POSTCARD: From Colorado

Postcard from Colorful Colorado Graphic |

I considered not airing my dirty laundry here, but I’m going to tell you anyway because it’s true. Duke has been asking to go home. 

Because he wants to watch TV. 

I’m duly embarrassed, but also I think it’s a little funny. I mean, I don’t usually feel like a loser mom, but I do wing it from time to time and I’ve over-relied on Blippi more than once. And a case for the defendant: I worked from home for three months during a pandemic while child care was practically against the law. He watched a lot PJ Mask and I don’t care who knows it. But man, of all the things to get wistful about, cartoons was just not on my radar. 

He’s started referring to home as our “big house” and probably asks a few times a day when we’re going back there. He misses Jack-Jack (our dog, currently hanging out at Grandma’s house), the toys in his bedroom, and all that screen time with Gecko, Cat-boy, and Owlette. I miss my dishwasher, so I get it. Home is a nice place to be, but we’re not headed there yet. 

And here’s why - 

Cliffnotes Version:

THE BEST MOMENT OF THE WEEK: Honestly, pulling on a sweatshirt on Little Lake Molas. It was the first time in weeks that I wasn’t sweating and it felt so goooood. But also driving through Zion. I feel like I found proof of God in those cliffs. 

COOLEST PLACE: Cliff Dwellings in Mesa Verde. What people are capable of is incredible. Kinda makes me feel like a dork for all the dumb conversations I’ve been nervous to have, or times I’ve been scared to stand up for myself, or whatever. If someone can carve out a home in a rock with very primitive technology, I can probably do hard things too. 

BIGGEST SURPRISE: The Million Dollar Highway. Beautiful, but also potential for imminent death. I mentally considered my escape plan for when we drove off a cliff and gave up immediately. We’d die. That’s it. 

On to the full-length novel: 

ZION | Utah

When we last left off, we’d spent a day blitzing through Nevada, where we stayed for one night in the nicest cheap campground of our whole trip. Okay, for brevity’s and clarification’s sake, here’s how staying in a campground works for us: we stay in a RV campground with amenities once a week to do laundry, take a full length shower, and empty our tanks. Usually it costs anywhere between $50-$70. Depending on location, mostly. You always pay for the laundry (duh), but sometimes you have to pay extra for the showers and bathroom. This place in Nevada was a cheap $28 with the least expensive laundry and free - brand new, private, one stall bathrooms + showers. And exceptional free wifi. You can’t take these things for granted guys. This is luxury. 

Anyway, the next day, we made a snap decision to go to Zion. We weren’t going to, because it’s so hot and we fully intended to avoid temperatures above 85, but then we’re right here and my mother in law told me it’s 90 at home, so I thought, fuck it. The world has converted to hell (I’m willing to defend this statement) it’s hot everywhere, so let’s just go.

Zion is quick, but it’s knock-your-socks-off beautiful. It’s a place you have to see to believe, because if I tell you about it, it just sounds like a bunch of big rocks. 

Mountain Tunnel Near Zion National Park |

Zion National Park |


The next day, with our “we live in hell” philosophy plus “we’re right here”, we descended deeper into the heat and went to the Grand Canyon. Worth it for a few reasons. The obvious one - it’s cool. But also, it’s cool, a bit more literally. Once we got to elevation, we enjoyed a reasonable 77º. And listen, I know I talk about weather almost constantly, but this controls my life now. Will I die? Is there enough water in the world to stay hydrated?

Anyway we went in through the north rim entrance, which is roughly 5 hours from the more well known one, so it wasn’t very busy and the views were still stunning. Win-win, I say.

Grand Canyon North Rim |

Grand Canyon North Rim |

We continued on afterwards and really came down in elevation and up in temperature, so we got what we deserved, but luckily found an open spot to camp near Lake Powell in Page, Arizona. It was hot, but as soon as the camper was parked, all of us - George included  - were swimming in that lake. Then it felt positively delightful. 

Rottweiler at Lake Powell in Page, Arizona |

Swimming in Lake Powell in Page, Arizona |

Swimming in Lake Powell in Page, Arizona |

MESA VERDE | Colorado

Getting into Colorado, we had to drive through the Navajo Nation, which is very cool culturally and I’m glad we were able to pass through to see it. However, we’ve run into several reservations that are (rightfully) taking zero chances with the pandemic and not allowing travel in, out, or through, so it was a little nerve-wracking, wondering if we’d be turned around. If you google it, the Navajo Nation is enormous, so a detour would have been hours out of the way. Very fortunately, we were able to cruise straight through. 

Mesa Verde is home to some highly impressive cliff dwellings, otherwise known as cwiff dlellings if you’re me and speaking quickly. Literal communities built into the edges of cliffs. I’m very curious why, how, and I mean, did anyone just fall off? You can drive through but all tours and visitor centers are closed, so I’ll be googling that one once the internet signal is strong. 

Mesa Verde Cliff Dwelling, The Palace |

Mesa Verde |


We have ascended into heaven, aka the mountains of Colorado. Cool temperatures, cool places. This week, we’ve covered very few miles and bopped from one mining town to the next. Starting in Durango (which a friend called the Traverse City of the west, and I’m inclined to agree), on to Silverton, Ouray, and Telluride. 

Ouray, Colorado|

Ouray, Colorado|

In Silverton, we rented a side-by-side for a few hours and took a trail up to an abandoned mining community. I’m risk averse, so I was very neutral on the idea, but Ryan is A.) set on what he wants and B.) not much for the “gentle push” so he showed up with a rental and I selected my battles carefully. Duke wore a helmet and I was satisfied. And truly, it was very fun. Good idea, Ryan. 

Off Roading in Silverton, Colorado|

Silverton, Colorado|

Animas Forks, Colorado|

We're on our way to Telluride today and stretching out our days in Colorado for a bit. Not sure what's after that, but we're sure enjoying our time here. 

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