One of my favorite things about getting out of town is disconnecting from the world at large. By turning off my phone, turning up the tunes and just driving away I am able to leave the everyday stressors of my routine at home so by the time I get to the trailhead I am already prepped mentally for the journey at hand.
This past weekend I took a trip with Jared and Becky, my brother and his girlfriend to Colorado National Monument. We met up with my Aunt Lisa in Grand Junction and I must say we had a marvelous time. Lisa works for the park service and is stationed at the monument so we had an expert guide through it all.
Despite predicted wind and snowfall, we went for a hike down through Monument Canyon, passing by the semi-famous Liberty Monument. This is where John Otto the founder, and first superintendent of the park climbed to the top on July 4th 1906 to fly the American flag. He is said to have been a patriot and a populist, wanting no person credit, only the lasting preservation of the country’s natural treasures for all to enjoy. His efforts paid off when in 1911 the monument was created by the executive order of then Republican President William H. Taft. After hiking through this magnificent valley of high cliffs and sky-scraping red stone monuments I could not help but to pause and offer my thanks to John Otto for his dedication.
We spend the night up on the heights of the monument and a pleasantly cool temperature was a nice surprise… as it is March after all. I awoke with the Grand Mesa and the surrounding mountains in view and I could not resist the butterflies in my stomach. This is the true face of the world we inhabit: the wild side, and I would trade a tent and a sleeping bag for a house and mattress any day as long as I can wake up to the majestic beauty as seen from that campground. A truly wonderful weekend adventure.
Click here for more info about Colorado National Monument or John Otto.