The Tripsick Blues

We have been home for almost three weeks now and I really do miss our trip.  Not all the time and not because I do not love my home, Edison Park, friends, work, or family.  It is just that there is no freedom quite like the road.  And with freedom comes change that is as hard to hold on to as a good tan. 

These are some of those changes:

My eyes

Nature and other neat stuff does not confine itself to national parks.  Walking in the garden at the school where I work I spied a fossil in the grass.  It was just a small rock but it had definite leaf prints on one side.  It was uncommon to a school garden, but common enough to hand over to my friend Louie.  In fact it was just a few weeks ago that Henna and I skipped dozens of such fossilized rocks into Jackson Lake.  I also have seen and pointed out to others delicate spider webs (on a gritty street corner on the Near Northside), skunks and other urban mammals, and several hawks all without breaking stride.  The kid from the Sixth Sense saw dead people; I see glimpses of our trip.

My points of reference

Corey wore the toe out of her barefoot running shoes (less than one year to do so).  Amazingly REI reimbursed her in full and with that money she bought the same pair of shoes.  In the process of doing this we met an employee who had just returned from Yosemite.  A good five minutes or so were then spent talking camping, hiking, and the lack of both in the flatlands.  We could have been at a campground (and I would have offered him a beer) but we were in the north suburbs and I never missed my trip more.

My weight and overall comfort

I lost close to ten pounds.  I think it was from being active, Corey thinks it was from a lack of snacks.  Either way I feel great.  On the trip I also slept well (something I do not always do so great at home).  Henna sleeps better on the road too and sleeps best in a tent.  Corey only has back and neck pain at home (and never from sleeping on the ground).

I hope this does not come off as whining.  I know how lucky I am to be able to take off for months at a time.  I certainly do not expect any sympathy from those unable to do the same.  But all the same I am spending a lot of time now looking at maps, googling campgrounds, and thinking of the mountains.

Day 12: Gunnison, CO to Ouray, CO

Well we found Colorado heaven here in Ouray (pronounced you-ray).  You can walk up and down (literally for there is a definite tilt to the town) Main street in about ten minutes.  You can also stroll from Main street to a waterfall, several trail heads, or a large community pool fed by the hot springs.  The latter had a youth swim team practice going on when we checked it out (one pool is the traditional water type, three or four other pools varying in temperature from 80 to 100 degrees).  There are a few condos here, but mostly people (permanent residents and otherwise) live in small cottages that dot the downtown area as well as the hills.  Prices are not cheap, but you can buy a small home here for about 250K; I talked with someone who bought his dream home for around 400K, a nice librarian whose husband teachers in town paid 280K for something that needs work (in Breckenridge I think condos start at over 500K- we found ads in town for homes in Teluride starting at a million).   We ate at a wonderful Mexican resterant last night and the waitress grew up here with both parents teaching at the local school (her graduating class was 25 but she thinks last years was 14).  She goes to school now in Boulder but loves her hometown dearly.  Another person we met owns a liquor store that he purchased from his family (they moved to Ouray in 1973, he was born in 1976 and bought the store from his folks in 1999).  People tend to stay here.

Anyways, we do not have any pictures yet of our new adopted hometown.  On the way to Ouray we stopped at Black Canyon of The Gunnsion NP and did some hiking.  That canyon is amazing; the Gunnison river carved it out and drops more in 60 some miles than the Mississippi does in its entire run.  A lot of power.  Anyways we will share photos and stories from our new favorite town Ouray.  Talk to you soon.