We could have taken a plane to the wedding last weekend. We could have gone through the hassle of trips to the airport (probably speeding because we would probably be late), found parking (after 300 or more slips of the tongue into F-bomb territory). We could have gone through security (a nightmare in itself). And at the other end of the ride we would have no car and no way to stop at Einstein Bagels for breakfast the next day. Instead, my good guy and I decided to drive.
Road trip! Whoo Hoo! Denver to Park City Utah in about eight hours. How cool. Driving is a little different for us these days. No big family van to haul kids, pets, and petrified french fries that had dropped “somehow” in the days and weeks before. No fighting over which Disney video we would watch next. No “are we there yet?” (well, except I guess I kept saying that to my handsome driver who politely ignored me).
Hubby and I drove his zippy little car, setting the cruise control and driving on and on. What a wonderful way to go. When you take a plane, it’s almost like being in some futuristic teleport. You step into a box and after a set of time, you step out of that box in an entirely new place. But with a car ride you see everything.
First we stopped in Steamboat Springs for the night and stayed in a hotel that could have come right out of a Zane Grey western. The halls were narrow, our room only large enough to hold the bed, and room keys that were real room keys (not the plastic cards that most hotels have these days). I saw a few old-fashioned telephones and was charmed entirely by “old town” Steamboat. The next morning I had to have had the world’s largest cinnamon bun. I swear the plate was eight inches around and filled to the brim with pastry and sugary goo. Wonderful! Of course, I didn’t have room to each much else the entire day, but who cares? Sugar highs are the best, right?
We drove through the day Friday and I have to say, I can’t believe I haven’t explored more of Colorado since we moved here so long ago. The state is beautiful. Truly. Our trip had us drive through many small towns with quaint “Main Streets” and what seems like a quieter lifestyle. Simple homes dotted the landscape everywhere we went.
And what a landscape! When we first moved to this part of the country, I couldn’t understand how people could tell one mountain apart from another. But I promise you, if you’d been on this trip with me and my guy, you’d be hard put NOT to name the various mountains we saw. Each one was unique. Every five minutes we’d blink and see an entirely new vista. Some were barren and looked almost like sand dunes. Others were covered in a blanket of pine trees.
And then Utah took me by surprise as well. Not sure what I’d been thinking before. Something about deserts as far as the eye could see. I guess I thought that with the border between Colorado and Utah, the mountains all belonged to Colorado and the flat dry lands belonged to that other state. Wrong-o!
Utah had a lot of cities along a scenic trip through many more beautiful mountains. Many of those places were surprisingly large–not mining towns per se, but oil and gas cities with all of the chain stores you might ever want to see. They were modern, clean, and bustling.
Then we arrived in Park City. My goodness, what a breathtakingly beautiful spot up in the mountains. One thing that caught my eye was the “shoe tree” where apparently a few guys got drunk one night and threw their shoes into the tree. People had been adding their shoes ever since, and when we drove by, the tree looked like it was an apple tree with shoes instead of fruit. Hmm.
Over the weekend we celebrated my sister and new brother’s wedding, went on an adventure called a “ropes course” at the Olympic Village, and enjoyed fly fishing. Fly fishing! No, it’s not just because I’m getting so old that this was fun. It was great to stand in a river and feel the current pushing constantly against us. I loved the casting (mostly, I think, because our guide kept telling me I was doing well). And yes, I caught a fish. Two even. But they were little guys and I felt mean. Jen, our guide, took them off the hook for me, we snapped a photo or two and released the little guys back into the river. That’s the way fly fishing can work these days. Most people don’t keep what they catch. We just look at the beautiful creatures for a moment and let them go.
Kind of like special events. We dive into them completely, enjoy them tremendously, and then let them go, keeping only the memories. My sister, after enjoying her wedding let her shoes go into the shoe tree.