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Because we have mountains that are over 14,000 feet. In fact, we have 53 of them. Do you know that’s the cruising altitude of some small aircraft? We drove up to the top of Mt. Evans yesterday, which is 14,130 feet tall. We didn’t do the final ascent to the very tip-top of the rocks because MKL did not have a jacket and it was freezing up there, but we will on our next trip up. In fact, this might be a fourteener that I could climb, something I have on my list for the next year or two. It was a winding road up, snowbanks on the sides of the road in spots, and wild and windy at the top, with beautiful amazing views all the way to South Park and the Sawatch Range. I was definitely a little disoriented by the altitude, spinning in my head and having to hold onto MKL, or fall down. It was hot in Denver yesterday, so this was a perfect day to go up.

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Mt. Evans, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “I am one of the searchers. There are, I believe, millions of us. We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content. We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret. We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand. We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty. We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well. Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter. To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know – unless it be to share our laughter.  We searchers are ambitious only for life itself, for everything beautiful it can provide. Most of all we love and want to be loved. We want to live in a relationship that will not impede our wandering, nor prevent our search, nor lock us in prison walls; that will take us for what little we have to give. We do not want to prove ourselves to another or compete for love.” —  James Kavanaugh

Daily gratitudes:
Drinking coffee on the abstract bench this morning
Soft breezes
A new restaurant
Singing along to my iPod in the truck
Shoes that make my feet look tiny

 

 

A little beach dreaming on a Sunday morning after a long work week. This is from one of our favorite spots, Great Exuma in the Bahamas. Unfortunately, the place we loved to stay (and in fact, the country) has disposed of it’s wonderful manager and chef and seems to be in decline. I have scoped out a lovely little house on the Tropic of Cancer beach for our next trip, but we’re going to explore a new island first – another that we hope to capture the heart of before it becomes overdeveloped.  In the meantime, back in Colorado, a trip to Mt. Evans is in store for today!

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Great Exuma, Bahamas.

Quote of the day: ““Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly. Love truly. Laugh uncontrollably. And never regret anything that makes you smile.” — Mark Twain (perhaps?)

Daily gratitudes:
The wedding I worked last night that made me smile
Sunflowers in sunshine
Seeing Kelsea and Joy
Cool breezes
My truck
The new girl at work yesterday who looks just like my friend Tina did 25 years ago – it took me aback every time I saw her

As promised, this is one of the many elk that roam the roads and yards of Estes Park. There are herds and herds of them, and at this time of year, they have lovely velvet on their antlers. Come fall, we will see bucks everywhere, and will be looking for the stags with the most points, and listening to them bugle their mating calls, a haunting, startling sound that can echo across open fields. This year, MKL and I will try to make an early morning run to my favorite big meadow in Rocky Mountain National Park, where the elk seem to congregate during mating season. Sort of like nature’s pick-up bar.

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Estes Park, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Connecting with the wilderness allows us to live in the flow of a meaningful, joyful life. Embracing this state of connectedness or oneness with other living beings including animals, as opposed to feeling an “otherness” or “separateness” brings a sense of harmony and enables us to be at peace with oneself and the world.” — Sylvia Dolson

Daily gratitudes:
The little boy trying to walk up the down escalator
Vintage railway cars at Union Station (I have pictures!)
The nice people at King Soopers who let me get my milk that I bought and forgot yesterday
Turquoise
MKL

Because there are curvy roads that lead to beautiful mountains. And elk, which maybe I will share with you tomorrow. And for my fellow beach lovers, I know you haven’t seen any tropical shots for a bit, but the good news is I have two sets of tickets to beaches in the next five months – one, an old, familiar and most beloved spot, and one a new unexplored destination. Much to look forward to!

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Outside of Estes Park, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quite alone with the heavens, nature and God. Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be and that God wishes to see people happy, amidst the simple beauty of nature. As longs as this exists, and it certainly always will, I know that then there will always be comfort for every sorrow, whatever the circumstances may be. And I firmly believe that nature brings solace in all troubles.”  —  Anne Frank

Daily gratitudes:
A night with Kelsea
Fishtail dresses
MKL
Good work
Twilight blue

 

It was one of those days when my depression got the best of me and I was enveloped by blues – and not the good tropical kind of blues either. I jumped to erroneous conclusions, berated myself for everything, and questioned the choices I’ve made in my life. I felt all my losses and all my regrets and relived pain in excruciating detail in my head. I was too cold. I was too hot. I was just all wrong.

MKL made things a lot better. He gave me a biiiiiiggggg hug at lunch. He helped me remember who I am and what I am and how loveable I am. That I am worth having as a partner. That my ability to love and that the love I give is as deep as the space beyond the stars. And for all that, I thank him. I feel better.

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Lafayette, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Life will break you. Nobody can protect you from that, and living alone won’t either, for solitude will also break you with its yearning. You have to love. You have to feel. It is the reason you are here on earth. You are here to risk your heart. You are here to be swallowed up. And when it happens that you are broken, or betrayed, or left, or hurt, or death brushes near, let yourself sit by an apple tree and listen to the apples falling all around you in heaps, wasting their sweetness. Tell yourself you tasted as many as you could.” —  Louise Erdrich

Daily gratitudes:
MKL
Feelings that pass like storm clouds
Happy bus drivers
Giving little old ladies directions downtown
Sarongs

This is a new trail right near where I bought my first house, where my ex-Pat still lives. It’s lovely and I’m sorry it wasn’t there when I was living there. It edges the town of Superior, which in the turn of the last century, was an old mining town. You can still find ruins of the mines in the open space on the hill. The original part of Superior where my house is, is full of quirky, independent people who don’t like being told what to do, even as development and (supposed) progress seems to swallow up the space around them. I understand the need for growth and revenue, but I mourn the days when there was so much wildness, and so much green. When I moved to Colorado, it was a rare thing to meet someone who was born here. That’s not so now. Yes, I know, I’m one of those people who wanted the door closed behind me when I got here, and I know that’s not right. But it’s not the easygoing, free, romantic West that I dreamed of when I was a little girl. I think I just caught a glimpse of the tail of those times whisking out that door when I arrived.  I’m glad I can still find some beautiful places that remind me of the wildness.

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Superior, Colorado.

Quote of the day: “Real freedom lies in wildness, not in civilization.” —  Charles Lindbergh

Daily gratitudes:
French Onion Soup at the Broker Inn
Cringeworthy letters written by professional people who lack grammatical skills
Fritzel’s New Orleans Jazz Band
Orchids
On Demand television

 

I should probably know my mountains better, given how long I’ve lived here. But I do know that this view is from the porch in front of our room at Cottonwood Hot Springs, looking west up to Cottonwood Pass. Last month when we were up there, there was still considerable snow, so we didn’t try to make it up to the top in Greta (one of MKL’s vintage BMWs), but the sight of storm clouds crisscrossing the mountains like friendly giants was too pretty to miss.  The last time we were on Cottonwood Pass, we salsa danced at sunset. The next time, we plan to hike the high pass.

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Our next hot springs trip is only two weeks away, and it will be a new experience for both of us, so I’m looking forward to being able to share it with you!

Quote of the day: “Women and men who have established no-lie relationships talk about them with reverence, even when they are not permanent and, in fact, even when they are not romantic. Why? In the no-lie relationship there is acceptance of who each partner is, rather than a shallow idealization. There is a genuine commitment to the relationship beyond the immediate. You each act as though you are in a real partnership that will last.” — Dory Hollander

Daily gratitudes:
My ruby slippers
Thunder that shakes the house
For once, not taking the high(est) road with my ex
Vintage nightgowns
The argument overheard at the bus stop about the Abbott and Costello “Who’s on First” sketch (which was almost as good as the sketch itself)

The beginning and the end of a lovely, cool, woodland hike yesterday. This tunnel is still used by trains crossing the Continental Divide today. As we arrived, the engine of a long coal train was just emerging. I drove my parents up here a long, long time ago, when you could still get closer to the mouth of the tunnel. Like MKL, my father loved trains.

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Quote of the day: “I would maintain that thanks are the highest form of thought; and that gratitude is happiness doubled by wonder.” — G.K. Chesterton

Daily gratitudes:
Wildflowers
The cool of the mountains
Happiness
Small souvenirs
Truck

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