Lunch & Learn: The Joy of Hiking

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The Joy of Hiking By: Amy Henricks
Lunch & Learn 8/23/17

This week, Amy discussed the satisfaction of achieving the best views in the country by scaling our tallest peaks. She caught the hiking bug almost immediately after moving here six years ago, and she’s been taking advantage of Colorado’s most popular pastime ever since. Despite insisting that she’s no hiking expert, Amy has acquired a respectable level of know-how having conquered the Quandary Peak Trail, Cascade Creek Trail, and other Rocky Mountain gems that she considers her favorites.

Hiking provides several benefits that characterize other physical activities, but a romp through the wilderness will incorporate breathtaking scenery and require an exceptional degree of endurance. In addition to fantastic exercise, improved health, and better sleep, Amy highlighted the personal gratification she receives from picturesque photo opportunities; the challenge of an unfamiliar or particularly difficult trail; and the sense of accomplishment in overcoming those challenges.

However, all the motivation in the world can be undone by improper preparation. An empty water bottle with miles still ahead or a sudden thunderstorm without a jacket can quickly jeopardize an otherwise solid day of hiking. Amy always recommends assessing your comfort level and abilities when considering the total distance, elevation gain, and weather forecast of a potential hike. Appropriate and comfortable shoes, layers of clothing, and as much water as you can carry help ensure you’re ready for just about anything. Gummy bears, too. Amy definitely approves of those.

More than anything, your adventurous spirit will dictate your fulfillment when exploring the hills. Besides the overall enjoyment she achieves, Amy relishes the opportunity to bond with friends, make new ones, and collaborate with other hiking enthusiasts to choose her next summit. With a few warm summer weeks remaining and the crisp fall season to follow (not to mention fall colors!), there’s still plenty of time to hit the trail and see the best of Colorado.

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