Settled deep within the Elk Mountain Range sit the pristine Twin Lakes. Tall standing majestic peaks surround the turquoise blue waters where fisherman cast lines and others come to enjoy the solitude. We were the latter of the two. We ventured out late one afternoon just down the dirt road outside of our house and continuing on Pearl Pass we arrived at the trailhead around 5p.m. Pearl Pass is an extremely rough road which definitely requires a 4 wheel drive vehicle, clearance, and an experienced driver. Never underestimate mountain roads. As we parked the sun was just beginning to dip behind the peaks engulfing the low-lying valley while clouds began heavily accumulating overhead. Although it was more than enough to (finally!) be outside hiking I was (without-a-doubt) quietly hoping we would make it to the lakes before the light for a decent photo surpassed us.
The hike itself is 6 miles out and back on a mild, well-defined trail. All things considered it’s relatively flat however the trouble is in getting to the trailhead. For in-depth travel details visit 14skiers.com and always, always seek out guided tours if you are not familiar with a location, terrain, or directions. We hiked at a slightly faster speed than normal with no breaks except for the occasional photo I’d stop to snap which was an exceptional feat I managed, might I add, as I’m pretty shutter happy. The roundtrip hike took nearly 3 hours in total with an hour or so spent at the lake and not including the road travel. To my utter delight, day had not yet gone to rest, a soft summer evening light laid beautifully overtop the landscape like a veil of fog. And the wind would occasionally blow the clouds from in front of the golden sun revealing September’s alpenglow.
While we’re admiring the great outdoors I’d love to know your thoughts on geotagging! For those who aren’t familiar a geotag is used to give direction to a specific location on a social media post like Instagram. And if we’re connected on Instagram then you may have already spotted this discussion. It’s an important conversation to have and keep kindled. I agree many places have been exploited through social media, bloggers, and the like. And because of the influx of visitors and the lack of knowledge many of these fragile places suffer. I’ve seen it firsthand living in a tourist based town that has blown up over social. While sure some may feel entitled, caring less about their footprint, I think the majority of people have very little idea how to care for nature, let alone themselves in nature. Many are so disconnected from the natural world they can’t begin to comprehend the effects they have on a landscape. Moving to a mountain town I learned why its important to stay on trails or camp so many feet away from rivers and lakes but these weren’t things I was familiar with until exposed to an outdoor centered lifestyle. When in society we have things provided for us like trash receptacles but even then garbage litters city blocks. Taking up the role as gatekeepers to the wilderness doesn’t seem fair or sustainable and over sharing without educating isn’t working. It is a privilege for those of us who live within or frequent these incredible places and with great privilege I suppose comes responsibility. The responsibility to educate others on how to be conscious stewards. I’m still learning everyday what that means and how to do better. I certainly don’t want to add to the negative impact or exploit places through photography or blogging. So while I’ve never ‘geotagged’ a post as I’ve never been fond of sharing my location, I do share locations in my blog titles. And I’ve been grateful to other websites, like 14skiers.com who have done so in detail, a helpful tool in addition to our maps. So what are your thoughts?
Happy fall all! May the season grace you with goodness!
Thank you all for joining me here and until next time,