Crater Lakes Trail

That Was an Ass-Kicker

Crater Lakes TrailFinding a word or short phrase to best describe our outings usually comes naturally as the experience defines itself. But when we both agreed on  “that was an ass-kicker!” we just had to laugh.

Our recent snowshoeing adventure lead us up into the James Peak Wilderness of Colorado to hike up to a series of small lakes called Crater Lakes. Not necessarily a very long hike, at just over six miles round-trip, but more along the lines of a good workout from the elevation gain [1,400′ from 9,200′ to 10,600′], all the while snowshoeing.

In 2014 we made the decision to hike every week come rain, sun or snow. Unfortunately the last several weeks we have been unable to get out for time crunches and unforeseen events.

With the weather being more like spring-like in Colorado, we couldn’t pass up the opportunity to head up into the mountains this past weekend and were so happy we did.

Mountain Sunrise

We arrived just as the sun was rising on the mountains, which we took as an open invitation to high country adventure.

On the trail we made our way to the trail split that would take us up to the Crater Lakes area. It had been easy going up till this point. But, once on the Crater Lakes trail, all bets were off. After not hiking for several weeks we were feeling it.

Thank G-d for snowshoes, otherwise we would have been post-holing our way hip deep in snow. Hearts pounding, legs burning and our minds trying to tell us to go back home to sit on the couch and eat ice cream, we pushed on.

The term “ass-kicker” quickly became the established theme of the day. It’s amazing, when you don’t workout, hike or snowshoe [what’s the difference] for a few weeks it’s crazy how much you notice it. We took a few breaks, professed our condition to each other and mother nature, then sucked it up and pressed on.

Once we reached Crater Lakes we were exhausted but elated, grinning ear to ear at our ability to overcome and then be witness to such an amazing landscape. It was tough, but it was worth every drop of sweat!

Crater Lakes

Sitting down on a boulder overlooking the frozen and snow covered lakes we just had to laugh as we both looked at each other and said, “that was an ass-kicker!”

Peace 🙂


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Changing Seasons


The transition of seasons is a time to witness the outdoors raw and untamed energy. Just as the day and night battle for dominance each day, so too the seasons grapple with each other giving way to each other in the perpetual movement of time that asks no one for permission to move forward.

In what seemed like a blink of an eye, the amazing gold colors of the aspens in the Colorado high country have given way to signs of winter. Fresh snow is now becoming the dominant feature, not to mention those cool morning temperatures along the trail. Not to worry, each season has its own unique beauty and the experiences that go with them. We eagerly await the full onset of winter, dusting off our snowshoes and hitting the trail with eyes wide open to see what nature has in store in the coming months.

As we’ve often stated, the same trail in different seasons always produces different and unique outings, we’ll take them all. Our mindset, clothing and preparedness as a whole must also change as we greet each new challenge on its terms bringing with it the understanding that nature is a force to be reckoned with and most assuredly respected.