It seems to me that the more technologically advanced we become the more we tend to stray away from nature. The more gadgets that come out the more we stay in or the more we seek to stay around them… Whatever happened to the times when were kids and said, “Hey, I’m going outside to play?” We would then meet up with some friends with no intent or idea on what was going to happen. The outcome: some crazy new game would emerge from sporadic thoughts and ideas leading to smiles and laughter.
Back then we would have a blast in the backyard, the local neighborhood, or the nearest park. Now, lets fast forward to where we are today… With the ability to drive or fly, that backyard and neighborhood has evolved into the world around us. Of course, some of the further destinations require money and time, but many amazing places are a short drive away.
Around 45 minutes northwest of Fort Collins, Red Feather Lakes is a gorgeous area to explore. There is hiking, camping, fishing and of course the beauty of the mountains. The area is comprised of three main lakes: Dowdy, Bellaire and West. These all have camping sites next to the lake starting at around $15 per night. If you don’t mind camping a short ways away from the lakes, there are free camp sites which are first come first serve.
This past weekend I camped at the free sites near Bellaire Lake. The nice thing about many of these spots is that there is a fair distance from other campers allowing for some privacy. Depending on the free site, they are anywhere from a few minutes from the actual lake to about 10-15 minutes. Also, head back behind any of these campsites and there is Roosevelt National Forest to explore, just be careful to not get lost…
Over the weekend I trekked around the forest and went to check out Bellaire Lake as well as Molly Lake. Bellaire Lake was fairly crowded with people fishing about every 15 yards or so. It seems like every year more and more people come to fish here. At times, it’s almost too much.
On the other hand, Molly lake was completely void of people. The entrance to the Molly Lake Trail is down the road maybe 100 yards from the entrance to Bellaire Lake Campgrounds yet nobody was there. Saturday afternoon there was one fisherman and his dog along with one other couple. A little later when I took the mile trail back to Molly Lake there was literally nobody there. Molly Lake is much smaller and not one for fishing, but in my opinion it is the better view. The serenity of the lake with hundreds of blue dragon flies everywhere is entrancing.
While I was there I also came across humming birds, a water snake and a big moose who decided to cool down in the lake!
If you have a day, I suggest you check this area out. If you have a weekend, I recommend you take a couple of days and nights, go camping, make some smores, look at the stars and enjoy the wilderness.
So… Anybody want to go outside and play?
Want a smore?