We set out Friday, May 19 from Wisconsin at 5:00 a.m., sunrise behind us, tornadoes ahead. Crossing Kansas, the sky sat heavy and dark all around; the radio announced storm details for counties we couldn’t identify on our general road map. We drove perpendicular to them, it turns out, and emerged awed and unscathed into nighttime in Colorado. After two brief naps in the car at the side of the road, we met the sunshine in Pueblo and stopped for breakfast in Cañon City. The tourist attractions don’t impress us. We choose our town stops based on U.S. Forest Service offices. Picking up maps and asking questions is right up there with filling the gas tank and eating a meal. Although the office was not yet open, the kiosk outside was full of helpful information. After breakfast, we made our way up through Royal Gorge into the mountains toward Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument. A late spring storm had dumped record-breaking inches of snow throughout the Rockies just two days before, and some roads were still impassable. We would see more consequences of that storm in the days to come.
Pike’s Peak and Mt. Pisgah
I try to be mindful of the adventure of traveling. It is so much more than the preparation and packing, the sights out the window and the passage of time. How do I respond to discomfort? To contrast? To expectations and disappointment? What am I looking for? What is important to me? What do I feel?
And then…how do I turn away from my ego and discover what this place is? What is its pace? Its scale? Its history? Its character?
Getting out of the car is a big step. Leaving a computer screen, a phone screen, and a windscreen behind opens up a new world. The Earth smells amazing. Heat and cold feel amazing. Being surrounded by living things is truly amazing. And that’s a good place to begin. I am amazed, humbled, ready to open up to new experience.
Nothing like being out in nature.. really looking forward to reading about your journeys..
Thanks, Helen. The American West is very different from the UK. I hope you enjoy it!
your photos breathe fresh mountain air into my city apartment — thank you for that!
I would send you the sage, juniper and Ponderosa scent if I could! (Ponderosa pines smell like vanilla, according to Steve. I agree.)
Been wondering where you where you’d gotten to! Looking forward to more of your journey. M
Thanks, Meg! Yep, home again safe and sound.