After more than a year of walking almost every day in my Oboz hiking shoes, I decided it was time to buy a new pair. They still have some life in them but the treads are really shot.
Yesterday they made their first hike, up Lily Mountain, about an hour drive from here, in Estes Park. Accompanied by our friend Lotus and her friend Rich, a former park ranger who now lives in the area, we hiked a mile and a half long rocky trail which went up, up, up about 1,000 feet to the summit of Lily Mountain at 9786 feet. That's a challenging hike! I thought we were taking the Lily Lake Trail, which is flat and boy, was I surprised when I realized where we were really going! Next time I'll ask more questions. But I did okay and I'm happy to report that my new shoes were very comfortable and their unworn treads handled the rocky trail really well.
The final push up to the top was a rock scramble, generally not my favorite thing but I just went for it and managed to get up safely. Here's my new shoes resting at the top.
It was an effort to get there, but the views were amazing. That's the east side of Long's Peak, a 14,000 foot peak, to the right of Lotus.
Being up so high made Ben smile! He and Lotus and Rich are long time rock climbers so they were in their element, pointing out the different places in the area they had climbed and generally feeling at home way up there.
Can you tell that I was a bit wary of the height? There were steep drops off the rocky summit which was unnerving. I tried to pretend that I was cool with it but I didn't move from my safe little perch.
Going down is always better for me than going up. We all agreed that the mile and half down seemed very long, probably because most of the way we had to carefully pick our way through the rocky path. In this photo we had reached a less rocky part of the trail, and could relax. You can see how beautiful the area is.
Nothing like a cold beer at the trail's end and being tired and hungry from a good hike sure makes you enjoy your meal.
It was a good day and a auspicious start for my new hiking shoes.