My first off the beaten path adventure after moving to Denver involved driving up to Medicine Bow, Wyoming. A couple friends of mine from back home were traveling in the area and I took the opportunity to meet up with some familiar faces. I got a later start than I would have preferred and wound up driving 12 miles down a very rocky dirt road through open cattle fields, just after the sun was setting. Thankfully, my two wheel drive car made it to the campsite especially considering Bella and I were in the middle of no where with no cell service what so ever. I picked a semi-secluded spot, started a small campfire, and waited for the guys to arrive. After they showed up, we set up our tents and got ready for the hike to Medicine Bow Peak, my first climb up a 12,000 ft mountain.
Medicine Bow is absolutely beautiful. It has many gorgeous reflective lakes, large white rock formations, and several different types of pine, fir, and spruce trees. Plus, it’s dog friendly which is an absolute must for my just as adventurous 90 lb pup. The day of our main hike was gloriously sunny but had significantly strong wind gusts. I couldn’t wait to get started on my first big hike out West and begin breaking in my new Ahnu hiking boots. We started out hiking around a lake and as we neared the base of the incline to the peak, we ran into a couple turning back due to the wind. It was a slight dilemma trying to decide whether to go for it or not, but we decided we would at least attempt the hike and turn back if it got too blustery. From here the trail turned very rocky and we had to be careful to keep our balance with the sporadic strong blast of wind. The views were incredible, extending past the rocky peaks and left over snow, into the vast plains surrounding Medicine Bow. We made it with surprising ease to the summit and Bella had no issues scaling the large rocks at the very top. I think it was more the excitement of being out there that got me up to the top, as the altitude started to hit this Florida girl on my other hikes as soon as I got back to Denver.
We stayed at several different campsites around Medicine Bow, trying to escape the insanely strong surges of wind each night. It whipped through our tents, making it sound like someone was trying to beat the tent down. Despite the wind, I would definitely recommend this hiking location and camping spots, Wyoming is gorgeous! On our final day we put up our Eno hammocks and absorbed the fresh air and magnificent sunshine. We had such a great time and the trails were a lot of fun to explore. It’s always hard saying goodbye to good friends and this time some personal matters made it much more painful and made my going back to Denver, my new home and city that was lacking in family and close friends, significantly more difficult than before.