Hiking the Lily Pad Lake Trail near Silverthorne, Colorado.

My blogging break began to feel like a traffic congestion with all the unsaid unsayables lining up behind the red light, clogging lanes, leaving me no way to move forward except by blogging through. It’s funny how beautiful things keep us moving, and too few remarked wonders strand us between this breath and the next.

Back in Colorado, we came across a marvelous trial, the Lily Pad Lake Trail. The Dillon Forest Ranger first suggested it to us- a stunning trail through aspen and lodgepole pine forests, culminating in a lily pad-laden lake.

Each equipped with a backpack and water bottle, we set parked near the base of a hill and ascended for a half-mile before arriving at the official trailhead- just beyond a mountain-top meadow of wildflowers.

Up a small hill and into a meadow of wildflowers….

And into Eagle’s Nest Wilderness Area, a mecca for plants, fragrant breezes, and moose scat.

After passing through a meadow that gave us an unbelievable view of Lake Dillon and the entire Blue Valley, we stepped into the forest and crossed our first hand-hewn bridge.

Monkshood (Aconitum columbianum)

We stopped to sip some water and snack on fresh peaches at this boulder field almost halfway.

Gnome noticed the lack of underbrush at this altitude- and how much it easier the hiking without the tangle of southern vines wrapped round our feet.

The last stretch before reaching Lily Pad Lake involves a little incline. Prophet takes a breath, counts a step, blows out the number, and starts again. Everyone finds their own way to get up the hills.

And those who rush through run the risk of overlooking tiny divinities, like the shy mountain hareball.

Or the bewildering beauty of the miniscule death camas, a wildflower overflowing with mystery.

Just when you think your legs can’t walk another mile, the air so thin it feels shrill in your nostrils, Lily Pad Lake unfolds before you.

And each yellow water lily peers up from the pond’s dark black ink.

A reflection upon a reflection.

Pebbles to skip- never enough time to skip every possible pebble.

The hike down is lighter than the ascent, but we didn’t pack ample snacks or fruits or chewables. If I had the hike to do over- and I’d do it over and over- I’d pack more food, leave loose more time, and linger longer at Lily Pad Lake.

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