Ah, the air here in Colorado, like in Maine and many of the northern states, is fresh and invigorating. It's great to sleep with the window open, something we never do in Florida. So it was a lazy morning. No need to jump out of bed and get on the road early. Beamer started the day sleeping on the sofa. That would be his usual routine after guarding us all night as we sleep. He may be small, be he takes his self-appointed position in the family very seriously. In fact, right now as I write this, he is lying in front of the sliders because he saw someone out there earlier and he has placed himself between me and someone he views as a threat. Gotta love that dog.
We left at 9:30 AM and 57 degrees and headed to Vail. The drive was everything that I think of when I think Colorado. The scenery was constantly beautiful. It was impossible to take my eyes off it. It changed around every corner, and there were a lot of those on these winding roads.
We found Vail to be very congested and not exactly what I had expected. There seems to be a building on every piece of available real estate. Parking was impossible, since it is not allowed on the streets. Everything is very tight and it was crowded. So we didn’t stay long, but we wanted to see where the rich and famous play, and we did.
We drove there on I-70 west but decided it was not an option for our return since there were three areas along the eastbound side of the highway where traffic was so congested it was barely moving. One area was backed up for the better part of 10 miles. So we opted for some back roads for the drive to Winter Park. Only one was marked as scenic, but this is Colorado…the entire drive was a feast for the eyes with the Blue River running between mountain ranges, some reaching well above the tree line. We saw houses planted on hillsides with their walls of windows displaying incredible views of peaks decorated with tall green trees and framed by a bright blue sky. I would never get tired of looking at that from my living room. Never.
As for Winter Park. Bob and Gloria have a little piece of heaven here. This town, nestled at 9,000 ft. in a valley surrounded by tall mountains, is quaint and friendly, with many restaurants, coffee houses and shops. And just about everything seems to be in the same color pallet of earth tones and greens, in the village and on the mountainsides, where all of the homes seem to be dark brown. Some are log cabins others have wood siding stained various shades of brown and tan. And many have large windows for viewing the mountains. Bob and Gloria’s ski lodge is only about three minutes from at least two ski resorts, so it is no surprise why this place has become a playground for those who love winter sports. It’s wonderful.
Gloria is an artist, and I posted two photos that are examples of her artwork. But there are many more here and she works in many different mediums. She is very talented and it seems there is nothing she will not try. Yep, I am envious. Wish I was so talented. Thanks once again for inviting us to stay in your home away from home. WE have thoroughly enjoyed every minute. It is going to be difficult to leave and head back east after this visit.
Tomorrow we begin the long trek back to the east coast. It will take four days to reach Raleigh, where we plan to have more time with our granddaughters before finally heading home. On the way we will make our fourth attempt to see the Smoky Mountains. I hope they are not shrouded in fog again this year.