Upon my stay in Denver, I came to the realization that nature is beauty. I am nowhere near a tree-hugger: I wear high heels everyday of the week, with an infinite supply of dresses, and spider webs make me cringe. Taking all this into account, I could have opted out on our family trip to Denver, Colorado… but contrast is my middle name. My mother and I devised a week of outdoorsy, energizing, extreme fun, only for the strong at heart. It consisted of horse back riding through the mountains on the brink of a thunderstorm, white water rafting down the Arizona River, and visiting the Garden of the Gods and Red Rocks Amphitheater. As the plane hit the runway, I was overcome with a sick exhaustion, a.k.a. altitude sickness (they call it the mile high city for a reason). The woozy drive to our magnificently modern hotel, The Hyatt, was more than enough to send me over the edge, passing out from either nausea or fatigue and sleeping the night away. This was a glorious start to our adventure-filled vacation. After my dad bought me a raspberry flavored inhaler, I was golden and started the next day more invigorated than ever. I was determined to make up for lost time!
The white water rafting took me by surprise; I’d rafted prior to this trip, but not in the frigid 35 degree water. My dare devil younger sister Emily, decided it would be a blast to be dunked, shivering the moment she had surfaced. After we dried off, our next adventure was awaiting us, but first lunch on Pearl Street. Following our tasty tomato soup, we jumped back in the car, ready to go horseback riding. I had ridden as a child, so I was excited to get back in the saddle and hold onto those leathery, rough reins, and smelling that musky dust aroma I remembered from the stables. My mom, sister, and I along with 10 others in tow trotted through the most magnificent mountains that Colorado had to offer. The trip was true Colorado style with the thunder rumbling in the background, the winds picking up speed, and the clouds darkening as the ride continued, altitude sickness impinging every step of the way.
Morning came and my CO2 levels were back to normal, enabling the family to visit the Garden of the Gods and Red Rocks Amphitheater. In all my 17 years of life, I had never heard of Red Rocks, even though I am a music fanatic! As we walked through the majestic, legitimately red rocks that gave the amphitheater its name, I realized this had to be on my Bucket List: concert at Red Rocks, no questions asked. Man could never create something as beautiful as what I witnessed in that week long vacation in Colorado. Despite the altitude giving me trouble, and the freezing cold water, it gave me a new appreciation for things that were naturally made. One no longer needs to wonder why they call it the Garden of the Gods, because nothing that breathtaking could be man-made; nothing that grandeur could have been chiseled with the human hands; nothing that striking could be appreciated with the human eye to its fullest capacity as what I witnessed in the mountains of Colorado.
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