ROCKY MOUNTAIN NATIONAL PARK, COLO.(October 1, 2015) – Nearly a dozen wounded veterans hiked miles along the Continental Divide Trail, experiencing the breath-taking views you can only experience from atop mountains. The hike and camping trip gave the injured service members not only a chance to enjoy nature, but also an opportunity to spend time and heal with fellow veterans.
Wounded Warrior Project® (WWP) believes in creating support through shared experiences. The WWP Alumni program brings wounded veterans together for outdoor events, sports, and even an online community to help grow that support. WWP considers veterans Alumni because of the sacrifices they have made for our country. There are no membership dues for Alumni; they paid those on the battlefield. The Alumni program is one of 20 free programs and services offered by WWP.
Teresa Campos is an Army veteran and WWP Alumnus. She said she and her husband enjoyed hiking and the breathtaking views.
“The peaks of the Rockies are majestic, towering, and full of obstacles,” Campos said. “I really enjoyed that certain spots had signs to let you know the landmark views you were observing. There was a spot where we looked down and saw a lake; the sign said it was Emerald Lake.”
Emerald Lake is at an elevation of more than ten thousand feet, nearly two miles above sea level. For WWP Alumnus and Army veteran Adam Dixon, the elevation helped create spectacular views.
“Looking down from the Continental Divide was just amazing,” Dixon said. “Being so high up even allows you to see the lower portions of Wyoming.”
“Hiking to the summit of Flattop Mountain in 40-degree weather was exhilarating,’ Campos said. “Especially reaching the summit and having the right gear and supplies to keep us warm.”
The Alumni also experienced some of the wildlife that call Rocky Mountain National Park home.
“While hiking across the tundra, we witnessed two big horn mountain goats race across out path,” Campos said.
“As we cleared a tree line, we ran into American pika, which are interesting little creatures,” Dixon said. “They let out a little scream to alarm others of our presence.”
Wildlife, wild views, and a fun time for all of the injured veterans who made the three-day hike through the Colorado wilderness.