Nobody warned us when we took a mini-vacay to Colorado that we’d come back with mountain fever. I’d never heard of it before the trip, but we definitely caught it.
Symptoms of mountain fever include: uncontrollable smiling, delusions, lightheadedness, daydreaming and jaw-dropping.
The only cure seems to be moving to Colorado. Or forced amnesia.
Months ago, my husband and I planned this trip for my cousin’s wedding. Thanks to some writing work I’ve done, we could afford the airfare, and my husband’s seminary schedule made a long-weekend-kind-of-trip possible. The week before we were scheduled to leave, our basement flooded. (See my post on that matter here.) We worked hard in the days leading up to the trip so we wouldn’t have to consider cancelling it. A trip west was refreshing and needed. Maybe that made us more vulnerable to mountain fever.
You might be thinking: C’mon. You live in Pennsylvania. It’s not like you spend your days in Iowa. You can see mountains from down the block and every time you head to the grocery store.
True. But can Pennsylvania really compete with this?
It wasn’t just the mountains. Although I could wake up to this every morning.
I’m pretty sure I’d have to win the lottery or something to afford a view like this. I don’t know where the money comes from in Colorado, but some people have A LOT of it.
The people also warmed us. It started with our flight crew, who were from Dallas, but let’s just say, they were amazing, even in the worst turbulence I’ve ever experienced. (I laughed through it. I must be crazy.) Then, when the computer mixed up our car rental entry, the employee taking care of us offered us a free upgrade (can you say truck? I knew you could.) plus a big discount and a future discount. If you’re keeping score, that’s 1 for Southwest and 1 for Enterprise. Granted these people are in the customer service business, but we were blessed by their kindness.
The next day, shopping at Target, we were asked numerous times by employees if we were finding everything OK. And we didn’t even look lost! (Or maybe we did and I was oblivious.) And they asked with smiles on their faces, like they might actually want to help us. Am I making too big of a deal out of this or have I just lived in the Midwest and now the Mid-Atlantic too long? People are not like this everywhere. I think it has something to do with the mountain air. Or maybe Coors runs from the faucets instead of water. Whatever it is, I want some.
Here are a few other highlights from the trip. I’ll let the pictures speak for a while.
Elk on the golf course across from my cousin's wedding
A talking moose at Group Publishing, the company for which I’ve been writing. It’s a little unnerving the first time, but a talking moose? That’s pretty cool. Great food at the cafe, too. And fun people! Seems like a great place to work. And visit. And hang out at.
I took pictures, mostly for my daughter’s sake.
OK, that’s a lie. How often do you see the back end of an animal that’s been stuffed?
Besides the people and the scenery, there’s a bounty of outdoor activity. Everything we had in mind to do in Colorado involved the outdoors. Hiking. More hiking. Driving through the mountains. (We were denied this opportunity because it snowed in the mountains. It’s 80 degrees in Pennsylvania today. At the end of September. Snow in the mountains in September sounds OK by me right now.)
And although it rained a lot, we still took in a lot of hiking. First at Devil’s Backbone in Loveland.
Later, at Red Rocks. (Note to self: Add “concert at Red Rocks” to bucket list.)
At the very least, we’ve added Colorado to our list of places to vacation as a family. You know, once my husband finishes seminary and has legitimate vacation time.
We will be back, Colorado. We will be back.