We leave the trailhead at 4:30 a.m. Black sky soon turns navy, the birds start chirping and we turn off our headlamps. The temperature is mild. We pause for a brilliant sunrise. Divine.
There’s a book, The 5 Love Languages, that I read years ago. Author Gary Chapman outlines five love languages: words of affirmation, quality time, receiving gifts, acts of service and physical touch. While we need a certain amount of each, one is often an individual favorite and makes us feel valued. The trick is to discover someone’s language so you can express your love in a way that hits his or her core.
Lou and Louie have me figured out. It means the most when they carve out time to spend with me. And for Mother’s Day, I got the perfect gift, a weekend full of fun and togetherness.
The majestic presence of Mt. Sopris dominates the views where we live in Colorado. I love Sopris for the memories it holds. In the summer, we bike along the big mountain’s Wilderness boundary to Hay Park and Old Snowmass. And in the spring, we backcountry ski from the summit on Mother’s Day weekend, one of my favorite family traditions.
The hike up is a long easy slog. The last forty minutes of booting up to the ridge brings us to another spectacular view: the vast Elk Range on the south, looking like snow covered Alps; our lovely green valley on the north.
There’s a bit of breakable crust on the top, but otherwise the ski down is a delightful schuss to the hiking trail. We get back home in time for a BBQ with the Denali boys, a gathering of friends and family to send them off on their big adventure.
I thought that was it for my Mother’s Day celebration, but Louie surprises me the next day with a road trip to Colorado National Monument for an afternoon hike. After an hour on Otto’s Trail, we come to Independence Monument, a desert tower he climbed the week before. Along the way we see big horn sheep, a strange large lizard and blooming cacti. A slight breeze softens the air. We get back to the car at dusk and grab a bite to eat. As we drive home, I am completely happy. My love language has been spoken and I’ve heard it loud and clear.