Rocky Mountain High

Jaxson and Dexter

Well, it’s been an interesting summer, to say the least. Not having much in the way of paid work in August, I decided to take a 3-week road trip. It’s ungodly hot in Mesquite pretty much all summer long, and August was no exception. So, I dropped the dogs at the dog sitters, and took off.

First stop, Grand Junction. I spent the evening with good friends who also have a home in Mesquite. They are just such fun to be around. We enjoyed dinner and a nice neighborhood walk, looking up at the Colorado National Monument that is just outside their back door. She showed me the damage a recent flash flood had done to the creek behind her house. Fortunately, the homes were high enough that they were ok.

Vail Village

Next stop, Vail. My sister is on a long-term work project there and invited me to come stay with her. A free place to stay in Vail for the summer? Sure!  Vail is gorgeous in the summer time. Mountains and meadows, lakes and flowers. Fresh air. I have always loved the mountains. There is something so majestic and strong about them. And, there’s that feeling once you complete a climb to the top that is just so satisfying. It’s raw beauty and nature at it’s finest.

Hiking in Vail

I hiked and explored the town and trails nearby. My sister and I went out for happy hour at nice restaurants. I attended a wonderful concert on the lawn in nearby Avon with some good friends I’d known in Seattle that moved to Colorado. I was even there for the eclipse and got some great pictures. My 10 day visit was amazing and so special. But, it was time to move on. I spent one night with my same Seattle, now Colorado, friends who suggested I drive up Mt. Evans, a local 14’er.

View from Mt. Evans

The next morning, I did just that. The narrow, winding road dropped off steeply. There were no guard rails. Fortunately, I was often on the inside lane. Once up top, the views were astounding. 360 degree views of all of Colorado. A mother mountain goat laid on the rocks with her two babies. There were remnants of an old structure made of rock. On the way back down, I stopped for a herd of bighorn sheep. They were just feet away from me, cautiously watching as I took pictures.

Iceberg Lake in Glacier NP

My adventure continued as I drove in to Denver, having lunch with friends and then dinner and a sleep over with another. It’s moments like these that I really treasure. The sights are one thing, but friendships are very special to me. That is where memories are created.  Speaking of friends, I left Denver the next morning and headed north to Glacier NP to see my friend Karen who took a job as a park ranger there.

My friend Karen hiking in Glacier NP

Karen and I have become fast friends, having so much in common. We enjoyed the days hiking in the park and the chatting away the evenings of a glass of wine. We talked about hiking, working, dreams, goals, friends, and everything else two girls choose to talk about. I saw a black bear, a female moose, a male moose, a grizzly bear (through a telescope), a mountain goat, and many smaller critters. Unfortunately, there were terrible wildfires nearby that clouded the view and even made it hard to breathe.

We made way for the mountain goat

Heading back home, I stopped at one more friend’s home in Park City, UT. What a beautiful place. We also shared good times, thoughts on the world, had dinner on her deck on a warm summer night, and did some hiking. And, just like that, it was over. I was back home and back to the daily routine. Memories safely tucked away to recall again in those quiet moments.