About twice a year, I start getting itchy, twitchy, and b…er, witchy, and I know it’s time to get away from the city of concrete and back into nature. I’m a country girl at heart, and I need the trees, mountains, lakes, oceans, and wildlife to keep me going. There is such beauty on God’s earth, and so much that we still haven’t explored. I once wrote a book for the Scrapbooking industry, and it’s all about reflecting on God’s wonders. Alas, the publisher folded before it was published, but I pull it out every so often to reread it and remember how important it is to me to be in nature.
Last week my husband and I packed up the car, left notes for the kitty-sitters, and headed to Colorado for a week. We drove straight through and reached Colorado Springs about six a.m. We started our vacation with a lovely breakfast with my author friend Jennie Marts <waving at Jennie> and her husband. We had a great time, and I’m so glad we had the time with them.
After stuffing ourselves with toffee pancakes (!!), we headed toward Mount Evans. We followed the winding curves, stopping along the way to snap pictures of bighorn sheep, small lakes, and anythingthat caught our eye. If you’ve never been there, but plan to go, be warned of scary-narrow, winding roads that drop off into nothing except grass and rocks. I think my heart was in my throat most of the way up…and back down. We reached the top, but it was socked in with clouds and fog, snowing, very crowded, and I was dizzy from the altitude, so we stayed long enough to snap a picture to prove we had reached the top at 14,130 feet.
On the way back down, we spotted three mountain goats camped out among the rocks. One of them must be named Big Daddy, because he was HUGE. One thing I haven’t mentioned before is that my husband and I much prefer vacations that take us back to nature. We don’t like big cities, crowds, or concrete, so we’ll take trees, rocks, and wildlife any day. Oh, and food. We love finding unique local restaurants with really good food.
We drove further north to spend the night, then got up early the next morning to hunt for moose. We have seen a few over the last several years, but not a male with a full rack, so we were on the prowl. But they must have known we were coming, because they packed up the bears and hid from us. Although we did see a fox! Actually, he headed for my husband while I was in the bakery getting us breakfast, but I did see the tail end of him.
We stayed the week with my aunt in Grand Junction, then took a trip with her up to Salt Lake City. If you’ve never driven through the desert of Utah, it’s almost like you’ve landed on another planet. There’s a beauty in the starkness of the rocks and mountains. In Salt Lake City, we took a tour of led by two of the Mormon Sisters, and I hadn’t realized how much my soul needed to be recharged, but talking with these two young ladies about their faith really gave me some peace.
The next day we took the long way back to Grand Junction, and drove through some incredible areas filled with the yellows and oranges of aspens. They were so incredible, almost like bouquets of yellow flowers – I just wanted to gather them up and bury my face in the colors. One of thehighlights of that drive was spotting the Oscar Meyer Wiener-Mobile tucked away in the mountains! Toward the end of the drive, we also spotted a cowboy rounding up calves on a remote hillside. I snapped pictures as fast as I could…uh, it’s research, people! I’m working on a ranching romance! Honest!
We spent a couple of days with my aunt and cousins, and had a great time with them. I learned so much about my family history from my aunt, who is a whiz at genealogy. I knew I came from German and English blood, but found out I’m also Scottish, Irish, and Quaker! It was great spending time with some of the family I don’t get to see very often.
We packed up the car again on Friday and decided to take the long way home, and while my sittin’ bones are still somewhat tender, I’m so glad we did. There are some incredible mountain vistas between Silverton and Durango, Colorado. Just gorgeous. This trip definitely recharged me until the next time we can get back to nature. And I was finally able to get some writing done! I needed to clear out the cobwebs and all the angst of daily life, and I put pen to paper...or fingers to keyboard!
Oh! I found out while on vacation my book, Love Redesigned, is finally in print!
In total, we saw the following on our trip:
15 bighorn sheep
5 Blue Angels practicing for the air show
3 mountain goats
What about you? Where do you like to vacation? Do you flock to the excitement of big cities, or trek back to nature?