My View

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

Old friends, new places

In all of my life I have not feasted my eyes on as beautiful country as Colorado. It truly is God's Country. Not that Iowa is not beautiful, but where else can you come that close to Heaven without really being there?

I have been to the mountains a few other times and with each trip, I not only appreciate the gift that Mother Nature has given us but I see something that I had missed from the time before.

My husband and I recently took a few much needed days to reflect on our busy summer and spend that old quality time together. Even with the cost of gas, which perhaps only cost an additional $25 to drive out the 670 odd miles to our destination, in the end it was money well spent.

I have an old but very dear friend that resides in Longmont, Co. Well, she is younger than I so I guess I have a younger dear friend. I haven't seen her for a number of years, and I have truly missed her. We laughed about old times growing up in a generation where we entertained ourselves by trekking about the woods and jungles in Cherokee. As we drive about the town now, we see but a few trees where these towering treasures once stood.

We laughed about our one and only spat over a record (Leaving On a Jet Plane) that she said that I could listen to for as long as I wanted and then she took it right back. I loved that song and I still think that she is an Indian Giver! That fight lasted about a day. As far as our friendship, though, that will be everlasting.

Back to the mountains. We traveled paths less traveled, paths extremely traveled and found that either way we were in awe. Climbing the towering Pikes Peak was possibly the most invigorating, at times hair-raising experience out there. Climbing over 14,000 feet which at times seemed straight up and down.

Speaking of down, I had a tough time looking down at times while we drove at the very edge of the mountain that had no guard rail or seemingly no bottom. Climbing higher and higher into the nosebleed section, we drove a road that as you climbed it looked as though it was ending and you would drive directly into the sky. Finally the 19 mile winding climb came to a stop. What a climactic moment it was as we gazed out into the horizon. The majestic mountain view was breathtaking and very humbling.

I was a bit disappointed that there was just a bit of snow and none that we had access to and that the only wildlife that we saw was a black squirrel dead on the road, a few small deer and a chipmunk. Where were all of the buffalo and elk? They did inhabit this area at one time a few years ago. While taking in the sights of Estes Park and being warned that if we took the tram to the top of the mountain we would be overwhelmed by ground squirrels looking for peanuts... we of course took the tram. Once again I was disappointed. Only a mere few rodents were scrounging.

Forgetting the sense of humor that my friend possesses, I was summoned to a tree because I was told that there was some wildlife that I had longed to see just sitting there in the tree. As I quietly edged closer I spied a bear in the woods! A small two inch ceramic bear that my friend and her husband had strategically placed in the tree! Yep there was my wildlife!

The trip was a success. We had plenty of quality time. We purchased souvenirs for all of the young ones and a few for ourselves. We also brought back with us a sense of how beautiful and soothing the Purple Mountains Majesty really are. We captured a glimpse of God's Glory and perhaps if we could just remember that we all have the opportunity to enjoy what we have been given no matter where we are, the world would certainly be a better place.