Victoria Lise with dog, Styx at Blue Lake.

The Sacred Waters of Blue Lake, Colorado

Roughly 15 miles out and back through a valley appropriately named “Oh Be Joyful” lead us to questionably one of the most breathtaking alpine lakes. A single track, well-defined trail winds through fields of free range cattle, willow brush, and decomposing skunk cabbage. The valley is wide but eventually feels dome-like as you near the lake. Mountains seem to kiss the sky, a sky that felt far away but within reach, all at once. The dry summer and arrival of fall left a layer of lingering, seasonal scent. Dried foliage crunched beneath our feet, while the rhythm of our legs…

Victoria Lise National Day of Action at DU Laughing Native Dancer

Indigenous Peoples Day

Happy Indigenous Peoples Day! Formerly known as Columbus Day and perhaps still is depending on your city. The town where I reside (Crested Butte) resolved to officially adopt Indigenous Peoples Day as of last year (2017). Although we have been taught Columbus discovered America he most certainly did not. Intelligent, established nations already inhabited these “newly discovered lands” and he actually never even visited what is now known as the United States. It boggles my mind that we honor and celebrate a well-known rapist, child sex trafficker, a man who enslaved humans and massacred indigenous people. Why though? Good question…

Black eyed Susans line a reflective pond. ©Victoria Lise 2018.

The First State of Delaware

Delaware, while it sure has many flaws, it has its treasures too. After all it is nicknamed “The Small Wonder”. Nestled within nuclear chem plants, an absurd amount of shopping centers, overpopulated highways, and a violent stricken city exists an array of ancient trees, lush -almost tropical landscapes, an assortment of preserved native plants and what’s left of the country. Rolling green hillsides, tulip polars and great white beech trees, the pungent fragrance of a fertile land, and the evening symphony of crickets and cicadas (or perhaps the roar of the Atlantic) all make up a small fraction of the…

A collective of Colorado's wildflowers. ©Victoria Lise 2018.

Summers Simple Pleasures

The clouds above moved gently from the breath of summers breeze. Cloud shadows cast overtop the landscape shifting the perspective with each gust and carrying faint scents of hardy foliage. The sun was rising overhead blanketing the earth in its warmth, ascending in the sky, as we were ascending the mountain one purposeful step at a time. Nothing but the sounds of the winds whispers and my camera’s shutter. The best sounds. Flowers reached out to the blue sky- begging for rain- but bowing in gratitude to the light. “Survival can be a struggle” I note. One that ebbs and…

Hiking Cinnamon Mountain in Crested Butte, Colorado. ©Victoria Lise 2018.

Cinnamon Mountain Summit, Colorado

Late last week we made the trek to the summit of Cinnamon Mountain once again. After four trips to the peak I’ve still not grown weary of it. It sits nestled within Paradise Divide, enveloped by striking Rocky Mountains, blanketed in rich foliage and fragrant native wildflowers.  Despite the drought or perhaps because of it the flowers were in full bloom. There were no shortage of lupines, purple aster, columbines, osha, and a vast variety of paintbrushes. You may recognize Cinnamon Mountain from  Hiking Mountains at 55+ when we took my mom on her very first peak hike. What a memorable…