They called them “Mike-Hikes.”

As a program director and, then, Director of Hidden Falls Ranch (on and off from 1967-1980), I used to enjoy leading the whole camp—as many as 100 campers and staff—on forays into the Palo Duro.

I tried to make our journeys adventurous—meaning seldom (some said “never”) traveled trails, and challenging—meaning one would sometimes have to use hands as well as feet, often to lift smaller campers over large boulders.

Mike-Hikes. I didn’t invent the name, but I liked it. Gave me something to be remembered by–although not always remembered fondly. 🙂

Actually, even though I took a lot of ribbing for them, I think the staff actually liked Mike-Hikes. Gave them something new and unexpected to look forward to each week, which one needs after back to back to back camp routine.

I missed not doing my Mike-Hikes in the ‘80s and ‘90s. Don’t know why I stopped. Guess I lacked both opportunity and following.

But I revived them in 2005, not in the Palo Duro, and not with teen followers. Now, I coax 50 and 60-year-old friends to climb peaks with me in the Rockies.

So I’m especially pumped about leading a hike with college-students this weekend at Hidden Falls. Will it be a Mike-Hike?

Probably not. But you can ask them.

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