As I am still waiting for the shop to finish working on my truck, I elected to get up fairly early and hike through my ancestral mountains. I saw a news story about a trail where, sadly, a young man had fallen several hundred feet and later in the day passed on due to his injuries.
Now, if I had never left this city, my response would most likely have been to assess how sad it is. However, after two years in Colorado, I started researching the trail to determine how hard it would be in street shoes. The trail reports all said that the trail is strenuous, but those are all local reports – in this part of Texas, there just doesn’t seem the hiking and outdoors culture that there is in Denver. The trail reports were optimistic, the difficulty appeared not too high, and the forecast was auspicious, so a friend and I set out.
With ye olde hiking boots back in Denver, I wondered what the biggest challenge would be. I kept looking for the place where the reports indicated the trail would get noticeably steeper and more difficult, but ultimately the biggest challenge ended up being a toss up between identifying what the recurring deposits of dark red goo and seeds were (chewed up prickly pear tuna bits), or finding trail when the spray painted trail markers were spaced long distances apart.
There were but a few moments of Class IV trail, not much more Class III. The Keyhole Route this ain’t. So happily my companion and I drove back to the start and said our goodbyes as she left to run errands.