Four years ago today, I moved into my house. I wanted to make a big deal out of that anniversary, so I asked my friends to go with me on my first mountain hike since I moved back to Colorado.
My friend Elizabeth (originally from a tiny town in Australia by the name of Buxton) came along. We followed the directions of my physical therapist who’d recommended the trail, “Go to Del Norte and turn left at the car wash.” We were then on a beautiful paved road that evolved into a nice graveled road, that evolved into a nicely maintained dirt road. At the end was the trailhead.
It was my first hike (since my hip replacement) on truly uneven ground with loose rocks and some ups and downs (other than daily life, I mean). It was easy.
We only wanted to be gone a couple of hours, and I didn’t want to undertake more than I could return from, so we ended up walking a relatively short way. I told Elizabeth that the end of the trail is an alpine lake — six miles up. We decided to work toward that for next summer.
It’s a perfect day, not a cloud in the sky, not much wind, comfortable temperatures. The aspen were enormous — I’ve never seen anything like that. They have grown up in groves of beetle kill pine so they haven’t had much competition. But coming up — five feet and lower — are pines, protected by the giant aspen. The light was not only impossible to photograph, but I don’t think I can describe it well. It was my first experience in a large aspen forest and it was enchanting. There are no aspen in Southern California.
Elizabeth is very active in the beautiful Gfenn-like Episcopal church in our town. I’ve visited a few times. Now she’s been with me to my church. ❤
P.S. Now I’ve looked on the topo map and we got the wrong trail, but there are three branches of San Francisco Creek, and we are going back. 🙂