On the Trail: All-American Lake
August 9, 2006
It’s a small world. It felt even smaller than usual Monday morning during the hike up to American Lake. My good friend Devon and his mother, Christie, joined me for the trip, which was a makeup from the previous Monday when rain chased my brother and me back to the car.When we reached the lake and sat down for some lunch, we encountered a healthy older couple from Albuquerque, N.M. The gentleman asked where all us of were from, and when Christie mentioned that she lived on St. John in the U.S. Virgin Islands, the couple’s eyebrows shot up.They knew a doctor from New York who spent a lot of time there. His wife spent even more time on the island. The last name of the couple eluded both of them – Oh, what was it again?As luck would have it, Christie knew the doctor and his wife, too, but couldn’t remember the last name herself. Only 4,000 people live on the island, she said. “If you live there, you pretty much know everyone,” she said.Sounds a little like Aspen.Anyway, on the hike down from the lake, we passed a family on their way up. When the mother noticed Devon’s “Middlebury Football” T-shirt, she stopped us in our tracks.”Did you go to Middlebury?””Yeah,” Devon said, smiling. I thought it would have been really funny if he had said something else like, “No, actually I just stole this from some guy off the street.”Anyway, the oldest daughter in the family had just graduated from Middlebury, which led to a short conversation. Devon, who has lived in Breckenridge for the last couple of years, mentioned that he had just gone back for his five-year reunion. She said she was ready to get out in the world, although she noted that it was a tough place to leave. Devon couldn’t help agreeing.Farther down the trail, we bumped into another group that had a Middlebury graduate among its ranks. This time, we didn’t stop to talk for long, although Devon did mention the recent grad that we had just passed.And who knows? Maybe the two had a conversation at the lake or somewhere else on the trail. Maybe they even knew each other from college and just happened to be hiking the same trail outside Aspen on the same day, both unaware that each was in town.If so, what a small world indeed.