Last month I learned some valuable lessons about finding, and staying, on the trail. I was blessed with the opportunity to spend two weeks in Colorado (my first trip to CO). I was there on business, conducting my two-week military tour for the MOANG. Which means, Monday through Friday were pretty much spent in an office working on military matters. However, I did get the opportunity to explore the are over the weekend and it was beautiful. (I have a lot more pictures on Instagram, here).
One of my objectives when I chose to visit Colorado was to get into the mountains and explore. In almost every aspect of my life I am a planner. I research and plan for contingencies. I try to find loopholes and exceptions to the general rules. Yet, when I am exploring new places, I tend to just “go” and see where I end up and what sort of wonders I can find.
My exploration in Colorado, although brief, was exhilarating and entertaining. Just like past adventures, I went for a ride and ended up in some beautiful places. On Saturday and Sunday, I spent 15-20 hours in the mountains, hiking, climbing, and just soaking in the wonder.
Now, I must admit, I am not a skilled map reader. On multiple occasions during my excursion I learned that finding, and staying, on the trail is a bit harder than it seems.
The first came on Saturday, while searching for Helen Hunt Falls in Colorado Springs, CO. Realizing my rental car would not make it up the mountain, I parked near the base and found a trail map. I selected a trail that believed would bring me within a few feet of the park. In reality, I ended up on the other side of the mountain and had to make a choice. Either turn back and never see the falls or trek another three miles on mountain roads to arrive at my planned destination. Then another three miles down the mountain back to my rental. Those of you who know me, also know that I am fairly stubborn, so there really was no choice. What should have been a 1.2 mile hike, turned into a 8-9 mile jog/hike/slip and slide. Poor planning gave me a trip to remember, but also added unnecessary work and pain (apparently running shoes are ill-advised on slippery mountain trails and roads).
The second came while exploring the Flatirons in Boulder, CO. I really did not plan on going to this park, I wanted to visit another spot, but again the mountain roads were too dangerous for my rental. So like the previous day I found a trailhead at the base of the mountains and started to explore. Truthfully, I was a bit better equipped. Prior to hitting the trials I picked up some slip on rubber and metal traction pads for my shoes, it was a big improvement. The trails at this park were much better groomed, at least at first, but the markings seemed to disappear in certain areas. I found a spot that looked like another trail and began to climb. About 20 minutes into the climb, I realized I was on a “climbing” trail and again was not equipped to continue on. This time, I turned around, descended and found another trail. I ended up hiking to Royal Arch, a beautiful spot (where the blog picture was taken), that overlooked Boulder and beyond.
During my adventures in Colorado, finding, and staying, on the trail was a bit more complicated than I expected. In this case, it was a blessing in disguise. I saw things I would not have seen otherwise, and I had the time and ability to safely (mostly) explore. At the same time, there were moments when I became nervous, knowing that perhaps I strayed a bit too far from the known path to be safe. More careful planning and perhaps a guide and/or partner on my adventures could have eliminated all doubt and concern.
While exploring a new place, it may be exciting to wander off the beaten path. However, when it comes to business and estate planning, the wrong trail can lead to many undesirable outcomes. This is why we encourage our friends to partner with an attorney they trust to help them find, and stay, on the trail.
If you would like to learn more about how we help our clients reach their estate planning and business legal goals, please contact us here.
If you are heading out to Colorado anytime soon, I’d encourage you to check out the following: