However, deciding to get my new gear and get out there was a GREAT decision! There were 5 of us on this hike. We parked a car at one end of the trail and then everyone piled in and drove to the other end for a straight through hike.
I really struggled with the altitude. We were between about 9-10K feet high the whole time (only 800 ft. elevation gain) but boy was I feeling it - dizzy, head-achey, a little sick to my stomach. At one point I had almost decided to go back down with Lisa to her car and then we would meet the rest of the group at the far end. If it had gotten much worse, I probably would have turned back - altitude sickness is nothing to mess around with, and I'm kinda prone to it.
I kept drinking a ton of water and taking it a little slower than the group would usually go - and I made it! Luckily these ladies are super nice, incredibly encouraging, and were happy to accommodate my slightly slower pace. By the time we got to the top, took some pics, and started down to the second car, I was feeling much better.
The hike was super interesting! It was up an old railroad track. The rails are gone, but there were lots of silver mining ruins, which were so cool. There was also a gigantic chimney, which is all that remains of an old dance hall.
It was a seriously beautiful hike, and a PERFECT weather day. It's been so rainy in Denver lately, it was glorious to have a warm and sunny excursion to the mountains. I got a little sunburned, but not so bad that it hurt when I took a shower. Next time, SUNSCREEN.
And for now, BEDTIME! I was ready to go to sleep around 5:30, but then I would have woken up at 3 AM so I forced myself to stay awake. But it's 9:45 now, which seems perfect.