small things #67 ... getting lost
Like most moms, Labor Day doesn't really look a whole lot different for me. Still loving on my kids. Still keeping up with the plopping. Still feeding the galloping horde. It is significantly better, of course, because Brett's home ... but I don't actually take the day off.
So when the discussion came up, "What do you want to do Monday?", I quickly asserted my desire to do something. Anything. Whatever would keep us busy and, preferably, out of the house.
And so we decided to get lost. Sorta.
We loaded up the kids, lunches, water bottles, snacks, camera, iPod, sunscreen, bug spray, hats, sweatshirts and GPS (Whew! Labor Day, my foot!) and headed to Grand Mesa. Our destination: Lost Lake.
Following the dirt path led us deep into the forest. The cool, refreshing and delightfully green forest - such a contrast to our desert dwelling. This is my kind of hiking. Shade covered the rock strewn trail due to the towering pines and spruce trees. Aspen trees danced in the breeze. On each side of the path were boulders and fallen logs covered with lichen and moss. We counted almost a dozen different types of moss. A dozen! Some were fuzzy, others scaly and still others looked like miniature trumpets. We marveled at the varying textures and colors - from mint to emerald to copper.
During a drink break, we stooped down to inspect a little hole between two rocks and imagined a little fairy living there - fluttering about and sitting on her front lawn of spongy verdant moss. We half expected to see a few Hobbits cross our path singing a lively tune and carrying their knapsacks filled with treasure. It was a truly magical forest!
We trudged on stepping over gnarled roots and pitted stones. The consistent incline required a few breaks for short legs to rest, but Lil' Liddy was remarkable and only requested a ride one time. The rest of the hike she spent hopping from rock to root ("Like Tigger, Mommy!") and giggling at the chittering chipmunks who chatted with us from the tops of the trees.
The 1.5 mile path wound through the forest and past hillsides covered in sloughed off boulders. One portion of our hike crossed in front of a massive pile of rocks that had slid down the mountain face and come to rest at the bottom - a perpetual rock slide, of sorts. I could see in Aaron's eyes the desire to climb and clamber about on the stones. "Sorry, Buddy. Let's stick to the path."
At the turn of each switchback, our view changed. The light was altered as it shifted through the trees casting fresh shadows and startling colors. New angles appeared as fallen logs, leaning trees and upright evergreens intersected one another. A curious boulder shaped like an egg. An uprooted trunk that looked like an elephant. A shocking red leaf in a field of green oak brush. An aspen tree flirting with fall. Norah commandeered the camera and snapped off endless photos.
Most of us hiked. Ashley trotted. She had on her running shoes, you see, and so she kept a quicker pace. With a water bottle in each hand ("You're welcome, Lydia!") she kept up with her longer-legged siblings and stayed maybe even a little ahead at times. She flexed her hiking muscles and showed us that she can tackle a steady hill and even carry her own supplies.
On our final descent to our destination, Aaron jogged back to tell us that ...
We'd found it!
Yes, Lost Lake really was this color. An amazing turquoise with a ring of ocher and a bold outline of black rocks. It was still and quiet and tranquil. And begged to have stones thrown into it!
After a rest and a picnic lunch balanced on boulders, we headed back the way we had come, but not before deciding that we'd love to get lost here again.
Getting Lost ... connecting with one another, marveling at God's creativity, strengthening our muscles and capturing memories. How soon 'til we get lost again?