The Colorado trip I took recently was absolutely fantastic. The side-trip to the Air Force Academy’s Falcon Circle was great, but it was hardly the prime factor in heading up there. In fact, that short half-day trip to the Academy was closer to an “icing on the cake” factor, more than anything else.
I’ve taken several trips up to Divide, Colorado over the past ten or so years. The little cabin that I always stay at is out of the way of most tourist spots, and deep enough in the woods that I literally step out of the back door into a small clearing in the forest. This year, there were a lot more Aspen trees than I recall from previous years. Mostly because the forest is trying to reclaim areas where a lightning-based fire had come through the area. During the night hours, those white tree trunks looked like an army of ghost soldiers, standing tall and straight with the moonlight bouncing off their armored plating. And while I could still hear the traffic down on the two-lane highway (just a mile and a half away via the dirt road), most the time (particularly at night), it was extremely quiet. In the mornings, I would sit on the deck, drinking my coffee and listening to the birds discuss their morning topics up in the towering branches above me. The deck faces to the West, so instead of seeing the sun come up over the lip of the mountain above me, I watched as the rays would slowly illuminate the mountain I could see across from me. And to be completely honest, those moments of sunrise were even more magickal than the moments of sunset – though the view for that was spectacular in its own right. While I’ve watched sunrises and sunsets from the beach — I’m not an ocean type of person. I love the beauty and mystery of watching the sky lighten slowly behind the edge of the mountain – and the brilliant light slowly coming into view as the sun rises even higher into its arc of the day. I love the play of shadows versus light that happens across a forested floor – how each moment that the sun moves further in its trek, the interplay of light and shadows changes just a small bit.
The trip to Colorado was about recharging “me” — getting away from everything for a short while and just enjoying moments of dazzling beauty. And it certainly was that. Plus it came at the right moment for me.