Platts: Forever Young

by Barbara platts

Youth is wasted on the young. Or, at least, that’s how the saying goes. But in my time in Aspen, I have found that one doesn’t have to be young to use youth. People of all ages sport it well. All you really need is an idea, some enthusiasm to back it up and a solid group of friends to take it on. That’s always been my experience here. When it comes to considering age, think of it as nothing more than a number.

In my post-college life in the Roaring Fork Valley, I’ve had the privilege to get to know people of all ages. I have friends from 14 years of age to 74. Some of my very best buds here are almost double my age. I’m not entirely sure how these friendships came to fruition. How when I plan to throw a party, go on an adventure or hit the slopes on a powder day, the first people I think to call are not those that would be considered “millennials.” They are a little further up on the generation alphabet.

However these friendships became so strong over time, I’m certainly glad they did. They’re the best camping (and drinking) buddies I know. They always have the most pristine gear and are always down for the next adventure.

Last weekend, that adventure involved two rafts and four paddleboards. We set out on the Colorado River in the Ruby Horsethief Canyon stretch that, essentially, spans from Fruita, Colorado to somewhere west of the Utah border. There are camp spots throughout the canyon to post up at for the night. We chose a campground a bit past halfway called Mee 2. There are four or five “Mee’s” total, plus several other gorgeous campgrounds. If you’ve never been on this part of the river, I highly recommend it. Oh, and make sure to bring sunscreen…and beer…and water helps too.

The two-day trip was one for the books. There were nine of us total that ranged in age from our 20s to 50s and we floated close to 25 miles. Whether it came to cliff jumping, drinking the lion’s share of the whiskey or being the last to fall asleep in the camping circle, us younglings got shown up almost every time.

We finished the trip Sunday evening, entirely exhausted from the nearly 36-hour trip. As we drove home, I thought about the crew we had out there on the river. The weekend experience only drove home my theory about age and how little it matters in the scheme of things.

My “older” friends have not just shared fun times with me. They’ve taught me a valuable lesson: Life is what you make of it. It’s better to embrace experiences and get out to try new things, whether that be taking the plunge into the river from a high point, strapping a lounge chair to the paddleboard and going down some rapids or floating down the river with nothing but a pink noodle water toy. It’s important to know what’s good in life and to live our time here to the fullest.

It’s not how long you’ve lived; it’s how you use those years. That’s what counts.

On to the next adventure…

Barbara Platts has to admit that she gets worried about her increasing age from time to time. I mean…she just turned 26! Reach her at