The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands. But in seeing with new eyes.” ~Marcel Proust

Ever have an a-ha moment when you discovered your previous perspective was dramatically different from reality? What once was blurry and distant, is now clear? I have.

I’ve flown across the US countless times. Each time I marvel at the Rocky Mountains (37,000 feet above sea level). I’m always in awe of their beauty and expanse.

When Gay and I travel to Denver (elev. 5280 ft), one of the city’s unique features is you always know your direction. Look around. Find the Rockies. They provide a expansive wall. guarding the city’s western edge.

One Saturday morning we left the mile-high city traveling north through Boulder (el. 5430 ft). A weatherman announced that today we would experience peak color from aspens in the Rockies. Our road turned west and climbed through a pass; each vista offering new beauty. We arrived at Estes Park (el. 7522 ft.) around 8:00 am under clear blue skies with a brisk 37 degrees.

From Estes Park, we entered Rocky Mountain National Park. At the visitor’s center, Mr. Ranger assessed our physical ability and declared us fit to hike.

With map in hand and a backpack full of provisions, we set out for Bear Lake (el. 9475 ft.) along a narrow gravel mountain path. At this elevation, aspens were plentiful, providing a soft filtered light during our ascent.

We pushed slowly higher along our serpentine trail moving along the side of the mountain. Aspens were soon replaced by spruce.

After two hours along the trail we arrived at our destination, The Loch (el. 10,180 ft.) I was no longer in

my airplane seat. The secluded lake nestled between mountains that still displayed snow from the previous spring. It offered a majestic view. The water was crystal clear and quite chilly. After enjoying a relaxed lunch we reluctantly started back.

Our return trek was with less determination. We stopped often and admired God’s creations during our descent. With the sun warming our faces, we rounded a turn to observe a storm dropping its rain on a distance mountain. Spruce gave way to aspens. Rock formations we previously missed were there for our return.

From one vantage point to the next, we felt a new perspective. Our path up and around the mountains offered an experience we missed from thirty-seven thousand feet as we saw the trees, rock formations and lakes with new eyes.


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