Hiking With Dogs at Vedauwoo

My Memorial Day weekend has been pretty standard up until today. I got to spend some time out by the pool, went to the park for some games and grilling, and rode my bike a bit. You know, the standard kind of stuff someone is expected to do on Memorial Day Weekend. I stayed in town. Everything in town was more crowded than normal. But, the roads to get in and out of town were also more crowded than normal. What gives? More people going out of town, but also more people doing stuff in town. Where are all these people coming from? And, most significantly, where are all these people on an average summer weekend? Could they be doing nothing? That sounds weird to me.

Anyways, on Monday we decided to make a trip up to Wyoming to go to Vedauwoo. For those not familiar, Vedauwoo is a place between Cheyenne and Laramie with some unique rock formations. It is popular for Wyoming standards for both hiking and climbing.  Both the hiking and the climbing here are kind of moderate, as in, if you are looking for a really challenging hike or a really challenging climb, this is not the place to go.

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I like to bring my dog on some hikes.  To be honest, I do feel somewhat bad that a large majority of the activities I love do not involve the dog, and she usually ends up sitting at home alone all day.  Specifically, there are some places that fit a dog profile better than a human profile and visa versa.

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Vedauwoo is the kind of place where although the hikes are not physically challenging, there are some off-trail places you can go where the technical aspect of the hike gets kind of rough, specifically because of the rock formations.  While hiking up these rock formations, there were definitely some paths that we did not follow because they would be too hard for the dogs.  Three were also some places the dogs went that were tougher for humans.  Let’s just say that whatever limbo skills I do have definitely came in handy.

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The apex of the trails reach elevations of only about 8500 feet.  However, this was definitely more than enough to wear out the dogs, who are pictured here completely worn out.  Dogs simply do not have the stamina that humans have, and most people who are very serious about their activities tend to prefer to leave their dogs at home.  However, today was not about accomplishing the greatest hike of all time, or even doing any hard core training.  It was much more of a fun hike.  I mean, we did not leave Denver until 9 A.M., which in the hard core hiking world is a no-no.  But, the amazing thing about this place is how good of a view I got from relatively little effort.  Only 600-700 feet of vertical, and I was able to kind of feel on top of the world.  It actually reminds me of a place in Wisconsin I used to go to in my graduate school days called Devil’s Lake.  The hiking there is actually the best hiking I have ever done in the Midwest, but then again, there are no mountains there.   But the climbing distance and rockiness is somewhat similar.

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Overall, I think the amazing thing about this particular hike was that I was able to do this hike in an hour or so, even after I drank last night.  I am not an alcoholic, or someone that needs to drink, but I do enjoy going out and letting loose from time to time.  And, I would never do so if I was hoping to climb a 14er or something serious the next day, it is really nice to know that there are places out there where I can get in a satisfying hiking experience without having to give up the previous night, not bring the dog, etc.  While I plan to hike some more major places this summer, I think there is room for the challenging hikes as well as the lighter and more recreational activities.  In fact, the same can be said for any activity.  Sometimes we want to push ourselves to the limits and come away worn out, but sometimes we just want to have some fun, laugh a little, and enjoy our surroundings.

That kind of sums up the entire Memorial Day Weekend for me.  I went for a bike ride, but it was only 31 miles.  I spent some time at the pool, chilling with friends, dancing, etc.  I drank a little, but did not go out of control.  I spent some time at a park playing some games, and enjoying some good company as well.  And, well, also this hike.  I could have used this weekend to do a challenging 3-day ride, or go out of town somewhere that is hard to get to on a standard 2-day weekend.  In fact, I will probably use some subsequent weekends for the purpose of pushing myself to the limit on one particular activity I enjoy.  But, sometimes in life, you want the sampler platter.

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