"Hey, I got us an Airbnb in Ouray for our birthday this year. Let's get away and hike all those trails we've wanted to hike, but haven't." Krista surprised me this year and it was such a special time together. We DID hike those trails we've been wanting to hike for many years but haven't had the opportunity to do so. We also found a little coffee shop 1/2 block away from the crooked little gem where we were staying and got coffee/tea and yummies every morning. We ate dinner out twice which was a particularly special treat for me as I never eat out (I even got steak!!!!!!!). We got lost in the little main street bookstore and we tried to hold onto every minute that careened past us.
The first day we drove from opposite directions for almost 6 hours and managed to arrive at the Blue Lakes trail head within 60 seconds of each other. We've done this trail before and it's like an old friend. I sat by that top lake and reflected on how we've changed and what has transpired since the last time we hiked it, over 6 years ago. I'm grateful, again, that we have been given the ability to have hindsight, but that we cannot see or know what lies ahead. In my weakness, I would have jumped ship if I could have seen some of what I would cross through; yet, reflecting back I see how the process of pain, coupled with the abundant (and so often unexpected) joy shapes and molds us.
The little crooked house we stayed in was a historical house built in the 1800's, perched beside a massive boulder and I think they glued it into place. It was utterly charming.
The second day, we decided to take on the biggest challenge and do a 17 mile loop we've been eyeing for several years. We got a much later start than we had planned, so we brought our headlamps for hiking out in the dark. :-) We went over 5000' feet in elevation. It was an incredible day and though we were definitely tired that night, we were so glad we did it. We made memories that we will both treasure forever. I forgot my camera this day, so all my photos are borrowed from Krista. :-) We completed it in 9 hours.