Caldwell Colorado Aficionados

July 16, 2010

 

 

 

Long time no blog!  Sorry for the lack of communication, blogwise.  Bascially I decided I would wait to write until I knew where we were headed next, but unfortunately, we still don’t know!  I know you are not shocked by this.  We lived in Colorado for 11 weeks total.  Joe was sent there to work on the Federal Prison in Florence, CO.  We started out in Colorado Springs, a small city about an hour outside of Denver.   CO Springs was a cute place – a small downtown with some cute bars, coffee shops and yummy ethnic food.  We hiked through Garden of the Gods (beautiful!), tried rock climbing at a local rock-climbing gym and visited the little sis in Boulder.  We enjoyed being there, but Joe’s company decided to rent us an apartment in the teeny weeny town of Canon City.  Canon City is only about 15,000 people (1/2 the size of my hometown of Madisonville, KY).  I did NOT want to go there and was really bummed that Noresco decided to move us.  However, once we moved and got settled in, I learned how interesting and full of character this little town is.  Even though it’s super small, there are a lot of restaurants, bars and little shops with a ton of personality.  This is a quirky little mountain town with quirky little mountain characters.  I sort of feel like I stepped into “Stars Hollow” from Gilmore girls.  😉  Canon City has a town festival almost every other weekend.  We have attended “Territory Days”, a “Sock-Hop”, and a full-fledged “Victorian Ball.”  When in Rome, right?  It’s made me realize that small towns don’t have to be dull or boring…I only wish Madisonville could be more like this place.  Canon City is half the size and has so much more to offer its residents. 

We were given an apartment right downtown, which was great because I was able to walk everywhere.  I bought an old, run-down bike from the Goodwill (seriously, it’s hilariously awesome, with full-on splash paint from the 80’s…I call her Tiffany) and ride it all over.  I try to stay as busy as possible with running, playing guitar, reading…but to be honest, I am just ready to WORK.  I miss my old job constantly and miss the feeling of accomplishment that comes with working somewhere you love.  I know, I know…I shouldn’t complain.  I know how many of you would love to have several months off of work, but it’s just not me.  I am the sort of person that needs and likes to stay busy. 

 

Though the workweek goes fairly slowly, we always have fun on the weekends.  Joe is really great about doing fun, crazy, active things with me, despite having worked hard all week.  We’ve been to Boulder a few times to visit my little sis, to Denver, Salida, Colorado Springs, Manitou Springs, and Santa Fe (New Mexico).  I think we’ve done very well for just having been here 11 weeks!  I do like how active and outdoorsy Colorado is, at least in the summer.  I’ve run 3 races while here and have stepped up my running to hopefully complete another marathon sometime late summer/early fall.  Colorado is a really beautiful state, but to be honest, I think I am just ready to move on.  We attempted to stay here for awhile, mostly because I really wanted to be near Becky and LOVED living so close to her, but unfortunately it didn’t work out with Joe’s job.  Perhaps I didn’t fall in love with Colorado because we simply didn’t plan to be here a long time…it was sort of thrown at us last minute.  And while we’ve done some really fun things here, I am just ready for a place I can call home for awhile…unpack, get a job, make friends. 

 

We very much enjoyed New Mexico…Santa Fe is chock full of character and personality!  Lots of Mexican flair mixed with dramatic Native American culture.  Great outdoor bazaars and delicious food.  We explored the old Pueblo ruins at Bandelier National Monument, where hundreds of years ago, cave dwellers carved their homes into the side of a volcanic canyon.  It was fabulously intriguing to us!  We climbed all through the ruins and marveled at how these people lived and worked so high up in the canyons.  They were wonderfully preserved and I would recommend it to anyone passing through.  Its fascinating history is exactly why I love to travel so much…there is so much to see in this big, beautiful world, even in our own country!

 

Two weeks ago, we attempted our first “14er” which apparently is a really big thing here in Colorado.  It is a mountain  that goes over 14,000 feet.  We had been warned that 14ers were no joke, they were strenuous and difficult; but to be honest, I went into it a little arrogantly.  After all, I’m in good shape!  We attempted “Pike’s Peak” because it was closest and supposed to be really beautiful.  It was CRAZY hard!  A little over halfway through, I thought I was going to have to throw Joe over my shoulder and carry him up a mountain!  Believe me, I’ve done some really difficult hikes in Hawaii, but I think this one wins…12.6 miles straight up the side of a mountain – whew!  At a certain point you just focus all of your energy downward, not wanting to look ahead to see how much further you have to go, and willing your burning thighs to keep moving.  Joe was so exhausted when we finally reached the peak that he didn’t want to take pictures, celebrate, nothing…he just wanted to sit!  Ha!  Besides the hike being physically exhausting, you also have to battle the high altitude, which makes everything more difficult.  You get dizzy, nauseous, have headaches…3 things you DON’T want when hiking up a mountain with a major cliff drop-off to your side.   

 

Unfortunately (especially for Joey) we had already planned to hike another 14er the following weekend with a friend of mine that lives in Denver.  Uh oh.  However, our 2nd attempt (Mount Shavano) was much more pleasant…it’s a shorter distance (it took us about 8 hours round-trip) and we started at a much higher elevation.  We were also with a fantastic group of people, which helped to keep us going and keep our spirits up…thanks Adventure Seekers!!!!  We were absolutely exhausted by the end, but celebrated with fabulous smores, plenty of beer and singing Britney Spears at the top of our lungs by the campfire.  🙂  We had a great time and met some fun people. 

 

 

I love that wherever we move, we seem to know someone nearby.  Here in Colorado we had my 2 friends Jodie and Matt in Denver, my little sis of course, and my cousin Matt.  We got to celebrate cousin Matt’s 30th birthday in Boulder, which was a dress-as-a-senior-citizen-and-play-kickball party that was hilarious!  I think Joe, Becky and I got a little TOO into character.  I know I am super lucky to have people all over this country that are willing to help us out and show us around…that’s just one of the awesome things about getting to travel and move around so much.  Friends everywhere!

 

Now we have to figure out our next move and so it’s off to…Hawaii!!!  My favorite place in the world!  Joe has not secured his next contract yet, so we had 2 options: go back to Kentucky or go to Hawaii…basically because we want to be able to stay somewhere we won’t have to pay rent.  Our choice was obvious!  We will be looking for work and trying to figure out our next move from there.  I cannot wait to see friends, eat delicious Thai and Indian food, run in Monoa Valley, camp out on the North Shore, and soak in the amazing beaches and hikes with my Joey!  Noresco is paying for our flight there, so we just have to squat with friends and pay for food.  Yay!  I think I will ALWAYS be ok with a trip to my island paradise. 

 

We actually had a possible job opportunity there, a chance to move back.  One of Joe’s former colleagues had contacted him about a position on Oahu…and while it was verrrrrry tempting, we decided not to pursue it.  I really think we will move back one day, but when/if we do, it will be for good, and I just don’t think we’re ready for that yet.  We still want to try new places, maybe live abroad again…who knows?  But for now I am just thrilled to be able to go back for awhile.  I miss reggae music, the local accent, seeing rainbows every day, running on the beach…

Well, I just narrowed down 11 weeks of living into a blog (albeit a long one).  I’ll try to do better.  I guess I can’t rely on waiting until when we know where we’ll be next!  That’s been difficult for me, I have to admit.  I constantly have to remind myself to let go, that it will work out, that I can’t control it.  But I also constantly forget to remind myself of those things.  As much of a free spirit as I am, there is a whole other anal/planner side of me that just wants to KNOW!  But I’m working on reigning that in and just enjoying how fabulous my life truly is with my awesome husband and his adventurous spirit.  Until next time…

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