On the Trail: Our Trappers | AspenTimes.com

On the Trail: Our Trappers

Bob WardAspen, CO Colorado

Inspired by a story in our very own Aspen Times Weekly (in the racks this week!), I took my kids up to Trappers Lake over the weekend.I thought they’d like to get out of town, see the Flat Tops, sleep in a little log cabin, read scary stories in the dark, maybe do some hiking with the dog. We did all of those things and even got a lesson in fire ecology along the way.Two major wildfires in summer 2002 changed the look of this spectacular spot, deep in the mountains between Glenwood Springs, Meeker and Steamboat Springs, but it’s interesting to see how the forest has recovered – or not – over the last five years. The blackened bark and fallen trees give the place an eerie feel, but the relative lack of foliage makes it easy to see far and wide, and the volcanic Flat Tops are a feast for the eyes.For the kids, the French toast at the Trappers Lake Lodge was arguably the highlight of the trip, but there were plenty of others: the sunrise walk on the lake shore, the sounds of bugling elk, the bald eagle circling over McGinnis Lake, the owls hooting at night, the pheasants and porcupines along the road …Since our dog, Otis, hadn’t had a bath in a while and isn’t really much of a swimmer, I decided to throw him into the lake for a quick “rinse.” The kids cited this as one of their favorite moments of the weekend, and they howled with laughter when he soaked them while shaking off.The entire trip lasted about 24 hours, so it was little more than an overnight road trip. But kids can make anything into an adventure – “Daddy, it’s dark and I don’t want to walk to the bathroom alone” – and they make instant friends everywhere. We hadn’t even finished our dinner at the Lodge before I noticed one of my daughters comfortably perched in the lap of a friendly grandmother at the next table.So, just a quick visit to another beautiful corner of Colorado. But the laughs and memories will go a long way.