I woke up today with a smile on my face (very unusual for me – I'm not remotely anything that could be construed as a morning person).
I decided to take a hike. I googled trails near here and found a trail leading to a "Lake Isabelle." That one appealed to me for reasons I'll explain later.
On the drive up to the trailhead, I realized that this was the prime weekend for the aspens turning. I know my northeast U.S. friends won't be all that impressed with this, but it's very beautiful when most of our trees here are evergreens. Not only that, but we don't really see this in Denver. It's higher up. I think the elevation here was about 8,000 feet (2,438 meters) above sea level.
I had left the house anticipating cool but sunny weather. I wore my standard hiking gear – old tennis shoes (I still haven't found hiking shoes I like), some short sweat-type pants and a t-shirt and old sweatshirt.
Imagine my surprise when I reached the trailhead (over 10,000 feet) and found snow!
It was supposed to be a short trail (4 miles roundtrip). And it was, in length. But here's what I was wearing for shoes (no tread) and here's one of the most easy, level, and least snowy/rocky parts of the trail:
The 2.1 mile trail uphill took about an hour and a half and was quite treacherous, especially in my slippery shoes. However, the view along the way made it quite enjoyable, despite the freezing weather, bitterly cold gusting winds, ice, slush and rocks, and a sprained finger (catching myself when I fell once).
Here is a little video I made right before I'd reached Lake Isabelle (when frankly I didn't know if I would ever get to it). It explains why I chose that trail and that lake. I'm sorry the audio is so bad. It was incredibly windy, as you'll see.
Here is the lake. It wasn't too much further.
Beautiful day. Beautiful spot where I live.
(P.S. - technical garbage - if anyone knows how to center the video on the page, please let me know. Since this is my first video, does it work for everyone? I saved it as Quicktime...)