Friday, September 5, 2008
It's hard to believe that two nights in the mountains can decompress me so much but it did. I've had that "yearning" ever since I returned from The Colonel's funeral but this was my first opportunity to really be somewhere out of the mainstream of normal everyday life.
If you've followed the blog you will understand that I felt a need to feel the silence, the beauty, the loneliness, the spirit, of the high country. Two nights, three days was all I could squeeze in. Funny how the theme of "3 days, two nights" keeps developing? Maybe this is just a convenient number. Like a loaf, or a dozen, or a chapter. The smallest unit available for an adventure? However you measure it, it was an adventure to soothe the soul.
Wednesday morning I set out in the RV and with the new float tube (a sophisticated term for a bellyboat) for Clear Creek Reservoir, a medium sized lake nestled in the Collegiate Peaks between Buena Vista and Leadville, Colorado. The weather was great, the ride was peaceful and I arrived at my initial destination shortly after noon. As I drove up to the lake it became clear that there would be no fishing that day....Wind! It was blowing pretty hard so I decided to pitch camp and veg out. I read a little, did a little gold panning in the river, and sat and stared at the mountains for a very long time. I still had two days.
Thursday morning was a glorious, early fall, mountain morning. It was cold as hell (22F) till the sun peeked over the mountain and then it warmed up rapidly. I broke camp and drove down to the lake and made ready for fishing in the float tube.
What a great adventure! A float tube is like a...a...I don't know how to describe it. You wear fishing waders to keep dry and sit on a fancy inner tube about 4" above the water. Fins on the feet propel you. It's very comfortable and pretty maneuverable as long as there is not a strong wind. You are really "up close and personal" with the water and if you're lucky, the fish.
I was lucky. In the space of about 3 hours I had caught 6-8 nice rainbow trout. The water was crystal clear so I could see the fish all the while I was bringing it to the tube. After catching them I released them all. I wasn't in it for the meat this time, I was in it for the soul.
I'm really sorry to report that the old, not to worry about it if it gets wet, camera I took with me on the water to record the event didn't work. I thought I had the best of all the "feet" shots to date. Picture this....a glassy surfaced mountain lake with a gigantic mountain peak in the background. In the foreground, my flippers sticking out of the water, a fishing rod and a beautiful freshly caught rainbow trout. That was the picture I thought I had.....I guess I'll have to go back soon with a camera that works! After a couple of hours, the wind came up and I headed for shore, lunch and to plan the next move.
The next move was to go a little further north towards Leadville and explore an area called Half Moon Creek. I was looking for places to boondock in the future and I found them there in abundance. The picture to the right is the one I chose for this night. The mountain in the background is Mt. Elbert. Mt. Elbert is the highest peak in the North American Rocky Mountains at 14,440 feet above sea level. Talk about exhale!
I spent a very pleasant afternoon and evening in the shadow of this mountain and by Friday morning early I needed to start back to home. This was not the normal feelin' bad cause it's all over trip back home though because there was more adventure waiting at home.
Guitar had arranged for he and I and our ladies to attend a concert by Jimmy LaFave. I never had heard of him before but that's nothing new. Guitar is a walking Wikipedia when it comes to music. I really didn't have high expectations and that was a good thing. It was a good thing because that made the sheer pleasure of the evening even more pronounced. I can't believe we saw/heard that caliber of talent for $20 a head. The concert was sponsored by Swallow Hill, another organization I knew nothing about but will definitely get to know better. The venue was an old church with a stage in front where the alter once stood. Seating was fold up metal chairs, and ours were center stage, three rows back.
Exhale, indeed! An absolutely mind and body relaxing few days....AND...it still not over.
In a couple of hours we are going to the airport to pick up The Bride's mother, Sylvia. Monday morning we are headed to Mesa Verde National Park for two days and then one more day somewhere between there and here on the way back. That night has not yet been planned so we are free to wander where ever we like.
While at the park we will stay at the Far View Lodge inside the park itself. This is something I've wanted to do for years and I'm really excited about the trip!
I believe that the lodge has wifi so stay tuned for a report on the next adventure!
Thanks for visiting