Monday, August 4, 2014

50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 - First Completion

This post is the first in a series of six daily posts where I'm sharing my 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 list. I put this list together as I neared my 45th birthday last month, choosing goals and things to do in the next five years before my 50th birthday. Many of the items on the list are things I've never done and places I've never been, however the list also includes some items that I want to do again. Some are small, simple inexpensive things to do, while others require a much larger amount of time and/or financial investment. The actual list is in a rather random fashion, listed as items came to me, but for this blog series I'll be grouping similar items together.

While it wasn't the first item on the list, I've already accomplished one of the goals: Hike to the top of a mountain in the Canadian Rockies. I actually set this as a goal early this year when I began working toward a healthier lifestyle. We've traveled to Banff several times over the past twelve years, however we've never actually hiked along any of the trails in the area. We've always done a fair amount of walking, even up and down the mountain road to the resort, but this year I wanted to do some FUN nature hikes and reach the top of a mountain on my birthday.

We actually hiked four different trails (one each day) during our trip. The first of these was a relatively easy trail, 1.8 miles, mostly flat with a few small inclines, all the way around Johnson Lake. It was a beautiful day - the temperature was in the high 40s when we started out and warmed up to the low 60s before we finished. It took us a little over an hour to complete the hike, with lots of stops along the way for photos.

The views along this trail were beautiful - with mountains and trees reflecting in the lake.

Our second hike took us to the top of Tunnel Mountain and was the most difficult of the four trails we hiked. It took us 2 1/2 hours to complete the 3-mile round trip because we had to stop often on the steep inclines to catch our breath.  (We don't have many inclines like that here in the DFW area . . . and the elevation difference between Dallas and Banff is 4400 feet!)

The views from the top of the mountain were fabulous!

I have to admit that I was pretty tired by the time we reached the top, but the sense of accomplishment made it all worth it!

Our third hike was the shortest and easiest - a 1.3 mile loop under a canopy of trees that took us about 40 minutes from start to finish.

Our last hike was my birthday hike - 1.3 miles to the top of Stoney Squaw Mountain! The temperature that morning was equal to my age (45!), but we set out with high spirits despite the cloudy skies.

This trail was very different from the previous ones: narrow, damp (due to recent rains), and crisscrossed with tree roots.

We had FUN on this hike and were thrilled to reach the top!

In fact, we've agreed that we'll return to the Canadian Rockies in the next few years and hike some longer trails and reach the top of higher mountains!

So, that's one item checked off my 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 list - 49 to go!

Do you have a Things To Do list? Is hiking to the top of a mountain on your list?

Be sure to check back tomorrow to read about some of the items on my list that I've talked about doing for many years but haven't done yet. (Click here to see all my 50 Things To Do Before I'm 50 posts.)


  1. Stunning scenery! I've hiked to the top of at least six of the 40 High Peaks in the Adirondacks, though none recently. When we were in Colorado two years ago, we did some hiking in Rocky Mt. National Park. I was glad we'd been in the area a couple of days prior because the altitude change does have an impact!

  2. Wow, good for you! What great travels and awesome photos!

  3. Thanks for sharing your hike as those photos are just glorious...amazing scenery.

  4. It's funny because although I have a list for everything ... I don't have a list like this lol. Mind you as my 50th is next month, probably wouldn't be worth it :)

    You really do enjoy your life and your travels are fabulous

  5. I need to make a list! I've had them at different times in my life but none now... hmmmm

  6. Great photos and a great achievement too!

  7. what a beautiful place, good luck with your list.

  8. Very impressive, Melissa! I enjoy hiking but my knees hate inclines (really the worst part is coming down)so I'll leave those Canadian Rockies to you :)

  9. It looks like a good trek. I wonder what else will be on your list?

  10. Gorgeous scenery - lovely photos of you both too. Congratulations on the hiking and peak experience too.


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