return to the motherland |

getting in touch with my inner colorado girl



I was grounded this past weekend. You might be asking yourself from what was I grounded? I mean I’m almost 25. Was I sneaking out past my non-existent curfew? Not exactly. You see, I wasn’t grounded for doing anything wrong per se, rather I was grounded from doing too many activities.

I’m perhaps a little too good at keeping myself busy sometimes. There are so many things in my life that I love to do that I have a hard time saying no to anything! But I have lately been realizing that there’s only one Paula, and I can only do so much. This past weekend I had been planning on doing some hiking and attempting a 14er with some of my friends when my roommate Gracie finally intervened and grounded me for the weekend. I was grounded to a weekend of fly fishing and golfing and relaxing – no strenuous activities allowed!

The site where I was grounded. Being grounded was never this much fun when I was 16!

Gracie and I headed out for the mountains Friday afternoon. I had spent the morning at the Denver DMV (don’t get me started on the ridiculous parking tickets I have gotten lately), and I was definitely ready to get out of the city. We made it up to her parents’ condo just in time for an evening fly fishing session. I had never gone fly fishing before this weekend, but ever since I saw Eastern Rises, a documentary about fly fishing in Russia, I have thought that fly fishing looked rad. Gracie’s dad was basically my personal fly fishing guide for the weekend, and he gave me some lessons on Friday night.

We woke up early the next morning, and biked into town for breakfast. Then, we got ready for some more fly fishing action.

On the creek again.

Try not to be jealous of my sweet outfit.

I had snagged my line on enough rocks in the creek that I was well trained at pulling my line out of the water just in case the tug was a fish. To my surprise, one of the tugs finally ended up being a fish! I caught a beautiful rainbow trout, and I was pretty proud.

Here fishy fishy.

I hooked one more big rainbow trout, but it got away before we could get it off the line. I also caught a tiny brown trout that we didn’t bother pulling in to shore. Fly fishing is surprisingly a huge rush. It’s also surprisingly very relaxing, which was sort of the whole point of me being grounded. There’s something so therapeutic about casting a fly into open water.

You haven’t lived until you have gone fly fishing with a Yorkie in a life jacket.

 In the spirit of relaxation, we took a mini-break from fly fishing to go to a beer festival in Carbondale. For $15 we went to the Carbondale Bread & Brew Fest. It was basically my dream afternoon. The beer fest was not crowded in the least, and we had unlimited samples from the Who’s Who of Colorado Brewers (Avery, ODell, New Belgium, Ska, Oskar Blues, Bristol, Fort Collins, and Breckenridge to name a few).


Gracie’s mom bought a frisbee from the New Belgium tent and so naturally we started an impromptu game of catch. It was all fun and games until we plowed into a two year old kid. Oh well. Children are resilient!

After the brew fest, we decided it was time for an evening fishing session. We grabbed our bikes and headed back to the creek. Gracie and I shared a rod, alternating between beer drinking and fishing.

Fly fishing like a G.

Our day ended with dinner followed by a leisurely hole of golf before dessert. We played a scramble, and I was on a team with Gracie’s mom. She was an excellent golf teacher, and I made it across the pond on my second swing. I really didn’t think I was going to make it over the pond at all!

Golf at dusk.

I realize that my weekend sounds like every 65 year old man’s dream, yes. And I now share in this dream because fly fishing is that awesome. Yet most importantly the weekend taught me that slowing my life down a little might not be such a bad idea. Relaxing activities can be just as much fun as climbing mountains.  I think I’m going to have start grounding myself on a regular basis!

Being grounded – it’s not the worst thing ever.

Dear Paula, Please ground yourself in the future. Thanks, Paula


Author: paulamahla

Typical Colorado girl that can't make up her mind. Trail running, hiking, climbing, camping, CrossFit, ultimate frisbee, and skiing? E, all of the above.

2 thoughts on “Grounded

  1. My sis is a badass fly fisherwoman and she tried to teach me once…after snagging a couple shrubs and like 16 trees, we decided that yoga is my “relaxing” sport and I should stick to endurance events 🙂 I was pretty bad!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s