Last summer we sold the cabin so it's back to vacationing on the Ponderosa pine, Douglas fir and sagebrush covered lot overlooking Pikes Peak and South Park.
The infamous South Park wind whooshing through the pine needles, the tall Douglas firs bending in the gusts. And the smell. Pine and grass and earth and sage. And the quiet.
I'm so glad I don't live here, but I am surprised I forgot the rough charm of the place, the hard reality that people endure who live and work in these towns, unless they are super wealthy and don't have to worry about paying the bills.
We went down to the Arkansas River. It's sacred to us, years ago we scattered our first dog's ashes upstream in Clear Creek, near Winfield, where she used to play stick all the time. We parked at the east end of town just above the bridge.
We were hungry and decided to find a place to eat. Turned out there was a Mexican restaurant in a dive of an old building, and we checked it out, called Los Girasoles. Turns out it is the real thing, from Guadalajara. Dennis had empanadas that were awesome and I got a burrito with chile verde and refried beans. My test of a Mexican restaurant is always the refried beans. And these passed.
The spices were mild but when we looked around it was mostly old people eating there. But it was good. And the salsa reminded me of a favorite restaurant in Scottsdale from my high school days that had great salsa and to die for green corn tamales.
We came back to the room and now I am awake at 11 pm after trying to go to bed at 9. At least I am not hot flashing because the room is cool.
And then when we lived in Arizona, we used to come up and spend 2 weeks at a time. But ever since we moved back we only went as far west and south as Fairplay, and never bothered to come back here. We're back now. It's like reclaiming a forgotten part of yourself.
The girls needed to come back too. When they were puppies we took them here all the time. Took them swimming in the river, took them hiking east of town, by the Buffalo Peaks there was a 16 mile trail loop we used to do with them. Now they can't do that, but they are happy just sitting in the grass and sniffing, wandering around to check things out.
Last week I ran with Wheaties Boy in the cemetery. That morning we only did 7 easy miles, no speed. That was good. Not ready to jump back into speed yet.
I'm still doing the 10 miles a day on my feet plan. Gradually doing more running and less walking. Not super motivatevd but at least I can do that.
The Next Morning
When I woke up this morning I was tired. Dennis went out to get coffee while I dragged myself out of bed. At some point in the night the girls wanted out, so I took them out to pee. When I got back into the room I was freezing so I climbed into the bed with Dennis before Iris could jump up, to get some warmth off his body, and then Iris jumped up on the bed and then Isabelle wanted up. So then it was really Noah's Ark, two people and two buffs on a sagging queen sized bed, sloping toward the middle. Not much sleep, but it was worth it.
Dennis didn't sleep well either but he slept a lot longer than me. He didn't complain. The only things he said was, "next time, pay more".
We went over to the Evergreen Café for breakfast, where we always used to eat. It's still decent food and good service, right on the highway, and it was pleasant enough outside to sit on the patio. The sky was clear and only a few clouds were out. It was so funny to see the way people dress so casually up there and that they are still so laid back. I always feel like I have to dress "up" in the city. Not really dressed up, because I am about the most casually dressed person in any crowd, but I forgot that I used to live in my fleece jacket and jeans and t-shirt, and never thought about being any less comfortable until I moved to the city. Now it seems like I put a little more thought into what I wear before I go out most of the time.
And Monday is another day. I look forward to it. Taking the weekend off helps everything. And next weekend, it's off to Arizona for me...