I have a bad habit of longing to be wherever I am not. If we’re in the desert I long for the forest, if we’re in the mountains I long for the coast, if we’re in a city I long for wide open spaces. It’s not that I don’t enjoy where I am, it’s just that I can’t help but think about all the places where I could be. While I don’t think there’s anything wrong with dreaming about the future, I do think it’s important to enjoy the present. Which is why I’ve tried very hard over the past year of traveling around the eastern side of the country to not let my longing for the west diminish my enjoyment of all the amazing places we’ve visited.
But that longing for the west is always there. Colorado, in particular, plays a prominent role in my western dreams. No other place takes my breath away quite like the beauty of the Colorado mountains. I’m also drawn to the outdoor culture, tiny mountain towns, and diversity of this large state (both in the geography and people). So many places that we travel though feel foreign to me. I often feel like an outsider who doesn’t fit in. Colorado, on the other hand, feels almost like home. I feel like I belong here.
Which might be why since arriving in Colorado that endless longing has diminished. I’m still looking forward to all the places we plan to go this summer and fall – Wyoming, Idaho, Utah – but that anxious feeling of wanting to get west as quick as possible that has followed me around since we left Florida is now gone. And really, can you blame me? From where I’m sitting right now at my tiny Airstream desk I can see snowcapped mountains out the front door and a lake out the back window. This afternoon we plan to hike around a meadow in Rocky Mountain National Park where moose and elk are known to hang out, and later this week we’ll put our kayaks in the water for a paddle around the clear blue water with the mountains looming overhead. What more could I want?
But I’m getting ahead of myself. As seems to be the norm these days, the blog is a few weeks behind which means before I tell you about where we are now, I need to go back to Golden where we spent our first week in Colorado
Two years in a row we spent most of the summer roaming around Colorado. While we didn’t leave much of the state unexplored, one of the areas where we didn’t spend much time is the populated front range area. Mostly because it’s hot there in the summer, but also because the campground options are limited and require advance planning to get into. This time we would be entering Colorado from the east for the first time so it only made sense to spend a week in Denver. By the time we concocted this plan it was far too late to get into any of the state parks in the area (seriously, how does anyone get a site at these parks?), but we did score the last available spot at the tiny city park in Golden.
Clear Creek RV Park is a cute little campground situated alongside Clear Creek and next to the town park. Walking distance to town, easy access to trails, and in the perfect location to either head east to the city or west to the mountains, this is a very popular spot. The desired sites are those that overlook the river, but by the time we made a reservation the only one available was a partial hook-up site in the back corner of the park. It was fine. The biggest annoyance was that while the sites are marked as suitable for RVs 30 feet or less, we had a number of rotating neighbors who were clearly longer than that which made our corner site feel smaller. Such is life in the city.
Despite the tight quarters we loved this park for its location, and after only a few days wished we had booked two weeks. Unfortunately, with Memorial Day weekend coming up there were no available sites. The week flew by. I spent far too much time running around doing “big city errands”, we walked all over town on the bike path and through the neighborhoods, had some bad pizza in Golden and good beer in Lakewood, went for two hikes in the nearby foothills, and hunkered down inside the Airstream on the few days that it rained.