Inner Mountain Girl

When I tell people I live in Denver, Colorado, immediately I’m asked, “Do you ski? Do you like to snowboard? Rock climb?”  And now that Colorado has legalized pot, that question has become one of the latest additions.  Although I skied when I was younger and tried snowboarding and rock climbing once, I’m no outdoor adrenaline junkie.  Most people I meet tend to be transplants from the Mid-West who praise the beautiful mountains, while I tend to curse the snow and unpredictable weather I have to brave in order to get to work backstage to run a weekend show.  For many years I used to wonder why everyone loved the mountains, they weren’t going anywhere.  But, as I left and traveled far away, I have found that I enjoy the cool mountain air covered with thick green trees in new journeys and familiar places like Colorado.  Having returned to the Centennial State, I find a restless energy stirring in me throughout the week as I follow my routine of work, homework, and blog updates.  As the weekend begins, I’m ready to tie the laces of my hiking shoes, fill my Camelbak with water, and clean my camera lens in anticipation of capturing beautiful hillsides and landscapes.

Roxborough State Park

Roxborough State Park My first excursion finds my friend Reagan and I on a journey to southern Denver near Littleton in Roxborough State Park.  For months I had seen photography excursions for Meet-up groups to visit the park and find great photo opportunities.  Visiting this state park was an easy decision to make for my first adventure during my return to Denver.  I anxiously hope to see a fox, but to my disappointment Reagan and I arrive too late in the morning to view wildlife.  However, we don’t miss out on roaming through the fields of tall grasses, purple flowers, and cascading red-orange rocks. This will definitely be a place to return throughout the seasons.  I’ll find a way to see that fox, no matter what it takes.

Hanging Lake

Water 6 (L) It’s nearly a three hour drive to the popular hiking spot, Hanging Lake, outside Glenwood Springs, but Caitlin, Nicole, and I are ready for adventure and beautiful views.  Originally the only knowledge I had of our destination is that it was near Glenwood Springs, so when I mention I had always wanted to see Hanging Lake, Nicole satisfies my curiosity by reaffirming, “Did Caitlin not mentioned we’re going to Hanging lake?” Oh.  Noted.  Several years ago, my friends from college got engaged at this spot, and I opted not to join that day, something I regretted until my hike up this steep trail on a Sunday morning.  It was worth every switchback and pause for deep breaths as we reach the beautiful blue-green lake that takes our breath away.  A combination of various ecosystems, waterfalls, and forestry is what makes this beautiful lake a “Must Reach” hiking destination.

Roxborough State ParkI’m still finding every opportunity to seek hiking destinations and it seems more and more trails are added to my list each year.  There is more of a Mountain Girl in me than I realized, or was willing to admit.  After all, it was the mountains of Cuenca, Ecuador, Cajas National Park, and Machu Picchu that dazzled my inspiration and re-fueled my mind with possibilities.  I’m definitely not made to be a Desert Girl, but a beach in my life would be a great additional destination.  If such a place with great mix of mountains and beach are available, I’m game.  And there’s always grassland, jungle, and plenty of unknowns yet to explore.

This post is part of Travel Tuesday hosted by Lauren on Location and Alkeks Abroad, Weekend Wanderlust hosted by A Brit and a Southerner, A Southern Gypsy, Eat Work Travel, Justin Plus Lauren and One Modern Couple, Photo Friday hosted by Pierced WonderingsTravel Photo Thursdays hosted by Budget Travelers Sandbox, Budget Travel Talk, Tanama Tales and Rachel’s Ruminations and Our World Tuesday, and The Weekly Postcard hosted by Travel Notes and Beyond.

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22 Comments

  1. indrani

    It has been a long time since I hiked up a mountain, reading your post gives that tingling long forgotten excitement. 🙂
    Wish you more hiking experiences!
    Happy #PhotoFriday

    • brooklyntvlasich

      Thank you! I hope the windy weather calms down where I’m currently at in southern Utah so I can get out and hike!

  2. Grey World Nomads

    I have a hike in combination with beach for you – what about the hike to the Lost City in Colombia combined with a stay in Santa Marta at the Caribbean beach? It took me to my limits but for you it would be probably easy to manage. #TPThursday

    • brooklyntvlasich

      This sounds perfect! Thank you for your great suggestion, I’ll have to look it up for future travels!

  3. budgettraveltalk

    I do love mountains and like walking in them but not actually climbing them, although I’ve done it on occasion. My ideal mountain place was a village in Andalucia Spain where we house-sat. I walked our house-sat dog in the mountains three times a day. One walk every day was a longer walk of an hour or two and I loved the pine forest, views of olive groves below and climbing into and out of the nearby gorge. It wasn’t cold when we were there but fairly cool because of the height. I’ve also climbed the mountain behind Lake Louise Canada, in Spring time before the snows had completely melted off the trail and that was a challenge. I think you are lucky living near the mountains where you can pick and choose places you might like to hike to and the season you would like to do so in.

    • brooklyntvlasich

      What a fantastic opportunity for you to house-sit and walk in the mountains of Spain! It sounds like a great experience and as you describe it, I can see everything you remember. I think it’s also great you got to hike Lake Louise. I love Canada’s scenery, there’s nothing quite like it.

  4. InsideJourneys

    LOL, so should I assume you’ve not tried pot? Hanging Lake sounds idyllic – glad you finally made it.
    I’ve always thought of myself as a Beach Girl – then I went to Cape Town and became a Mountain Girl too. CPT has the best mix of mountain and beach I’ve seen.

    • brooklyntvlasich

      Cape Town sounds amazing if it’s your favorite mix of mountain and beach–I’ll have to look into it! Thanks for the great suggestion.

  5. RoarLoud

    Hiking is just good for the soul! Glad you are out in the mountains enjoying them!

  6. Donna Janke

    Lovely views. Mountain hikes sound good for the soul, although I’m from the prairies and my leg muscles complain about the slightest inclines.

    • brooklyntvlasich

      I’m sorry to hear you can’t hike, Donna. I’m glad you could enjoy the photos and you get the opportunity wherever you are to experience some of the outdoors!

  7. Mary-The Boondocks Blog

    I too love going to the mountains Brooke. There is something so calming and relaxing about all that green.

    • brooklyntvlasich

      I love being surrounded by so much green too! It makes a huge difference in my perspective about life.

  8. Anisa

    I love hiking and I am with you I have had enough snow. I am hoping to making out to Denver this summer, so will have to check out some of these spots. Thanks for sharing on #TheWeeklyPostcard

    • brooklyntvlasich

      I hope you can make it out to Denver to some of these locations! The hikes are definitely worth the end results.

  9. Ruth

    I am not a hard core hiker but enjoy hiking. I prefer the beach but am starting to love the mountains. Cannot deny how astonishing some views are up there. Went I stop by them I tend to plan one or two hikes. They are a great way to connect with nature. #TheWeeklyPostcard

    • brooklyntvlasich

      I love the beach, but the mountains are growing on me. Hiking is also a favorite activity, so I hope I can find somewhere with a good mix of both beach and mountains someday. 🙂

  10. Anda

    You don’t need to be much more convincing, Brooke. I love Colorado and I agree that hiking there is the best. I’ve never been to Roxborough State Park, so I should add that to my list. If only I had more time to travel… #TheWeeklyPostcard

    • brooklyntvlasich

      Isn’t that the truth, if we only had more time to travel! I’m glad you’ve enjoyed your time hiking in Colorado too.

  11. Kreete | AdventurousTrails

    This sounds like a story of my life. I was outdoorsy, but moderately. I hate skiing and didn’t go to PA classes at school, yet I have discovered hiking and being in the mountains. So much so I am planning my first trip to Nepal to hike Everest Base Camp solo in April! So excited about both of our journeys and hope we both get to spend more time outdoors!

    • brooklyntvlasich

      That’s so cool you’re planning on heading to Everest! I’m excited to find someone else who loves hiking and being in the mountains as much as I do. 🙂

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