When I went to Boulder, Colorado for my first summer internship, my college roommate drove with me the 24 hrs. it took us to get there almost non-stop (except for the St. Louis Arch from where we got a great view at night time). It was a wild drive in a way but we made a pact to pull over if while driving we felt sleepy and the other one was asleep. It worked well and we made it safely to Boulder. We had dinner and downed almost a pitcher of beer each. Then we slept about 14 hrs. straight!
My roommate had family in Boulder and I got to meet them which was very nice. It turned out to be my introduction to hiking. My friend’s uncle invited me to go hike with him and his not-quite-a-teen son up to Pawnee Pass passing Long Lake and Isabelle Lake along the way to get to our destination at 12,550 ft in altitude, right at the Continental Divide. I had no training for hiking and had only spent a couple of weeks at Boulder altitude. This was going to be FUN.
The views along the way were like nothing I had seen before. While I had just driven around the Rocky Mountain National Park a couple of weeks before, these views were more pristine as this was a hiking trail, not for visiting drivers!
I felt the altitude and the exertion but pushed myself through all that. Oh, to be 24 again! “Juventud, divino tesoro, te vas para no volver…” as the famous poet wrote mourning youth’s departure to never return…