This past week I took some time off work to spend time in the mountains. The boyfriend, who [rightly so] values his privacy, offered up his mountain home as our base of operations. From here on out this guy shall be referred to as The Man, or TM. We were treated to some stunning sunrises and sunsets, some crazy high winds, and plenty of warm winter sunshine. The stars were out in full force up there since there only a handful of neighbors and no city light pollution. I have to admit that I was so much of a wuss about the cold nighttime temperatures that I pretty much ruined every attempt we made at stargazing by dashing back inside the house after only a minute or two.
The sunrises were visible from the big picture windows in the main living room of the house, which also looks out over a valley. It’s a pretty good spot for sipping coffee in the early mornings. To observe sunset we followed a trail that led up and away from the house and over the remains of an old mine. The elevation is right about 9,000 feet so even this short trek left me out of breath.
We did plenty of hiking during the day, and we even explored some of the old mines in the area. TM has sworn to do more research on the area to find out more about these slightly-creepy-yet-fascinating ruins. This area was one of the original gold rush towns, and the hills surrounding the main city are scarred and dotted with heaps of mine refuse, old tunnels, and mysterious pits that have been somewhat filled in. Curiously, we also noticed that many of the pits have had a tree planted (or maybe it just grew?) right in the middle.
The wind gusted up to 70 mph during our last few days, and although the sun was out and warming up the air, it was still nastily cold outside. We made a few forays outside to check the big wood-burning boiler (which was responsible for heating the house and all the hot water) and enjoyed some companionable drinks around the fire. Mostly though we stayed inside and watched the olympics in PyeongChang, or experimented in the kitchen to create more and more potato themed meals…
Coming back to the city on Sunday required some adjustment. While I was happy to be back in my own little studio apartment, and happy to see my kitties and bunny, it was bittersweet to leave the valleys and trees and see instead the traffic and hear the ambulances rushing by. We enjoyed a delicious lunch in the sunny nearly-70-degree weather with my brother, who had flown into town for the weekend. Then it was back to business as usual. Back to work. Goodbye to the mountains, the bracing hikes (yikes, breathing and exercising at 9000 feet is no joke!), the lazy afternoons with a glass of wine, the potato hash for breakfast, and the exciting rounds of hike-n-go-seek in a big house. That’s the thing about living in Colorado: you can love the city life, but travel even just one hour away from home and you find yourself in a landscape so exciting you can’t help but get lost in it.