Kassondra Cloos

Kassondra Cloos

Associate Editor of SNEWS / Freelance writer & editor / Co-founder of Adventures in Wikipedia / Boulder, Colorado

Whitewater on a work day

Whitewater on a work day

Sometimes you just need to go whitewater rafting before work on a Monday.

Adventurers by day, journalists by night. I'm on the left, Kate is on the right. Thanks to Monumental Expeditions for letting me use the photo!

Adventurers by day, journalists by night. I'm on the left, Kate is on the right. Thanks to Monumental Expeditions for letting me use the photo!

When you live in Colorado, every day is an outdoors day, as long as you're willing to brave the rain. This whole "300 days of sunshine" thing has turned out to be a lie. But that's OK. 

A couple weekends ago, my friend Kate and I crammed immense levels of epicness into just 24 hours. We drove 100 miles, hiked six more to traipse around Ptarmigan Lake in the rain, soaked in some hot springs, ate fancy sandwiches with a gorgeous mountain sunset, inhaled gelato, brewery hopped (as in, we hopped across the street from gelato to one brewery), soaked in more hot springs, slept in a dorm and rafted the next morning. Then I drove straight to work with river hair. Essence of the Arkansas.

Ptarmigan Lake. Three miles each way, plus more if Kate makes you follow a stream even further into the middle of nowhere. Photo by Kassondra Cloos

Ptarmigan Lake. Three miles each way, plus more if Kate makes you follow a stream even further into the middle of nowhere. Photo by Kassondra Cloos

Our guide, Adam, was stellar. He's been rafting rivers for 15 seasons and now he finally has his own company, Monumental Expeditions*. Commercial rafting permits are hard to come by, so when the New Mexico company went up for sale, he sprung into action and this is his first season as a business owner.

We rafted through Browns Canyon and the scenery did not disappoint. At times, we could see Mount Princeton, and the rock formations along the walls of the canyon are stellar. Adam pointed them all out and explained the meanings behind their names.

Don't be concerned about the lack of reviews on Yelp and TripAdvisor for Monumental Expeditions; it's just all brand-new. Adam really knows what he's doing and I felt very safe.

Do be concerned that you won't have enough time to explore everything if you take a 24-hour trip like we did. We stayed at Cottonwood Hot Springs, right between Buena Vista and Ptarmigan Lake up Cottonwood Pass. Buena Vista kind of has two downtowns, and a river walk, and so much hiking, and pretty mountains, and great food and even a drive-in movie theater that plays Grease. We had to skip the movie. You can do a lot in 24 hours, but you can't, sadly, do it all. 

*But wait! There's more. Act fast! Monumental Expeditions has a Groupon - $59 for a half-day rafting trip for two. Do it. Now. You won't regret it.

Kate on the left, me on the right, in the sneakers. Essence of the Arkansas right there. 

Kate on the left, me on the right, in the sneakers. Essence of the Arkansas right there. 

Up, up and away

Up, up and away

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