We then went hiking on the summit of this cool mountain really close to us. But three things kept it from being really awesome. First, we had to park really far away from the entrance onto the trail and walk uphill for a good while before we even got to start the hike. Sort of a bummer. We were exhausted before we'd even started. Not to mention how terribly awful we felt when an older guy chugging a beer told us that he'd just had a knee replacement and then proceeded to pass us up like we were standing still! Man, we're out of shape!
Second, we had to be schooled in what to do if we ran into a mountain lion or a bear while on the trail. So the whole time, I'm staring up into the cliffs and wondering, 'Hmmm. Do we look like a tasty lunch?' The advice for if you do encounter a bear or mountain lion is a bit confusing. You're supposed to make yourself look big and make lots of noise, but whatever you do, don't look them in the eye because they'll view that as a challenge. So being loud and big, that's totally intimidating. But looking a bear in the eye, prepare to be eaten? weird, right? Like the bear's thinking, "Oh no, look at those big, loud guys over there. I don't want to mess with....OH NO THEY DIDN'T! Did they just look me in the EYE?! It is soOOO ON!"
Third, some of the snow had not melted yet. We were on a path along a slope. The powers that be just took a bit of the slope, made a teeny tiny bit of it flat enough to walk steadily across, and then called it a trail. At least that's how it seemed. And typically, that's what we're after when Ben and I go hiking. The more rustic the better. We want to feel like we're really in the woods, not walking down the sidewalk in Downtown Denver, ya know. But when the only flat part is covered in thick ice, it's a bit unnerving. Ben took Josh and got him across ok, and I had to help Gillie. She just wants to skip and gallop and spin the whole time, so trying to relay to her the seriousness of the situation, without scaring the crap out of her, was a task in itself. Making matters worse, the slope is, uh, sloping downward so the ice froze like that. We're trying to cross a slippery portion of ice that is leaning down as well. It was pretty scary because there wasn't a lot to stop us from falling off the whole dang mountain if we had slipped. But we managed. When the snow wasn't completely frozen, it was nice and fluffy, which was fun because I would try to walk across the top and end up knee-deep in the stuff. Gillie didn't like that so much because, like me, she was wearing capri-length pants. That was the part I actually like the best. I was really warm out there, and the little bursts of cold like that on bare skin was really refreshing! Although it did scrape the tar out of my legs. :)
After our adventure, we went home and got all cleaned up and pretty, and then went to Outback Steakhouse for dinner. I had prime rib, my favorite, and it was yummy!! Then Ben told them it was my birthday, and they brought out their most killer dessert, 'Death by Chocolate' with a scoop of ice cream! Dood! Even four of us couldn't tackle half of it. But it was crazy yummy.
Later that night, we realized we had to return a movie to our local RedBox and went to Walmart for that. With some birthday money, I bought us an inflatable swimming pool. It's been so warm the last two days that I thought it would be nice to sit in some cool water in the backyard. Although it doesn't look like it will be warm enough today or tomorrow. Friday is looking good though. The kids even slept in their swimsuits last night because they're so excited. And yes, of course, I let them sleep in their swimsuits. I rock like that.
So here's to another year. I like getting older. And here's some pics from our hike. I wish I could've gotten some pictures of me and Gillie in the snow, but the camera was around my neck, and I wasn't about to toss it to Ben! So you'll just have to trust me on that one. :)