Saturday, July 10, 2010


Colorado must be heaven if you love climbing mountains and/or drinking beer. Too bad neither of those are my hobbies. Nevertheless I did have a good time taking in the scenery in Colorado.

I liked the cows and pianos on 16th Street but overall urban Colorado (Denver) didn't impress me much, especially when I saw a middle-aged couple wade into the fountain near the county building. Ugh, I could have lived without seeing that.

Good thing our final destination was not in the city but the mountains: Estes Park. Getting there was perilous. It was raining like crazy when my sister A. drove on the mountain roads at night. I prayed. But my sister is a capable driver, and we got there in one piece.

The next day was blue skies and sunshine, fortunately, and I was stunned when I took a short walk and saw the Rockies up close. In Colorado I questioned whether I had ever really seen mountains before. Mount Rainer, I suppose. The Franklins look like a few hills in comparison. I saw pine and aspen trees, ducks, chipmunks, even a couple of elk, exotic plants and animals for someone used to the desert.

Our inn was literally something out of a '40s novel. It was the sort of place you could spend a week with the family hiking in nice weather and playing cards in the library when it rained. It smells like the wood it's built out of, and like burnt firewood in the nights and mornings. No TVs in the rooms. I could see myself going there to work on a memoir, Reflections from the Mountain, or something like that.

Besides hiking we drove around and took a brewery tour, which I liked more than I expected, and saw the Stanley Hotel, the hotel on which the setting for Stephen King's The Shining is based. I didn't feel scared, maybe because I haven't seen the movie The Shining or read the book. But I honestly thought our inn would be a scarier place to be snowed in than The Stanley, since it's even more isolated.

It was a short trip and I left thinking there is so much more to Colorado. I got a few snapshots to take home, but I know there is a grand epic in those mountains for those who desire it. I want to go back with hiking boots, a tent, and a fishing pole.

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