foot in front of the other and pressed on. Climbing ever higher, the energy release and altitude gain quickly reminded us where we were. But the reward today was not the destination, it was the trail, the many views…the energy of a raw and unrelenting nature that had welcomed us into its high alpine playground. Indeed, we were resisting the wind while absorbing the experience. We love hiking the Rocky Mountains, in any season, as they all hold unique opportunities to experience the beauty of Colorado.

See more photos from this latest outing on the MAD Hippies Facebook page.

Peace,

MAD 🙂

Lazy Saturday Hike

Castlewood Canyon State Park - East Canyon
Castlewood Canyon State Park – East Canyon

One of the greatest assets of living in Colorado is the outdoors as you can be on an amazing trail within an hour of any location, if not sooner. Indeed, we have to keep ourselves in check every now and again as to not take such opportunities for granted and remind ourselves of how blessed we are to live in such a beautiful state with many diverse locations, miles and miles of trails and the incredible Rocky Mountains.

Today we once again took advantage of our benefit as we could not decide on a trail to explore. We awoke in a somewhat foggy slumber after the festivities of Halloween the night before and weren’t in the mood to scale a mountain, though getting out on a trail was in order.

Alas, just to the south of Denver is the often over looked Castlewood Canyon State Park. Perfect we thought, far enough away from the city, yet close enough that we don’t have a long drive. Granted we’ve been here many times before, there was still  one area of the canyon we had not explored, the East Canyon. Much more diverse than its west side, the east is virtually without a visible trail leaving the explorer to follow cairns along the way. As such, the east side sees fewer people making for a perfect and quiet lazy Saturday hike!

See the pictures on the MAD Facebook page.

Peace 🙂

MAD

Silence Is Golden

Chasm Lake [11,800'] at Rocky Mountain National Park
Chasm Lake [11,800′] at Rocky Mountain National Park
How many ways can you say “WOW” when that moment of anticipation arrives? And yet, there we stood, after several hours of uphill hiking through diverse mountain zones only to find ourselves standing in silence as our goal stood before us. Sometimes there just aren’t words to describe how you feel…silence takes over and facial expressions tell the story of your intense moment.

There we were, our weekly encounter with nature intertwined with our raw unfiltered selves and all we could do was stare silently at the immense landscape before us. Eyes wide, mouths open, bodies numb as nature’s awesome glory held us in its grasp for just a moment that we would know just where and what we are in the vastness of the cosmos and how there is much much more to life than day in day out man made existence.

Our hike on this day was an 8.5 mile alpine journey to Chasm Lake [11,800′] which sits at the base of Mt Meeker [13,911′], Longs Peak [14,259′] and Mt Lady Washington [13,281′] in the high country of Rocky Mountain National Park in Colorado.

See the photos of this latest MAD adventure on our Facebook page

Peace,

MAD 🙂

And To Think I Almost Didn’t Go

The Loch, Rocky Mountain National Park
The Loch, Rocky Mountain National Park

Ever had one of those mornings where you didn’t want to get up? Sure, we all have. Today was one of those days, just leave me alone to die. Coffee won’t fix the clouds in my head, Advil won’t get rid of the pain in my body and by and far…I just didn’t feel like being alive this morning. Of course the stubbornness kicked in and I got dressed, put all the gear in the truck and we headed out for a hike in Rocky Mountain National Park that we had never been on before. The Loch [10,200′] is an amazing 6 mile roundtrip hike up to an amazing high country lake surrounded by snow capped peaks! After we made the lake I couldn’t believe I almost didn’t go! Hell, before we made the lake I couldn’t believe it. What an incredible day in Colorado. Awesome weather, great trail conditions and at my side my best friend and soul mate [the “D” in MAD]. See the photos of our outing to The Loch on the MAD Facebook page.

Peace,

MAD 🙂

Let it Snow!!!

Ascent to Blue Lake in the Indian Peaks Wilderness
Ascent to Blue Lake in the Indian Peaks Wilderness

Our excitement has been mounting lately as the weather in Colorado is beginning its seasonal change from long warm days to short, cold and snowy events. Not to worry, we’re ready for the snow and can’t wait to dust off the snowshoes.

After a quick moving storm dumped several inches of snow in the high country this past week we headed up the first chance we got to check out the conditions and see nature in its raw form. Blue Lake is in the Indian Peaks Wilderness at just over 11,000′ and offers spectacular mountain views. Unfortunately those views were put on hold for clouds, fog and snow squalls moving in unannounced…all the better!

This was just the sort of hike we needed to get our snow legs back on for the fast approaching winter hiking season. Indeed,  an amazing day full of all types of weather and trail conditions. See our latest outing photos on the MAD Facebook page, enjoy.

Peace,

MAD 🙂

Changing Seasons

Crater Lakes, James Peak Wilderness
Crater Lakes, James Peak Wilderness

In what seemed like a blink of an eye, the amazing gold colors of the aspens in the Colorado high country have given way to signs of winter. Fresh snow is now becoming the dominant feature, not to mention those cool morning temperatures along the trail. Not to worry, each season has its own unique beauty and the experiences that go with them. We eagerly await the full onset of winter, dusting off our snowshoes and hitting the trail with eyes wide open to see what nature has in store in the coming months. As we’ve often stated, the same trail in different seasons always produces different and unique outings, we’ll take them all.

View more photos

Peace,

MAD 🙂

Our Favorite Hikes

In honor of our 30 year anniversary we’d like to show you some of our favorite places to hike to, enjoy! If you want information on any of these pictures drop us a line and we can get you on the trail 🙂 Click on each photo to enlarge…

2010 151

[Shelf above Lake Isabelle, Indian Peaks Wilderness]

2010 038

[Long Lake, Indian Peaks Wilderness]

2010 153

[Mt. Audubon 13,223 ft]

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[Devil’s Thumb, Indian Peaks Wilderness]

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[Royal Arch, Chautauqua Park, Boulder]

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[Surprise! Rocky Mountain National Park]

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[Hello! Rocky Mountain National Park]

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[Guanella Pass]

Well, that’s the short of it. There are so many incredible places to experience here in Colorado posting a few pictures could never do the beauty justice. Our advice, hit the trail! We’re always looking for places to go, so come on along with us here or in person, there’s always room for one more. Hike on, peacefully 🙂

Click here to view more photos and hikes!