A veritable cut of promontory paradise

Haddie and I are en route to Puerto Rico for a press trip at the San Juan Marriott Resort & Stellaris Casino so my next post will be from our oceanfront Shangri-la.

But first things first: an update about my cut of heaven in the mountains.

If there is a must-visit destination in Colorado, it is Crested Butte in July. I finally wrote about our paradisaical vacation that included the Crested Butte Music Festival, nature camp at one of the most renowned high-altitude field stations in the United States, a gravity-defying Adventure Park and my own backcountry explorations wherein I did not get lost.

You can get up off the floor now.

And fear not because I got lost on a different adventure. I have wanted to hike Snodgrass Mountain since I drove by the trailhead last summer and finally got my chance. One morning, I hit the trail at dawn and was delighted to find myself completely alone.

This would later prove to be a wee bit problematic because I kinda needed to ask directions.

The 5-mile hike started out on an old service road that climbed to a plateau. At one point, I stopped to catch my breath but it never happened. The reason? The breathtaking scene that unfolded was taken from the exact place as a professional photograph that was sent to me last summer by Crested Butte’s publicist.

Here is the picture I took.

My attempt does not even come close to capturing the mountain’s majesty. It is not difficult to figure out why Crested Butte was christened the official Wildflower Capital of Colorado and holds an annual Wildflower Festival.

I felt like I was in a dream as I ascended until I encountered a fork in the trail. I could continue on the service road or follow the Snodgrass Trail singletrack through an aspen grove and Monet canvas of wildflowers.

I chose the latter.

Several minutes later, I ran into another intersection. One trail dipped down and indicated it led to Washington Gulch. Another was unmarked and headed straight up the mountain. I was at a crossroads. Should I follow the marked trail to an unknown destination or follow the unmarked path?

In a decidedly Robert Browning moment, I chose the road less traveled. But here’s the thing the dude never says in his poem:

He never made it to the summit.

But on that day, with the fuchsia pinks, sunny yellows and majestic purples of the lupines, Aspen sunflowers and mule’s ears, not caring made all the difference.

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