ASPEN, CO - This year marked my first adult birthday outside of Philadelphia's city life, and I wanted to do something out of the ordinary. I’ve always loved hiking and camping, but I had never been on a backpacking, camping trip before. I decided my 24th birthday was as good a time as ever to take the trek. I asked around among friends and co-workers to get the dish on the some of their favorites. Over and over again, recommendations for the Conundrum Hot Springs hike in Aspen came pouring in, and I was sold.
Once I decided on the location, I began doing my research. I got the low down from my friends and read-up on a few online reviews. I was up against an 18-mile roundtrip trek with an elevation gain of 4’020 ft. I proposed my collected statistics to my boyfriend, and he eagerly signed up to be my partner in crime for the trip. Before I knew it, it was the night before the trip and we began organizing our gear; little did I know he had quite the birthday feast planned – 4 courses, a bottle of red, a bottle of white and a flask of whiskey… for variety of course, which added some serious extra weight to his pack. Pans, ropes and water bottles clanging from our packs we saddled up for a test drive, heavy, but better than we expected.