The Mountains of Colorado | My Family Travels
Vail
Vail

In the summer of 2006, Aunt Kathy and Uncle Bob introduced Mom and I to the mountains.  Our vacation brought me closer to not only my aunt and uncle, but to nature as well.  My experiences inspired in me a deep appreciation for nature’s beauty and importance.  Arriving in Vail, Colorado was like entering another world.  The smell of the crisp mountain air and the sight of majestic, ice-covered peaks appearing from behind the morning mist and fog were simply breathtaking.  The mountains flaunted their lush green pine trees and hundreds of cottages were scattered across the valley floor.  Some of the pine trees had a purple hue to their fir, and only later did Uncle Bob tell me that those beautiful purple trees were actually dead from the sinister work of pine beetles.  On the way up the ski lift in Vail Village, streams were trickling down the mountain and clusters of aspen trees with blackened knobs on their skinny, white trunks and fragile yellow-green leaves were dancing in the wind. 

During our stay in Colorado, one of my most memorable excursions was when Uncle Bob and I fly-fished in the Roaring Fork River while Aunt Kathy and Mom lunched high in the mountains of Aspen.  After fishing, Uncle Bob and I sat waiting on two boulders by the side of the road.  We wondered what could possibly be keeping Aunt Kathy and Mom as we sat on the huge, painful, baking-hot rocks; the fire ants crawling up our legs with razor-sharp bites as they went.  Our eyes widened with fear as we looked up to the sky beyond the mountains and saw lightning bursts from bluish-green clouds closing in on us. 

Golfing in the mountains was quite an experience.  Wildlife was abundant.  On the second hole of The Raven, a huge osprey nest sat on a wooden telephone pole.  As we approached the putting green of that same hole, we spotted a fox with black legs and a white, bushy tail walking through a sand trap, which was a beautiful contrast.  As we teed off on the eighth hole, a doe and her fawn went prancing past, into the thick woods.  Silence and stillness encompassed the course, and each time I walked through one of the fairways to my golf ball was a time of reflection and admiration for the mountains.

In the Flattops gave me the impression of being disconnected from the rest of the world, as the navigator climbed and climbed in altitude.  The expanse of the landscape reminded me of the Scottish highlands.  Pine trees were reflected in the dozens of small lochs which spotted the countryside.  On our way back from the Flattops, Mom said that during the day, she drank so much water and inhaled so much dust that she thought she could cough up mud.  I was somewhat disappointed that while at the Flattops, we saw no large wildlife like elk.  At one point, we became so desperate to see animals that Uncle Bob said he would go out into the fields, get down onto all fours and put two fingers behind his head.  To our delight, we finally happened upon a flock of sheep grazing in the woods.  As if the sheep were not enough of a surprise, next we were treated to the sight of four beautiful, butterscotch herding dogs who were the sheep’s trusty guardians.

My mountain vacation left me with indelible memories that time will never erase.  Although I am from the Midwest, ever since this trip, I consider the mountains as my only true home.

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