Platts: Yes to adventure!
In the monotony of every day life, I think we often forget just how much control we have over our own journey. We get caught up in habits and routines, forgetting to step outside of our comfort zone and take risks.
I can’t take credit for the name of this column. It comes from the tagline for Shaboomee Paddle Boards out of Carbondale, which has a unique story in itself (but more on that in a future column). Shaine Ebrahimi, the founder of Shaboomee, and his girlfriend Mary live the company’s motto through and through, getting out for a new adventure on the water multiple times a week.
I’ve been fortunate enough to spend some time with Shaine and Mary, getting out on the river on a paddleboard (a feat I never even thought possible). River SUPing was so foreign to me, and frankly still is, and I have been beyond frightened to try it. But once I left my comfort zone, I could tell I was growing as a person. I was taking control over my journey.
Last weekend, in an attempt to mix things up a bit, a few friends and I said yes to adventure and headed out on a two-day paddle boarding/camping trip at a secret island-like location at a mountain lake (the exact spot of this campsite is confidential due to the need to protect its seclusion). The weather forecast for the weekend was moody to say the least, but we went out anyway, ready for whatever was to come.
On an adventure (where everyone has said yes, of course) it’s vital to have the right company. The attendees of the adventure must be ready for the unexpected and be able to react quickly to change. Luckily, we had a solid crew. Some of them had never even been on paddleboards, but they approached the new challenge with an open mind and a relatively efficient amount of grace.
The goals for the weekend were to have a relaxing lake day Saturday and to summit a 14er Sunday (though we did not know which one until the morning of). But, just like any adventure, one can’t make plans and think they will fully stick.
Saturday brought sunshine and torrential downpour, often only minutes apart from one another. We went from working on our summer tans out on the lake to holding onto our tents for dear life in what I’m sure were at least 90mph winds (that may be a bit of an exaggeration…they were probably more like 87mph winds). Sunday more than two-thirds of our hiking crew opted out of hiking a 14er for another day on the lake. One of the adventurees got caught up in a windstorm on her SUP that blew her all the way down to the other side of the lake. She was justifiably terrified, needless to say.
My friend Jill and I (the only two who were still adamant about summiting a 14er) headed out for Mount Sherman at roughly 10:30, not the safest time to be starting a long, vertical climb, but getting to our cars by paddleboard proved difficult with the strong winds. Sherman is technically on private land so there are few, if any, signs to help hikers decipher which way to go. Plus, the Silver Rush 50 Run was happening at the same time, confusing us even further on what trail we needed to be on to reach the summit. Several wrong turns later, while trekking across a steep part of a slope covered in snow, we decided it was time to call it quits. Turns out, the trail that the racers were on was the way we should’ve gone. Those super athletes…always confusing the hell out of the rest of us.
There are few things as disappointing as not being able to conquer a summit you’ve spent the last few hours looking at. However, that didn’t make the post-hike beer taste any less rewarding. And returning to our campsite was the warmest of welcomes. After a short time, that place felt more comfortable than the new Denver Mattress I’ve been sleeping on in recent weeks. With fresh dirt under my fingernails, hair compiled into one tangled knot and my feet and legs covered with mosquito bites, I felt right at home. We stayed an extra night. Though we had to move our campsite down to a lower area close to the water because the wind became unbearable at our original spot (which created another adventure all in itself that ended in finding a primo camp spot on the beach).
The weekend, through its ups and downs, reminded me of the importance in seizing the moment. Even if we can’t always control the outcome of an adventure, we can always choose to take that adventure. And when we do, that is when we truly start to grow.
Barbara Platts votes yes to adventure any day of the week…or at least on weekends…when all of her work is done. Reach her at email@example.com or on Twitter @BarbaraPlatts.