Nelson and I are on a mission to climb as many trails in the Rockies as we can before it gets too cold and my Phoenician roots keep us indoors. So! We set out this weekend with an idea and gobs of time. What we found was Golden Gate State Park and hours of opportunity to wander through incredible scenery.




Yeah. I can’t believe I live here either. By the time we reached this meadow, we’d been moving fast for a couple hours and I was sweaty and ready for a break. I plopped down, gave Nels a treat and enjoyed the sounds surrounding us.

It’s been three months since I’ve moved to Colorado. In some ways, that seems like yesterday. And in others, my life here is not what I expected. Three months is an exceptionally short period to place such lofty expectations. Then again, I’d spent five years planning the move before I finally made the jump. Needless to say, it’s going to take many more miles on the trails before I have my feelings in order.

I miss home. I don’t miss the heat. I miss my folks. I don’t want to be in Texas. I miss being a social butterfly. I like the newfound quiet this schedule provides.

Not a bad place to take a break


With my eyes closed, sitting cross-legged in that meadow, my senses were overloaded with details. I could hear the wind singing in the trees. Butterflies occasionally flittered by. Bees buzzed with their homeboy bravado — collecting pollen and doing their thing without worry about how much noise they were making. A nearby stream bubbled. Nelson snapped his jaw at every bug that came too close to his snout.

Morning light

The sun danced across the meadow, with the shadows of the wildflowers bouncing in the rays. And the smells — the glorious scent of the Rockies. There is the underbrush of pine that is musky and damp and spicy. The aspens smell like a slice of a bright green apple — tart and sweet. And then, there is that mysterious sweet grass that you can catch a breath of here and there — elusive, delightful and as comforting as cinnamon rolls hot out of the oven.

Alice in Wonderland

There are days this all certainly feels like it’s out of Grimm’s playbook.

On to the next three month chunk — one day at a time. With fewer social hiccups, more new friends, trails conquered and opportunities to fall in love with this gorgeous place.