For a few days each month I plan on taking a small trip out of town for inspiration, adventure and fresh perspectives.
The back of Evan's head will accompanying me on these trips!
This month, a three hour drive south brought us to Crestone, Colorado
Welcome to Crestone!
Home to 127 residents, The Sangre De Cristo mountains, spectacular views, and 19 different religious groups.
Luckily, our Airbnb was a ten minute drive outside of town and nestled at the base of the Sangre de Cristos.
Going to bed at night was always exciting because morning coffee looked like this!
Not bad for $80 a night.
A massive Jacuzzi tub
Plus, the hosts provided excellent reading material.
After wandering the four blocks through town and exploring the local Market, we decided to find a place for a nice evening hike before the sun went down.
We should have gone back to the house and hopped into that jacuzzi tub once we saw this picture on the way to the trailhead...
We had about an hour and half of sunlight left
We crossed streams, scrambled up cliffs, and walked along hill sides until we found the perfect spot to watch the sunset.
And yes, it was perfect.
Unfortunately, this off trail excursion left us wondering, "How the hell are we going to get back down?"
Just watch for sudden drop offs.
We did our best to remain upright as we slipped and skid down the hillside.
It was going well, until we stumbled onto the property of the Crestone hermit.
A home made out of sticks, ropes, tarp and various other objects, made us a little uneasy, but due to diminishing sunlight, turning around wasn't really an option...
So, holding our breath, we snuck by. As quietly and inconspicuously as we possibly could. There was a well beaten path from the structure to the stream below, with a handy rope for an easy rappel (I didn't touch that rope, it was obviously a trap!) down the steep hillside.
Evan, who was holding my camera as I tumbled down the hill, quickly snapped a picture of part the structure once we were near the bottom.
We made it down the hill, passed a second home (built into a cave) across the stream, thanks to this handy bridge that the mountainside residents built, and safely back to the road.
Less fearing for our lives at the hands of some hillside stranglers, more fearing for our lives at the hands of cardiac arrest.
(Supposedly 8 miles round trip. My Fitbit says otherwise.)
We made sure to document our whereabouts after the previous evening's events.
By no means was this an easy hike, but this view definitely made it worth it.
We planned on turning around quickly after arriving at the lake.
Instead, we hung out for over an hour and accidentally took a nap.
The way down offered our legs little relief.
And even required some more napping.
Though exhausted and famished, we managed to make it back in time to catch another amazing sunset -- this time, from the safety of our Airbnb balcony.
Most of the day was spent hanging out on the porch--reading, tanning (or burning) and doing handstands (or photographing them).
Once we finally decided to leave the porch, we drove about an hour south towards The Great Sand Dunes National Park.
But first, Zapata Falls.
It was a quick detour and a fantastic decision!
Getting to the falls required wading through freezing water, into a small canyon, which offered much needed relief from the Southern Colorado Heat.
Onto the Dunes
(Still not entirely sure why these exist)
Another stunning sunset
Discovered just how difficult it is to walk (or run) through the sand.
Day 4: Back home
Leaving Crestone, we decided to break up the drive home by stopping in Buena vista for a quick hike in Cottonwood pass.
The hike to Hartenstein Lake started out quite nice.
Steep, but nice...and dry.
Unfortunately, that quickly changed.
We probably made it within a few hundred feet of the lake but the ominous clouds and the knee high snow forced us to turn around.
We'll just have to got back in the Summer!
A delicious dinner at Eddyline Brewery and back on the road!
We're coming, Proton!
The decision to take monthly trips was mostly to ensure that I do not lose sight of what inspires me as a photographer, by changing my surroundings, meeting new people and finding exciting activities to do and photograph! This first trip was beyond amazing, with the best company. I look forward to heading even further south, to Pagosa Springs, at the end of May! Stay tuned.