Hiking with the “Red Rocks Gang” takes on a whole different aura when it’s a “Ladies Only” hike. One would think tempo or pace would be the obvious difference, but quite the contrary. Of our two dynamic duos, Gayle and Jim and Mark and Bobbie, both women tend to be the trail blazers, up front setting the pace. So when the guys have other things to do back at camp, whether it be a writing deadline, a football game, or just unnamed “guy stuff,” the female contingent does not skip a beat in the daily hiking schedule.
There tends to be a bit more observation and interpretation when it’s a Ladies Only group…studying the rock formations for recognizable shapes, admiring “striations” (which some of us can pronounce while others cannot) pointing out different textures and colors in the rock. Looking for signs of petroglyphs, or reflecting back on what life was like when the first pioneers explored this dramatic, foreboding, impassable “reef.”
The mood is lighthearted, often times with humorous tales at the expense of those who remain behind. There may be stops at the pie store. And then sometimes there may even be great singing. Right Bobbie? 😉
But we don’t all hang in a pack of cackling hens either. It’s still all about the hike with this group, which I appreciate, as the space between us affords me more time to reflect, admire, and appreciate the wonder of nature that surrounds me. “Do your own thing, and I’ll see ya when I see ya” seems to be the pervasive credo. For someone who is typically a solo hiker, it is the best of both worlds. A solo hike with a built-in rescue squad. 😉
We did three “Ladies Only” hikes in Capitol Reef; Sunset at Chimney Rock (my favorite,) Cohab Canyon, and the most challenging “easy” trail I have ever hiked, the Fremont River Trail.
Here is a little of what the guys missed…