A premier hike

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I know, I know, it looks just like Jurassic Park. I’m just waiting for Jeff Goldblum to stroll up in his hipster glasses and leather jacket, making wry comments about how nature will find a way.

This morning, we climbed up a mountain (oh how I wish I’d stopped to verify the name), making our way to the Virgin Mary statue. I was under the false impression we were heading towards the massive and famous Mary of Guadalupe. I was wrong.

Jorge was wrong too, about the meetup location. Three American women, standing around on a downtown corner, looking bewildered in search of our TRX trainer who’d vowed to take us up the peak today. That was the first, confused thirty minutes. I don’t know how we found him, and I have no idea how he imagined his directions were in any way coherent. But all that became irrelevant. Up we went.

It smelled a lot like home, Colorado. Refreshing pine, high-altitude air. It felt a whole lot that way too; heartbeats get crazy when you start seriously ascending, and Jorge likes to exhort us to run, faster, faster!

The trees are straight-up gorgeous.

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It took us about an hour to make it to the top, and even Jorge had quit his buoyant jog by then. We passed through this fantastic, pine-needle field, layers and layers of the dead, orange wisps piled up, creating this glorious hush to every step. I jogged a little ways, and it felt like  running on a trampoline. And then, we see her:

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And the brick plain of Bogota below. Again, I was expecting the Mary of Guadalupe, who looks like Rio’s famous Jesus. So I was understandably underwhelmed. But the view and the simplicity won me over pretty quickly. And it always feels miraculous to finish a hike, especially the first go-round. There’s that glorious, satisfied exhaustion. That’s a bit of home too, like wrapping up a full day of braving freezing cold and snow to ski your little heart out and finally collapse in the sofa chair by a blazing lodge fire.

The weather could not have been more perfect. This is one of my favorite mornings, favorite Wednesdays, of the year.