Hiking In Rocky Mountain National Park, Happiness In Being

My feet slipped into the toeclips of my pedals and I set off on a short adventure down the frontage road just off of our campground. I wasn't quite sure what to expect or how long the road would continue on for. The road was heavily treed, but I passed a handful of houses, lots of laundry drying on clotheslines, and many yards full of stockpiles of construction materials, abandoned cars, and firewood. I may or may not have contemplated a few times on my ride the possibility of a junkyard dog living in one of these homesteader shacks, but with great fortune not one canine did I encounter. I arrived at the top of a hill and looked down deciding if I should descend down the curvy road, all I could focus on was the ride back up.

Down I went...

I happened upon a lovely creek with gently cascading water and a small footpath that ran along the creek caught my eye. The creek was descending through a meadow and the Rocky Mountains were a glorious backdrop. I rode home to share my excitement with everyone that stayed back at camp, knowing it would be a fabulous spot to explore with the kids. As it turns out the creek was the very south east border of Rocky Mountain National Park. Shortly after, we piled 5 kids, 4 adults, and 2 dogs into a Toyota Highlander and set off into Rocky Mountain National Park for a bit of an adventure!

We climbed out of every door of the SUV, including the back hatch and received a chuckle from the RMNP volunteer. We were just steps from a series of hiking trails, our only tough decision was which trail to take. The trail we chose was compacted dirt, nice and wide with not many rocks to navigate. I was especially drawn in by how lush it was adjacent to the trail, among the trees there were numerous species of wildflowers and even ferns. I have a soft spot for ferns and I couldn't name a spot in Boulder where I regularly hike where I see ferns. The ferns alone made the day for me. I imagined returning to do some back country camping on my own or with Josh, maybe even a short trip with out the kids as there was just something about this spot that was drawing me in. As we hiked up the trail, we followed along a steady flowing creek that also had waterfalls, the water just rushed over huge boulders that jutted out of the creek. The years of force filled water cascading carved out lovely smooth spots in the rocks. A combination of many small observations had this enormous snowball effect on my psyche, being submersed in such nature completely tantalized me.

While climbing to the edge of a boulder near one of the smaller waterfalls, Josh captured this photo of me. It's candid, I wasn't doing a cutesy smile or trying to turn my body to look thinner, I wasn't worried about my hair. I was just experiencing pure joy, delight in being present in that moment, delight in hiking along a waterfall with my family and friends I adore.

Happiness in being.