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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.