How to find that secret place |

How to find that secret place

Common GroundBill KightGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Bill Kight

Most people like to occasionally venture off to places they think of as their very own best-kept secret.It may be only in our heads that we imagine or create this dreamscape to hide from life when it relentlessly bears down upon us.

Judy Collins wrote a song that sang of “Secret Gardens of the heart where the old stay young forever.” The song was about her grandmother’s house, a place “where dreams live on forever. …”Decades ago those words rang true to my own experiences with my grandparents as a child. That special place held a deep sense of security for me.But time dims such memories, and we create new places to escape to that become our new secret garden.My problem is I’m not much of a gardener and tend to cultivate a new garden before I know the weeds have choked out the dreams I thought the seeds of hope would become.So instead of gardens full of dreams I tend to look for real geographic places to discover new life adventures. Places one hopes to come back to again and again to find them unchanged or at least the way you remembered them.Sometimes the weight of such secrets becomes too much to bear, and you can’t stand keeping such a delight secret. So what do you do? You tell someone else.

There goes your secret place. Share with one person and they tell three more people and those three tell three more and soon your special place is trampled to death, unrecognizable to you.You’re probably thinking by now that this columnist is not going to tell you about “one of the 10 best kept secret hikes in the universe.” And you’re right.Instead I’m going to tell you how and where to find your own secret place.We will begin with a few ground rules. First you have to get off your rear end and get outdoors.Next you need a good map to pick some spot you’ve always wanted to see but never took the time. To help you out there’s over 2.5 million acres of national forest right in your own backyard.You’re probably going to have to drive some to get close to where you can start this new adventure. That’s where rule No. 3 comes into play.

Stay on the designated roads and trails. As a matter of fact the most fun I’ve ever had outdoors is finding the end of the road and hiking out on my own.Get out of the car. Get off the motorcycle. Get off the ATV. Leave the mountain bike chained to a tree. Get off the beaten trail. Don’t make a new illegal one. Any bozo can do that. Be different.Use those two legs God gave you and find a place of solitude and refuge. It could simply be a tree or a ridge from which to view the endless horizon. You won’t have to go far to find your own secret place.With 30 years of experience in federal land management agencies, Bill Kight, of Glenwood Springs, shares his stories with readers every other week.

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