By Callie McBride
I’ve left my heart in Colorado. In a last-minute trip before I headed back to New York for another school year, I joined my family for a weekend in the mountains. What brought us there was my skiing-aficianado father’s suggestion that we try something new: white-water rafting. My family didn’t hesitate for a moment before signing on, and we quickly added rocky mountain biking and mountain sliding to the itinerary. Three activities within 48 hours made for a brief, challenging, and exhilarating getaway.
I couldn’t snap pictures of the actual rafting with my non-waterproof camera, but I wish I could show the incredible mountain views we had from our boat. In Wisconsin, it’s nothing but clear skies and open roads; similarly to how I am still jolted by the enormous Manhattan buildings every time I walk down 5th Ave, it felt unusually awesome to be surrounded by stunning mountains from every direction.
This illustration does a great job of showing the course, but fails to interpret the physical requirements of rafting: major upper arm, core, and leg work! My triceps and biceps were buzzing from all of the paddling, my core was engaged whenever I heard “Hold on!” from our guide, and our feet were wedged into foot-straps to keep from falling out, so my quads got a workout as well. And to think, I could have been lazily sipping sweet lemonade, wasting the day away on a beach…as relaxing as that sounds, the action-packed vibe of Colorado is much more my style, I have discovered!
Next was mountain-sliding in a popular skiing town, Breckenridge; the summers are just as gorgeous as the winters, and to attract more people during this season, the town just had to throw in a little incentive. Enter a winding slide on which you whiz down the mountain, after having slowly ascended it on the chairlift, taking in all of the gorgeous greenery around you. It wasn’t as exhilarating as white-water rafting, nor as monotonous as watching a lone stick float by in an empty lake in a lawn chair…the perfect medium.
And finally, mountain biking. No, correction…rocky mountain biking. As in, biking on pure mountain rocks. Yes, the precious little photo of my siblings and I depicts a wide, easy-looking road; but at a much closer glance, you will see the road is entirely comprised of rocks that jut out from every angle, making for a terrifyingly fast and unsteady bike ride. The views were outrageous, the air felt wonderful, and the entire thirty minute journey was fully worth it. The bicycle handle imprints left on my hands from gripping my means of transportation were proof of both the activity’s appeal, and difficulty.
What’s that? You are planning a vacay to the beach to “soak up the sun” and relax to the sounds of the waves? Thanks, but I’ve actually got a date with the Colorado Rockies…
Not to bash beautiful beach vacations, though; I’ve enjoyed my fair share. But since going on this excursion, I definitely prefer energizing myself with a huge vegan power waffle (courtesy of City O’ City in Denver) over a calorie-ridden pineapple strawberry margherita any day.
And of course, satisfying my appetite after a busy day of outdoor sports with a massive plate of tofu lettuce wraps (thanks to downtown Denver’s Yard House) sounds just perfect to me.
Lazy rivers, long walks on the beach, sleepy afternoons by the lake…I love you all, but sometimes a heart-racing, adrenaline-pumping, action-packed vacation is the ideal medicine for that itching getaway sensation.
Tell me, where do you take active vacations, or even day-trips?