What do Norway, Germany, England and France all have in common? Well obviously plenty of things but if you guessed their respective mail services having to deal with deciphering my atrocious handwriting, then well….you’d be correct and you would also have to be a mind reader I think.
I took the last month off from posting anything on here to devote effort to other things and also to just give myself a little time off- it might not look it but a good bit of time and effort goes into these, mainly cause I firmly believe if you’re gonna do something, do it well (or are well as you can). Part of the “other things” I was doing was catching up with friends and my snail mail, making sure I was still set on heading to Europe for two weeks at the end of September and surviving the onset of the devils season in Texas (aka Summer).
Snailmailing is something that has been a love of mine since I was 17 and actually the biggest reason I got into traveling and being more curious about the world around me. Only a few of the people I met during that first foray into penpalling are still around and while i’ve learned how easy and subsequently painful it can be to lose touch with people you’ve grown close to through letters, it’s still a thing I enjoy greatly. If anything, snailmailing and having penpals I can send postcards to and exchange travel stories with still remains a big motivator for those days when I’m so tired from work and trying to plan an epic trip and all I can think of is “gods, I wish I could just take two weeks off to be a couch potato“. These days especially with how stressful work can be, knowing I have a friend in Germany who will recommend me some amazing places to visit or another in Paris who’ll help me feel like less of a tourist in one of the most visited cities on earth, it helps to keep the wanderlust alive.
And if sometimes I end up sending people a weird art piece, a pizza pin or a t-shirt with a Texas state outline on it in addition to something I picked up for them on my travels? Well, i’ve gotten no complaints so far.
As always, it takes me good while to get to the end of posting about a trip- between editing all the photos and just life in general, i’m actually pretty surprised it didn’t take longer. But, here we are! Two months from the end of the trip and i’m finally done and onto planning my next trip.
Getting the chance to explore these parts of Colorado more in depth was a perfect vacation and while I don’t see myself returning any time soon, I know i’ll be be back. Whether it’s to go hiking in Rocky Mountain NP, finally make it to Lake City, see the night sky at the Great Sand Dunes NP or just relax in the quiet of South Fork, Colorado is a state that holds too much not to be worth a visit for anyone with a sense of adventure.
I’m taking a break from writing any blog posts for the month of June to give myself time to focus back on neglected art projects, finish up the editing for the novel i’ve been writing, catch up with friends and above all, plan my next trip. I bought a ticket to Paris back at the end of March and i’ve yet to really settle on an itinerary (or get my passport in order) so hopefully by the time I get back on here, i’ll be able to share some kind of travel plan. Or beg for suggestions.
Either way, i’m wishing everyone a fantastic start to their summer and much luck in their adventures!
You know it’s not a roadtrip unless we end up exploring abandoned places…
Coming down the Bachelors Loop back towards Creede to head back to South Fork, we pulled off so I could take a better look at a structure partially obscured by trees and snow. Of course that ended up with me grabbing my camera and dragging myself (and the bf) to go up and over the hill, to better explore what looked more and and more interesting by the second.
I’m still not quite sure what this place is/was to be perfectly honest. When I looked at the Bachelor Loop map more close, it looks like this isn’t actually on there? The closest spot is #15, which is the Creede Cemetery (where I took the photo of that church from the end of my last post) but after that is #14 which is the Creede Scenic Overlook (again from where I took last posts photos). I remember passing a sign that said “Ponderosa” but thats about the best my memory serves me and no matter how much googling i’ve done, i’ve come up with nothing to give a name to this abandoned structure. To be sure, I also don’t remember any “Private Property” signs- which we saw a lot of while doing the other parts of the Bachelor Loop- and given the graffiti we saw inside plus the general air of disuse, i’m pretty sure I didn’t go stumbling through just anywhere.
What I do know for certain is that it was entirely unexpected but more wonderfully interesting and i’m always happy to get a chance to explore gems like this, even if I can’t always put a name to them.
Having spent the previous day at the Sand Dunes NP, the plan on Thursday (what was supposed to be our last full day staying in South Fork) was to head to Lake City first.
Actually, to be perfectly honest, the only real goal for the day was Lake City, everything else came a distant fifth. And why did I want to go to Lake City so badly? Because i’m a stupidly stubborn person sometimes and after the bf spent 2 years mentioning how the next time we were in Creede I needed to go visit Lake City, and how great Lake City was and did I know I needed to go visit Lake City… i’d had enough. We were going and the gods themselves would have to block my way.
The funny thing is, I actually said those exact words out loud to the bf as we set out on the road towards lake city, the sky overcast and looking like a bad idea. “The gods themselves are gonna have to come down and block my way.” . I’m not only stubborn but dramatic as well, apparently.
And did I make it to Lake City? The answer to that is no, because hubris is a lovely and fun thing.
Just 20 minuets past Creede, still about an hour away from our destination, the flakes started falling. And they kept coming. Heavier and heavier until the whole world was one giant coating of white. It got so bad finally we had to stop the car, the windshield rapidly icing over and the road itself only a suggestion. We turned back, because although i’m dramatic and stubborn and leak hubris like faulty car, i’m not completely reckless. We ended up on the other side of the Bachelors Loop tour road, the snow over here falling only in gentle flakes again, not in looming sheets of pale terror.
From up here you can look down at the town of Creede, nestled in the junction of the mountains, tucked in safe. The church in the last photo is actually visible from the high view (you can see it in the first three photos up top) and if your ever out here, on your way to Lake City and happen to get kicked in the teeth and made to turn back, I highly recommend coming up through the Bachelors Loop for the view. We had it all to ourselves that day and it almost made up for our interrupted plans.
What I remember most vividly was the feel of cold sand against my bare feet and the sound of running water. We settled in next to the creek to relax after our eventful day (starting in South Fork, headed to Creede and then back to South Fork only to head back out later in the day to find a town with a postoffice to buy stamps at and then finally to this park that ended up about a two hours drive away) and to wait for the sunset.
It took it’s time, and perhaps if I was a more determined photographer I would have hiked up to the dunes to enjoy the view from there but, I consider myself more of a traveler than anything else, and so I saved that journey for another visit. This time I took in the colors of above from below and enjoyed the clouds moving in from the east.
We lingered till just after the sun had settled in, the sky still muted colors, until we heard the far off cries of coyotes…and the sounds of people nearby calling back at them. There is a particular kind of madness that even i’m not that fond of delving into, so after a few more back and forth calls we headed back to the car, the day more than happily ended.