Monday, March 11, 2013

Where I Go to Think, #COBookMonth

This post is tied in with today's This Colorado Life theme for #COBookMonth:

March 11 - What’s your favorite athletic activity to do? Hiking, biking, boarding? Or are you more a sports follower, chilling out on Sundays with the Broncos?

I like to hike. As I said in the brief blogger spotlight over at LiteraryCO, I live in an area conducive to doing so. It's about a three to five minute drive for me to get to Garden of the Gods:

And a three minute walk for me to get to Ute Valley Park, which is a protected natural area here in town that includes areas for minor rock climbing, meadow walking, and hiking of varying degrees of difficulty. At the beginning of the school year, exhilarated at having two kiddos in school all day for the first time, I went on a spontaneous hike into Ute Valley Park. No water, no cell phone, no weapon. Not smart, necessarily, but I hadn't planned it. I was just going for a quick walk around the park by my house, but Ute Valley called to me, and I hiked up the steep rocky hill that leads me to the park. At the top of the hill I could look down upon my house, and out across the burn area from Waldo Canyon Fire. The view was stunning. Behind it all stood her majesty, Pikes Peak:

Into the park, I went, and I was promptly lost in my thoughts. Given, I stayed aware of my surroundings. After all, we have mountain lions, bears, rattle snakes, etc., so it's wise to keep an eye out and to make some noise so they hear you coming. That really wasn't a problem after scaling the mondo hill at the beginning of the hike. I'm sure they could hear my ragged breathing from three miles off.

Ute Valley Park is surrounded by residential areas and small roads, but inside the park you'd never know it except for the occasional home sightings when on certain paths. After scaling that first hill, each path led me downwards in one direction or another. I chose the one that would take me deepest into the park, to the ooey gooey center. Okay, it's not ooey gooey, seeing as this is Colorado and it's rather dry. But I was heading to the center.

A red-tailed hawk soared above me, possibly seeking prey, or perhaps just enjoying the mild breeze and the feel of gliding with little effort. A speckled brown mountain cottontail rabbit shot off into the brush, white tail flashing as it disappeared.

Peace. Perfection.

This is what I love. This is where I can free my mind, where creative thoughts can flow, where I can work through issues, figure out where to go with a story line, work on a character. This is where I go to think.

Where do you go to think? What helps you free your mind? Do you like to hike, or do you prefer some other form of athletic activity (or none at all)?

May you find your Muse.


  1. Not many places to hike where I live, but I would if there were.

  2. I love hiking too, not very easy to a lot of it when you have little kids, but I still try to go when I can. I'm off to Zion's in a couple of weeks for a weekend filled with hikes :)

  3. You're lucky. I usually go for a walk around my neighborhood or go for a swim when the weather permits.

    Hugs and chocolate,

  4. I'm a hiker too, and I live in the perfect place for such a thing. I usually head to Boulder, though I recently discovered a huge trail in my own backyard that has amazing hiking and mountain biking.

    When I can make it out to the Springs, I love Garden of the Gods or Seven Falls. The latter is a bit touristy, but it's still a beautiful site, and each time I come back I'm always more inspired to write.

  5. When I was young, I would walk through the fields to the creek. That was my thinking time.

    Now I go to antique stores or look at quilt fabric. The colors and the history are my thinking time.

  6. Yeah, there isn't much hiking 'round where I live either. I bet you get so much inspiration from your surrounds!

  7. I love Ute Valley Park! ! I went there when I first moved here. Beautiful!


  8. I would love to hike in those beautiful mountains. It's great to hike, but it's even greater to hike up mountains.

  9. Oh, I love to hike. I live in Santa Clarita, CA -- plenty of hiking places. Also step aerobics, although I don't do anywhere near enough these days. Like dancing, it's fun. And now I'm going to try the signature you so nicely described over at the Challenge. :) Please forgive me if it's a mess.
    Silvia @ Silvia Writes

  10. When I went through Nevada and Arizona, I badly wanted to go to Colorado. I'll visit one day.

  11. That sounds lovely but, whooooo, child, way more work than a city gal like me can manage. The most athletic I get is racing for the downtown bus. :-)

  12. I'm lucky to live in the gorgeous Pacific Northwest. I love hiking too and enjoy finding new trails in the Cascade or Olympic mountain ranges. I'm also a beach naturalist--minus low tide? I'm there talking about winkels and seastars and nudibranchs.
    Jagoda at

  13. I love hiking, bu I rarely get the chance.