By Beth Bershader
My husband and I moved from Denver, Colo. to the western slope in Grand Junction in October 2017. It’s been exciting finding our new favorite restaurants, going to home-grown festivals, visiting the local farms for fresh produce and wineries for tastings. Mostly, we are enjoying our new circumference of fun. We are now much closer to Utah and all of the red rock adventures and mountain ranges to explore. We are in near proximity to the San Juan mountains in Southwest Colorado with all its beauty. The nearby Grand Mesa is a snow mecca in the winter and in the summer, has an abundance of lakes to discover. It’s so much fun we’ll need plastic surgery to get the smiles off our faces! No, but seriously, when you are as addicted to the outdoors as we are, it’s pretty exciting stuff.
As I stare out our windows to the Colorado National Monument that’s a mere mile from our home, I count the seconds until I can go outside to play. The outdoors is where I find my peace, my solace. It quiets my mind and feeds my soul. It literally is my dirt church.
I have a lot to look forward to in my playground this summer including an upcoming hike in Moab’s Needles District of Canyonlands to Druid Arch, a nice 12-mile hike – a lot if on slickrock. Then there is our Rattlesnake Arches 14-mile hike with friends that is coming up soon. In July, we’ve planned a 4-day backpack near Durango, CO. And a 17-mile Wheeler Geological Area hike outside of Creede, Colo. that we have planned to hike later this summer. There is also the 3-day backpack in Flat Tops Wilderness over Labor Day. I love planning trips and thinking about what gear works best for each trip, including my AKU boots.
In the meantime, I convince my husband to explore the ice caves at Rifle Mountain Park and the waterfalls at Rifle Falls State Park, then hike to Rifle Arch. There’s a little more snow on the ground then we expected but my feet are dry and my AKUs have excellent grip that keeps me from slipping. My microspikes fit perfectly onto the shoes inside the ice caves. Overall a great day with a great pair of kickers!