On a steamy autumn day, the casual descent into a deep gorge was suddenly transformed into a lesson about underestimation. It began along a pine studded rim, towering above the mysterious depths of a jagged ravine.
Carved by a fast-flowing creek called Beaver Brook, the narrow gulch was a fantastical place where sea serpents swam. The farthest reaches of this Front Range wilderness felt just as remote, rugged and awe-inspiring as any piece of land in Colorado.
Down at the extreme bottom, a series of twenty footbridges criss-crossed the blue stream while transporting the hemmed in hiker through a picturesque portal. Down there the problems began because the thrilling scenery and ease of passage were short-lived.
The steep escape from such a fiery dungeon was a heart-pounding misadventure that was as brutal as climbing any fourteener. The way out was littered with thin ledges, vast drop offs and rock-cut stairwells.
A more thoughtful approach was required in order to preserve precious oxygen while attaining such dizzying height. The endless struggle became a strategic combination of rest and roll while reeling in the mountaintop, step by step.
A final charge through the last leg of the arduous trek finally achieved admittance into a receptive forest. With the danger zone left in the dust, a shaft of filtered light, shining through a grove of aspen, guided the weary traveler to the glorious finish line.
|A steamy, autumn day|
|A deep gorge|
|A jagged ravine|
|A fast-flowing creek|
|A fantastical place|
|Where sea serpents swam|
|Remote and rugged|
|Footbridge crosses the stream|
|A picturesque portal|
|A steep escape|
|A glorious finish line|