Life: Devil’s Thumb Getaway

“We find after years of struggle that we do not take a trip; a trip takes us.” –John Steinbeck, in Travels with Charley

Skate shadowJust as I’d been itching for a little roadtrip, some of my gal pals from Boulder planned a girls-only getaway to Devil’s Thumb Ranch in Tabernash, Colorado. The stats: 7 women, 3 dogs, 2 hotel rooms, and a Nordic center with 125km of trails and 5,000 acres of terrain. Whoa. And to relax, an evening spent soaking it up in the naturally steamy mineral pools located nearby in Hot Sulphur Springs (aptly named, eh?). Devil’s Thumb Ranch is this amazing place that seems to be out in the middle of nowhere, a posh lodge and spa. But we were there to Nordic ski, so we set out in the afternoon and had a blissfully sunny time cruising over trails that wandered through aspen groves and offered wide-open views of the mountains all around.

Devil’s Thumb Nordic trails

Definitely some of those I-love-Colorado moments cropped up. I’ve been having a lot of those moments lately, but it was good to share them with these sassy ladies.

Sassy ladies

Over a Mexican dinner, the life-stories started coming out. One of the women had just spent six months in Guatemala and was plotting a return. Another had fixed up a crumbling cabin in Leadville. Another was getting up early the next morning to help out with a Special Olympics event at Copper Mountain. Collectively, this was a group of skiers, climbers, hikers, runners, ambitious travelers, women who did multiple sets of one-armed pull-ups and were generally doing things to Save the World (a slight exaggeration, but you see what I’m saying). The weekend’s reminders: it’s good to live fully. And it’s good to be around other people who are out there doing that, too.


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