Colorado is the kind of place you go to to rebel against the 21st Century. Its endless fields, dense forests and copious pockets of absolutely zero cell reception make it an excellent home for anybody who wants to escape our rapidly modernizing world of tweeters, bloggers and Facebook stalkers….or anybody who just wants to get away for a week and spend some quality time with the people they love. That’s what I did this past week in Colorado– explore a new place with my family. Here are some snapshots of the trip:
To reach Colorado, we drove north through Flagstaff, Ariz. and into the Navajo Nation, the country’s largest Indian reservation. Then, we made our way into Colorado, where we stopped near Cortez to set up camp for the night. The campsite sat nestled in a valley, surrounded by aspen trees and dandelion fields. We built a fire, then kicked off our trip with hotdogs and smores. Classic.
Throughout the week, we hopped from town to town like frogs hopping across a pond on lilly pads. Every town we visited seemed smaller than the last, and each one seemed like it belonged in its own version of the Andy Griffith Show. One of my favorites was Buena Vista. We stopped at a park here to eat a picnic lunch of ham sandwiches and cantaloupe, to let my cousins fish in the pond and to get some play-time on the swings before hitting the road again. It was the perfect pit stop.
Another of my favorite destinations turned out to be Breckenridge, one of Colorado’s tourist traps. I managed to steal a few hours of alone time while the rest of the family played at the ski resort. On my solo adventure I discovered a gem of a book store, Ole Man Berkins. This little hole in the wall is bursting at the seams with rare and vintage books, movies and clothes. The shelves are treasure troves of knowledge and fantasy. I ended up buying a vintage edition of Grapes of Wrath by John Steinbeck, along with Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison, short stories by Stephen Crane and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I finally had to force myself to leave. Had I stayed in Ole Man Berkins any longer, I might’ve gotten sucked into a literary time warp and been lost forever in a world of words.
From Breckenridge, we made our way back to Arizona. We stopped at a lake to swim, play and eventually, spend our last night under the stars. All of our driving had me feeling like a sardine, so I rolled out my yoga mat to practice in the afternoon sun.
In the end, for better or for worse, my week in Colorado didn’t turn out to be anything like the catastrophic family road trip movie it could’ve been. There were no fires, no skunks, no dismembered limbs. There was, however, a lot of bonding, debate, adventuring and fun. Not to mention I figured out where I’ll flee to when urban America gets taken over by robots…or when I retire and live out my dream of being a rancher/farmer/wild horse-loving lady. Whatever comes first.
Escape this week. It’s worth it.
Smiles and all the best,
P.S.– Do you have any crazy family adventure stories? Or do those only exist in Hollywood?