New Year, New Heights! Mount Morrison 1/1/2021 #Journey #Hiking #NewYearNewHeights

Hogback Ridge Panoramic View / Photo by Jason A. Muckley © 2021

Trails traveled: Mount Morrison South Ridge Trail, Difficulty: Hard (Black)
Out-and-Back, 4 miles round-trip, 2,000 feet of elevation gain
Time: 2 hours
Weather: Partly Cloudy, Clear

  • Summit
  • Front Range
  • Foothills
  • Morrison
  • Red Rocks Ampitheater
  • Snow
  • Some Climbing Required
  • Mount Evans View
  • Downtown Denver View
  • Winter Hike

I feel like I haven’t been on a hike in ages. I think the last time I hiked was at the end of October so I guess I am being a little dramatic.

This summer it seemed like anytime I didn’t have the kids I was hiking… actually I went hiking with the kids two of those weekends too. With COVID-19 and feeling boxed in during quarantine all I wanted to do was go outside. I was walking in my neighborhood about 4 miles a day, on the weekends I got to hike, and then the second wave came and I was discouraged and didn’t want to do anything.

Well guess what?! It’s a new year! 2021 is here and I am ready to get back to all the things I love to do in life: hike, paint, draw, enjoy the outdoors, write and so much more. As I was hiking today I did a little self-reflection.

One of my favorite ways to unplug, disconnect, get away from the digital world for an hour or two is to hike. I usually lose signal the farther out I go and with the bright sun beating down I can’t usually even see my screen due to all the glare. So… I get to just embrace the natural world around me, reflect on my situation and ask God to come in and put his impressions on my heart.

Okay… that sounded a little weird and new-agey and you might not have liked it. Sorry, but I feel like that describes how it feels. I am thinking and ruminating about things, and then *pop* out of nowhere a thought that was not mine comes into my mind. It could be about my work or my family or in the case it was about the upcoming season, really the year of 2021.

I felt like he put a word into my mind that I could latch on for this year: New Year, New Heights.

It was New Years Day, I was hiking a new trail that I’ve never hiked before, it was hard, pretty steep, cold, difficult, but I was going forward. I was going to push through until I reached the top, the breakthrough in my life.

Another thing I did was reflect on 2020, what happened in my life, what did I do? These are some of the things I came up with… I published FOUR books of poetry! That’s pretty cool. I got my own place. I am back on my feet and I am in a stable place financially. I am continuing to grow as an artist and painter. In general, I am continuing to pursue my creative endeavors be it in artwork, diy, or through words. I had some recent breakthrough with my counselor working through the past.

I think some times we get bogged down in what we are doing that we are too close to things to actually see what is happening. Then something happens suddenly and the new normal just moves on and you don’t actually take the time to reflect on the change you underwent.

This is why I feel (for me) it is so important to regularly reflect, to journal, to get out of your routine and take a good look at what’s going on in your life. You might see something that you previously didn’t know was there before. You might even get down on yourself that you “wasted” the year and the time until you take a deeper look at what was really going on.

Just because you aren’t yet at the place where you want to be, don’t discount the place that you are.

– Jason

Mount Evans Seen from Mount Morrison / Photo by Jason A. Muckley © 2021


  1. Amen, Jason, well said! I love the photo too! I miss Colorado. I was just telling my wife how much I miss the mountains. I would love to go hiking again, and fishing for Rainbow Trout. I miss the cool crisp Rocky Mountain air too. I’m thankful to be here in Florida, but Colorado will always be home in my heart. God bless you!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Wow, that’s cool! God is so good! Yes, I could definitely use prayer for healing. I’ve been struggling with Celiac Disease since moving down here. We are also having some trouble with the building of our new home. Raccoons have been entering the house since it is a new build and they are using it as their personal bathroom. Feces all over the upstairs. We just talked to the builder this morning. I truly hope and pray they fix the problem. It is quite disgusting and I am pretty discouraged about all of it. I really miss home. Thank you so much for praying! God bless you!

        Liked by 1 person

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