The Art of Exploration · a diary of day trips, natural places, and miscellaneous adventures

Sprague Lake

Sunday, May 5th, 2013 in Colorado
Sprague Lake

A few months ago, I was browsing a vacation rental website and discovered a cozy looking property in downtown Estes Park. On a whim, I clicked a few buttons, made a quick phone call and booked a ten-day holiday in the Rockies.

I filed the upcoming vacation in the Distant Future section of my mind and then sank back down into my daily routine of work deadlines and demands. The weeks flew past. All of a sudden it was time for our holiday. I had about a million projects up in the air and I had to quickly wrap things up and jump on a plane to Denver. Needless to say, we arrived exhausted at our vacation destination. As usual. This work-till-we-drop shit has got to stop.

Estes Park, like most of this part of the country, is experiencing a late spring bout of wintry weather. Today we drove up into the park to see what was accessible (given our desire not to hike too much in snow) and discovered that Sprague Lake is pretty much still under several inches of snow. We put on our crampons (gear that Julie and Will kindly leant us and which became very useful throughout our trip) and set off around the lake.

My beloved hiking partner, bravely forging a path for me. Or possibly just walking in front of me.
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Assortment

Bitterbrush Trail
Bitterbrush Trail
Del Valle Regional Park
Del Valle Regional Park
It’s difficult to not take it personally when you get kicked out of a National Park. Especially when you’re someone who adores National Parks as much as I do. It soon became clear that the debt ceiling crisis was not going to resolve itself any time soon.
Gurnard’s Head
Gurnard's Head
I don’t normally get all weak at the knees when hiking along the edge of a steep drop-off. But pretty much all the high-wire hiking I’ve done in the past was relegated to the mountains, where steep slopes offer downcast views of distant rock and miniature trees. Here, the cliff bottoms out in a chaos of churning seas.