We’re officially in the west.

We turned off the highway and took an alternate route to Denver.

It was empty, rolling, wild, and lovely.

And I want to move here.

This one is for you, Carrie :)

After an hour or two we got on the highway and cut north and came into Parker, a southern suburb of Denver. It was here that I saw the most new construction that I’ve ever seen in my life.  The new houses and shops looked like giant herds of cattle and just went on, and on, and on.  It was such a stark contrast to the waves of sand colored bluffs we came out of, where the only living creatures you saw were true herds of cattle. But even those were few and far between.

We stopped for the night in Denver at a college buddy’s house.  He’s from Oklahoma, in case you can’t tell.

We took the highway west out of Denver and passed so many ski resorts and random tops of mountains where snowboarders cut lines down slopes so steep in made my stomach hurt to think about it.

I don’t think I’ll ever be a downhill winter sports kinda girl.

Cross country skiing looked awesome though.

Until I saw this sign.

Actually, saw at least ten of these signs.

And they dashed my short lived aspirations of any winter sports.

The Rockies were a little traumatic for me….

North-central Colorado was much more brown than I thought it would be.

Not that I’ve ever sat and tried to picture north-central Colorado.

But I think I’ve always thought of Colorado as rocky and alpine, Kansas as flat and yellow, Wyoming as dry and rugged, etc…   It was mind-bending in college A&P classes to learn that the layers of skin or systems of the body aren’t as clear cut in real life as the illustrations make them look.  I think I had the same realization with U.S. geography in Colorado.   I do think that this area is the black sheep of the family, because people here seem obsessed with snow and huge views of rocky peaks and you find resorts and lodges around every turn in seems when you’re driving through the Rockies.

The two lane highway we took north was full of pull-offs onto intriguing dirt roads that meandered behind huge buttes and around the brown dirt hills that speckle this forsaken piece of alpine Colorado.  We drove as far up the snowy road you can barely see in the background as we dared and scrambled to the top of this,  er,  hill/butte/dune- like thing.

Anyone know what they call hills up here? We call ’em mountains where I’m from :)

Our boots were so stuck with mud it was hard to pick up our feet. Going up the whatchamicallit was tough, coming back down was comical.

As I looked for some sagebrush near the car to scrape my boots off on,  a ten-dollar bill stuck in the snow and mud caught my eye.  I picked it up, and told Justin to split.  If you’ve ever seen No Country for Old Men, you’ll understand exactly what was going through my head.

Well I’m sitting at a bookstore in Yakima, Washington this morning taking advantage of their free internet.  I’ll post Wyoming, Idaho, Montana, and Washington, once I’ve got more time.


4 thoughts on “Colorado

  1. Love it!!!! These pictures are incredible Julie! Especially the Indian :). I see writing in you and your hubby’s future…

  2. Hey! When didya cut off the hair?! Looks good, I’ve thought about giving mine a chop this summer. I’m sure I’ll feel like being super pregnant in July and August! Excited about your journeys- can’t wait to hear more.

  3. I LOVE YOUR HAIR!!!! It’s so cute!
    Isn’t colorado beautiful. You were a couple hours away from where we used to live. I hope you guys are having a great time out west. Can’t wait to see more blog posts…….

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