Mt. Evans, Colorado
Told by Kuma & Written by Lorraine Bossé-Smith
As the temperatures cool off here in Houston, I am remembering a wonderful day back when I lived in Colorado. We did lots of hiking and camping back then. Oh how I miss the snow! Anyway, one time, my family and I embarked on my first fourteener. For those not familiar with the term, it means conquering a mountain over 14,000 feet tall. Some people go on a quest of hiking each and every one in the state of Colorado. Me, I was happy to do one! I’m not good with math, but man, that mountain was way up there!
Mount Evans is known as the road into the sky. You get there by driving from Idaho Springs (west of Denver), which is at 8,700 feet and turning off on Interstate 70 all the way up to the parking lot for Mt. Evans. From Denver, plan approximately one hour and forty minutes. I love car rides, so I was totally stoked about this adventure! We made a stop at the magic food window called McDonald’s. People food! My mom always gives me a little bite because I give her the “I’m so starved” look. She falls for it every time, unlike my dad who inhales his food before I have a chance to work on him.
If you visit Colorado, you must first get acclimated to the higher elevations. I lived there, and still, breathing above 10,000 feet got tough. Drink plenty of water. Serious amounts that will require you to pee on everything, but hey, what’s wrong with that? Your humans will want to wear layers. We’re lucky because we always have a coat on, but they will get chilly at the top if they aren’t prepared. The Mt. Evans road starts off relatively easy, winding through some cool-looking trees and high-mountain lakes. Be sure to stop often. Stretch those legs, drink some water, leave some messages, and get some photos. As we climbed up higher, the road got steeper with drop offs. We saw lots of wild flowers and even some mountain goats. They sure needed a good grooming!
When we arrived at the parking lot, I was ready to run up that trail, but I wasn’t moving as fast as I thought. We were now above tree line, and the air was thinner. The trail, although only a quarter of a mile, takes you to the tippy top of the 14,264 foot mountain. It is relatively easy but rocky. Small dogs might have some trouble, but big dogs will love it. Just remember to take it easy. Always watch the weather because storms can hit rather quickly that high up. We had a clear day, and got to the top in less than thirty minutes. Wow, the views were incredible! That must have been what made me wobbly, yeah, that’s it. Once I got back down, I was good as rain.
Considering other 14,000-foot mountains have longer trails, Mt. Evans is a great opportunity to conquer a peak without too much work for you or your humans. It is certainly high on the Kuma scale for scenic views. Next time your family visits Colorado, put Mt. Evans on your list. You’ll be glad you did. Enjoy the ride!
Kumaito (Kuma for short) is a multi-tan Shiba Inu, an ancient breed from Japan, who moved from the Rocky Mountains of Colorado to Friendswood, Texas. He enjoys running almost every day with his mom, chasing squirrels out of his yard, playing with toys, pestering his brother Edmond, eating, napping … well, Kuma loves about everything and everyone! His mom, Lorraine Bossé-Smith, is kind enough to help him tell his story. She is the author of seven published books, writes for magazines on assignment, has been seen on national television, and inspires people to live healthy, balanced lives through personal training, life coaching, and workshops. You can reach Kuma through Lorraine’s website: www.thetotalyou.biz. Be sure to visit Kuma Dog’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/Kumathedog?ref=hl
You never know what he’ll be up to next!