It began like any other beautiful midday hike at Red Rock Canyon Open Space, one of my absolute favorite hikes in the Springs. Looking around, admiring the scenery of the vibrant red rocks juxtaposed to the bright Western sky. Soaking in that perfect Southwestern sunshine. And then… it happened! My worst fear, right in front of me. That scaly serpent bastard, yes, a snake. When I say I have a phobia of snakes, I don’t mean that I just don’t want to pet one or they gross me out, I mean that I literally can’t even touch a snake purse or look at a snake-skin print shirt without getting creeper chills. Yup, it’s THAT bad.
I freeze. What do I do now? I can’t possibly walk past this thing. Do I walk back? What if it follows me? Do I cry, yes, I’ll cry or scream-that’ll work! Are there more coming? For 10 minutes I stood there debating in my flustered mind what to do. Meanwhile, the little bastard is taking it’s sweet ol’ time slithering across the trail. He knew what he was doing, he was taunting me! Slowly moving across that path, I swear he was messing with me.
But it was my fault, because only 15 minutes prior to this I had suddenly thought to myself, “Gee, I hope I don’t see a snake today on this hike”. Law of Attraction! As a follower and practice of law of attraction and manifestation practices, I should’ve known better. What you put out through thought and belief, you can manifest. Dammit, Mandi, dammit! Why’d you think that awful thought, now we are stuck here, held hostage by this jerk slowly slithering across the pathway. I was catatonic.
Suddenly, he reaches the other side and slides into the grass. This was my chance! Before he could change his mind and turn around, I high tailed it. I did that super nerdy fast walk where you look like you’re punching the air because your arms are moving up and down so quickly. I looked like an idiot. And that’s when I saw, yes, there were fellow hikers not just behind me, but in front of me. Yes, they saw. Did I look like a spaz, absolutely! Do I care? Not really.
After the terror was over, I proceeded along my path, I took the Roundtrip Trail. If you like the off-the-beaten-path type of trails and looking for a longer hike, I recommend this one. It takes you through a woodsier area and closer to the mountain, a change of scenery from the Red Rock area when you first enter the park. The trail has a lot of brush so there are times the trail gets very tight. I’m not even 100% sure I was even on a trail, honestly. Who knows where I am? Parts of the trail, you got to pay attention if you’re a class A klutz like me. To the left of me is the mountain, to the right- a steep drop off. So just watch where you walk, it’s quite rocky in many spots and not a lot of room, so good hiking boots are a must. But honestly, I like these type of hikes- away from others, by myself. Me and nature, totally in sync. The views on the trail are truly fantastic!
At Red Rock Canyon Open Space, you honestly can’t go wrong in my opinion. Every trail leads you to breathtaking views. The best view is where you can see the city below and have a great view of Garden of the Gods, it isn’t far at all! You can tell its Garden of the Gods by the spires. I’ve literally cried looking at the view and I am not ashamed. What I love about this place is there are infinite hikes and journeys you can take at Red Rock Canyon Open Space, I never take the same journey twice. I’m always mixing it up every time I go there, while keeping track of where I am of course. A hike there can be as short as 30 minutes, if you want, but I prefer the longer hikes 2-3 hours or more. There are so many intertwining trails, every single one is a winner in its own right. I recommend always taking a different path each time, they’ll all lead you to perfect views and a great experience. For me, it’s always a deeply spiritual and fulfilling experience. The feeling I get hiking here, as well as other places nearby, is exactly how I know my soul is where it wants to be, my heart is happy here. And I will be writing more about this park and my hikes there, hopefully without any run-ins with the creature that shall not be named.