Monday, August 12, 2013

Twenty Miles

We live near Twenty Mile Road. I guess it’s a leftover from when the railroad or some other stop was 20 miles from downtown Denver. Fitting that we walked by it yesterday, doing a 20 mile hike with the Scouts. We started just after 7:30 in the morning, leaving from the Pinery.


Some of our larger group did a 20 miler at Philmont Scout Ranch this summer, and there were really 4 boys left. One was out of town, so it was six of us beginning the day. Delaney and another boy got ahead of us and stayed in front for most of the hike.


We were all doing well. We did 6 miles, then a short stop while a few of us adjusted our feet. I’d worn tennis shoes instead of my hiking boots, which was a mistake. I used some Vaseline, as Tia suggested, but it made my moleskin slip off my feet. I ended up wiping it off and using band-aids and moleskin on some spots that were hot.

We then went through our first half, going about 9.5 miles up the trail to Cottonwood. Our plan was a detour on the way back, so we thought this would work. One of our adults was slowing down, with a sore foot, but still doing well as we walked back and up to the Cold Stone ice cream shop. We arrived, with my tracker reading about 12 miles.


The experienced rangers at Philmont had said that breaks should be < 5 minute or > 20 minutes, so we took a longer one here, getting some ice cream, a little water, and some air conditioning. It was starting to get hot at this point, but after about 25 minutes we headed out again.

Going back South was familiar, and easy for a bit, but it got harder. I could feel my legs getting tight and anything other than a walk was hard. Bending over, stretching, everything was tight. I was regretting not hiking more in prep.

We got down to about 14 miles and took another short break, waiting for our last two to catch up. They kept going, at their slower pace, as we had a 10 minute break.


At 15 miles we lost one adult, who had a sore foot. He stopped at a trailhead and called his wife. We took his son and pressed on. Once again, Delaney and his friend were at the front. They’d stop to wait for us in a few places, but quickly went ahead. They finished at about 7:20:00 and sat down to rest.

Delaney looked good when I jogged up (I only jogged the last 50 feet or so) at 7:30:00 ish.


It was a long day, and a hard one. We left soon, stopping for water and a big diet coke. Delaney got a Chipotle burrito, but when I stopped to get gas, I realized I was hungry. I didn’t want to walk, with sore feet and angry hip flexors, so I pulled through McDonalds, thinking I’d earned it. Delaney was still hungry and got fries.

We got home, and he went to lay down. I dropped ice on my knee, grabbed a beer, and put 4” of cold water in the tub, soaking a bit.


I didn’t do much the rest of the night. Both of us pretty much lay in bed. Sunday I was still sore, but walking around at Kendall’s volleyball and later helped loosen things up. The right knee is sore today, but the aches and sore spots are minor issues.

Quite a day. Hard, but a great feeling of accomplishment.

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