Today had everything. Cows on the trail (again!!), a geyser, another death road, the dearest of friends, the best Mediterranean food, a vicious hail storm, a gondola ride, and a Ted Cruz look alike who we spent too long convinced it was actually him. I don’t know how anyone could experience all those things in one day and not be exhausted.
The morning started with us rolling over in our sleeping bags to turn off the alarm and realizing that bears did not attempt to eat us during the night. Phew! Our hike for the day was short, beautiful, and to the only geyser in Colorado. The barista at the Dolores coffee drive thru told us to not expect Yellowstone. He was right, this was 10 times better. The hike was in a huge aspen grove and simply beautiful. If someone told me they had seen a unicorn in this forest, I would absolutely believe them. It was magical. Occasionally, we’d get a strong whiff of rotting eggs, knowing we were on the right path, but then the sweet scent of the forest would return. Suddenly we were upon the most gorgeous turquoise pool. We had read that it erputs every 30-40 minutes for about 15 minutes. The eruptions resemble a simmering pot of water. When we walked up it was bubbling! The eruption continued for the remainer of our time up there, transforming into a strong boil, and then back down to a simmer. I loved everything about the hike.
We changed into our “nice” clothes and drove to Telluride to meet Mary and Sarah. Mary is one of my mom’s best friends from growing up and has been a force of love and creativity my whole life. We met at a permanent Mediterranean food truck, whose food I’ve been craving since I last had it two years ago with Mary! It was drizzling when we sat down outside under an umbrella, but by the time the food parrived there was a legit hailstorm. The rain is so needed, it was impossible to complain. We grabbed our plates and found shelter, laughing as hail pounded the tent. The rain and hail came and went in spurts and we eventually made it to the gondola. We rode up and over a mountain, through the clouds, just above the tops of the aspens and ponderosas. When we got off, the rain was coming down harder, so we quickly found a fancy lounge. We bypassed the $95 baked potato with 30 ounces of caviar, and opted for beers and cocktails. It was so wonderful to catch up with Mary and, her daughter, Sarah. The hours just flew by. The party next to ours did not include Ted Cruz, but there was a good 15 minutes we thought it might. I was trying to form my thoughts into words of what I’d say to him if we happened to have an opportunity to chat, but it was then confirmed that it was not him. Good news for him, I suppose.
It was a day that involved a lot of everything and in all the most perfect ways.