In Search of Simple Pleasures – A Photo Essay

When you live in Colorado, you don’t have to go far to find pleasure in the beauty that surrounds us.

Simple pleasures can be as easy as taking a walk. Last Saturday, my husband Danny and I hit the Mt. Royal Trail in Frisco. It is an intermediate hike that winds through Masontown which was destroyed in 1926 by an avalanche. Now it is a ghost town. The forest had been primarily evergreen, but aspen grew in its wake.

This steady climb was like stepping up stadium stairs. As we gained elevation, I imagined a new bride on the back of a burro mumbling, “How much further is it Charlie?” as she regretted her quick decision to marry a miner.

I took these photos with my Droid cell phone. Click on each photo to enlarge.

White aspen trunks stood like haunting ghosts along the path. Aspens have darker trunks in lower elevations where they tend to be stressed out.

Signs of fall.

A view back at Frisco and Lake Dillon after a quick rise in elevation.

I spied a fancy-like boulder wearing a wreath. Perfect for a little fairy dance!

A few poisonous mushrooms dotted the forest floor.

 I loved these Dr. Seuss flowers with mop tops!

Even after almost 25 years, Danny is still full of surprises! He packed cheese and crackers too. This was truly a simple pleasure.

We plan to come back when the aspens are in their full autumn splendor.

Like a metaphor for life, the path back included a few twists and turns.

What a wonderful hike full of life’s simple pleasures.

This coming Thursday, August 30th will be another Use Me and Abuse Me Day! Come back and post a link to your blog, book, or video in my comment section. Make some new friends by clicking on other links and saying hello!

Where do you find simple pleasure?

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Filed under Humor, Life, Photography

94 responses to “In Search of Simple Pleasures – A Photo Essay

  1. Brett Steeves

    Hi Susie, stumbled on your photos while searching for a nice path through aspens. Absolutely terrific! I’m wondering if you would mind if I used the first one in the series to blow up and cover an elevator door in a private residence. We want to photoshop in some carved initials in the tree that is up close. If so, can we arrange to get the highest resolution for the print?
    Thanks so much in advance! Stunning images throughout your site!

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  4. Great pics, susie. what kind of droid phone do you have? I’m not much of a photographer and so never have a camera with me, but your pics make me think it’s possible with my phone.

  5. Love that part about the bride on the burro wondering how much longer…great way to put it!

  6. I can’t think of anything more beautiful than this, Susie. Nothing quite like being in the wild – and your husband is a gem for taking wine and crackers! Way to top it off. In an ideal world, the only other simple pleasure I’d add is a campfire… :)

    • I love campfires and haven’t gone camping in a long time. Maybe next summer!
      It was a nice surprise. The fall color is just starting to pop a little so it will be fun to hike again in a few weeks.
      Thanks Alarna!

  7. Oh Susie, what beautiful photos! You managed to catch the essence of a special place. Well, you and your droid. Best wishes –

  8. lynnkelleyauthor

    Wow, Susie, your Droid cell phone takes amazing photos. Those are gorgeous. I hope you’ll do another photo essay when the leaves are changing. How sweet of Danny! Great guy you got there, Susie!

  9. beautiful pics..simple pleasure for me? the ocean, just listening to the waves. I hope to get to the beach one more time this holiday weekend.

  10. There is conservation land behind our house in NH. No one can build there, so it’s ours to explore. A small pond exists, although it is clogged with leaves and not fun to wade in. We get a lot of wildlife back in there, and I’m usually going out there when I have a few free minutes just to see if I can spy an animal or a bird.

    Your pictures are lovely!

    • That sounds wonderful! We have a man-made pond in our backyard as part of the neighborhood and it is amazing how much wildlife it supports. I keep binoculars in the kitchen just in case!
      Thanks so much!

  11. Loved this essay. I miss hiking so much! Haven’t been in months… That first pictures made me sigh. Need to get back on the trail. :) Looking forward to another one of your crazy parties on Thursday!

  12. Thanks for taking us along on your beautiful hike. One of my sons lived in Fort Collins a few years ago and swears CO is the best place to live in the world! Loved your husband’s thoughtful surprise! Isn’t that one of life’s very best simple pleasures?

    • I love Ft. Collins! It isn’t far from here.
      I can’t believe we are coming up on our 25 year anniversary. The years just flew by! I am one lucky girl!
      Thanks Patricia!

  13. I’m am going to have to make a better effort to find beautiful areas in Michigan. I know we have some that would compare to your photos…but right now I’m jealous. I live in a boring, flat area, with no relaxing beaches…or pretty mountains, lakes or forests. Hmm. Obviously I need to relocate up north. :)

  14. Such beauty and so close to home. Thank you, Susie.

  15. Beautiful pictures, Susie. Too many simple pleasures to list, so I’ll go with the one I just enjoyed…a tomato, mozzarella and basil sammy with a nice glass of vino.
    Your UMAA Day is coming up, very cool. I’ll be back on Friday, not sure with what, but I’ll figure something out.
    Best, C

  16. Simple pleasure? Cycling round west and south west London – the Thames, the Grand Union canal, the parks.

  17. Oh my. We’ve just returned to London (we’re American expats) from an extended visit to Boulder and, believe it or not, the Dillon/Silverthorne/Frisco area (I think we’re in the background of one of your pics, lol!). We left our oldest at CU-Boulder, and you can imagine how your photos and your thoughts on the simple pleasures hit home with me. London is lovely, but my heart is still in those mountains. I just happened upon your blog from one of your comments on another… but I will be back, wild-riding vicariously! Thanks!

    • Wow! It is a very small world! I am so glad that you found me. I do write about the area quite often.
      I am originally from Wisconsin, but have lived here for nearly 25 years and love the mountains too! There is something about the majestic nature of this place that will always keep my rooted.
      Thanks so much! Go Buffs!
      BTW- My daughter attends CU and loves it!

  18. Beautiful photos, Susie. I love hiking, although knees and ankles aren’t up to the long ones anymore. Thanks for the vicarious simple pleasure.

    • Thanks for taking a break from work to stop by Kassandra!
      I learned that since women’s bodies are built like an upside down triangle, we are susceptible to injury. I am still in physical therapy and hope to build up enough muscle around my knees, so I have a pain-free ski season! I have lots of work ahead of me…
      Thanks again!

  19. Coleen Patrick

    “as she regretted her quick decision to marry a miner” Funny, Susie!! Thanks for the laugh and the look at some beautiful pics.

    • Thanks Coleen!
      I could just imagine since it was such a climb. A whole town wiped out by avalanche is massive!
      It is amazing where some of these settlements were. Many sprung up because of mining.

  20. Beautiful pictures – and no snakes!

  21. Colorado is indeed a very beautiful state. Take advantage now before the snows start. Looks like you had a lovely walk. And you’re husband’s a keeper for bringing wine and cheese on the sly. Why is he sticking the knife up his nose though? (I couldn’t resist saying that. Look at the enlarged photo and you’ll see what I mean.)

    Patricia Rickrode
    w/a Jansen Schmidt

    • I definitely noticed the knife and almost didn’t use the picture, but it was such a nice surprise and I needed one. Unfortunately, I didn’t take more! It is so funny how I never know what I am going to write about until later! I need to learn Photoshop so I can edit “knife up the nose” shots like those! Hahaha!
      Thanks Patricia! I am glad you came by. :)

  22. Great photo’s Susie! Beautiful country. 25 years, that’s wonderful!

  23. Wonderful setting to have right in your backyard.
    I’m kind of envious…

  24. Excellent visuals, I’ve got to get back into what’s left of the forested areas in town. We have no aspens but we’ve got ten acres of pines planted by the CCC.

  25. Ray

    Jealous. My son lives in Colorado, and we have come to love it, too. He and his wife love hiking, and he’s always sending pictures of their treks. This reminded me of them. Thanks. Great pics, and crackers, cheese and wine sound great!

    • Isn’t it great to have relatives in the right places? We do get some visitors from out of state!
      I am glad that this reminded you of your son and daughter-in-law. :)
      Next time we will have to take a break further up the trail. We slowed down quite a bit after that! Hahaha!
      Thanks Ray!

  26. Beautiful, I love talking walks around forest areas and in between trees as well. Thanks for sharing.

  27. Great post and great photos Susie!

  28. John Hardy Bell

    Great post Susie! Makes me so proud to be a native!

  29. Beautiful, Susie! Your simple pleasures just became mine, vicariously. ;) I find joy in nature, too, and in my pets, good food, great books and TV, chill out time with loved ones… Thanks for the inspiring reminder to embrace what we have.

  30. Susie – Your photos are terrific and I particularly like Dr. Suess’ Mop Head.

  31. Ha, Susie, I love these lines: “I imagined a new bride on the back of a burro mumbling, “How much further is it Charlie?” as she regretted her quick decision to marry a miner.”

    And your pics are great. Aren’t smart phones the best for pictures?

    Are you gettin’ ready for some Husker football? hehehe

    • Thanks MJ! I have just about retired my camera. I keep it as a backup since the phone dies so fast.
      Nope! Not looking forward to any Husker games, but I AM getting ready for the CU CSU showdown! Woohoo!

  32. Wow, what a lovely hike! Thanks for sharing the pix Susie! I loved the Dr. Seuss flowers. Danny’s the man to pack the vino — and a corkscrew.

  33. The photos are gorgeous! What a great hiking spot.

    • Thank you! I have a lot to learn in photography.
      There is much to explore out here. Rocky Mountain Natl. Park is 40 minutes away and I haven’t hiked there in years. Lot’s of discoveries to be made!

  34. The view is worthwhile after all those trails. Thanks for the simple pleasure reminder. :) We’ve hiked, biked n rollerbladed off n on. Nice reminder. Hubs just took kids to new nearby park so I get a simple pleasure of alone time to finish my project, yippee! Thanks susie!

  35. Beautiful photos and landscape. My parents just traveled through Colorado and have been raving about it.

  36. I love ghost towns and going to read up on masontown now. Loved the text and the photos.. I felt like I was there.

  37. I’d love to visit Colorado. I think The Stand is responsible for making me want to visit Boulder.

    • Well there you go! Come on out! And don’t forget The Shining which includes the Stanly Hotel in Estes Park and yes it is really haunted. I stayed overnight there and wrote about it……
      Thanks Emma!

  38. Simply amazing! I wish the trails around here where that lush. That’s the kind of hiking I like. We live in a much more desert terrain. I’m going to come hang out with you!

  39. Beautiful hike. I love looking at photos of other places to hike, makes me want to go there.

  40. Beautiful hike! There’s nothing quite like the awesomeness of nature surrounding you. Breath taking!

  41. We sure are lucky to live in Colorado :-)

  42. Harriet

    What a lovely place! :)

  43. what a lovely day– and beautiful pictures. Love the wreath wearing boulder.
    (25 years– and still surprising you. Nice ) Life’s simple pleasures indeed.

    • That boulder cracked me up. I have never seen anything like that! A gardener would have a hard time keeping a planted wreath looking perfect..
      Yes. Danny is a keeper! I thought he just packed water bottles. :)
      Thanks Unfetteredbs!

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