In the early 1980s I lived in Loveland, Colo. On weekends, I would drive up U.S. 34 along the Big Thompson River toward Estes Park, into the Arapaho & Roosevelt National Forest. I would typically stop well short of Estes, sometimes not even making it to the tiny crossroads of Drake. I’d find a roadside pullout, get out and start hiking: there didn’t need to be a trail, as long as the terrain was passible. It wouldn’t be long, scrambling up the steep canyon walls, before I’d start fantasizing that I might be the first person to have ever made it to the ridge above. Hey, I was in my 20s. What did I know?
I like to think we take away something every time we hike. Something as spirit lifting as the first spring wildflower to something as simple as the quiet or a conversation with your hiking partner.
Every once in a while, though, comes a hike that will be remembered because there’s a good chance you won’t see another one like it. Sunday was one of those hikes.