Sometimes the memory of a place can stick with you even though you can’t ever physically return because you don’t know exactly where you were… This photo imparts that kind of memory. I call it Icicle Creek for obvious reasons, but it is actually on an unknown tributary of Ouzel Creek in the Wild Basin Area of Rocky Mountain National Park.
I took this photo on what should have been my first snowshoe adventure in Colorado. “Should have been,” because we didn’t have snowshoes, just snow boots, but some friends of mine and I decided to go hiking anyways.
Colorado’s Long Winter
It was late April and we foolishly thought that the trail would be mostly clear. We lost the path about 45 minutes into our hike and ended up wandering around in what was at times knee deep snow searching for a waterfall that was on the park’s basic map that we had picked up at the unmanned gate. Navigating this way in the deep snow isn’t recommended as it can be very dangerous. We could have broken an ankle or gotten really lost. I have a good sense of direction and was able to find the waterfall (or a block of ice anyway) and eventually the path again, but not without having to traverse the rather wide and icy Ouzel Creek across a downed tree.
This Icicle Creek image was taken along that wintery path as we traversed one of the small side tributaries of Ouzel Creek. It was a beautiful moment and we knew we could always follow the creek back to the trailhead so we never felt truly lost, but I prefer to have snowshoes in these kinds of conditions. The key is that we lived and we learned. Today, Jennifer and I have an affinity for our snowshoes.