On Sunday, we found ourselves up early walking the dogs around the lake. The leaves are changing and we decided it would be the perfect morning to take a long drive through the mountains.
We started off talking about the obvious: the changing colors, the blue sky and the last time we took this drive. It didn’t take long, though, to drift to the impending wedding of our oldest daughter, Alex. The nuptials take place in less than 3 weeks in Arkansas and there is a lot to get done before then. We made some mental lists and chatted about the father of the bride speech, which became a jumping point for going down memory lane.
Alex is our first born and even though she didn’t come along until a few years after we were married, a lot of our early memories of Colorado and family include her.
Before we had Alex, we spent every weekend in the mountains hiking because we were 22, freshly married, new to Colorado and very low on funds. Every weekend, we would pack up and head to the mountains for the day. We hiked and drove around as much of Colorado as we could in those early years. In fact, while I was pregnant with Alex we visited Mesa Verde, Durango, Silverton, Telluride, Aspen and Snowmass and all the sites that come along with those places. Our memories of discovering Colorado are inextricably intertwined with becoming a family as three kids did not stop us from being in the mountains every chance we could get. I can vividly remember many ski trips with babies in tow. Not all were fun, but we did them nonetheless.
As we drove over Guanella Pass, Kenosha Pass, Hoosier Pass and Loveland Pass memories came flooding back of how things used to look, hikes we have taken, places we have stayed and mountains we have skied. There is FairPlay where Andy fell victim to the infamous speed trap. G, I am pretty sure you remember that ski trip? That was when we all learned to “ski.” If you could call laying in the snow most of the day laughing, skiing. We passed through Alma which has been built up substantially over the years. I remember when there were just a few old buildings and one grumpy old man that worked in the one establishment that had a public restroom. I can’t even guess the number of times we have driven over Hoosier Pass in the last 28 years, but I can assure it’s been a lot. Our girls all learned to ski, hike, kayak and camp on the other side of that pass and Breckenridge and Copper Mountain hold more memories than I can count.
And then there is Loveland Pass and Loveland Ski Area, which we affectionally call The Land of Love. Ski races, anniversaries, birthdays, lifelong friends, meals, ski trips, Thanksgivings, Chritmases, New years and even an engagement has happened here. We have lived a lot of life in this place. We have a house not far from the Land of Love and for the last 11 years we have used this as our home base for all mountain activities. We have come a long way since the days of peanut butter and day trips, but at the end of it all, it’s these mountains that hold our memories and our hearts.
In a few short weeks, Alex will be married and even though the ceremony won’t be in Colorado, I know as she walks down the aisle she will carry a little piece of these mountains with her.
Sunshine & Sarcasm,
Lowi & G