“The mountains are calling and I must go…” -John Muir
Yesterday I returned from a week-long trip to Colorado, where I stayed just outside of Denver in the Lakewood community. Lakewood is beautiful and secluded in the foothills with views of the Red Rocks and Dinosaur Ridge. We spent the trip traveling through the Rocky Mountains up to Frisco and ski-haven Vail as well as exploring Boulder, Denver and Golden.
Greater Denver couldn’t be more different from my home city, Atlanta. Where Atlanta is humid, hot, flat and lush with tall trees and full vegetation, Colorado is dry, high and mountainous with low brush. Like much of the southwest, the wide-open landscape and surrounding green mountains give a sort of call that makes you want to leave indoor comforts behind. Outdoor sports and hobbies, like skiing, snow boarding, hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, and kayaking are immensely popular. This trip reminded me of the importance of exploration, venturing beyond my comfort zone, and spending time with nature.
We spent a day driving through the Rockies, stopping in different towns, sightseeing, and ultimately ending up in Vail. Above is a photo at Loveland Pass, part of the Continental Divide, at an elevation of nearly 12,000 feet. The view is amazing, but I’m not great with heights and driving up into the mountains on a two-lane road along a ledge tested my will. Luckily, when I reached the top and saw the view, my sweating palms began to dry.
After Loveland Pass we drove further into the mountains and stopped of to view popular ski areas among locals. Lunch was in Frisco, a small town straight out of a western movie, with a few restaurants and shops.
The lovely, free-spirited Boulder, Colorado hosts the Dushanbe Teahouse, a beautiful, eclectic restaurant and cafe. The Teahouse was originally built in Boulder’s sister city Dushanbe, Tajikistan. Dushanbe gave Boulder the house as a gift.
Red Rocks Amphitheater is a must-see when in the Denver area.
In Lakewood, where we stayed, I followed a public trail up into the foothills- a breezy, scenic walk to catch overlooking views of the area and snap photos.