i am just returning from a short hiatus to park county. it was so good to get away. i flew out highway 285 with a coupla friends, got turned around on the gravel road needed to get to the cabin, and arrived about 10p, just as the twilight faded to starlight.
we stayed at the home of my dear friends just past fairplay. and although i say cabin it is really much bigger than that. it has 3 bedrooms, a game room, 2 baths and is on 15 acres. the only real drawback i can think of is that the water has a very odiferous and silty sulphur content which makes showers and tap water really a chore. there were deer, jackalopes, horses, cattle, hawks, and a multitude of other creatures great and small.
we spent the 4th at the salida indendence day festival. salida is a small bohemian art community nestled in farm country just south of buena vista colorado. salida has become one of my favorite tours to entertain friends and visitors. there are sweet galleries and vintage shop, cafes and organic food venues dolloped like fleurettes on a wedding cake. the oh-so small town american celebration was quaint, colloquial, and actually felt refreshing. there were festivities, rafts, paddleboats and canoes along the arkansas river which flows along a mountain shoulder. cherry ginger basil lemonade, kids on bikes and with balloons, vets, and pets on leashes all intermingled with the usual suspects to create a sense of patriotism and summer fun. and that fun permeated our adventure.
some friends from chicago came into town over last weekend. some other friends let us use their vacation home outside fairplay to have a getaway. it was pretty magical. we arrived on thursday evening and spent the night. the house has 3 bedrooms with a total of 6 beds, we all slept in the same room the first night – kinda like a dorm. laughter and storytelling were the easiest way to start to catch up with each other.
in the morning, it became apparent that the views from the house were pretty extraordinary. very large picture window on all 4 sides revealed snow-dusted mountain scenes behind blue skies in each direction with aspens that held only memories of gold on them created a sense of wonder that we don’t quite feel everyday.
friday we had breakfast at the brown burro in fairplay. good green chili and a welcome air for travelers gave us a great start. we drove through buena vista and stopped to take photos along the way. we then headed to mt princeton and sat in the pools created by the hot springs for most of the afternoon. the waters were 80 and 100 degrees while the air was about 60. it was at once relaxing and invigorating. many of my cares and worries got left in those pools.
we then headed to salida which is one of my favorite small towns in colorado. there are bohemian art galleries and restaurants galore and each time i return, i discover something new. this time we found a gallery called art and salvage. the owner paints sweet folk paintings on old windows that are sweet and charming. one of these paintings will probably be the gift we give to my friends for their generous gift to us.
there is a remarkable photo of the arkansas river as it flows through highway along salida which i used as a banner for this blog. so picturesque. the entire day was a delight for the eyes. we headed back to the house and spent the 2nd and final night outside fairplay. as we drove up to the home, there was a family of 10 or so deer munching on the grasses of the lawn. they disappeared into the aspen grove as our car drew near, but it was another amazing aspect of our visit away from the city.
the next day we drove up through breckenridge, dillon, frisco, georgetown, and idaho springs before we got back to denver. our friend eddie, remarked that he had never seen the john waters’ film “female trouble”, so we opted to rent that. we laughed and napped and finished the saturday with an incredible dinner at rioja. the most outstanding was an herbed ricotta cheesecake with pickled apples and candied orange peel. the trip was winding down and the friendships were warming up.
on sunday, it was mostly packing and readying for home for my guests. we stopped at parallel 17 for a quick brunch before the flights. friendship is a staple for a healthy diet and my visitors reminded me of this. i laughed and i opened my heart this weekend. and found myself realizing how much i had needed to laugh. it had been awhile.