Did you know you have a cheerleader rooting for you as you climb Western Colorado's Mt. Garfield? It's true. Someone has taken the time to send encouraging messages your way. Who's behind this gracious effort?

Last Saturday, May 19, was a perfect day for a hike. It was so perfect, Mt. Garfield seemed to be in order. Rest assured, I'm not the only one who felt this way. To date, I've never seen so many people on the mountain that early.

I've hiked this trail hundreds of times over the years. Never before, though, have I encountered encouraging messages deposited along the east trail. A very kind person left painted river rocks all along the trail with encouraging and uplifting messages. These come in handy when making a 2,000-foot ascent.

These rocks have been completely coated with paint in a wide variety of colors. Each contains a short message. The rocks were then placed at random points along the trail.

Waylon Jordan

The messages could be interpreted both literally and metaphorically. Messages such as "Be Happy" or "Keep Going" lined the path up Mt. Garfield, Another rock spotted featured the message "Be Kind."

Waylon Jordan

What's so special about this? Stop and think about it for a minute. Many, if not most, of the people climbing Mt. Garfield are doing so to get back in touch with their lives. While Mt. Garfield isn't necessarily a difficult trail, it's a long way from easy. Some people on this particular hike are looking to get back to basics. They're in need of getting the stale air out of their lungs, stress out of their system, and happier thoughts in their minds.

Waylon Jordan

Did you know there is a man in the valley who climbs Mt. Garfield every morning? That's right, every morning. It isn't because he's sitting around with time on his hands and nothing to do. Just the opposite. He's a working man with a wife and family. Put simply, he employs this regimen as a way to stay in shape and take care of his "mental health." After you've climbed Mt. Garfield a few dozen times, you can reach the point where you can get up and back down in less than two hours.

These rocks represent a very generous effort on someone's behalf. Not only did they go to the trouble to write the messages, they also had to paint the rocks, and then deposit them along the trail. Thank you, mystery rock-writer(s). The positive messages were very thoughtful and greatly appreciated.