This trip is going to take a little bit of telling...
My daughter had just finished gymnastics practice, we were hungry so the family and I grabbed a quick bite at a fast food place. While waiting in line to order I get a text from my friend, he says him and his girlfriend are going to Colorado, she needs to fly back home before he does so if I'm interested, he has a place to stay by a trout river and he'll ride home with me in the car and help with the gas on the way back. The funny thing is, it was about 5 minutes before the text that I was telling my wife how I need to get back to the mountains! I laugh and tell my wife, she says that I should go, before we could have any more discussion on the topic, I text Justin that I'm in.
I planned on spending 5 days in Colorado, not including drive time, taking my bike and just enjoying the Colorado experience. Well, life happens...We had put our house on the market, fully expecting it to take months to sell when BANG, within a week it's sold! Now, I feel quite fortunate about the situation, but the TIMING! The buyers want to close at the end of the month, when I'm in Colorado!
Perplexed, confused and a bit dizzy, I tried to weigh the situation, or finnagle a way to make this trip work. I'd been daydreaming about this experience for the past month and it was slipping through my hands. The familiar sayings started to roll through my head.. there's always next year... be the responsible adult and cancel the trip...etc, but I couldn't let it go, it had been 12 years since I'd been in the mountains and experienced the sounds, smells, and changes in the weather. I needed a new shot of mountain zen to recharge the spirit.
It doesn't happen everyday, a group having a common goal without an agenda unfolding into a wonderful outing. We reached two alpine lakes in Holy Cross Wilderness Area, and scrambled to the second lake up a fairly hairy route to view the first lake 500 ft below us. We talked about returning to camp out so we'd have enough time to explore a ridge that ran high above us. I do believe dreams and visions keep us young, maybe next time.
Our outing culminated in wetting some lines. When we arrived at the first lake, I was amazed at the beauty of the lake first, but I was energized by the action I saw as fish disturbed the top to feed! As we started to rig our poles Justin handed a me a dry fly that had been recommended to him by a local fly shop. I thanked him for the kindness and took advantage of the knowledge that had been passed on to him. After stepping into the chili alpine lake I was working my way along the edge and I bumped into an inlet of water that was flowing down from the upper lake. My eyes widened as the possibilities took hold. I let the flow take my fly into the lake a few times, I'd noted some disturbances in the water around the area as I patiently worked my line. The aggressiveness of the strike was thrilling! My fly was taken in a fury, the line snapped taught and I brought in a colorful cutthroat trout, his lower gills blood red. I proceeded to catch another cutthroat and a rainbow trout, I was enthused about the outing and the striking colors of the fish. Catch and Release was the name of the game on this adventure. The beauty of the fish still remains in my memory, I couldn't have created more electric colors on these fish, and the aggressiveness of the strike was different from previous experiences, its these nuances that punctuates this outing. Justin, Barry and I gathered our gear and took the nicely tilted group photo as my camera sat perched on a boulder.