Take a leaf out of Chris McCandless's book. Not all the leaves. Eek.

Remember when you were a kid in the springtime and the sun would come up and you’d shovel Cocoa Puffs into your mouth before booking it outside to just play and run around like it was your job? Well, it was your job, and now that we’re “grownups” we have to pay the bills instead of play hide and seek. I started a new job last week and after 40 hours of training and orientation and product knowledge I decided I needed to get out and run and play and go on an adventure!

I called up my friend Lacy to accompany me on this little excursion because we’ve only known each other through excursions. Lacy met my friend T-licious when they studied abroad in Spain, and T-licious went to college with me in North Carolina,  and the three of us plus Lacy’s current roommate, Ashley, all met up in Costa Rica last spring. I knew she’d be down to tool around outside for a while, and I was right!

I left Denver that morning and headed up to Fort Collins to join Lacy and Ashley at the Horsetooth reservoir. It rained a little during the drive and the drops turned to big snowflakes until they smashed on the windshield and it turned the long dead grass on the side of the mountains to dark gold. By the time we parked, it was barely drizzling and we zipped our rain jackets up to our noses against the chilly air  before heading to the trail.

We stomped down towards the water and the air smelled like wet grass and dirt and we stopped every so often to look at weird soggy plants poking out of crevices or to flip over a big rock. Some people walked their dogs on trails and others rode their mountain bikes on different trails. Our trail led us to a bit of a cliff, but we found an alternate route and managed to make our way to the ground after putting our hands in some questionable goop, slipping out of wet footholds and sliding on our asses down the rest of the rock wall. We wiped our muddy hands on our muddy pants, because what did we care?

At the end of the trail, we got to the water and I was surprised at how completely and utterly silent it was. The only sound I heard was from geese flying overhead. We skipped rocks on the water until Ashley dominated us all with a whopping eight skips, no joke, so then we pretty much gave up and just threw our rocks into the water. It was so quiet that the splashes boomed and then the water was almost unnaturally still again. We ambled around the beach for a while longer where Ashley found a ball for her dog and I found a hot pink sand toy in the shape of a jet (those things don’t work nearly as well with clay as they do with sand) and then our cheeks were bright red, we were chilled to our bones, and it looked like it was going to rain again. On the way back, we got a little hung up on the slippery rock wall but we all got creative and were able to hoist ourselves up without mishap. As we stomped the mud off our shoes on the way back to the car, I looked back at the reservoir and imagined what it would look like mid-summer, with boats zipping across the water, the smell of burgers, and little red ladybugs in the grass. The sun broke through the clouds for a second and I knew summer wasn’t far at all.