I call it the Wanderlust list. That list most of us have of those dreamy places around the world we want to go to. I feel like we are all addicted to travel. It’s tempting to get addicted to it and want more and more. More places to add to our list or cross off of our bucket place and post those dreamy photos to our Instagram feeds before we move on to the next location on our list.
To me, some places are different though. Some places don’t belong on these quickly stuffed away lists of memories and conquered Bucket Lists. Some places need something more. They reach inside us all the way to your toes and stop you in your tracks. You just can’t get enough and you don’t know why. This summer, we headed back to the place that is just that for us.
Alta Lakes, Colorado.
We went here in the summer of 2016 as part of our honey moon. To be honest, it wasn’t even on our radar, but if you look back on our posts, you will see that the new gears we had placed in our Jeep before our trip were done incorrectly and we had to stop our trip for a few days in Durango, Colorado while we waited for the mechanic to get things fixed up. In small towns, places are not open on the weekend and if you are trying to get back on the road in a hurry, don’t break down on 4th of July weekend. (Another great story of meeting King of the Hammer champs and being invited into peoples homes who were complete strangers, check out the related posts at the end of this blog to read more).
With our trip route off track, these new friends suggested stopping in Telluride, so we did just that. After leavhing this dreamy ski town full of expensive burgers and delicious spicy chais, we looked on our app for potential boon docking places and this gem came up. It was almost sunset, so we did not have any other options around. Like all of our good finds, we plugged in our GPS coordinates and headed down the trail. The end of the trail lead to this view…
We only stayed one night that first round, but we fell in love and one day just wasn’t enough.
Fast back forward to present day. We decided this summer we would settle in and see this Lake for all of its beauty.
We pulled up and settled in to camp. We were just as impressed with her glass lake contrasted with mountain peaks left with traces of winters’ past snow. She shows off her towering trees and makes you feel swallowed up into her world for a few days. I didn’t care about getting in my workouts (Who can at that elevation?), being the fastest hiker, or even the to-do list that awaited me after this trip with school starting right around the corner. There’s something about those special places that just wipe all of that away and reset you.
We were here for 4th of July this year. That night we waited for fireworks from the next town over, but they never came. Instead, the next day we were surprised by a sudden fierce wind and rain storm. When the storm cleared up a half hour later, the lake was glassier, and the sky seemed to shine even brighter. We met Australian guys who were using all of their vacation time to travel around the United States. They bought a beat up mini van, and four of them were making their way around to see, “such contrasting beauty in this country” (Their words, not mine.)
I think this place will continue to be somewhere special to us. I think we will bring our kids back here one day and tell them of the time we accidentally found this place. We will take them on the paddle boards with us and show us where Kai learned to SUP herself. We will show them how to watch the stars here, dance in the rain, and jump over the missing slats of wood in the bridge.
I think the next time our plan goes off course, I’ll remember that sometimes going off the course leads to beautiful new scenery that we never could have imagined and that this new course will leave us finding more of ourselves: Our slow, quiet, giggling, selves.
I think we will remember quiet mornings with the mist hovering over the lake, holding a cup of coffee, and staring out as the morning light awakens colors in the trees. We will think of the fish that hopped out of the water at sunset to catch their dinners and make the bugs go away for us along the way. I’m not in to just adding more places to our list of what we’ve seen in this vast world. I’m into soaking up these places over and over again. I’m into stepping into these places over and over again sometimes and becoming a part of that world, learning the patterns along the way.
I’m already dreaming of our next visit to this place. If you ever try it out for yourself, you’ll see. You’ll always want more.