“I wish it wasn’t so depressing to get mail. It would be so much more exciting to get something other than bills or credit card statements,” one of my co-workers at the Denver Center Theatre Company jokes. I remember the days when my mom would send a letter or cards with coupons or other care items during my years in college. I went to class, did my homework, worked part-time at a retail job, or spent my evenings altering or building costumes on the sewing machines of my college’s costume shop in anticipation for our next production. As my junior and senior years came around it didn’t get any easier. Graduation allowed some freedom, but along with it came a great deal of responsibilities. I found that growing up is hard to do, and it isn’t for the weak. I wish it was as easy as heading to the fourth star on the right, straight until morning. I also wish these directions would be useful for determining which trail to take on a hike starting from Hessie Trailhead near Nederland, Colorado.
Luckily, I have a fellow hiker and friend, Benaiah, to help me determine which way to go next as we hit a fork in the road. My original plan was to hike the 13-mile round-trip Devil’s Thumb Pass, but as the cool wind chaps my lips and I realize how out of shape I am, I begin to change my mind. However, the strenuous path doesn’t dampen my spirits. I capture an imaginative spirit that compels me to continue on and regain my childlike curiosity for what lies at the end of the trail. Benaiah is certainly no magical Tinkerbell with fairy dust to fly us to our destination, but as a fight choreographer his swashbuckling pirate nature is always ready to venture on. Although we don’t always see eye-to-eye on politics, we do when it comes to Trader Joe’s Cookie Butter and whether or not the longer trail is feasible for us. We decide to take the shorter 1/2 mile trail to Lost Lake, which is an uphill 1/2 mile, but it takes us to a beautiful blue lake surrounded by hillsides of green pine trees and quaking aspen leaves.
Before we head back to Boulder, we stop at the small town of Nederland nestled in the western mountains of Colorado. It’s old mountain town feel combined with the hippie atmosphere of Boulder makes it a unique and charming place to visit. We both agree on an Indian/Nepalese buffet at Kathmandu Restaurant and we aren’t disappointed with our choice of curries and tikki masala. Even though we’re tired and ready to turn in for the afternoon, we feel refreshed by heading out of the city and into the wild, unpredictable mountains. My time in Denver requires me to return to homework, preparing lunch for work tomorrow, and cleaning my room. Curling up in my blankets, I ready myself for the work week ahead of me, but not before closing my eyes and thinking of the calm streams and emerald aspen leaves shaking in the breeze. My adult responsibilities will not get the better of me, because I always can return to my carefree, childlike persona in Nederland with or without Peter Pan.