Post-work hikes are the absolute best and almost nothing can compare to a trek up Ptarmigan Trail at sunset, in the midst of a cloudless September evening.
Sometimes, in the heat of things, a vacation swoops in at just the right moment and carries you off to a far away land for some much needed R&R. In the case of my vacation, there wasn’t a whole lot of rest and relaxation, but my five day hiatus from “adult life” was just what I needed to recharge my batteries. My far away lands consisted of a quick jaunt to Fort Collins to giggle a few hours away with Erik, Ms. Clair, and my handsome Dad; on to the Windy City for an e-p-i-c mother/daughter evening with The Eagles and a dinnertime catch up sesh with my GPs; and back to Colorful Colorado for celebratory getaway to Beaver Creek for my main man’s birthday. It was just what the doctor ordered!
I live in an incredible place. A place whose natural beauty is utterly magical and evokes imaginings of the Wild West from even the most literal of people. But (and I am almost ashamed to admit this) every once in a while you get caught up with life. Plain old, tedious, and at times frustrating, stressful, life. Life, while oh so exciting, beautiful, and sacred, has a tendency to get in its own way and for a second there, I let it get in my way.
Lucky for me, I have a very wise ten year old friend who put me in my place. It all started with this very Instagram post (@paigehelene6 if anyone would care to connect…) from our jeeping trip up Webster pass.
“You are so adventurous”, wrote my ten year old friend in response to the photo.
Four simple words, yet they had me floored. It was exactly what I needed to hear to jolt me clear out of my funk. Adventure, excitement, a life lived to its fullest, no regrets? I mean that’s what I came out here for right?
Sometimes it takes the wisdom of a ten year old to bring you back to square one and if that’s not an eye-opener, I don’t know what is.
It has rained everyday the last two weeks. E.V.E.R.Y.D.A.Y. The trees, flowers, and grass are relishing in the daily soaking that hits Summit County like clockwork, everyday between 1:00 and 6:00pm. The blues, the greens, the pinks and purples; they pop against the steely gray of the majestic peaks that give Summit County its name. And if that’s not enough for you, if we’re being really greedy here; the first signs of Fall have started to make themselves known. Fiery orange and sunny yellow leaves are starting to light up among thick Aspen groves, shading the hillsides in a rainbow of colors. It’s an amazing time to be in the mountains.
Today was a day off. A day away from the Lodge and grumpy conference goers. We had planned to take the day to hike up to Upper Cataract Lake, an 11 mile out and back stroll to an opulent high alpine lake. I awoke promptly at 8:00am, peered out my window, and was greeted by thick gray clouds oppressively hanging, just waiting for the right moment to burst, drowning all those unlucky enough to be outdoors at the very moment, in a deluge of icy cold water. And while the colors are enough to draw even the most sedentary person out, I was wary of hiking 11 miles in the rain.
So Webster Pass it was. And you know what? If it weren’t for the daily torrent of rain which has eroded the trails and allowed large boulders to poke through the soft mud, Lady Liberty would have done it. Alas, about a mile from the summit (we saw the sign!) we were almost high-centered on one of the aforementioned boulders and decided that if we wanted Lady Liberty to live to tell the tale, we should turn around. Better luck next time…perhaps from the Montezuma side?