Two children, a boy of fourteen and a girl of twelve, casually climb the hills, embarking on adventure without any sense of hesitation. The arduous path to the Colorado mountain lake is steep and rocky, full of skree once they reach nine, then ten thousand feet in elevation.
Hundred foot pines flank each side of the trail. The smell of woods and clean mountain air drifts out to inundate their senses. Wild mule deer cross trails littered with haphazard sprinklings of gravel, grass and golden daisies.
Tall mountain pines encircle this piece of the western United States. The wind navigates through them to create a steady, gentle cadence as the children, Daniel and Grace, walk and talk.
As they crest the last ridge, they encounter a basin at the foot of reddish-orange, sloping mountains. Subconsciously, they both grow quiet and their breaths become deeper as they struggle to take it all in. Their destination is even lovelier than the journey.
Soft summer sun shines down on the perfect alpine meadow. Violet elephant head flowers carpet the spongy soil, surrounding the ice cold, midnight blue lake. The small lake is shoreless, level with the grassy ground surrounding it. Lines of snow visibly trace the downwardly sloping skeletons of the mountains, diagonally flowing into the water-soaked soil. Bright green aspen leaves quake in a gentle breeze.
The beauty stops the two friends. They’ve played and chatted along the way as children do, lighthearted, as children are. They surrender to the day and the moments it offers, including this one, this moment of arrival.