If you're lucky enough to be in the mountains, you are lucky enough.

When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.

The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott

Wednesday, July 08, 2015

In search of a perfect place.

It's no secret when I moved to Texas, it was a temporary arrangement. Granted, "temporary" meant 10 years, a rather long haul, but I knew that, buckled up, and dreamed. Lucky for me, Larry always had the same dream - living in the mountains. We both struggle with somewhat a depression dealing with flat horizon, long steamy hot summers and lack of tall trees and fresh air. We scouted a number of places, pretty quickly mentally settling up for Colorado Front Range. The state has to be in the middle of the country geographically so each of us can easily travel to see our kids, and friends and family, and thus also close enough to a major airport (our love for travel is not going to disappear just because we live in a beautiful place - there are plenty to see/visit/explore!). The city has to be small, with friendly neighborhoods, where one can (if choose so) walk to a street with local shops and coffee spots, at which "everybody knows your name". It better still have some kind of a job market, because nobody truly retires at 50. A close proximity to the mountains - real mountains, mind you, not foothills, not bumps, but high peaks with forests accessing them - is a must. The city must be vibrant with its own life, and it would be nice if it's close enough to a bigger city with some kind of serious music/art/theater options. Yet it shouldn't be "in" the mountains, as dealing with 8 months of snow is technically only marginally better than dealing with 8 months of summer. A potential for cross-country skiing, downhill skiing, river rafting and lake gazing are a huge plus, even if within 2 hrs drive. No ocean front, please.

And so our frequent visits to the state of CO in the last 4 years were surrounded by research and a general feeling. We kept wavering on Loveland/Longmont areas, and couldn't "feel the love"...until we stared to the map and pointed at Colorado Springs, which we only passed by a couple of times, but never stayed in.

A new trip was planned, as the interest rose.

And it didn't disappoint. All I can say, we got a dream materialize. 4 more years. It's all downhill from here on now...A peace and calm are nesting in our hearts.

Garden of the Gods was our first stop

The smiles were so wide, my face hurt!

I jumped of joy, and then broke into tears from emotions overflowing.

Colorado Springs. Mountains views anywhere you look.

Check this out! Who wouldn't want to be on the streets?

Yes, they got this! A yarn store - actually, 3 of them!

Cheyenne canyon

Cheyenne canyon, top of Waterfall

Cheyenne canyon

Cheyenne canyon waterfall, I added a pin for Moscow!

Enjoying Manitou Springs

Checking out Incline for the future

Barr trail our day to do "Pikes Peak marathon", 26 miles round-trip from the base to Pikes Peak 14-er and back

Pikes Peak hike

OMG, this is awesome!

Barr trail

First look at Pikes Peak from the trail emerged.

Trees are getting sparse, air - thin.

The walk slows down some.

Still mastering a smile, before the final push.

Snow patches in the last 1,500 feet of climb.

Larry set a PR for minimal whining! May be he just couldn't waste his breath for talking.

Top of Pikes Peak, way too crowded with tourists from cars and cog rail!

Time to get off the mountain before the storm rolls in. Rule #1.

Throwing some running on nicer downhill stretches.

A day after Pikes Peak brought us to Incline.

Incline. 2,000 feet in less than a mile climb. Yep, we got that!

Now I know how people come back to beat their time, again and again.

With 4:45 start, we were treated to the most beautiful sunrise at the top of Incline.

More of Barr trail.

Visiting Leadville, 4th of July parade.

Start of Leadville 100 - 6th Street

4th of July fireworks at Manitou Springs.

A local trail to Red Mountains.

A view on Manitou Springs from Red Mountain.

A view on Pikes Peak from Red Mountain.

Happy to see real trails.

A welcoming site - Dazbog coffee was introduced by Russian immigrants to Central CO a century ago.

We'll be back. Pikes Peak and Garden of the Gods.


Alicia Hudelson said...

That's great! Four years will fly by.

heidi said...

Colorado is amazing. I lived in C-springs for several years, and have some favorite mountain trails that are less than an hour away. Spring weather can be frustrating though....one day sunny, the next day snow. Then suddenly it's summer!

Anonymous said...

We're in Colorado right now on our vacation. It's our favorite place too!! I just don't think I could do the winters. I'm such a baby about the cold. I just need to be rich enough to have a summer home and a winter home. ��

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