Friday, August 20, 2010

Western Jaunt

I did not fall off the earth, though I was in something of an internet brown out.  I just returned from a business trip to Denver with an additional hiking extension.  Of course I knit through it all (except the business meeting!) coming back with 7 hats and a sock and a quarter.  Disregarding my theory that socks are the supreme travel knitting, I took a good bit of hand spun and commercial yarns and knit a number of hats for warm heads all over western North Carolina while I was riding in the car through the Rockies as well as in the airports & airplanes.

While in Denver we visited friends and walked over to the Denver Botanic Gardens.  They are having a year-long Henry Moore exhibit with big honking bronze sculptures all over the park.  Late summer in Denver is beautiful and the Moores were nicely set among the plants and ponds and lawns.  The deal is that you can see the work around the year, in every season.  If I lived there, I would.

The trip was partly work for me, but my sweetie went with me.  I had not been to the Rockies in a long time.  We walked and walked and walked in the Rocky Mountain National Park.  We saw big mountains and pretty lakes, darling chipmunks and cool birds.  The mountains were really big and it was windy above the tree line.  But the coolest thing was a little evening stroll  - really, just a leg stretcher - I didn't want to get caught out after dark.  As we crossed the Big Thompson River near the Cub Lake trailhead, we came upon a head of about 50 elk.  Just hanging out, browsing, traveling fairly slowly.  Rather unafraid of the humans - they were about 10 tards from us.  The big guy had about a 5' antler spread - amazing.  This is not our picture, it's from the NPS, but this would be the picture that we took.

Back in Denver, we visited the Denver Art Museum, another fine museum - well funded and nicely curated.  My favorite piece was this delightful group of foxes.  There are almost as many foxes invading the restaurant as there were elk.   Lots of other fine art too - an amazing pre-Columbian collection, as well as western works (cowboys, Indians, buffalo, etc) that you would expect.

Everything about the trip was good.  It makes me want to start hiking again here - the Blue Ridge Mountains are smaller and less dramatic, but no less beautiful.  Being in nature is good for my soul, even if it means walking through the urban forest to the Asheville Botanical Gardens just about a mile from my home.

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