Colorado: Estes Lake

Logbook: September 1st, 2015.

We rented a boat today.

We took it out on a lake, and cut across the crystalline surface. Sunlight shattered through the water as we did the same. Decrying the windshield, I stood and steered the craft with the wind flowing around my body.  I had no want of scenery; mountains stood all around us. Beautiful cabins were perched on the rim of the lake, and people walked and rode bikes next to its banks.  

I turned us and rode the swells of our own wake, eventually just cruising through figure-eights. Occasionally we would shut off the engine and just float.  

I love boats. Being that close to such vast bodies of water, and yet able to cut around on the surface gives me a feeling I cannot express. We can try this, though. Picture these sensations: rocky green mountains, sunlight streaming through the calm waves, the sputtering sound of a small fishing boat chopping over the water, the love of your life smiling at you from the bow, sweet mountain air rushing past you. All encapsulated in precious seconds that nobody but me can ever truly know. I will cherish it all.

Utah: A Weekend at Comb Ridge

A Weekend At Comb Ridge

Comb Ridge is an unbroken line of cliffs resembling a giant sawtoothed backbone that spans for 80 miles across southeast Utah and northeast Arizona. Our WWOOF host planned a weekend for all of us to get out and explore this martian landscape located about an hour from the vineyard. We crammed our camping gear and a few new friends into our Xterra for the journey following the others along a stretch of desert highway that is surrounded by giant red-rock formations and scrubby vegetation. 

Into Arcadia-Comb Ridge

We were so enthralled by the taste of adventure, and were feeling wild and free. Our two vehicles were the only cars on the road, so our friends in the backseat decided to flash and moon the other car in our caravan to get a big laugh. We didn’t have a care in the world.

From highway 191, we took an unmarked turn off onto a rugged dirt road which we lurched forward on for about 20 minutes until reaching our campsite. The campsite was in the middle of the desert, had no facilities, no bodies of water and little shade. We were in for an experience. But luckily, our host knew how to create something out of nothing and we quickly had a “tent colony” set up with food, drinks and water stations. 

Credit:  rachael.

Credit:  rachael.

After we were all set up, we prepared to go on a hike up to the top of the ridge. Hiking in the desert, you learn very quickly that it is imperative to bring a full water bottle and sturdy hiking boots. (Both of which I used constantly on this trip.) My boots and nalgene bottle were purchased at REI. 

And so, we began the ascent.

I got pretty winded on this hike. It was a steep incline with no designated trail, and we were constantly scaling boulders way taller than my head. Once we got to the top though, it was all worth it.

intoarcadia- comb ridge

When we reached the summit of what felt like the Lion King's "Pride Rock", we could see Monument Valley (a cluster of sandstone buttes made famous by many western movies) on the horizon. We all shared what felt like an eternity of silence as we stared in awe. What are some of your favorite views that you've gazed out upon?