I've always considered myself to be a mountain person. I live, play, survive in the mountains, define myself by it. I've never been so wrong about anything. At best, I'm a hill person.
Last week, Jacob and I made plans to meet up with a fellow bamboo rod maker and one of my first rod bag customers, Dave Sornborger - Animas Rods. After all, we're are in his backyard, who better to show us around. "You're good with 2.5 miles, right?" Jacob asked me. I didn't give it a second thought. Two miles, seriously, that's a quick hike for me. It wasn't until the night before that I was informed that over the course of two-miles we'd be gaining 2,000 ft in elevation and starting off at 10,000 ft.
I did my best to prepare. No alcohol the night before, very little coffee in the morning, and all the water I could squeeze into my body. "I've got this."
We got the 'greet and howdy" out of the way, got all geared up and headed way on up. During this hike, two things kept running through my mind. One, I've truly never seen this much beauty before. Two, I am NOT a mountain person. Eventually, (due to our slower pace) we ended up on the banks of a high country lake. I scarfed down my peanut butter sandwich as quickly as possible, knowing I needed food, but I also needed to catch those lake trout.
Every year I get a chance to break completely out of my comfort zone, in Colorado. A situation will come up which scares and excites me equally. The hike scared me. I wasn't sure if I could hike those mountains or if I'd get altitude sickness at 12,000 ft, how well I'd fish a lake. But, the thought of adventure and lake trout excited me. The excitement always wins out, until the thunderstorms start.
We headed out in a hurry, through thunderstorms and hail, experiencing all four seasons in just one day.
I'm lucky to have met the people I have over the past couple of years. If not for them, I'd be fishing the same old places, stuck on the same old wheel. Every now and then it's good to get off the wheel and journey way on up, into the mountains, thanks to old customers and new friends.
Below are some photos taken by Dave that I "borrowed" from his Footbook page.