Mountaineers (Part 1)

Waking up without an alarm is what I consider a luxury. The natural stirring as the sunlight streams through curtains to bathe the room in a morning glow mixed with the slow inhale of relief of getting a full night’s rest is decadence to me. Can one overdose on such decadence? This was the goal.

This moment of serenity and beauty is what I had hoped when I planned a surprise weekend vacation for my beloved. It appears as though we are growing more accustomed to the rituals of other Coloradans. As the skyscrapers waved in the rear-view mirror, we headed to the mountains for a weekend retreat. Together we shed the weight of anxiety, stress, worry and the paramount frustrations from our respective work environments as of late with every mile towards the mountains.

The hills turned to mountains and the streams fed to rivers. The shrubs transformed into lush forests beginning their annual descent into winter by displaying the final array of delicious hues of gold, orange and red. It is officially fall in Colorado. The warm afternoon air gets crisp with a sunset and the world grows quiet in meditation and admiration. This is life in the Colorado Rockies.

I planned this weekend as a surprise to Robert. Our friends’ condo in the mountains was available and it coincided with the Breckenridge Film Festival. As life often ebbs and flows, it has been ebbing more lately. However, I can put my skills to work to relieve some of the pressure. I mapped out our entire weekend (because I am an avid planner) for maximum refueling of what he needs. Little did I know, I would get exactly what I needed in return.

We arrived in Dillon that afternoon and stood motionless in the dichotomy between the hectic and rushed life hours before compared to the stillness that comes with being in the mountains. The air was crisp and cool as the breeze cut through the warmth of the afternoon sun to dance with the yellow-laden Aspens.


My type-A self loves many things. Spreadsheets. Agendas. Checklists. Calendars. Due dates. Pie charts. Outlines. While I did make a plan for the entire weekend, we would have the ever elusive free time. Free time to walk around Lake Dillon, breathe in the beautiful reflection of the mountains and sunshine and breathe out the stress from our city lives. We walked and walked and walked and walked. Sometimes in silence. Sometimes in laughter. Sometimes hand in hand. Sometimes wrapped up in our sweaters to ward off the chill. We walked the town, walked the lake, had a quiet dinner and made our way back to the condo where we were blanketed with utter exhaustion.

We jumped under the thick blankets, bid adieu to the mountains and fell into a desperate slumber. It wasn’t until the next morning with the sun streaming in through the curtains and the cold air tapping my nose did I realize the extent to our hurried and tiring state of minds. I braved the cold morning air to make a pot of coffee. Next phase of luxury: cold mountain air with cold mountain water being poured with freshly ground (perfect) coffee and brewed while you open curtains to even more brilliant gold Aspens. Sleeping 10 hours gives you a certain pep to greet the day. After a homemade breakfast, we braved the cool air to go hiking.

We’ve repeatedly said we want to go hiking. We live in God’s country yet do not go hiking nor skiing. It is time to remedy this. We used to hike in New Mexico years ago when we were young and chased adventures but lately we have gotten bogged down with commitments and “should do’s.” Knowing this, I took us to Rainbow Lake in Frisco to discover natural beauty. The sights did not disappoint.

It was not a strenuous hike but with every exhale and step over the rooted group and through the walls of Aspen trees, our smiles grew wider. The air slowly warmed and the sun was shining bright to welcome us to the Lake.


We continued our hike and after a few hours eventually made our way through the small town of Frisco for lunch. We didn’t talk much that morning. Not because we did not have words to say but because words weren’t needed. It was a mutual head nod for hours upon hours that morning as we stood and walked in beauty and light. This is what we needed. We needed the quiet beauty and slow discovery in meditation.

Feeling more refreshed than we have in months, we headed to Breckenridge for the film festival. (to be continued…)


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