An excellent hike to warm up and adjust to altitude in the Holy Cross Wilderness in Colorado combines the Fancy Lakes and Missouri Lakes trails to a 8.5 mile loop.
The ascent via Fancy Lake is a steady climb without difficulties, and offers plenty of opportunities to contemplate nature, and the nature of loops.
There is the contrast to an In&Out, where you retrace your steps, an undoing — what remains is the memory of having been.
Towards Fancy Pass (at about 12,400 ft) we have climbed above tree level and the look back offers serene desolation, while the other side is an enormous open meadow.
Our non-human animal friends are surprisingly trustful here; maybe they haven’t left paradise yet.
From Missouri pass it’s a long but gentle descent to a chain of a dozen lakes with the same name. again offering time for contemplation.
Why do I like sad faces better than happy faces?
Aren’t they more beautiful, always?
Good loop trails don’t really close. They seem to leave a small gap at the end, like a broken circle, an unfinishing.
We will come back, and try again, and again.
There is beauty in that, too.