The NaNoWriMo Challenge Comes to Hanging Lake

I have signed up to participate in the National Novel Writing Month. I have never done this before but since I was writing my seventh novel anyway, I thought it might be a good way to stay motivated.

In a way, I have already started the book in the sense that I have been researching the setting and time period for more than a year. The characters have names and backstories developing and the plot is slinking its way towards an outline.

The working title of this new venture is "Hanging Lake." For those who live outside Colorado, Hanging Lake is a real place, located just east of Glenwood Springs.

I first visited Hanging Lake in the early 1990's. This photo was taken then of my two sons and their friends. The lake is accessed from a trailhead near Interstate 70 at a place called Dead Horse Gulch.

The hike is short--a little more than a mile--but very steep. One thousand feet in altitude is gained in that short distance so it becomes similar to climbing stairs for an hour. (No need to visit the gym's stairclimber after this day's workout.)

"Hanging" in this instance does not refer to anyone getting hanged, despite that fact that I am writing a mystery novel set in 1893. The name comes instead from the creation of the lake itself. A mineral-filled waterfall has splashed over the area for eons, the resulting layers of travertine on the side of the canyon wall eventually formed a basin which now acts like a giant sink, holding the water there.

The falls and the crystal clear waters of the lake are a dazzling sight--breath-taking, literally and figuratively--and well worth the climb to visit.

On November 1st, the fun begins. I think each participant in NaNoWriMo is psyched to challenge themselves to meet the grueling 50,000 word deadline on the 30th. For more information on NaNo, as it is fondly referred to by its thousands of participants, click here to visit the National Novel Writing Month website.