Sunday, March 22, 2020

Westward Ho!

     Just a few days after we returned from New Hampshire, it was time to fly to Colorado to visit Daughter #1! Claire and her family moved to CO last summer. At Christmas she asked if our gift to them could be for Steve and I to fly out for a visit. It seemed more like we were on the receiving end of this gift but, oh well. : )
     I have never been farther west than St. Louis so this was a first for me. Of course, what caught my attention the most were the Rocky mountains. We live in mountains in Virginia but compared to the Rockies, our Blue Ridge Mountains are foothills. (Steve and I had a discussion on mountains and agreed that one really cannot compare because each range has its own geography and personality.) I was fascinated with those mountains and it was hard to take my eyes off of them whenever we went out. It was wonderful to see our daughter, son-in-law and grandchildren. They showered us with cards and drawings and snuggles and laughs. Claire and Daniel also took us sightseeing as much as we were able. The corona virus was announced as a pandemic while we were away from home. Schools, businesses, and practically everything else began shutting down each day that we were there. It was disconcerting to have this happen while we were so far away from our home. We weren't planning to be gone for long but part of me felt compelled to return home to prepare for whatever was to come. In the end, we remained calm, enjoyed our visit, and observed how Coloradans responded to the pandemic.
     Fortunately, Colorado is a place where they embrace the outdoors and much leisure time is spent in the wide open. No one shut down nature and our excursions focused mainly on that. On our first day, (before businesses closed) we walked around downtown Boulder and visited a wonderful bookstore. The next day, we went to see Red Rocks Amphitheatre. The weather was mainly cool and a little bit snowy/rainy. Whenever the sun came out, it quickly warmed up. Soon after we left Red Rocks, they announced their closure.

Pedestrian shops at Pearl Street, Boulder, Co
Approaching Red Rocks (queue the Flintstones theme song)

The entrance and ticket booth. There is a museum and restaurant below.

The amphitheater was much larger than I expected. It was beautifully worked into the natural landscape. I was told folks gather for yoga here and I noticed people walk up and down the steps for a workout.

I would like to return for a concert one day, although the juxtaposition of the place had a dizzying effect on me.
 Later that afternoon, Claire took Steve, Mari and I to the beautiful Boulder Dushanbe Tea House. We had afternoon tea and it was lovely.

Click on the link in the paragraph above to read about the intricate workmanship of artisans who created this building in Tajikistan.

Afternoon tea

He ended up ordering a beer.
      The next day Daniel drove us all up to the Rocky Mountain National Park. We reached an elevation of around 9,600 feet. The frosty trees were beautiful and although the ground was snow covered, the sunshine was warm. The magnificence and beauty of the mountains are hard to capture in photographs. It was hard for me to take my eyes off the peaks nor to keep my mind from wondering about the earliest humans to cross those monumental mountains on foot.
     Claire packed hot chocolate and snacks and we took a nice hike around Bear Lake. Other portions and trails in the park were closed for the winter season.
Rocky Mountain National Park

Bear Lake, Rocky Mountain National Park

Snowball fight in the parking lot!
During our down time, Mari and I sewed little woodland animals from felt. Then, we turned a shoe box into a forest home for them. Steve took the boys on bicycle rides and played Frisbee. We all played board games, Matthew built a huge train track, we watched evening movies, and cooked dinners.

Mari is good at drawing mazes for Steve and I to solve.
     On our last day, we hiked a trail on the Enchanted Mesa near the Flatirons outside Boulder. It was a beautiful day and many, many people were outdoors. By this day, all schools, restaurants and even ski mountains had closed due to the Cornona virus. Steve missed his chance to ski in Colorado by one day. We'll just have to go back. : )

Enchanted Mesa Trail

Flatirons in the background.

Overlooking Boulder, Co

Everywhere there is a backdrop of mountains. (The Flatirons are actually considered foothills.)


  1. Thanks for all the beautiful pictures. Happy to hear you got your trip in before you needed to cancel. Scary times for sure. I'm sure it was wonderful to spend time with your daughter and family.
    LOVE the picture of hubby.
    Stay healthy!!!
    Hugs From Ohio

  2. I hope you're absence from your Blog does not mean a return of your Virtigo...or worse. I just wanted to tell you that Claire Law of the original 3BT has started up her Blog again. Hers led me to yours...Have always enjoyed your writings on home and family and life. You do live a blessed one. Best Wishes and hope all well. Alison