Two years ago I had the opportunity to go backpacking for the first time with a couple of my friends. We had a good time but came home defeated, sore and tired. This year we set out determined to conquer the Santa Fe Baldy, no matter the cost. I dropped about thirty pounds of unnecessary things from my bag this time. I still had too much stuff, though. Our goal was ambitious — for us. We intended to go to Spirit Lake the first day. Then continue to Lake Kathryn the next day and then around the mountain and up to the summit before coming home the final day.
Being out doors is a beautiful experience that just can’t be described. I can feel nature all around like I’ve ventured into God’s domain and He is just the other side of that tree. It’s a profoundly spiritual and peaceful experience. The deeper into the woods I go the more intensely ‘at home’ it feels so that I begin to wish it was possible to live on the top of a mountain.
We made it. Spirit Lake is beautiful and little more than a pond. Lake Kathryn exists beyond a portal to an idyllic realm. Mt. Baldy is steeper than it looks and high enough that it’s hard to breathe even when you’re sitting down.
Would I go back? I wouldn’t even have to think about it.