September 21st, 2015

Today was a slow day of learning how to live life like a local rather than a tourist. One of the few luxuries of a road trip is taking as much time as you want to explore the places you learn to love. Durango is such a surprising town that really impressed and captivated me. Since my little brother had class today at Fort Lewis College my dad and I decided to explore the cafes in town. We worked for several hours at The Steaming Bean, an adorable cafe full of hip young 20 somethings and brick walls covered in vibrant art. I spent the time writing in my journal and on some postcards I had gathered on the way over to Colorado. It was a great chance to relax and do something normal in a new place.

We also wandered around the residential streets in town and found blocks lined with trees with little gnome homes built at their bases. It was charming and one of many little things that consistently surprises me about Durango.

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Today was the first time I was able to get some alone time and I took advantage of my solo time to go on a hike while my brother and dad took a bike ride together. Hiking is one of the fastest ways to the true heart of a place, especially in places like Colorado where adventure and the outdoors are the life blood of the state.

I drove outside of Durango to the San Juan National Forest and picked up the Colorado Trail at Junction Creek. It felt great to put on my hiking boots and head out alone into the woods not knowing what I would find. The trail was framed by autumn colors and wove through a canyon next to a crystal clear river.

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I hiked to where two rivers met and found autumn at the crossroad waiting for me.

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After hiking for some time I made camp and sat on the river’s edge and read my book. Listening to the river running by as it cascaded overĀ a series of small waterfalls I sat with my feet dangling over the water as rainbow trout swam underneath me.

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Sitting in silence out in the woods is one of the most peaceful experiences and I treasure that time dearly. Hiking in Colorado is such a lovely (and surprisingly different) experience than hiking in California. The people in the woods are so incredibly friendly, everyone says hello and always are happy to help out with spotting cool things or sharing wise advice on the trails. The silence out in the woods or out on any trail is so much more complete than anywhere else I have ever visited except Yellowstone in the winter. Even the back country trails in California are filled with noises and people who refuse to acknowledge your existence. It is so different here and amiable, it feels like we are an unspoken community rather than individuals inhabiting the same space. It is hard not to love every second of being out on the trails in Colorado, it makes me never want to leave.

The only time my peace was (happily) intruded upon was when my brother and dad rolled down the same trail I was on and stopped to say hello and check out the fish swimming in the river below us.

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It was a peaceful day and a much needed one at that to recenter everything that is important to me. When so much is in flux and changing around you it is easy to get caught in the riptide of life, and a good hike out in the forest along a river is the best remedy for reorienting yourself against the pull of the strong currents of the world.

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One Response to “Where Two Rivers Meet”

  1. Charlotte says:

    This is killing me! I want to be doing what you are doing! Continue enjoying!