First of all, if you are unfamiliar with the term “14er” let me educate you for a moment. The word 14er in hiking parlance refers to a 14,000ft mountain; these are the tallest mountains in the continental United States (Alaska has some monsters that exceed this height). The tallest fourteener in the U.S. is Mt. Whitney in California at a massive 14,505 ft. My favorite state, Colorado, hosts anywhere from 53 to 59 fourteeners (depending on how you classify them) and hiking these bad boys are a major pastime in this state.
Hiking a 14er first showed up on my radar in 9th grade. My dad had moved to Fort Collins, Colorado and was dating a woman who had attempted to hike up the legendary Longs Peak in Rocky Mountain National Park. He relayed the tale of having to wake up early EARLY in the morning to battle the altitude and afternoon thunderstorms. Instantly I knew that I had to do this. I set a life goal of: hike all of Colorado’s 14ers.
Since that day, I have summited eight of them. While hiking I’ve created unforgettable memories, faced immense self-doubt, confronted fear of heights, and experienced failure. These mountains have been incredibly exhilarating and have taught me life lessons. The top of a 14er is the happiest place on earth for me.
Why hike them? Continue reading
I woke up to a foggy morning overlooking the rolling hills of Tuscany.
My head should have been pounding. My teeth still stained purple from the obscene amount of wine I drank the night before. Anticipating the worst hangover in the world I reached for the ibuprofen by my bed when the weirdest thing happened- I felt fine…beyond great actually! So I did what I normally do when I feel great and threw on my running shoes and headed for the door. Continue reading
Ever since I moved down to Virginia I have been on a quest to discover new trails to run. Through the mountains, the woods, the swamps, and the coast I have discovered a passion for trail running. My wife and I make it a priority to travel to these beautiful locations and our travel plans always include exploring with a trail run. Along with eating amazing food, trail running is one of my favorite ways to explore an area.
Some areas are plentiful in the amount of trails they provide. Any state that is “outdoorsy” like Colorado or Oregon or Montana will be loaded with a variety of beautiful places to run. In fact, northern California might have the most trail runners in the United States!
That being said, recently I have realized that the idea of an “outdoorsy” area is what you make of it. Any place in the United States can be “outdoorsy” if you search for those experiences. Continue reading
Exercising at High Altitude, A.K.A. the bane of a Flatlander’s existence.
There’s something about being in the Rocky Mountains that I am utterly in love with. I love the beautiful scenery, I love the fresh air, I love being able to see for miles and miles and, of course, I love all of the outdoor activities.
The one thing I don’t love: The altitude. Continue reading