I napped in Colorado. / by Karin Strickland

One of the greatest feelings in life is the feeling you experience the night before leaving on an exciting trip. 

The night before I left for Colorado, I could hardly sit still. I would have to wake up the next morning at 2:30am to make my flight, but it was as if my body didn't care that every hour it stayed awake was another hour of sleep it wouldn't get. I pretended to sleep for 4 hours and thus started my adventurous multi-state napping spree.

My alarm song is a beautiful and quiet composition by Valerie June that opens with the lyrics "when you're tired..." as though I needed a reminder, Valerie. With a fresh cup of very strong black coffee in my hand, I was airport bound.

By 9am I was in Denver surrounded by the love and company of my cherished friend Kim. The ride from Denver to Boulder was full of laughter, catching up, and absurdly great scenery. 

My first three days in Colorado were spent in Lyons at the Rocky Mountain Folks Festival. I literally just absorbed the world around me for three beautiful days - the scenery, the (incredibly hot) sunshine, the St. Vrain river, the exquisitely talented musicians and performers, and the company of great friends. While every performance was incredible in its own way, my favorite moments of the festival were Gillian Welch with "Elvis Pressley Blues", The Wood Brothers "Luckiest Man", Jason Isbell "Cover Me Up", and Sufjan Stevens with... well... every song he played. 


After breaking down our festival rig, we headed home to plan our adventure for the next day. We had all been napping throughout the festival and decided to continue on in this now traditional fashion and wake up at 4:30am to explore the Isabel Glacier in Roosevelt National Forest. We had feet on the ground as the sun was peaking over the dramatically high ridge lines surrounding us. We continued up the glacier on our elevation gaining mission until we were forced to turn around due to a storm making its way in. That didn't stop us from taking a skinny dip in the frigid glacier pool as we were headed out. I experienced a lot of grounding and invigorating moments on my trip to Colorado, but this one topped them all. I will never forget the feeling leading up to jumping and the sudden onset of shock that immediately followed my emerging from the deep. Would I do it again? Without hesitation.  

At this point the days were blurring together and there was an exceptionally high chance that I been sleep walking the whole time. If it was all a dream, it was a darn good one. The day following our venture to Isabelle Glacier was followed by some hilariously hard mountain biking in El Dorado Canyon. Most of our wipe outs were on the up-hill and as per usual, I couldn't help but laugh through the physical pain of some of the climbs. There were tons of fun descents, including an epically steep staircase down into a mini gorge. We heard rattle snakes, dodged cacti, and left only a little bloody any bruised. Cat's butt, mostly. 

In the last hours of my tour de Colorado, I met up with one of my sisters friends from Charleston for a southern style breakfast date. Seeing her in Boulder was like seeing a little glimpse of my sister who I miss so constantly and intensely. We ate chocolate in Hannah's honor and laughed about her quirks. 

So, yes, I napped through Colorado but it was one of the best trips of my life. I learned new things, tried new things, saw new places, and indulged in the best company a girl could find. In summary, make and keep good friends, seek adventures, jump in cold water, and nap if it means you can live life a little bit fuller.