All quiet on the Western front

I’ve been staying in the Leadville/Twin Lakes area of Colorado for a full week now, and tomorrow I pick up and head west to Salt Lake City. There’ll be no more restful, luxurious weeklong stays beyond this point. From now on, the pace picks up.

But before it does, a look back at Colorado.

I’ve been staying at my dad and stepmom’s cabin outside of Twin Lakes. It’s pretty idyllic:

I build a fire in the wood stove every night.

I build a fire in the wood stove every night.

A few days ago, I went on a hike along one of the twin glacial lakes of Twin Lakes.
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Along the way, I met a guy who was doing a much longer hike accompanied by two goats to carry his bags. He was camped by the side of the trail. I said, “Are those goats?” He said, “Yep.” I said, “Wow, they’re beautiful.” He said, “Not if you have to spend a lot of time with them. This morning they ate my breakfast, and I’m pissed.” I asked if I could take a picture, and it is to my everlasting regret that this was the best one I got.

There's got to be a delicious tin can around here somewhere...

There's got to be a delicious tin can around here somewhere...

It was a gorgeous hike:

Really peaceful, except for the bleating of the goats. (No, not really.)

Really peaceful, except for the piercing bleats of a thousand goats. (No, not really.)

 At the end of the trail, there’s an abandoned 19th-century resort called Interlaken, built by mining magnate James Dexter when nearby Leadville was booming:

You know what boarded up windows and doors mean: Free lodging for anyone that can break in. Score!

You know what boarded-up windows and doors mean: Free lodging for anyone that can break in. Score!

The town of Twin Lakes has a great restaurant where I enjoyed an out-of-this-world elk steak last year. (This year I tried to save money by eating at the cabin as much as I could; I even packed my lunch most mornings before heading out.) It also has a little general store, and a cafe. And that’s pretty much it. Apparently there are 6 year-round residents. That’s why most days I’ve been driving out  to Leadville, about 1/2 hour away. Besides restaurants, museums, coffee shops with wifi, and other signs of civilization, the town also boasts a huge number of wildly painted Victorian (?) homes. 

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When I said "wildly painted," I wasn't kidding around.

I really meant it.

I really meant it.

This one is only used in December.

I don't know why you didn't just TRUST me.

On Saturday morning, I attended the grand opening of America’s highest-altitude synthetic turf field. No big deal. Sorry you couldn’t make it. I hate to rub it in.

I'm sure you were doing something equally awesome on Saturday.

Don't even feel bad, I'm sure you were doing something equally awesome on Saturday.

It was one of those grand events that are truly impossible to describe, but I’ll try: Basically, everyone in Leadville came and milled around on some Astroturf for a few hours.

Hey, I did it!

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