When I was a kid, my parents would drive us up to the mountains every fall to see the aspen trees change colors. Amongst thick blankets of dark evergreens that covered the mountainsides, there would be saturations of yellow, burnt orange and red. We would drive the windy passes and point out pockets of flushed leaves, aspen groves that had given way to the changing temperatures, celebrating the new, cooler season.
The Rocky Mountains have served as a backdrop, a picture of “home” for most of my life. When you live in Colorado, you learn that the mountains are in the west and all other directions are oriented from there. Weather (for the most part) comes from over the mountains, so watching them gives you a pretty good idea of what’s coming. The air there smells a certain way, like it’s crisp and untouched by the daily grind and pollution. These are what the poet wrote about when she penned “purple mountain majesties.”
The other day, the boys and I were invited to join a few other moms and their kiddos on a hike.
Hiking has been one of our favorite pastimes since having kids. The boys are explorers at heart, and a trail offers endless opportunities for imagination and adventure. It’s also free (for the most part), involves no screen time, and qualifies as exercise (something we as a family need to be more intentional about). Plus, there’s something special about walking with people, starting at one point, reaching a destination together, and making your way back to the beginning side by side.
We went up to St. Mary’s Glacier – not the easiest hike we’ve ever done, and a quick reminder that cardio and I need to be better acquainted! The trail was short but rocky and uphill almost the entire way. My hiking buddy was very encouraging 🙂
The reward at the top of the trail was a smallish, chilly lake – created by the runoff of St. Mary’s Glacier. The sight of it was worth the climb for sure! I’m still always impressed by the beautiful hidden places these mountains hold, waiting to be discovered, like gems planted by the Creator for us to find and enjoy!
Ethan needed a “chick-munk” picture 🙂 And I’m for sure gonna let him call them that for as long as possible!
Captain America shield,
two sticks a sword and knife, and rolled up pants from playing in the lake.
And of course a turtle shell backpack 🙂
Oh hello Silas. Thanks for slowing down so we could catch up with you!
The wind and weather does something to trees at the top of the tree line. Thrive and survive in this beautiful altitude.
After we enjoyed a snack at the lake, we climbed a little higher to reach the actual glacier. Here is the view from the top! I’m honestly getting emotional writing about it 🙂 These mountains are both wild and familiar. And always, always breathtaking.
Some of the troops on the way back down. It’s fun to walk with littles, hearing their conversations between your own. Playing is practicing real life!
One phone selfie near the windy peak!
And a short video of Silas sledding down the glacier!
The splendor of the Emerald Isle awaits us, and my heart is already there, but I will miss these mountains very much. I’m grateful for years of calling them home!