I love the beauty found in Colorado.
Over the past sixteen years, I’ve been able to explore, see and experience many different places.
Seeing above tree line grandeur, sit by an alpine lake and enjoy mountain vistas…all wonderful memories.
The problem is that over the past sixteen years, the area of Colorado I call home has become increasingly crowded. The trend does not look to be stopping.
I realize I am part of the problem.
But the fact remains that within three-hours of my home, about the upper limit for a weekend backpack for most, any trailhead and highways will be well used on a weekend.
Once I am in the backcountry, esp five-miles+ from the trailhead and/or off-trail, the issue is not apparent.
Getting there is the problem.
I must confess, I turned around this past Saturday morning because the backup on the highway was too much for me.
I don’t do well with crowds, congestion and sprawl. It brings out some of my less desirable personality traits.
So it goes.
The solution is to go off days and odd hours. Not always possible, but a solution in any case.
What is a busy trail and congested area on a weekend is remote feeling, beautiful and blessedly empty on a weekday evening.
With all these thoughts in mind, my friend and I did another after work hike…this time to Chasm Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park,
A classic hike that is a weekend hike for most.
But on a weekday, the trailhead actually had hiking spots.
And the trail did not have a line of people snaking up the mountain side.
We knew we’d come back to the car at almost dark.
The cool mountain air was the perfect antidote for the hot and dry weather below.
We soon reached the lake.
No one was to be seen.
The view of the famous Longs Peak Diamond above was easy to appreciate when the spot was had to ourselves.
We headed down.
Just before we headed down below tree line again, some views to the east were savored.
I am part of those crowds in the Front Range to the east.
But for an evening, I could enjoy the mountains again.
Traffic, crowds and congestion….part of the Colorado mountain experience in 2015.
But, at least for an evening, those facets receded.
There was only the beauty to enjoy and appreciate.