This is supposedly one of the closest and easiest 14ers to Denver. I had been wanting to hike a 14er the whole summer, and the first calendar day of fall, my friend and I hiked to the top of Mt. Bierstadt.
After all the rain that drowned Colorado, the river that flowed through the base of the mountain was damn near overflowing. Up to the summit, my foot sunk in the mud and I worried I'd lose my shoe.
We started our hike at 7am to make sure we wouldn't get caught in an afternoon storm. We returned to our car five hours later wet regardless.
While my friend struggled up the mountain, I found it relatively easy. But hiking to the top and being able to say I hiked a 14er, then taking a picture with the altitude on a piece of cardboard when we hit the top, still made me feel a little bit of pride. I could understand how longer and tougher hikes not only physically exhaust someone, but mentally as well.
When we finally reached the top, I realized a storm was rolling in, snow started to fall, and the parking lot looked extremely small.
Always make sure to bring a sense of humor with you.