Let me preface this next sentiment by saying that overall, I think I prefer a mountain experience similar to the one you'll find in North Carolina or New York: when you are close enough to see the mountains, you are probably right in the thick of them. They swell slowly around you, the earth taking bigger and bigger gulps into her lungs until you dash through a break in the trees and see the Sacandaga shimmering below you.
Colorado mountains are different. They are omnipresent, ever-visible, never letting you forget that just to your west there is an ancient wall of earth and stone that is greater and older than you will ever be. I feel I'm just another small piece of many in the familial rolling greenness of the Adirondacks and Appalachians; I know that I am distinctly separate and lesser than the snow-carpeted peaks of the Rockies.
That said. Holy good lord. Once you get up into them, they are pretty as all-git-out.
Starting the journey in probably the best way possible: with a dog who is far too big to be a lap dog being a lap dog.
"Look!" says Babysis. "There they are!"
Babysis proudly leading the way, looking about as Coloradoan as you can (for a GRITS).
What's that delightful sound? Oh, just the most picturesque little burbling brook you ever saw. (It took every ounce my my self-control and wariness of ticks not to dash right down the slope and splash and frolic.)
At the top of the trail, a waterfall-fed pool guarded by a (mostly) hidden giant.
Biff, l'écureuil éternelle, did what he does best, which is jumping on things (and balancing on them, and jumping over them, and crawling on them).
Wildflowers everywhere. These lupines were probably my favorites.
Sunlight, pines, and a dusty trail: among my favorite things in the world.
Next time: I meet some of my theoretically favorite people and they turn out to be legitimately incredible.