On Saturday, it was
a perfect, sunny morning. Twenty-five UHLers took to the mountains to embark
upon a 10-mile hike up the Beaver Brook Trail at 8:30am. The 10.1 miles hike
began in Genesee Park and offered breathtaking views of Clear Creek,
Cone and distant, snow-covered peaks. It was a great time to enjoy nature and
get away from all the stresses of life and school. Through steep climbs,
boulder fields, meadows, and more, the hike took the UHLers up to about 7,000
feet. As Connor McCloskey (2017) put it, “I hadn’t been hiking in years, so it
was great to finally return to it. The trail was beautiful, and it was a blast
to be there with such amazing friends.”
The first stretch of the hike was a downhill trudge toward Beaver Brook. This bit of the hike led some of the students to believe that the rest of the hike would also be easy and there was nothing to it. But boy were they wrong. Following mile 1 was the first major climb. After that, the rest was history. The uphill “trails” were quite the
challenge. But getting to the top, looking down at the gorgeous valleys, and seeing how far everyone had come up was incredible.
At around 2pm in the afternoon, the UHLers had finished. Everyone was absolutely
exhausted and quite hungry by this point. Luckily, Mr. and Mrs. Chaney were kind enough to invite everyone to their beautiful home and provide delicious barbecue. Overall, the whole trip was a great experience and aside from being very sore the next day, everyone felt very satisfied with their accomplishment. Not only did the UHLers get a chance to enjoy nature, they also hiked for a great cause! The hike-a-thon’s purpose was to raise money to plant trees and help restore some of the glorious Colorado trees that burned down during the fires.
The students would contact
members of the community and ask them to sponsor them for the hike. One great
story of this process was that of William Card’s. His mother works at the University
of South Dakota, and within the last couple years, a colleague in her
department passed away. In order to honor the death of their colleague, they knew
they wanted to plant a tree in a national forest since that colleague had a
love for the outdoors. So when Will heard about the hike-a-thon, he jumped on
the opportunity to talk to his mother and was able to collect $50 from her
fellow staff and friends for the purpose of planting and dedicating one tree in
the colleague’s honor.
Overall, the UHLers raised $965
for the cause. For some students, this hike was just another hike to add to the
great list of physically-straining accomplishments that they had achieved. For
others, it was the first in a very long time, the climb of the century. For
all, it was just another lesson for life: take one step at a time, keep moving
forward, and climb.