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Dumb and Dumber: Mile-High Style

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There are some mornings when I wakeup and feel indomitable. Coincidentally, these are the same mornings I received minimal sleep. The result is a veritable delusion of grandeur.

I had a summer of these. Hey, why not climb limp crawl up Colorado’s highest peak? Or better yet, let’s bike 24 miles in the mountains hauling the kids. Gee, that sounds like fun!

Last week was no different.

I decided to bike the Clear Creek Trail along Highway 58 from the I-70 junction to Lion’s Park in Golden. Hauling the kids. Uphill. Both ways.

Now, let’s see. Child #1: 35 pounds + Child #2: 23 pounds + 15-pound Chariot carrier + everything including the kitchen sink to keep the kids entertained = a tabulation I care not to compute. Why would I? I lived every stinkin’ pound of it.

I will spare you the gory details but in the end, we miraculously made it. Well, at least the kids did.


I’m sure my remains are still somewhere along the trail….

Blasted from the Past

I should have learned my lesson. Admittedly, these same delusions led me to roller-blade that path a couple of years ago. A path that contained the same hills but with different challenges. On a bike, the climbs are arduous. On blades? Quite the opposite.

I had started out strong on my blades. Smooth, powerful strokes. I was completely alone on the trail, which I love. But then I encountered hill No. 1. No problem. My pace slowed a bit but I triumphantly summited.

Then came Hill No. 2, then No. 3. All was fine and dandy until it came time to turn around.

But then came the “Ohhhhhhhh fudge” (I blame Ralphie from The Christmas Story).

During my jubilation of conquering the trail, I hadn’t realized how truly steep my ascent was. For those who have ever been on roller-blades, stopping while careening 100 miles an hour down a hill can be problematic. For me, it proved to catastrophic. Because in addition to the steep hills, there were also signs everywhere with the squiggly arrow (the official road-sign term, I’m sure). You know, the one that says “You’re dead if you don’t follow the hairpin curves.”

The rest of the story was not pretty. What ticks me off is do you think anyone witnessed my triumphant ascent? Nooooooooo. But now bikers started coming out of the woodwork as I desperately clutched the railing, my legs wedged in a snow asphalt-plow.

In the end, I only suffered a few scrapes and a bruised ego. But worry not, after these two sordid experiences I have certainly learned my lesson.

Until my next episode of sleep deprivation, that is.

Amber Johnson
Author: Amber Johnson

Amber is the founder and editor of Mile High Mamas, travel writer and former columnist for The Denver Post. She is a passionate community builder and loves the outdoors. She has two awesome teens and is happily married to a man obsessed with growing The Great Pumpkin.

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  • comment avatar elasticwaistbandlady September 24, 2007

    I always suspected you were Hell On Wheels……this is just further proof!

  • comment avatar elasticwaistbandlady September 24, 2007

    Should I have said Heck On Wheels? Or maybe H-E-double hockey sticks on Wheels?

    I don’t want to always be the crass and profane commenter.

  • comment avatar PJ September 24, 2007

    That would have been a site to see!

  • comment avatar Angela September 24, 2007

    Is that where the “Crazy” in Canuck comes from? 🙂

  • comment avatar Guinevere Meadow September 24, 2007

    Lack of sleep can make us do crazy, crazy, things. I don’t think I’ve ever done anything THAT crazy though! LOL! Or maybe I have, just not so physical. I tend to fall down a lot, so I avoid bicycles and roller blades like the plague! (I learned that while in college. I brought my bike so I could get around campus easier. It’s NOT TRUE that you can’t ever forget how to ride a bike. Three spills in my first two days on campus prove that. I haven’t gotten on a bicycle since!)

  • comment avatar Amber September 24, 2007

    OK, so I have a confession that I chose not to disclose in the story. When I finally arrived in Golden, I CALLED MY HUBBY TO COME PICK US UP. I know. The ultimate cop-out.

    In the end, I sucked it up and made the return trip. Otherwise, I don’t think I would have lived it down.

  • comment avatar yvonne September 24, 2007

    So maybe I don’t want to get the roller blades–but then again I have no hills to contend with here in Winnipeg. I bet the kids loved the ride.

  • comment avatar Melissa September 24, 2007

    I don’t think there’s anything wrong with calling hubby to come and get you. Nothing at all… I would have called him as soon as I saw the first hill…well, I wouldn’t have called YOUR hubby. I would have called my own…

  • comment avatar Crissybug September 24, 2007

    You are one brave cookie! Atleast they provide some great memories.

  • comment avatar Lisa September 24, 2007

    This reminds me of the time (not plural) that I took my toddler for a bike ride on the back of my bike in a toddler seat. I was in GA and going up and down hills and as I got home, I realized I was about to pass out and my kid was still on the back of the bike. Nothing like telling your kid to hold on as you lay the bike down and proceed to grab for the grass so you do have permanent cement marks on your face when you pass out.

    I could never never ever do any of the exciting sporty things you do! You rule!

  • comment avatar Tonya September 24, 2007

    Holy Smokes, you are one brave lady. I wouldn’t have made it up the first hill. I would have then had no problem calling my hubby and having him come and get me and then stopping for ice cream on the way home because I’m sure I would have been hot :o)

  • comment avatar Lizzy September 24, 2007

    My hubby kept saying that we should all get rollerblades so we can “blade” as a family. I told him my one rollerblade story and he finally stopped pushing the idea. Lets just say my face saw more grass and ground than it did air.

  • comment avatar Hunky Hubby September 24, 2007

    Amber forgot to mention one important thing in her post. I told her she shouldn’t do it! Do the words, “That is kind of a long ride with kids and a lot of hill isn’t it?” ring any bells?

  • comment avatar FFG September 24, 2007

    You are brave! The kids were clearly happy about your ambitious goals.

    By the way, the mountainous hills in Denver put an end to my rollerblading days. All it took was an intersection at the bottom of one steep hill. I had to choose between death by bumpers or eternal grass stains. I think I am still green after 10 years.

  • comment avatar diana/sunshine September 24, 2007

    you made me tired just reading this.

    i remember my roller blading days. i HATED the hills. i spent most of the time walking on the grass.

  • comment avatar Anonymous September 24, 2007

    I have never been good at roller blading althought always wanted to learn. I get nervous going down the slight slope at the end of my driveway! You never cease to amaze me, Amber!

  • comment avatar serf 'rett September 24, 2007

    Just wondering if the lack of sleep induced indomitable feeling could somehow be redirected in getting you to clean houses? If this were possible, perhap a house cleaning business could be established to harness this new source of energy. This could be a huge business if all the MHMama’s have the same reaction to reduced rest.

  • comment avatar wendy on Oahu September 25, 2007

    Youch! You are tough!

    I remember roller blading down a steep hill and deciding that it was better to sacrifice my rear end than careen across a busy intersection. ow!

  • comment avatar so grateful to be mormon September 25, 2007

    you are too cute and a stud! that sounds funny, i mean that to say i am so impressed that you do these adventures. i want to know what your hippy name is. did you do that rock star meme recently? if you are curious, it is in my 14sep post.

    kathleen 🙂