11 Jul Colorado: a love story
Fifteen years ago, Kris packed his mountain bike in a cardboard box and boarded a Greyhound bus in Appleton, Wisconsin. He rode all the way to Silverthorne, Colorado, 36 hours total. He had a couple hundred bucks to his name and a dream to make the Rockies his playground for a summer. He’d never traveled west of Minnesota, had no job lined up, no friends in Colorado and no place to stay. But that didn’t bother him as much as it did his mother. Within a couple days he found maintenance work at one of the ski resorts and a second job cooking at a small upscale cafe on Lake Dillon. He ate Chex Mix, which was a sponsor at the resort (and thus free) until his first paycheck cleared and he could afford real food. And, as he’d dreamed, he rode his mountain bike a few hours every day.
So began his romance with Colorado.
Last week, Kris took us back to the cafe on Lake Dillon where he worked. We ate a huge, delicious brunch of Eggs Benedict and pancakes and all the fixin’s. Then, he introduced the kids to the lake. The place where he fell in love with snow-speckled mountains and gushing rivers and icy alpine lakes brimming with trout. (Of course, it would be several more years before he and I would meet back East, move to Boulder, get married and have our children in the shadow of these mountains. But that’s another love story.)
|pretending to throw them in the lake|
So if you ever wonder why I talk about Colorado like it’s the only home I’ve known, it’s because in a way it is. It’s the piece of creation, the one place, that opened our eyes and tugged at our hearts. It’s the place where we were stitched together as a family.