By Franchesca Guerra
Let me just start by saying : I LOVE COLORADO!!! Our 2012 spring season has been so warm, I had forgotten that winter was only a few weeks past and that there was still snow up in the mountains. It was the last weekend of March and itching with cabin fever, my friend and I packed up our three dogs and headed up to Lost Lake for our first official Spring Hike!
We were a little more than a mile from the parking area when we came up to the end of a line of parked cars. Having gotten a late start, I just knew that the trails were slammed with excited hikers. Following that line of thinking, surely there had to have been folks who had already left so we drove on looking for their spots. Well, we realized that people had parked far away because of the road conditions. Oh yeah. Snow. Our four-wheel-drive-fueled vibrato combined with at least a foot of snow eventually overtook our vehicle and we bottomed out right before the rear left tire went over the edge of a ditch! We turned the car off, fed the dogs a treat and headed out to assess.
Like the eager hikers we were, we had taken all of her gear out of the back of the car to make room for the dogs; that included the shovel… We had no man made tools so we did the only thing we could: found strong sticks and large, sharp rocks and began digging. Eventually, two young men on their way up to Lost Lake saw us and went back to get their shovel. They had also left it at home, but they were willing to help dig. Two more vehicles got stuck behind us and apparently shared in our “spring fever brain” because no one had a shovel! Finally, some one came along with a short-handled shovel and tire chains. Whew. Two hours and six extra pair of hands later, all using little more than sticks and stones, we had finally dug the car out! THANK YOU TO ALL OF THE STRANGERS WHO LENT A HAND!!! We backed the freed car up to a suitable and snow free spot and began our hike!
Only in Colorado can a person hike on top of four feet of packed snow while wearing shorts and a tank top! The weather was beautiful. Not only did we get a great hike in but we were able to get in a rigorous upper body work out as well! There were a few moments were I was legitimately worried that we might have gotten ourselves in some real trouble but thankfully we live in a good place with good people and we had the where-with-all to not drive ourselves deeper into our rut.
We almost lost it there at Lost Lake but to quote my favorite line of the day : “WE GOT THIS!”. Best of all, I went home a little wiser. If you leave your shovel at home, you will get stuck… and so will everyone around you. Never take your shovel out of the car.