Monday, June 29, 2009

Cowboy Librarian?

So I've returned from the mountains of Colorado and lived to tell the tales. After 21 years of avoiding all things outdoorsy I returned to the Mile High City for the first time in the summer since 1988. Now don't get me wrong, I've nothing against the state in the colder months, I've been skiing the hills of Colorado since 1983 and learned to snowboard there back in the 90's but I've been avoiding the state once the snow melts. Sad thing is my parents have owned homes out there since the early 80's and my sister relocated to Denver from Chicago a few years ago so I've had amble opportunity to visit, I just prefer to visit family when they are living at their home in Florida, I am way more a beach girl than a mountain girl. So after years of sending my son out there in the summer, I decided it was time to experience my mother's sanctuary in the mountains with him, my husband and my very happy mom and step-dad.

I can't deny it, Colorado is a beautiful place. Wide open valleys bordered by towering mountains and spectacular sunsets that light up the sky and reflect off the snow still clinging to the tops of the Rockies. My parents own a lovely home in the area around Winter Park with amazing views over the mountains and from their deck you can relax and take in 180 degree vistas. Truly spectacular. What was neat about the trip was experiencing things I've never done (or even thought of doing before). One afternoon we raced town the alpine slides at Winter Park, another we rented a pontoon boat (surely the dumbest type of boat ever dreamed up) and glided over the largest natural lake in Colorado (Grand Lake). On Saturday night we attended the local rodeo and that was so surreal it was like visiting another planet. Truly a family affair, most of the participants were high school age and their families seem to be heavily involved in everything from rodeo clowning to cleanup to fund raising.
I also visited local libraries and was pleased to find new modern buildings built in the center of small towns. At the Grand Lake Juniper Library they were having a theater night benefit showing of Pirates of Penzance!

One of the highlights of my travels are all the libraries I visit. From the most prestigious libraries in the world to the small mountain log cabin libraries, people USE and LOVE the books and services that remind us that the best things in life are still simple and free.

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