Quintessential Colorado - My Family Travels

  My plane was leaving for Denver, Colorado at 7:00 a.m. and I wasn’t going to miss it for the world.  I was traveling from the West Coast of America to the beginning of the American West. You might say I traveled east to the West.!

             Just the thought of spending almost two weeks in the shadows of the Rocky Mountains filled me with exhilaration and after the short plane ride I met my brother, Tim, at the airport. We drove to his apartment in Boulder. For the first week I would be staying with him and his roommate for some sightseeing.

            The thing that amazed me the most about the town of Boulder was it’s surprising similarity to my home county of Santa Cruz, California. The people walking around town, the farmers market, the local pizzeria on the main street mimicked much of what I knew back home. Instead of the cool ocean breeze and expanse of blue on the horizon there were afternoon thunderstorms and the majestic jutting slabs of the FlatIrons that loomed on the outskirts of town. Truly this was a beautiful place.

            My brother treated me to some fantastic hikes in the area and a one-night camping trip in the Indian Peaks, where we stayed up and watched the stars undiluted by city light. The nights we either spent out on the town, with friends, or catching up on some much-needed sleep. Yet this was only the beginning: little did I know that the second week of my stay would be some of the most memorable days of my life.

            Tim, his friend, Mark, and I woke early Sunday morning to begin the long drive from Boulder to the small resort town of Crested Butte, nestled in Gunnison county west of Colorado Springs. Now that we were in the heart of the Rocky Mountains I could rightly experience the splendor of them. All around us peaks rose and fell with grace; either frosted with greenery or stony grey cliff faces.

            We spent over half a week hiking out by day and sleeping in a condo by night. It was particularly relaxing after a long day of walking to recline on a soft sofa and watch the Tour De France. As I witnessed Alberto Contador sprint up the Alps in France I couldn’t help thinking about how lucky I was to be able walk out the door and see a landscape of nearly equal magnificence.

            While my brother’s buddy went out to explore some of the numerous biking trails of the surrounding countryside Tim and I hiked the West and East Maroon Pass and also Scofield Pass. The elevation was killer: Crested Butte was 10,000 ft higher than back home but the remarkable views throughout the hikes made it worth being winded. One day Tim and I rented a pair of mountain bikes and rode the trail that Crested Butte was most known for: The 401. It was a twenty-six mile loop from town, up to Scofield Pass and back down smooth single track flanked by wild flowers nearly six feet tall.

We drove back and I flew out of Denver a few days later. Those two weeks will be engrained in my mind for years to come. There is no doubt that someday in the future I will revisit those places once more and appreciate their glory. Colorado is by far one of the most beautiful places on earth.

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