I know, I know! I am one of those people who abandoned my blog for, quite literally, months. I have something of a defense for the “blog” inertia. I associate the summer months with road trips, biking, hiking, hanging out with family and friends, reading good books, drinking (probably too much), the occasional sunburn, and, in general, a different pace. While this summer did present a some of the above, in many ways, “twas the summer of our discontent”. Michael’s bike accident and the fall-out from that left me (well, both of us, really) feeling deeply uncertain, frightened and frustrated about our life, and I had zero desire to touch on those issues via the interwebs. And, while we did enjoy aspects of our summer, I just couldn’t stomach presenting a polly-anna version of our life, because, to be frank, so much of it sucked. Yes, we both looked at the bright side (“You only have a fractured pelvis and a bad concussion. So lucky!”), but we also stressed and worried about the recovery process and our future.
Now that we’re on the other side of the accident, have distance and perspective, and some of the major pieces contributing to the sense of uncertainty have finally fallen into place (the job front), we can take a step back, laugh a little at ourselves and breath an immense sigh of relief. Even more importantly, we can fully embrace the present and the future since our life doesn’t seem to be hanging in the balance quite so much. As my mom always says, to my annoyance, “Things have a way of working out”, but I will concede that she is right, at least in this case.
I’ll backtrack to the summer at some point, but, before that, I’d love to wax a bit poetic about autumn. For the first time in YEARS, it seems that I have the good fortune to experience a more traditional change of seasons. Not that I didn’t have some of that last year in Switzerland, but, honestly, this feels different, maybe because I’ve been in Colorado all summer long and have spent plenty of days annoyed with the heat, hoping for crisper mornings, for a bite in the air, for a chance to put on a jacket, to make roasted vegetables and other meals that I associate with cooler temps. So, now that the shift in season has presented itself, I might bemoan the shorter days, but I delight in the cooler mornings and evenings and, even more, in seeing the change in the landscape that surrounds us.
We’ve spent a few days in the mountains to really take in the sense that summer is transitioning to fall and to celebrate, in some ways, the fact that Michael and I can share the beauty together by taking a short walk or a hike (we really missed walking and hiking together over the summer; while Michael still isn’t up to full strength, he is recovering). Over the Labor Day weekend, we braved the crowds and spent time in Breckenridge, and while yes, there were plenty of people – including us – getting away and being in the mountains was well worth it!
Our ‘take-in-all-the-fall-colors’ continued last weekend when we headed south to Salida (rhymes with ‘saliva’ even though it’s a Spanish word). We spent a weekend there in the spring, and while that was lovely, it didn’t compare to the drive in the fall with the aspens in full splendor and even a bit of snow shrouding the mountains! We left pretty early on Saturday morning and stopped at Kenosha Pass, along with everyone else from the greater Denver area. We did, however, completely understand the crowd appeal – the colors were popping! This was more of a stop, get out of the car and walk for a bit, take some photos, and then head on to Salida. Still, a worthy stop. We probably would have walked a bit more if it hadn’t been for the crowds, but we were also anxious to get to our destination.
Yes, that is snow on the ground! It was pretty freezy cold at the pass at 7:30 am. And, even though there were plenty of people on the trails, there were definite moments to just take in the aspen as you walked the trail.
After Kenosha, onward to Salida! It’s definitely one of those “Top Outdoor Towns” that Outside Magazine features, mainly due to fly-fishing and river sports, but easy access to Monarch Ski Resort (light on the resort, by the way, although the skiing is supposedly not bad for a smaller place) and great hiking make the town attractive – as do the restaurants and art galleries. We met up with Michael’s brothers and hung out with them, touring the galleries, more oohing and aahing over aspens and enjoying good food and drinks. On Sunday, Michael, his brother and I went out for a short hike to Boss Lake. Like most of our hiking these days, we didn’t make it all the way to the reservoir, but it was still a nice chance to take in more fall colors. We fulfilled our role as “leaf peepers” over the course of the weekend!
Totally ridiculous, right?! And not just the fact that we severely overdressed…
So, yes, the change of seasons has brought with it a sense of relief, of lightness, of moving past a hard few months. I feel that I can open up again – to life and to adventures.