Piper and I had a few hours to ourselves this morning so we decided to go have a little adventure. We got everyone dropped off at the ballet studio and the Art Students League then we hightailed it to the foothills.

We were a bit short of time so we didn’t get too far out of town. One of the coolest things about Denver, though, is that you don’t have to go far. Many of the closest trails give you the feeling of being hours away from the city. 

Camera for me. Camera for Piper. She now claims the Leica as hers which I constantly struggle with understanding how that happened. Notebook for scribbles, random thoughts and Piperisms.

The short loop at Deer Creek isn’t a difficult hike nor is it very long. The most beautiful areas of the park are up higher, in the trees. Piper rock hunted, pet every dog and spun long, interconnected yarns. She’s an amazing story teller and kept me smiling the entire two hours we were up there.

The shadows were cool. The leaves were changing. Greens slowly giving way to yellows. Up high, I’m sure the fall color is coming on strong.

We came to the bridge. We stopped and checked for trolls. The creek was dry. Rustling in the underbrush. Overhead, a cobalt blue sky dotted with white puffballs. Piper whistled at the magpies.

“So, Dad, can we get back to the meaning of life discussion?” 

She’s eight.

“Things die and are born every day. It never stops.”

No. It never does.

The dirt changed from light brown to a dusty red. The bottom section of trail has far more clay in it than the upper areas. I’ve been stuck here in the rain on my bike. It was unpleasant.

Towards the bottom, I look down and notice my pockets are overflowing with rocks. Treasures collected along the route. In one hand, I have a pile of leaves. Piper’s cupcakes. One each for the five of us. In the other, I have her hand. 

Small fingers wrapped tightly around mine.