Write a new post in response to today’s one-word prompt
I was born on the western slope of the Rockies in Colorado, but we lived there for only two years after I was born. We moved to Minnesota, a land of flat and fertile farm fields. It’s beautiful in its own way, but I always was very excited when we vacationed back to Colorado to see my dad’s family, and a sister of my mother’s. We drove through Iowa, Kansas, and Nebraska to get to Colorado.
And finally, after endless hours in a hot car, gazing at fields and counting the cars on endless freight trains, a thin blue line would appear on the horizon.
Mountains! Oh, boy!
They were still a long way off, but they were so huge that you could see them long before you began to climb them. Back then, you went from Denver to Grand Junction over Loveland Pass. There’s probably still a picture somewhere of my sister and me standing by the sign telling the altitude (11,990 ft.), and holding snowballs in July.
Loveland Pass is also the Continental Divide, which gives it a somewhat magical aura to a little girl who loved to read stories of the pioneers.
It was a dangerous drive back then. You did hairpin turns up the side of the mountain, keeping as far away from the side of the road as possible. My dad didn’t seem to have any fear, though, and we always made it safely. Going back down the other side, you could wear out a set of brakes if you didn’t use your head and take it slow and easy.
Then, the next big moment was when we saw Mount Garfield, and knew we were almost to my grandparents’ house. It’s not the highest mountain, but it is certainly a landmark because of its distinctive shape.
I love the mountains. They are majestic, awe-inspiring, beautiful. And in that part of Colorado, they do indeed rise above a fruited plain. There are wonderful orchards in the valley, and even a little town named Fruita. It’s high desert there, with a moderate climate. Even on a hot summer day, the evenings are deliciously cool.
A wonderful place to live.