About a week ago, I sat with my parents at a burger joint plotting our upcoming subalpine adventure. They individually asked my sister and I for trip ideas so we wouldn’t influence each other. I floated the idea of an evening campfire and, less than a week later, my family graciously obliged.
The day of the outing, we briefly stopped in downtown Estes Park to pick up sub sandwiches before parking the car at the Upper Beaver Meadows trailhead just as the sun was setting.
About 40 minutes later, we found our campsite and built a cabin-style fire. Basking in its warmth and bathing in its glow, we enjoyed our sandwiches while listening to the crackling fire.
As the main flames died and only smoldering embers remained, we roasted marshmallows and married them with graham crackers and chocolates.
After completely suffocating the embers with heaps of snow (my dad insisted we pack in two shovels for this purpose) we tidied the campsite and began the quiet trek back to the car under a sparkling firmament. The Milky Way hung in the sky like a massive blanket surrounded by hundreds of other flickering plasma balls.
The low hum of a jet softly rumbled through the pristine valley while my mom murmured, “And to think people are up there in that thing . . . amazing.”