Until...we stopped to see ....
THE WORLD'S LARGEST PRAIRIE DOG!
Apparently it's 8,000 lbs of pure p-dog.
Since we got there during off-season (who knew there was a season for fake prairie dog viewing??) we got to view for free, by poking our heads over the fence.
It was a redemptive moment after hours of boringness on the interstate.
Amy and I got very good at passing the time in the car, as you can imagine. This particular day we listened to The Lion, The Witch & The Wardrobe (on tape!), performed by The Second Chapter of Acts. It's apparently an obscure musical selection, which I was lucky enough to unearth from my parents' cassette collection.
That and the super Wal-Mart (where I stocked up on the necessary snack: triscuits) were some additional highlights.
Enough about the I-70...
So we decided to spend a night in Colorado Springs because our newly made friend Collin (see the Columbus, MS post) graciously invited us to stop by and stay with him and his family. I had never been to the Springs, so we gladly obliged.
This is another one of those events where we totally failed to take pictures. It could have been because I was SICK and wasn't feeling too friendly towards cameras...
But I can describe it to you! It was absolutely beautiful. I totally understand what "the big deal" is about CO Springs. The mountains are breathtaking, covered in snow and ever so large. And the sky feels so big...we could definitely feel that we were back in the WEST. Which was a welcome feeling. I have absolutely loved seeing different parts of the country, especially seeing all of the different landscapes, but I am still partial to the West. There's something so wild and rugged and beautiful about it that makes me feel at home. Love it.
Another indicator that we were back in the West was that our skin started drying out immediately. I think I drank about 10 glasses of water that day, and was still thirsty.
One CO Springs event we did do was go and see Whit's End, which brought back many pleasant memories from my childhood, watching the Adventures in Odyssey videos.
It's like Christian Disneyland there. I highly recommend it to any Adventures in Odyssey fans.
Then we drove to Canon City and met up with a familiar face (Amy's friend Nate) for sushi. He was one of the last on the list of people from Amy's growing up years that I hadn't met, so it was quite nice to finally meet and make a new friend!
And then we went to dear Salida (Amy's hometown). It was so nice to step into a familiar home for the first time in a long time.
We had an amazing week there, consisting of resting and repacking and painting pottery. It was awesome to see Amy's parents again (we had met up with them in Maine) and be able to have a belated Christmas celebration, as well as spend New Year's with them.
Amy's mom is also amazing at doctoring people up-and she was instrumental in nursing me back to health! Thanks Mama Blakeslee!!
Then...it was time to head even farther West and farther North.
So some background you need to know about me (Bethany) is that I grew up in Southern California, and have never been especially fond of cold climates. I have had an aversion to winter because for me it always means cold toes, cold noses, and being trapped indoors. I was dreading the dropping temperatures as we had been heading Northwest, and the entire time we were in Florida I was brainstorming on how I could acquire early snowbird status and remain basking in the sun on the beach.
However, my time spent in Colorado really changed my perspective on this formerly hated season. It was absolutely beautiful. I think Colorado is at its best in the Winter months. Everything looks so dramatic and majestic. It was completely inspiring and quite a feast for my eyes. I just kept gasping as we turned every corner and saw another marvelous view of trees clad in white, sparkling so happily in the sun.
Winter and I are friends again.