Day 5 has so far been the best day of my staycation. The Day 5 plans originated on Day 2, when I was hiking with my friend Melissa at the Flat Irons in Boulder. Melissa’s boyfriend works for a white water rafting company out of Clear Creek and so while we were hiking I mentioned being interested in going rafting sometime. When she suggested sometime this week, I immediately jumped at the opportunity since my schedule is oh so free at the moment. Our plans quickly multiplied as we then added in a stop at Melissa’s favorite Italian restaurant in Idaho Springs and hiking St. Mary’s Glacier. Day 5 was on!
The day began when I met Melissa at Liquid Descent at 8 a.m., ready to go. Melissa actually did not go with me on the trip, but it was no big deal because I made friends with a couple from Boston and a couple from Minnesota in Colorado on vacation. I had signed up for the intermediate trip, because I hadn’t been rafting in many moons and I didn’t want to get myself in over my head. The trip down Clear Creek was beautiful and the rapids were pleasant, but I thought I could have handled something more intense. After I finished the trip, I decided that: a) I was definitely going again and b) I was going on the advanced trip next time. Little did I know how soon I was going to have the opportunity!
Meanwhile, the festivities continued and Melissa and I headed up to St. Mary’s Glacier. Clear Creek is actually partially fed by runoff from St. Mary’s, so it was quite the Circle of Life activity to see the source of the water that I had just rafted. The hike up to the glacier was pretty short, but the view up top was incredible. The pictures I have are nice, but as always, they do not do it justice.
Following the St. Mary’s excursion, Melissa and I were more than ready for lunch. We headed into Idaho Springs to eat at Mangia! for some delicious Italian food. I ordered a chicken pesto pasta and Melissa ordered the fettucini alfredo, both of which were fabulous. As an added bonus, since we were there for lunch, the prices were great and the portions were perfect. At this point, despite the action packed day that we had already had, it was only 2 p.m. Melissa suggested that I join the advanced rafting group going out at 3:30 and I decided to go for it.
We then went back to Liquid Descent and I put on the attractive wet suit again and got ready to leave with the advanced group. This time I was put in a raft with Melissa’s boyfriend and three 45-year old men who played rugby. I felt like I definitely held my own with the group, and our team successfully navigated lots of Class 3 and 4 rapids with no spills. I think all of my Outward Bound canoeing experience really paid off, thank you Kevin Shaffstall. My favorite part of the trip was this one awesome section where we did four consecutive rapids with friendly names like “Hell’s Corner” and “Devil’s Knife.” Overall, the advanced trip was for sure much more intense and fun than the intermediate trip, and I really want to try to do some more trips this summer because I absolutely loved it.
How can Day 6 possibly top Day 5? I’m not really sure, but I am determined to try. I love staycation!