“The ford was a picture. The creek widened just above it, and was divided by three long sand-bars into three small zigzagging streams, which looked as if the creek were untwisting itself into shining strands. The water was of amber brown, so clear that the pebbles gleamed through…”
–Helen Hunt Jackson, in Bits of Travel at Home (1878)
For the weekend, I escaped my office cubicle in Denver and headed down to Colorado Springs with a friend. I’ve been working a tech writing contract (snooze) and going to a climbing gym during lunch, running on a treadmill at my hotel in the evenings (way lame). So anything outdoors was a welcome change. But the foul weather prevented us from doing much. It flattened our moods and left us just motivated enough to drive around in the foothills.
Nonetheless, we decided to meander through Cheyenne Canyon, top out on a dirt road, and then descend the switchbacks on the other side. For some reason, I always liked to do this when I lived in Colorado Springs (city of last known address, 2003), and the route was one I’d frequent on both road and mountain bikes. By the time we reached Helen Hunt Falls, it was sleeting, and at the top of High Drive, flakes were sticking to our windshield. This, I liked.
Even better than the snow at the top was the sight of the misty mountains on our descent. I think that I prefer the mountains this way: half-veiled. Seeing them shrouded like that inspires imagination, and now I’m counting down my remaining days in the office (3!). I’m counting the days until I’ll return to the French Alps (15!), and I’m dreaming of alpenglow, of misty mornings, and snowy peaks…