Sunday, July 6, 2008

Enjoying our freedom on top of the world : Hiking Mt. Bierstadt

Living in Colorado is not a mere accident of H1-B Visas or our unique assignments in the Colorado based corporates, it stems from our passion for enjoying nature, mountains and a deep sense of freedom that we feel within when on mountains. Hike to the top of Mt. Bierstadt just helped tp re-enforced these feelings in us.

Mt. Bierstadt is one of the fifty some peaks in Colorado above fourteen thousand feet elevation (14,060 feet to be exact). The mountain was named after Albert Bierstadt; a landscape painter of German origin. This was our moment of triumph when we all made it to the top of one of the fifty highest mountains in Colorado; (Left to right): Jarrar, Junaid and sitting is Hassaan Fridi. We planned at the start of this summer to do at least one 14er and we already have plan for doing at least three more.

Mt. Bierstadt is about 65 miles west (I-70) of Broomfield, Co. We began our journey in Hassaan's Wrangler Jeep at 4:45 AM and we were in the base-camp of Mt. Bierstadt by 7:00 AM ; uneven road, unknown terrain and above all lack of Starbucks contributed in the delay. Here three of us can bee seen in the parking-lot at the trail head of the Mt. Bierstadt. You can see clear skies and a glimpse of the Sun rise- This however turned into very bad weather on our way down.

We started hike at 7:15 and were back at 12:15; A good five hours hike through snow pack trails, marshy lands, thundering storms and danger of lightening and oh yeah did I mention that on way down Junaid had an unceremonious fall in the water channel we had no issue crossing when we were going up ?

I had decided to use a make-shift wooden hiking peg, which was a great help to me and at least one other lady who borrowed to cross a water channel.

At the end of our hike, Hassaan had spilled some of the gasoline from our reserve cache of gasoline (Jerrycan) in the Jeep. From the trail-head to the Georgetown visitor's center it was a twelve miles drive through very bumpy and winding roads and I felt very nauseating and had to have the door of the jeep open for fresh-air. In this picture at the end of our hike look how Jeep's doors are left open in an unsuccessful effort to get rid of pungent gasoline stench - It felt like traveling in the public bus from Gujrat (Pakistan) to Islamabad and smelling that un wanted patrol smell. This bright smile on Junaid's face only tells you how bubbly person he is and not that my annoyance with the gasoline smell was a figment of my creative thinking or he actually loved that odor which was emanating from the back seat.

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