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Genius Loci

Once a year in August, four friends and I always make a trip to the San Juan Mountains in southwest Colorado. We camp, hike, and just hang out for about a week before we all return to our respective areas of the country. It's a time to reflect and reminisce on the 20+ years we have known eachoether. It's also a time for us to refocus our lives. Life altering decisions have been made here and we ask for eachothers input. Decisions such as "..do you guys think I should marry her?" and "...what do you guys think about me moving 2500 miles away to Minnesota for school?" It is an important place to all five of us and we feel that these mountains are so much a part of our lives that we could never deal with life without this time together.
The mountains are open backcountry with no designated camping areas. The area is open to everyone but few make the trip because of the ruggedness and unaccessible terrain. It rains on a daily basis, almost like clockwork, durring the months of August and September, but the rain is welcom as it gives a feeling of "washing away life's burdens." It's cold at night, even in August, about 35 degrees, and it is sometimes hard to keep a fire going because of the thin air at 10,000 feet (right around the "timber line"). The enormous mauntains, hidden lakes, abundant waterfalls, colorful foliage, and beautiful sky, can literally bring you to your knees and make your jaw drop with awe. The elements are a reminder of exactly how insignifigant we (human beings) really are in this world. It's a remeinder that no matter what we think, we are NOT as important as we all think we are. It's truly a place that raises and humbles the human spirit at the same time.