In June, I crossed ‘a close up view of the Rocky Mountains’ off my bucket list. They are the perfect antidote to the crazy way we live.On the Pearl Street Mall, a pedestrian-only space in Boulder, you can stand amid the stores, gelato stands and restaurants and look up at the Flatiron Mountains. A constant presence, they reminded me there are things we can count on, like the beauty of creation.
It takes a few days to become accustomed to the altitude, so on our first day we took an easy trail into the Flatirons. The murmur of the breeze through the pines was the only sound and their scent was heavenly.On our third day we drove to Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s worth the ride and a good place to start your relationship with the Rockies. We climbed a well-marked trail to Alberta Falls. You can go further into the back country but we were still not acclimated enough.
On our fifth day we drove through narrow canyons, between steep peaks to Roosevelt National Forest, to Brainerd Lake. We walked 2.5 miles in to get to the lake and along the way, wonderful things happened that reminded me again of things you can always count on, love and friendships.“Can I ask you a question about taking pictures with an I-Pad?” a sweet-faced lady asked my husband. We began to walk together. Her husband joined us and so began our journey together. Pat and Marty met in Colorado in the sixties and they return every year in the month of their anniversary to re-visit and remember. When we started to tire, they encouraged us to continue to the lake. They knew there was something there we could all count on.
After walking for twenty minutes, in a clearing close to the road, we met a group of gray-haired ladies who were watching a mama moose and her calf. They have been friends since their children were young, and they have been hiking the mountains together for years. Lifelong friendships cultivated in the sight of those glorious, ever-lasting peaks.We talked and watched for a while then said good bye, and the four of us continued on. Talking and getting to know Pat and Marty helped us to keep going. Two hundred feet down the road we saw the papa moose, a majestic bull with full antlers. You can only watch in silence and marvel.
Then, in a second, around a bend in the road, there they were. “Wow! Look at that!” I exclaimed. “I’ve never seen anything like that!”Straight ahead of us, in a semi-circle were the Indian Peaks, snow-covered and jagged, the tallest rising to 13,000 feet. After we took some pictures, including one for a bicyclist from Denmark, I sat on a rock that seemed to be put there just for contemplating the mountains.
The sense of serenity, permanence and strength were overwhelming. Those mountains have fostered relationships that have lasted for years. Pat and Marty invited us to join them for a hike to the Isabelle Glacier next year. They’re there every June. So is the glacier.