Spending a week in the mountains with 11 senior, environmentally committed women who love to hike, is how the travel bug came to bite me.
Our convivial group stayed in a large vintage home in Ouray, Colorado, and a team of two cooked a delicious meal each night.
Over breakfast each day, we plotted the day’s hikes and each person could join the Intrepid or the Stroller group, or just stay in the house.
Joan Taylor, my delightful 83-year old friend started organizing American Youth Hostel trips after college and has always canoed and camped with her husband and two daughters. After her husband died, she wanted to hike and travel with friends and started organizing outings. She took a group of 16 women to Costa
Rica and another group to Wales. Domestically, she has organized trips to Florida and Sedona many times as well as the Adirondacks, the Smokies, the Snowies (Wyoming) and others.
Hiking with Joan is not for couch potatoes. I got scared climbing over this rock with too few toeholds for my comfort and said: “Joan, we don’t have to do this. We don’t have to be heroes.” We both got over and went about 20 feet further before deciding to turn back. Although the rest of the climb was easier, the other hikers were out for four or five more hours.
After the comfort of a big fancy house, we departed to camp in Mesa Verde in southwest Colorado for a couple of days. We hiked the Petroglyph Trail so see Native American drawings that are hundreds of years old. What a thrill!
The spectacular scenery and camaraderie of the women rested my spirit and helped me to re-orient my priorities. Both long overdue and very welcome.
I think the travel bug bit me.