Columbine Springs
Monday, August 10, 2009

About 3 weeks ago, I headed up to South Fork for a day hike.  Unfortunately, I only made it in about an hour and a half before my heels were raw and blistered.  I was quite disappointed, but finally decided that it would be more prudent to turn back rather than to press on.  I was glad I did, because I felt that the blisters were less painful and healed much faster than if they had broken open.  I procured some moleskin and some liner socks, in the hopes of setting out the following week with better results.

My husband, however, began to raise objections to the idea of me hiking alone.  Only problem was, he didn't particularly want to go with me.  I called my brother, but he's got a lot of things going on right now and wasn't able to hike with me. Finally I was able to talk my husband into setting a date when we would hike together.

So, Saturday we set out for Columbine Springs Trail Camp.  It's a 10-mile round trip, with a 2,280-foot gain.  The first part of the trail was a pretty good climb, and much to my dismay, my heels started hurting right away, even though I'd put on moleskin, and used extra socks.  This was discouraging!  But I wasn't willing to give it up.  I figured maybe the socks were making the boot too tight or something, so I wound up putting on more moleskin and taking off the wool socks, and just leaving the liner socks.  That seemed to help a little bit.

We pressed on.  My husband really enjoyed the hike, for all his fussing.  He had the camera, and stopped to take pictures of every fallen tree and rock formation that caught his eye... over 200 photos in all.  At least the trip would be well-documented!  I posted some of the photos here.

The trail was nice, and it was a very pleasant day.  We had lunch at the trail camp.  Planning someday to do a weekend trip with my brother, I had packed a full overnight bag, so that I could condition myself to carry the weight at altitude.  When we got to the camp, it was nice to be able to take out the sleeping bag, lie down and relax!

Fortunately, walking downhill puts much less friction on the heels, so that was a plus, but it does tend to beat up your toes more.  My feet were pretty tender the last mile and a half or so.  When we arrived home, and I finally took off the shoes and the moleskin, my heels were in bad shape!  Even my blisters had blisters.  I couldn't let anything touch them — not even plain water.  I suppose I'll just have to get different shoes.  Sunday morning I didn't want to get out of bed!  So I sat and read a book for a few hours.  I'm feeling much better today; not so stiff when I walk, and the heels are not painful to the touch.

So.  Next hike?

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For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities — his eternal power and divine nature — have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that men are without excuse.
— Romans 1:20