Physical Fitness

The Baldy Experience

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Baldy Elevation: 10,227 ft. Glorieta Elevation: 7,431 ft. Difference: ~2,800 ft!!

I wasn’t going to hike Baldy, I really wasn’t.  Then everyone was talking about it: THE hike to do in Glorieta.  Baldy, one of those treks for the adventurous souls out there.  5 miles up, 5 miles back down.

I got caught up in the adventure of it all.  I’m a fan of a challenge, so I joined in with the group setting out to hike Baldy the Tuesday we were in Glorieta, NM.  We met up about 11:30 in the morning to make some sandwiches and get lots of water. (I carried 2.5L of water, a sandwich, roasted edamame, and oreos).  We piled 16 people in the Jeep to save us from hiking the 2 miles to the trailhead.  After taking a group pic at the trailhead, we started to go up, up, up.

Now let’s all remember here that we were a bunch of Louisiana kids who live at or below sea level.  Glorieta is already at 7,400 ft elevation.  When we had to stop for water and some deep breaths less than a mile in (up?), I had to remind myself that yes, I was in decent shape.  At sea level.

The hike was grueling.  One of the more challenging things I’ve done.  Several times, I wanted to turn around, go back to the camp to help serve dinner, and take a shower.  However, I’m much too stubborn for that. Even bringing up the rear, stopping every quarter mile, I MADE IT.  And the view from the top was incredible.  It was quite a feeling of accomplishment to hike up 5 miles, gaining nearly 3000 feet of elevation along the way.  (For the record, I still would rather run 5 miles at sea level!)

The hike to the top took about 3 hours, and we sat down for a hard-earned lunch. Thunderclouds began to roll in, so we decided to roll back down the mountain.  (Not literally roll, but goodness that would have been faster!).  Going back down, we didn’t need any stops, so we made it in about 2 hours.  The only hard part going down was the incline, so my new friend Peter held onto the handle of my backpack to keep us both from sliding.  It saved us both from landing on our behinds many times!

The pic above with me and the backpack actually has a fun little story.  I only packed my fanny pack to carry around, but that wasn’t big enough for water and snacks, so EmTill loaned me the one she brought. It belonged to her roomie, Katie, so when I got to the top I took a pic to send Katie, telling her it was practically like she hiked too! She got a kick out of it.

My chacos were perfect for hiking.  After wearing them all summer, my feet were nice and ready for the 10-miles. I will say, it was 3-4 showers later that my feet were finally clean again.

The theme for the day was YOBO – You Only Baldy Once. One of those difficult things where you’re glad you did it, but there’s really no reason to do it again.  The last picture is the “sleep train” that happened before worship.  We were exhausted!  I certainly slept great that night.

If you ever get a chance for a challenging hike, go for it! I recommend it.  Dirty feet, beautiful views, and hard-earned meals make it all worth it.

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