Abby leads Marla down a trail at White Ranch Park
“Let me say something on the subject of the kinds of wilderness worth preserving. Most of those areas contemplated are in the national forests and in high mountain country. For all the usual recreational purposes, the alpine and the forest wildernesses are obviously the most important, both as genetic banks and as beauty spots. But for the spiritual renewal, the recognition of identity, the birth of awe, other kinds will serve every bit as well. “ Wallace Stegner in The Wilderness Letter
I think about wilderness all the time. What is wilderness? Why do we need wilderness? What is wilderness worth? So, when we set out on a local hike five miles from home today, I wasn’t expecting anything special; just a cold snow hike, maybe a little heavy breathing on the hills. There was no one in the parking lot, trails empty and untracked, an urban interface wilderness just for us. We traversed the hillside above Mcmansions and overlooking all of Denver, 4 million people out there. Abby ran free, Marla and I walked free – free to let our minds wander, free of phones and noise and the burden of a scheduled life. For all of its thousands of annual visits, White Ranch was our private wilderness for one magic hike.
Ralston Ridge, White Ranch Park, Jefferson County, CO