Waking to mild temperatures and clear blue sunny skies in late October is a rare occurrence. With that being the case on this particular day, it didn’t take much in convincing my adventure partner that it was a perfect day to hit the road, and with winter on its way we didn’t want to miss our opportunity. With a pit stop for gas and of course some coffee, Steamboat was soon vanishing in the rearview mirror. We were destined for Dream Lake, tucked into the vast wilderness of Rocky Mountain National Park. Our trip was planned on a whim, leaving us to hours of driving until we reached our destination.
Upon piling out of the car and getting in our post car ride stretches, we gathered our cameras and got in line for the shuttle. We waited with numerous other individuals to pile onto the loud and worn out bus and shortly were on our way meandering up the windy road to the trailhead. Our absence of planning was made apparent when we learned we would not be catching the last shuttle of the day if we decided to go fourth with our hike. We began up the trail, leaving a ride back to the car to a later decision.
We started our way up to Dream Lake, stopping randomly to take photos and just enjoy being in the outdoors. My first time at Dream Lake earlier in the year, was over cast and ended with running back down the trail from an incoming thunderstorm. This visit we were greeted with bright blue skies, and were anxiously awaiting the arrival of golden hour. After a few hours of wandering around the lake and snapping photos, we, much like the sun, started descending.
As we arrived back at the base of the trailhead, we needed to figure out how to get back to our car. I approached a seemingly nice couple and asked if they minded giving us a ride. Going against what we were taught as kids, we hopped into the backseat of the stranger’s vehicle with utter confidence. After exchanging introductions, we assisted them with our local knowledge of our favorite spots after we learned of their tourist status.
We returned to our car tired but fulfilled. Unplanned adventures always tell the best stories and there’s no better way to explore this place I call my home.
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