“Experiencing the world through endless second hand information isn’t enough. If we want authenticity we have to initiate it.” – Travis Rice
I have been working too much lately. While usually this is a good thing because I am trying to stay busy and save up some cash, working 6 days a week for 12 weeks straight was starting to burn me out. I needed a day to ground myself.
With off-days being so rare for me, I couldn’t decide how I wanted to spend my time. I could go to Breckenridge and see some friends, go to Boulder to see my family, be lazy at home for once, or I could find a random adventure and just go with it. Well, if you know me at all then you already know what I did. I drove up to the mountains in pursuit of a fun, random, wilderness adventure.
After an hour of driving through aspen-filled canyons and up steep, windy roads I got to Brainard Lake Park, about 30 minutes Northwest of Boulder. On a recommendation from my mom, I tried to follow her vague directions to a place she loves called Blue Lake, but it was a long shot. There were so many trails and lakes in the area I figured I would never find Blue Lake and I should just check out another place; so I kept driving.
See the face in the rock? It’s Chief Niwot/Lefthand.
Up and up I drove as each parking lot I passed was full. Finally I reached the top and was pleased to find that there were only a few other cars there. “Now this is more like it,” I though to myself. I drove an hour and a half from Denver to get away and spend some time alone in the mountains.
I grabbed my GoPro, water, a sandwich, a poncho, a hoodie, and some pants, then began my journey up the mountain.
I had given up on Blue Lake and figured I would just find a new cool spot.
Besides, I was having fun river hopping and looking for wildlife along the way to wherever it was I was going.
If I would have read the sign at the bottom of the trail head I would have known that I was on a direct path to Blue Lake and didn’t even realize it.
An hour and a half or so later I reached the top of the trail. After passing several small ponds, admiring grassy green meadows filled with butterflies and wildflowers, and climbing piles of rockslide debris, I came to a majestic blue lake backed by Colorado’s Indian Peaks.
I was in the most beautiful place, and I was all alone. Exactly where I wanted to be.
I stayed at the lake for at least an hour wandering around and taking random GoPro pictures of myself doing handstands. I was having a blast and for a brief moment in time, I was not just in a place I could go; I was in a place I could just be.
Four hours after leaving my car, I was back. Within 10 seconds of starting my engine, it began to down-pour! It had been threatening to rain all day, and I got sprinkled on a few times, but all I could do was laugh at my perfect timing. Today was my day.
Next, I went to Blue Sky, my family’s cabin a few miles down the road. I ate lunch on Diane Mountain, a nearby cliff named after my Aunt Diane who was killed by a drunk driver. I stayed until I was scared off by the nearing lightning storm.
By the time I got back home to Denver I was exhausted, happy, relaxed, and inspired. I need to take days off more often. 🙂
Thanks Lauren! for taking us with you on your beautiful off-day hike . Love how you put the pics right in with the writing so it feels like, yes, of course, I get to see it too. Lots of love…