This year we are determined to hike more.  While we get out several days a week to exercise our dogs on the many nearby BLM roads around our house, we rarely strap on our packs and hiking boots and set out to explore the Rockies that surround us.  Our dogs have reached an age where they can’t put in more than a few miles and the guilt of not taking them often holds us back.  However, now that I’m running much less due to frequent injury, the exercise and time outdoors is something I desperately need.  The problem with hiking is that if you want to put in some miles you need to set aside some time to do so.  This is where, as business owners, we have to get creative with our time management.  So on days when we don’t have meetings or photo shoots, we get up early, start our day with a good hike, then start work in the afternoon and work well in to the night.  I don’t know that there is any better way to start a day than with a great hike.  If your soul craves being outdoors like ours do, it’s guaranteed to put you in a great mood.

Our hike to Wheeler Lakes via the Gore Range Trail was 6 miles round-trip with 1,349′  net elevation gain.  Here are our photos from the trail:

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During our hike we talked about all the gear we’ve accumulated over the years that we wouldn’t want to hike without.  Our waterproof boots and lightweight hiking poles made navigating the snow fields and muddy sections much more enjoyable.

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The first lake:

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Looking back from where we came.  Copper Mountain Ski Resort in the distance:

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The second lake:

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The Gore Trail continuing on past Wheeler Lakes:

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Not easily seen in the photo below but the town of Dillon and a small corner of Lake Dillon could be seen in the valley below:

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We reached our turnaround point at the perfect time as the storm clouds were rolling in quickly.  As soon as we reached our car, it started to rain.

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Wildflowers were just starting to bloom:

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Ski runs on Copper Mountain can be seen in the distance:

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This out and back hike begins/ends right at I-70.  Not the most peaceful way to start or end a hike but it didn’t take long to retreat in to the woods and forget we were anywhere near a loud thoroughfare.

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On our way down we passed many hikers who had just gotten started.  90% were not carrying any kind of gear and wore t-shirts and shorts.  Colorado’s weather is anything but predictable and starting our hike with not a single cloud in the sky and ending with dark skies and rain was no surprise to us at all.  I felt bad for the few dozen people still on the trail that would end their hike wet and cold.  With that, I just wanted to make a point to say be prepared for fast-changing weather if you plan to hike in Colorado!

All photos taken with our Canon 6D and 24mm 2.8 lens.  A great combo for carrying an SLR on a long hike.

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