Colorado April 2017

With my clinical curriculum requirements done, I was able to snag my fiancée away for a birthday weekend to Colorado to hike through Rocky Mountain National Park. We had 3 days of great hiking and bouldering.

Friday hike

Day of of hiking – 11.1 miles with plenty of bouldering and hiking to get to Bear lake and back to the starting trailhead (Tuxedo area). We were pretty spent.

We hiked through a good variety of terrain on day 1, including streams and boulders and culminating in passing the snow line and trekking through 4-foot snow. Fortunately, the bulk of it had been compacted by previous hikers, so it wasn’t dangerous to get through. I think we started out that day around 8-9a and ended around 5p.

After the first day, we needed a recovery and we got a lazy start on day 2 around 10-11a or so. After some debate, we found an awesome waterfall trail that we scampered up, slowly bouldering and climbing during the day. The trail was the initial portion of the Lawn Lake trail, and we essentially stayed on the river portion of it – the Roaring River. Ultimately we climbed up the elevation and made our way up to the trail to follow it down to its trailhead. During the day we were lucky enough to catch a glimpse of some bighorn sheep! We concluded around 6p.

On day 3 we had a late evening flight and the whole day to hike. Amanda and I hiked on a wonderful trail that led us to Gem Lake and ultimately to Standing Rock.

AAD Standing Rock

Both of us climbed up that bad boy

On this last hike we tried out our bluetooth portable speakers and made good time to the Moana soundtrack. I also figured out that the Alltrails app is great for tracking your hikes and giving you an idea on your distance and path. It allowed me to easily find our way and get this data:

Day 3 Data

Alltrails – very solid to track a hike and prevent getting lost. Had my phone on a portable charger, though.

One especially memorable experience occurred on our descent while we were resting at Gem Lake. We sat basking in the sun and eating jelly beans. Another couple had been similarly sitting a little farther on the same rock. After some time, they stood up to leave and as they left, one of them bent to tie her shoe. As she stood up, she hit her head on a jutting rock, causing a 2-inch laceration. She then fell backwards and tripped on a root.

As observers, we were 20+ feet away, and we both got up and helped. As we were in the middle of the wilderness, there wasn’t much to do other than to clean her wound and dress it. We stressed to them the importance of getting sutures, and slowly followed them down and saw them off. It was a telling moment because, outside of a healthcare setting, I felt like a competent provider. I knew their day had been ruined, but I think the pair of us budding young docs gave them some mental relief and first aid.


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