I've been camped in my old haunts above Glenwood Springs, Colorado, at an altitude of 10,000 feet. I lived in Glenwood for 10 years and spent a lot of time in these mountains. It took me awhile to acclimate to the altitude, and I'm still not yet acclimated to the cool air and frequent showers. It's beginning to feel like autumn here in the high country, and there's a hint of change in the aspens. I've had to run my heater every night to stay warm.
I have friends and family here who have spent a good portion of the summer camping in an old red van each night, then heading back downhill to go to work during the day. It's their destress formula, they tell me.
So, instead of staying home, they're living like the homeless. Can't say I blame them, when they can watch sunsets like this:
This is the sledding area up Four Mile Park above Glenwood Springs, near my camp. I took my good friend from Palo Alto, California sledding here one winter. We put her on a sled and told her to hang on, not realizing she'd never been on a sled in her life. Fortunately, she made it to the bottom unscathed, but she still talks about it all these years later. It's much steeper than it looks in the photo.
This old Allis-Chalmers cat is near my camp, an old-timer from days long gone. At night, I can see the red lights of a microwave tower on Sunlight Peak above me. My dad helped set that tower and maintained it for many years with his job at the Department of Reclamation (which I called the Department of Wreck-the-Nation, al la Ed Abbey and to my dad's chagrin). The Department of Reclamation eventually became part of the Department of Energy, to my dad's relief (no more bad puns from his kids).
Several days I've woke to fog. I keep expecting to see a moose or two step out of the mists, but no such luck yet. I did see a bear up here a few years ago. I quickly stepped behind a tree. It stretched and then rolled around like a dog, then sharpened its claws on a nearby fence post. When I realized it was heading my way, I stepped out from behind the tree so it could see me. We both then took off in opposite directions, fleeing being the better part of valor.
I'll soon be heading back to the low country, where my heart waits for me in the desert, all tangled up in a rabbitbrush next to a wash.
But I'll always have a special place for the beautiful mountains of Colorado, my birthplace and heritage.