Sean and I have developed a serious wander-lust as of late. Meaning this was the year for tons of weddings. Meaning this was the year we spent a ton of money going places we normally wouldn’t have thought of going. New York was always a possibility, but the impossibly small town of Ridgway, Colorado? Who would have even known that existed. This story is long over due, considering we made this adventure in June, but Spanish class somehow always gets in the way of my getting personal writing done.
Colorado, home of the Rocky Mountains, bears, birds of prey, elk and a lot of snow. Also home to gas stations and cell service being few and far between. Not too good for my stress level or fear of getting stranded on a mountain. We left my parents house in Arizona very early in the morning on a Wednesday with a plan to get to our destination in nine hours. However, Sean put me in charge of directions, which is something we have learned on multiple occasions is a bad idea. Getting lost on the 10 mile journey from our hotel to Six Flags in California is a perfect example of why I should not be the navigator.
Our planned nine hour trip turned into roughly 12 hours. My incessant talking seemed to keep me far more preoccupied than the desire to get to our hotel and sleep. Thank goodness Sean is a good sport and knows me by now. The wrong turns, back tracking and my need for twirlers all added into the fun of the journey. So did the random traffic in the middle of the desert that had us stopped for 45 minutes.
Ridgway, where the wedding was going to be held was beautiful. It did not even look real because of how story book it was. Montrose however, probably could have been cute if we weren’t tainted by the quaint Ridgway. Montrose is where hotel number one was. Montrose was where we officially found the hotel that was worse than the horror stories. I promise it did not look like this in the pictures. To start, Sean had to push the door open, then found out it did not lock very well. Then the smell on the inside was a strange combination of mold and urine. We glanced at each other. I apologized, he laughed, I got my homework done, and we ran out to find some food. Except, literally everything closes at around seven there.
We decided to drive in a full day early for one purpose, we knew we wanted to explore. So after eating breakfast we as quickly as possible got out of that hotel room and began to explore. Our rental Kia Soul turned out to be the greatest car we could have ever hoped for. Apparently it handles dirt roads and mountain driving just was well as any Jeep!
We found our way to Blue Lakes Trail. Deserted and in the middle of a mountain where we were getting spotty service and, unbeknownst to me, had wild predatory animals skulking about. Basically, due to the unmelted snow we never made it to the actual lake, but we did get really far up the mountain. All the while, Sean was insisting on us carrying walking sticks and looking around very uneasily. Of course, I was so wrapped up in being in the wild that I didn’t have any thoughts on his behavior. In fact, I insisted on us walking all the way up in the snow. Wearing just our sneakers and pants without any supplies because nothing ever goes wrong in my head.
Sean won out, saying we were not prepared (correct as usual) and we started making our way back down the mountain. He was a few steps ahead of me since I was taking my time getting down the rocks so as not to re-enflame my back, and he stepped slightly off the trail to look at something.
That was when we heard it. He slowly turned to look at me as I froze on the rocks. Quite forcefully he told me to walk over to him with haste. For some reason I felt the need to ask what it was, and then answered myself. I said something like, “Oh that was just a big cat right?” He said yeah of course, took my hand and we started quickly walking away. I suggested we start running, because I didn’t think the thing was following us, and again he said no, just keep up with me. What should have taken us another 45 minutes to walk back down, somehow took us 20 at the speed we were walking. All the while Sean kept looking back, worry deeply set in his eyes. I tried to not let that get to me.
When we arrived at the bottom and ran into the car we finally shared some words. Why I thought it being a big cat was less troublesome I don’t know, but it wasn’t nearly as horrifying as when we looked up what a black bear sounded like.
The trip after that went without trouble. The wedding was lovely, the scenery was lovely and all the food we had the privilege of eating was amazing. Colorado treated us well, a place we normally would not have gone.