On the Trail: A little piece of winter | AspenTimes.com

On the Trail: A little piece of winter

Christina Myers
Special to The Aspen Times

It was another lazy summer day. I woke up around noon, ate some food, slept some more.

Around 3 p.m., I was awoken by the buzzing of my phone. I answered and proceeded to be begged to go on a hike by a friend. I’m a self-proclaimed “girly girl” who would not put hiking on the top of her list of hobbies.

First I refused to go, but as I looked at the sunny day outside, a combination of guilt and lust for adventure changed my mind. We began the long and scary (even for those who won’t admit it) drive up Independence Pass. After a touch-and-go drive, I was thrilled to be anywhere but on that road.

We pulled into the Grottos day-camping area, parked and began to walk. Immediately, I was struck by the beauty around me. A gentle stream trickled below a picturesque wooden bridge. Richly green trees surrounded us in every direction.

We hiked for about 10 minutes, during all of which during I complained, until we reached an immensely rocky area. I was then led to a crack between large stone boulders. I looked down into this crack, not seeing anything particularly special, simply dirt and small stones.

Then my friend turned to me and asked, “Are you ready?” Dumbfounded, I looked at her silently. She then added, “We’re going down there.”

Having recently seen the movie “127 Hours,” and looking at my choice of footwear (sandals), I refused. She insisted, and as she helped me into this small crack, I grabbed onto stones and almost slipped as my hands shook profusely.

Once in the crack, we moved through a small passage way. All of a sudden we turned a corner and the path opened up into a large cavity, and I was greeted with crisp, cool air. The room was primarily stone but also was coated with large boulders of ice. There was a skylight letting in a ray of sunlight, perfectly lighting our surroundings. I touched an ice boulder to my left and felt the familiar coolness of winter.

I was struck by this moment, because for the first time I saw the seasons of winter and summer blended, working together in a sense, to make something beautiful. Let’s just say this: I just bought some hiking boots.

Christina Myers will be a senior at Aspen High School this fall. She interned for The Aspen Times this week.

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