Erica Reid, independent hiker

There are many reasons I have trepidation about hiking alone, and most of them stem from knowing myself very well. I have, for instance, the absolute worst sense of direction of anyone you have ever met. Couple that with my lifelong tendency to daydream even at the most critical of times, and — sorry, I lost my train of thought, how does one tell a snake’s gender?

I am taking baby steps toward being a badass independent adventurer. While Dan was breaking in his new mountain bike around Horsetooth Reservoir, I headed out on my own to Lory State Park, where Dan’s ride would wrap up. 

Dan and I had hiked Timber Trail together and I wanted to try something different. I chose a 3ish mile “moderate” trek covering parts of Well Gulch, Overlook and Arthur’s Rock trails.

Much of the Overlook Trail is spent in view of Horsetooth Reservoir. That vantage never gets old.

I had a delightful mix of weather — balmy in the sun, and a good deal of snow in the shade. I brought a coat but it never left my pack, as a “moderate” hike for other people is a “sweaty and grunty” hike for me.

Later I would learn that my beloved snow was ruining Dan’s ride, making his path muddy and slick. He ended up having a decent ride and meeting me at Lory with no real problems, but was forced to re-route a few times. All of the mountain bike/horse trails at Lory are now closed for the season for the same reason.

At some point I’m going to need to learn to read elevation as part of a map, not just distance and direction, but this hike was still a win. I spent nearly two hours on my own in the woods and lived to tell about it — the burst of pride and confidence the solo hike provided shocked me, really.

All of the Colorado state parks program a guided hike on New Year’s Day. I think I’ve talked Dan into joining up this year; we’d be treading much of the same ground that I fearlessly conquered on this hike.

Hello, gorgeous.
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