Antidote to jet lag? Hiking and socializing – Golden, CO

Steve tracked my flight from the Philippines and figured my total travel time from Cebu to Denver, including layovers, was 35 hours.  That included 11+ hours in Seoul, South Korea and 6 more in Seattle.  Since I flew through many time zones and the international dateline, my lost day resulted in a bad case of jet lag.  The fatigue and drowsiness lasting for several days as my internal clock readjusted, but I discovered that hanging out and getting active with several of our blogger friends sped up my recovery.

Golden Colorado

A typical storm brewing in Golden, Colorado

Several of our RVer/hiker/blogger buddies had converged on the Denver area in late May. These are folks we had met previously during our travels, and the relationships continued via our blogs.  We’d met Hans and Lisa of Metamorphosis Road in January of 2013, and John and Pam of Oh the Places They Go in February of 2014.  We had also met Sue and David of Belugas Excellent Adventure in February of 2014.  It was only Rick and Joanne of RJRV Travels that we finally met for the first time during this stop in the Denver area.

So what do these adventurous folks do on a nice day after not seeing each other for such a long time?  Go hiking and get reacquainted – the perfect antidote to my jet lag!  We had not hiked with John, Pam, Hans and Lisa previously, but this was the perfect opportunity to do so. There was no shortage of challenging trails in the Golden area, and Lisa picked a good one to get our hiking-starved bodies back into shape.

Mt Galbraith Loop Trail

Steve’s getting ready for our first hike with Lisa, Hans and John.  Pam and I are chatting off-camera

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Mt. Galbraith Loop Trail – This 4.9-mile loop was a good one to acclimate us to the elevation and get the muscles warmed up.  It had an initial 1,100 ft. elevation gain, and the scenery was beautiful.  Steve and I really enjoyed the hike and the good company.  For a more detailed description of this hike, check out John’s account here.

Mt Galbraith LoopTrail

A view from the trail – the Denver skyline in the background and the huge Coors brewery to the lower right

Mt Galbraith Loop Trail

Happy hikers – Steve, John, Hans, Pam and Lisa

Carpenter Peak Trail – The next day brought no more sympathy for my jet lag, as we tackled this 6.4-mile round-trip trail at Roxborough State Park.  It took us to the highest point in the park, and rewarded us with a spectacular view of beautiful rock formations, pine forests and the front range of the Rocky Mountains.  The vast expanses of green peppered with sandstone rock formations far below us made this hike with friends a memorable one.

Carpenter Trail

Look at the response I got when I yelled out “Faces!”

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Roxborough State Park

How would you like to live next to those red rocks?

Roxborough State Park is a Colorado Natural Area, and a National Natural Landmark known for its 300 million-year-old red sandstone Fountain Formation that tilts out of the ground at a 60-degree angle.

Roxborough State Park

Dramatic red sandstone formations at the base of the mountain

Happy Hikers

Happy hikers – John and Pam, Hans and Lisa, MonaLiza and Steve

This trail featured several wildflowers and critters, but these caterpillars really fascinated me.  We saw several nests of them along the way.

Tent caterpillars

Tent Caterpillars

This was our first time hiking with friends and we really enjoyed it.  Time flew by as we talked, laughed and took water breaks – all while snapping pictures along the way.

We capped our second day of bonding with dinner at a local brew pub that Lisa had also organized.  We spent hours recounting our recent adventures, and Steve and I were happy to finally meet Rick and Joanne.  The evening was pleasant and the company great as we shared stories and had a lot of laughs.

Steve, Rick, Hans, John, Dave, Sue, Pam, Lisa, Joanne and me – a lively bunch of friends

These were just our initial gatherings, and there were more.  I can’t even fit all of our fun activities in one post!

Next up:  And the outings with friends continue…