Cabin fever: the unfortunate side effect of the enduring pandemic. Dictionaries describe cabin fever as ‘extreme irritability and restlessness from living in isolation or a confined indoor area for a prolonged period of time.’ To combat this, Stella and I take a quick walk in the morning before work, and then a longer walk in the evening after work. We also have had the opportunity to do some light biking and kayaking at the Aurora Reservoir. But since our ability to embark on weekend excursions has been halted, we have had ample time to daydream about the future, and far-off adventures that we hope to complete.
Recently, Stella and I were watching a documentary titled, “Roadless,” where Bryan Iguchi, Jeremy Jones and Travis Rice spent ten days in isolation from the outside world, deep in the heart of northwest Wyoming. Suddenly, Stella says, “let’s do a long snowshoe trek and then camp along the trail.” Almost immediately, my mind had went into overdrive thinking through all of the details. We continued that idea, and narrowed down a potential location, while I was also recalling the preparation that had went into our Lake Granby: Kayaking & Camping Adventure. Only this time, it will be in the winter, and instead of packing our gear onto a kayak, we would be packing it onto a sled and pulling it behind us (in addition to the gear that we would also carry in/on our packs). Snowshoeing in the mountains, breaking trail is difficult as it is. And now, we will be carrying and pulling camping gear as well. Double the challenge!
To initially prepare for this, one immediate thought is to hike to the planned location prior to the onset of winter, and access any potential winter hazards. The next item that came to mind was the timing. I would like to believe late March would be viable, hoping to minimize any potential avalanche concerns. The next step involves acquiring, preparing and packing the gear. Fortunately, we have several months to prepare for this upcoming epic winter adventure!
Now, switching gears, how about an adventure that would be sooner than next winter? Last October, fellow adventurer, Dave Carlos and I set out on a Saturday morning to Lake Verna, deep inside Rocky Mountain National Park. And since that trip, I have been pondering what we will do next. My thought is to hike the Bowen/Baker Loop in the Never Summer Wilderness. To make a long story short, the hike to Lake Verna was a first for both of us, as neither of us had ever camped in the backcountry. However, the Bowen/Baker adventure would happen during the summer, versus the fall, in an effort to eliminate the 6″ of snow that we had awoken to at Lake Verna. And, unlike the trek to Lake Verna, this would be a two-night night adventure, beginning the hike counter clockwise to Parika Lake. From that point, we would then continue on to Bowen Lake the next day, followed by the trek back out. In all, it would equate to about a twenty-mile hike over a period of three days.
Like many of you, we long for the days to be back outdoors in the mountains. We absolutely relish our time spent at Base Camp, where we are able to choose between spending the day hiking, biking, kayaking, and stand up paddleboarding. I would like to think that soon we will be able to return to nature and some degree of normality. And when we do so, please be smart, follow the Leave No Trace Principles and respect nature and those around you.