Life is a funny thing. One day you wake up and your 25th wedding anniversary is right around the corner. I’m not sure how that happened because I feel as if we are still those two babies who just got married….and yes, we were babies!
Mark and I have talked and dreamed about how we would go somewhere abroad or to a beautiful beach to celebrate this huge mile stone. I had dreams of spending a couple of weeks in Italy or Scotland, roaming the countryside.
Our anniversary was sneaking up on us and we knew we needed to do something to celebrate. This year has taken a toll on both of us and there was no way we were going to leave the United States and be too far from Tristyn right now. The fear of something happening to her and us not being able to get to her quickly was too great. We also knew we needed to make our marriage a priority, so we made other plans. We wanted to do something that would require us to be outdoors and unplug.
Two years ago, Mark and Taylor hiked Pikes Peak and he hasn’t stopped talking about it. He couldn’t wait to take me back…..so that is what we decided to do. We were going hiking for our anniversary!
We rented the cutest little cottage for a couple of days. It was perfect for the two of us. The cottage was down the street from the most beautiful mountain range but also in town where we could grab lunch and dinner.
The first couple of days, we spent visiting Garden of the Gods, exploring and hiking the mountains around the house, eating at local restaurants and finding the perfect, quant coffee shop.
Day 3 was the day! We were hiking Pikes Peak. It was also the actual day of our anniversary. We were hoping that our bodies had enough time to adjust to Colorado’s elevation. I was nervous that I wouldn’t be able to make it up the mountain. I had heard it was extremely difficult and I haven’t been training, except for my normal workouts. Plus, it was the first time I would be hiking with a backpack. My pack weighed around 35 pounds and Mark’s weighed around 50.
I can’t even begin to explain how amazing the hike was. Yes, it was tough physically, but it was so wonderful. In my perfect world, I thought Mark and I would talk all the way up the mountain. We’d share our dreams and talk about life. Boy was I wrong! When you are from Texas, the elevation makes you stop to catch your breath often, especially when you get past tree line….and carrying a backpack.
We hiked over 16 miles the first day and spent the night in a lean-to at Barre Camp. If you are like me and don’t know what a lean-to is, then I will tell you just in case you decide to sleep in one. It is basically 3 walls that are built to look like a tent (without the 4th wall to close you in.) We covered the opening with a tarp. Before you go to sleep, you have to lock up all of your food in a bear-proof container. We were told as long as we don’t bother the bears, they won’t bother you! Um…okay. Fortunately, we never saw a bear!
We were sooooo exhausted from our hike when we returned to camp. We met some wonderful people so we sat around and visited with them, ate our dehydrated meals and crawled into our little lean-to to sleep. It was the best sleep! I didn’t wake up once thinking about bears or wild animals wanting to eat me.
My favorite part was waking up to the crisp air, watching Mark make our coffee on his little cookstove. I had packed my Kindle, so I read as the sun was coming up. For some reason, coffee always tastes better when made outside!
We packed up and headed down the mountain. We had another 6 mile hike. It was a warm day, but the hike was beautiful. I didn’t even notice I was wearing a backpack. I had become so accustomed to it, it didn’t bother me at all.
That evening we went to a wonderful dinner to celebrate our anniversary.
The rest of our trip was very restful. I had very limited internet and phone service which was what I needed. The following day we drove to Pagosa Springs to spend the remainder of our trip with our daughter, Taylor, and son-in-law, Tommy, at his family’s house.
Last year on our anniversary, Mark and I sat at dinner and made a bucket list of all of the things we wanted to do together. We hadn’t looked at it since that night, which isn’t what you are suppose to do. I started thinking about our bucket list, so I pulled it out. The funny thing about this trip was that hiking Pikes Peak was the number one thing on our list and we didn’t even realize it!! How amazing is that? So not only did we have a wonderful anniversary, we got to check off something on our list!!! Do you have a bucket list? If so, what is on it?