Thursday, August 6, 2009

Colorado Calling!

Go West Young Woman, Go West...

That's exactly what I did for 4 days last weekend. And man did the West live up to the promises of the glories and majesty, the hope and the dreams, the beauty and wonder that my heart desired. I planned this getaway to do just that. To get away from the concrete jungle in which I "live". Yet what I found in Colorado, was that I am not really "living" rather, I am getting by. I don't mean to imply that I don't embrace life and tackle it head on, but that true adventure is surely lacking in my day to day life. I have known this for some time, and have squelched these unpleasant reminders with busyness and travels - getting my fill on long weekends to get me by. Luckily, this weekend surely had enough steam behind it to keep me going until the next escapade! :)

So here's the story of my adventures with Dan in Colorado! Thursday night I flew into Denver and was welcomed by Dan and Savannah (his jeep) and we headed to a friend's going away party. And upon arrival, the craziest thing happened... I walk in the door of the house party and a girl says "Michelle?". Shocked I turn around and see Rainey, a girl I went to college with at OSU and studied abroad with!!! Talk about small world! I had no clue what had become of her since we parted ways 3 years ago and it was quite the pleasant surprise. The party continued at a local bar and I just enjoyed getting to reminisce with Rainey and meet some of Dan's HS friends, and see a wee bit of Denver too before spending the night in Colorado Springs.

Garden of the Gods!

Friday morning came bright and early...for some reason I couldn't sleep in at all during this trip, hmmm...chalking it up to the mountain air. Dan, his mom and I made a breakfast of champions (blueberry pancakes, sausage and fruit) and ate our yummy meal on their balcony overlooking lush pine trees and blue skies. It was heaven. Then we were off for a speedy day of errands and visits before packing up the house and cars for our trip to Breckenridge. We made a pit stop in Denver to check out the place Dan is interested in buying and to have dinner with his parent's friends. Ironically enough, the chosen restaurant was "Old Chicago" haha. Seeing as I was trying to "get away" from Chicago, I found this to be pretty funny. We rolled into Breck pretty late and got settled into their home there.

Saturday was a glorious day. I awoke to sun shining through the closed curtains and warm oatmeal cooking for breakfast. I immediately jumped at the chance to peer outside as soon as I woke b/c the night before everything was pitch black. Like a kid at Christmas I was giddy at my first glimpse of the mountains before me.

After breakfast we prepared to brave the trails on our bikes. And i'm not talking a light jaunt. Nope, a full-on 38 mile the MOUNTAINS! We had enough bikes at the house for everyone, and Dan and I were tackling this road bike excursion on mountain bikes - not the easiest form of recreation.

The most entertaining part of the day was when I was consulting Betty (Dan's mom) on what to wear. You see I had brought my own cycling shorts, but as luck would have it, Betty found something far more appropriate for me to wear - a 1980s spandex cycling
unitard with sleeves that zipped up the front! I'm talking green, pink, blue, and white floral print that accented some black Never did I expect to see the day that I would don full out spandex, haha. I'm blaming it on the mountain air again!
My sexy spandex!
The Crew!

Half way!

The bike ride itself was awesome. The views were monumental and the exercise challenging. I loved every minute of it...even the ones where i had to stop riding b/c i was wheezing too hard to breath in the thin air! Ultimately, I made finished the ride, but not without some battle wounds. This was my first time biking outside with clips and at one point I flat out fell over in a parking lot b/c I stopped without taking my shoe out of the clip, silly me! I joked that my pride wasn't hurt b/c that had already been accomplished with the spandex!!!

An after dinner hot tub session was the perfect remedy for this
loooong day of biking. And helped me get back on the horse (figuratively speaking) for our trip back to Denver for another going away party for the same guy, lucky guy, huh?! We had a fun night meeting new people and catching up with old friends before hauling it back to Breck.

Sunday started with a fabulous church service in an outdoor amphitheater overlooking a stream. Talk about powerful worship. Signs of the Creator were everywhere and His presence was unavoidable. After the service Dan and I took a quick wade in the stream, I foolishly not knowing how cold glacier melt water could be. That excursion lasted all of about 2 minutes before my feet started going numb and I pounced back onto dry land! That afternoon we went 4-wheeling in Savannah (the jeep) and it was awesome. We took all these mountain trails and climbed our way through the unthinkable. We were able to see an amazing waterfall and blue lakes against rugged gray mountains and soak in the pristine mountain air...we got a little muddy too. :)

Chillin' with Savannah!

We finished up this perfect day by grilling out for dinner and I made my delish "Puppy Chow" cookies - seriously, they taste just like puppy chow and aren't as mess - for dessert. Topped that off with another night in the hot tub gazing at the diamonds in the Colorado sky.

Monday a.m. was an early one. I was flying out later that night and we had lots to accomplish in the meantime! Like....a 14er called Quandary (14,254')! I was super excited for this day b/c I had always been intrigued by the thought of hiking a mountain, but a little anxious about my ability to do so. I mean, the air was thin enough as is and I just wasn't sure the old lungs would hold up, haha. But not to fear. Dan was an amazing coach and gave me lots of pointers and time to catch my breath and just take in this adventure. It was probably one of the most challenging, yet rewarding things I've done. Once at the top it started snowing and then thundering and raining and I didn't complain a added to the novelty of where I was - the peak. What a feeling. I only wish words could describe my heart at that moment. Literally breathtaking views, so close to God I could feel his sweet breath on my cheeks, I was at peace.

Almost there!!!

The trail...don't you see it?

On top of the world!
The Trailhead after the climb...It is finished :)

We relished it as long as we could afford to and then made a hasty trek down the mountain (down is much, much easier for a flat lander!). As much as I hated to relinquish that moment on the mountain top, I had to accept that as with life, there is very little that is lasting. This realization is both comforting and concerning. It means the hard and tumultuous times do have an end in sight, good right? Yet, it means that the beautiful, lovely, wonderful things in life will ultimately end too, bad right? Yes and no. These revelations lead me to the cross. To the One Good that will never end. To the most beautiful, the most lovely and the most wonderful thing man can know...the Creator. Wow...I just love it when God takes my adventure, my "get away" and makes it His! So until next time, I will hang on this taste of heaven and keep my eyes on the Creator.


Dan said...

you accomplished a lot last weekend, you must have had a great guide! :)

R. Wallis @ TrueBeauty said...

Sounds like you had an amazing time! Love the pics!

pocket full of pink said...

Lovie, I have chills from reading this!!! What an amazing recap; I am THRILLED for you and your experience there. Ahhh, I just knew you would love Coloardo. Sigh.....