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New Meetup: Autumn's Last Goodbye at Fern Lake

From: Margaret
Sent on: Sunday, October 17, 2010 9:50 AM
Announcing a new Meetup for Contemplative Hiking Along the Front Range!

What: Autumn's Last Goodbye at Fern Lake

When: Sunday, October 24,[masked]:30 AM

Price: $1.00 per person

Where: Fern Lake Trail
Rocky Mountain National Park
Estes Park, CO 80517

Believe it or not, on October 16 the colors were just peaking at Rocky Mountain National Park. By October 24, it will be past peak and a chance for one last goodbye of the splendor of reds, oranges and yellows for the year.

In our Western culture we rarely honor the passing of the seasons and the changes that are taking place around us (religious holidays don't count). We live our lives generally the same way, every day, while all around us nature is going through major transformations of growth, death, birth, decay and hibernation. This is just one way our lives can be "disconnected" from nature.

On this hike, we will be mindful of how the changes in the land can reflect parallel changes in our lives. You will ask yourself, just like the trees and plants drop their leaves and enter a period of rest and hibernation, are there things/people/feelings in my life that helped me in some way that no longer serve me, that I need to say goodbye to?

I will give instructions for a simple, place-based ritual you can do to help you say goodbye to autumn and to those things in your life you know are standing in the way of your well-being. This ritual is optional.

This will be a 3 hour hike, more or less. No dogs are allowed on trails in Rocky Mountain National Park.

MEETING PLACE: We will meet at the Fern Lake Trailhead at Rocky Mountain National Park. It takes about 1 hour and 30 minutes to arrive at the trailhead from Westminster/ 1 hour 10 min from Boulder/ longer from points east and south.

DIRECTIONS: In Estes Park, turn left at McGregor Ave (downtown) to go to the southern entrance of the park (NOT Fall River). At the Beaver Meadows Entrance Station, get a park map, and look for the Fern Lake Trailhead, at the western end of Moraine Park. Follow the signs to the Fern Lake Trailhead. There is a parking lot right at the trailhead, then several smaller parking lots within walking distance, then a very large parking lot about 1/2 mile from the trailhead. I predict that we'll be able to find ample parking this early in the morning. Lots fill up by 11 a.m. MORE INFO at http://www.nps.gov/romo

RMNP ENTRANCE FEE: $20 PER CAR. I recommend carpooling from the Visitor Center or somewhere in town.

TRAIL & TERRAIN: For the first mile or so the trail is relatively easy, with some stepping around small rocks. The trail ascends after 1.5 miles. Hiking poles and sturdy boots are recommended if you tend to easily twist your ankle on uneven terrain. The trail follows the Big Thompson River (more like a large stream here) through aspens, pine and spruce. Huge boulders and interesting rock formations as well as mountain peak views make for a very pretty hike.

DONATION: I'm asking for a $1 suggested donation to offset the cost of MeetUp organizer fees and gas.

CANCELLATIONS: In case of cancellation of this hike, please check this website for last-minute messages from me. Call or text me if you need to change your RSVP to "no" at the last minute at 303.596.7230.

NOTE: Several of you have indicated an interest in purchasing my book, "Contemplative Hiking Along the Colorado Front Range" from me directly. I will bring some copies and you can buy them from me at the discounted price of $15. See www.ContemplativeHiking.com for more info.

RSVP to this Meetup:
http://www.meetup.com/Contemplative-Hiking-Along-the-Front-Range/calendar/15136480/

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