After leaving the Grand Canyon of Texas, I stopped in Denver to take a yoga class [kudos ClassPass Flex] and then continued on to visit my friend Alex in Ft. Collins. I’ve heard that Austin is the warmer version of Portland and Denver is the colder version, which seemed to ring true based on the two hours I was there.
I last saw Alex when she was vacationing in Arizona and we hiked Camelback Mountain, so this is the second time I've seen her on my trip. She’s currently an elementary school PE teacher in Ft. Collins, but I first met her when she was fresh out of college and living with my twin brother in Oregon. Alex belongs to the extended Myers/Carlson/Butler/Laborte family, which means she gets an Easter basket and Christmas stocking from my mom when she’s in town. She blends in well with our crazy family, and we both love to adventure, so I was excited to explore Colorado with her. She recently started a blog about her adventures if you’d like to follow along at theadventuresofmisspiggy.wordpress.com.
We put Alex’s National Park pass to use by snowshoeing Rocky Mountain National Park and later we took a tea tour of Celestial Seasonings in Boulder, with a 30-minute Avery Brewing Company break in between. It was fun catching up on everything that has happened on my trip between Phoenix and Ft. Collins, and I told her how I was starting to get really excited to be back in California, even though I’m not exactly sure where I’ll go and what I’ll do after my brother’s wedding. She pointed out that there’s probably something significant to that and how it’s important to trust a gut feeling even when you’re not sure where it’s coming from.
One of the things that’s been most meaningful for me on this trip has been having the ability to eliminate distractions and listen to the inner voices in my head rather than getting caught up in what other people think, or doing things because it feels like I'm supposed to. There have been more significant examples of this, but the most recent was a couple weeks ago when I bought a roof cargo bag for my car because it seemed natural after selling my trailer. The quickest way for me to clear my head has always been to take a long drive, and at some point between Nashville and Austin it occurred to me that it made no sense to have a cargo bag on the roof since there was plenty of room in my car and it was a total gas suck having it up there. So I dragged it inside the car, problem solved.
My friend Bri connected me with her friend Margo in Salt Lake City, who unfortunately has to work during the small window of time I’m here, but went out of her way to write a long list of places to visit and things to do. I only have about 3 hours here, but I hiked to Ensign Peak, drove past Temple Square, and stopped in Coffee Garden to caffeinete and catch up on my blog. This is my first time in Salt Lake City and I really wish I had more time to get through her list, but my initial thoughts are that it’s very clean and people are very friendly.
Tonight, I’m camping in Zion National Park and then tomorrow I’ll continue on to LA to crash the Anderson Family Easter dinner for the third year [plus one Thanksgiving]. Then I’ll have a day to organize myself and hopefully find time to visit the California coast before flying to Maui for more beach time [and a wedding]. Being on an extended vacation really does keep you busier than you’d think.