My go-tos for pop culture, entertainment and hobbies, as most who know me might say, are books, video games, writing, TV shows and concerts. But I've been known to dabble in the outdoors, specifically camping, so long as I have someone else there to make sure I don't get eaten by bears (is that an irrational fear?).
With the country still navigating its way through a global pandemic and social strife while also readying for a presidential election, I'm finding a step away from screens and into the back country ever more tempting. Make no mistake, there's plenty we should continue to pay attention to. But with seemingly every turn reminding us of our current complicated, and in many ways unprecedented, reality, checking out for a few days can be a boon for mental wellbeing.
So, I've been looking.
Nestled just outside the San Isabel National Forest in Colorado is a plethora of eligible camping sites. Dispersed camping, specifically, where I just need to find a good spot along the gravel roads to park, walk into the woods and find some flat ground to pitch a tent among the quaking aspens and lodgepole pines.
The specific spot I've been looking, near Leadville, isn't only good for camping. There's three mountain peaks, 14ers, just down the road. I think I could muster the courage to give one of them a go. Maybe Labor Day weekend?
I've only scaled to the top of one 14er, Mount Evans, which I was sure I'd fall off as I stepped across a gap in the rock sitting at a 45 degree angle. The friendly mountain goats nibbling at mountain bike tires at the top were almost worth the peril.
The view from 14,265 feet was worth it.
So, I could give Mount Huron, Belford or Oxford a try within the next month or two, especially since they're in the type of country, as far as I can tell, where cell service is non-existent.
Secluded and quiet. I think a few days away from the hustle and bustle is occasionally needed. For me at least, that will come through sleeping bags, rocky earth and, hopefully, blue skies.