Forty miles down a gravel road is enough to give one the smug sense of satisfaction that they’re seeing somewhere even natives rarely visit. Out past the prairie, past the Front Range, past the trucks and trailers and campers and ATVS, shiny new Jeeps, anglers, kayakers, rafters, photographers, Influencers®, hikers, climbers, birdwatchers, yoga enthusiasts…out past informal dispersed campgrounds strung with balloons and Chinese lanterns and cardboard signs tacked to trees advertising who’s where. Being outside in much of Colorado seems a uniquely, uncomfortably, social experience.
Way out past all of that was the river, really more a creek, running through a narrow meadow in late afternoon. I unloaded Mitch the black lab, her first trip out west, to plow through a couple runs and work off thirteen hours of pent-up roadtrip energy while I watched for green drakes.
Up where the two streams merged I hung west, towards sunset. No cars. No radio. No airplanes. No night-singing insects. Enveloped in silence save curling waters of the creek.