I mentioned a couple weeks ago that I am on a mission to paddle as many places as possible this summer. I added #8 to the list today – and it was a doozy.
Leadville is one of my favorite places in all of Colorado and Turquoise Lake, which sits just outside of town, is a beauty. It’s also really high and really cold, making the paddling season fairly short. I had been wanting to get up there for a while – I just hadn’t had a chance to do it when the weather was good.
I found myself with a few child-free hours to kill this morning so I decided to give it a go. And since the furry dog hadn’t been out on the water yet this year, I decided to bring her along. I also knew that this was possibly a very bad idea.
Neither the kid nor I have fallen off the board since the very first time we went paddleboarding and most of the time I feel pretty confident that neither of us is about to go for a swim. I have pretty good balance on the board and he knows that he has to sit still. We’re a pretty good team.
Put a 60-pound somewhat high-strung herding dog on a paddleboard and it’s a whole nother ballgame. She gives exactly no warning before she jumps up and moves to the other side of the board and counterbalancing her weight takes some effort. And did I mention that this water is cold? I did not want to fall in.
I learned just how cold the water was before we even left the shore. I had coaxed Spotty onto the board and was about to hop on myself when she decided it was time to make a break for it. She leapt for the shore which sent the board shooting out into the water. Before I knew it I was up to my waist, rescuing my board before it floated off into the sunset.
This seemed like a really bad way to start to our adventure.
Fortunately things got a lot better after that. She settled in and we found our groove. The water was calm and quiet and the air was warm. And the reflections of the clouds? You guys, I have never seen anything like it.
I had always thought that paddleboarding in Leadville would be like floating on the clouds. As it turned out, I was right.
We wrapped up our morning with a quick stop for coffee and a croissant and then headed back over the pass towards Summit. It was a perfect way to spend a morning on the water and the company most certainly did not suck!
Hope you’re all having a great weekend!
If you go: Turquoise Lake is a perfect place to paddle but remember that it is high and cold. Start early to avoid the storms and winds that rip through the high mountains on summer afternoons. I highly recommend a stop for coffee and lunch at City on a Hill on Harrison Street in Leadville. I have pretty high standards for coffee shops and this one is one of my favorites!