Medicine Bow Peak trip report


This is the hike that started it all. I never wrote a formal report for this trip, but did make the following entry in my journal.

Left here at about 10:15 for the Medicine Bow's. Beautiful drive once you're in the Forest, quite a steep climb as soon as you leave Centennial. Left the parking lot at around 11:00am and headed upward. I got off the poorly marked trail and did some nice boulder-hopping, until some people came back down and pointed out the trail. Made it up to the peak and started back down. Couldn't find the path going back either, even with the sign pointing the direction. Got back to the original path and made it down. Very strenuous, and since I thought it would take less than 3 hours, I didn't bring any food up which was a mistake. Really tired for the last 2/3 of the descent. Got back to my car just after 3:00pm. Sky was mostly cloudy with some Sun early and late. About 90% cloudy above 11,500 feet, and virga showers developed off in one direction, but I didn't have a compass. Was quite cool after the first 1/3 of ascent and I wore my sweatshirt from then on. Was very tired afterwards; I didn't stop much on the way down.

Just to expand upon this, during June and July 1994 I was teaching an introductory astronomy class at the University of Wyoming at 8:40-9:40am every morning, and I left school for the hike right after class. The trail isn't really so badly marked, but this was my first ever trail hike and I just missed a turn. And I'm not kidding about that first ever hike part; my previous "hiking" experience was nothing more than wandering around the "back 40" on my grandparents Iowa farm. What had inspired this hike was my view of the Snowy Range from Laramie while running in a city park. I decided that it would be nice to take advantage of my new exercise program and go hiking and this seemed like a good objective.

I'm writing this in July 1999 as I update my pages in my move from the University of Wyoming to the University of Colorado. It seems incredible just how far I've come as a hiker since then. This is one case where I think the Grateful Dead sum things up perfectly; "what a long strange trip it's been".

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File last modified: 10 December 2004

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