Sunday, September 4, 2011

New Adventures in Colorado

This past month has been so busy, and we have had so many problems with our internet, that I can hardly believe it has been a month since the last post. Here's the long update on our happenings since then:

We left St. George a few weeks ago for Dave's next clinical rotation in Colorado Springs, CO. We were a bit sad to leave St. George - it really had started to feel rather homey to us - but excited to discover Colorado. Aly had some fun while packing, insisting that we not forget to pack her as well.

On the way over, we decided to take some detours to see more of the amazing sights in Utah, and to complete our tour of the national parks there (we have now been to them all, and all but one of the national monuments in UT). Here are some photos from our stay in Capitol Reef.

The views and hiking there were spectacular, although we were hit with a couple of intense thunderstorms (one that occurred right as we were cooking our dinner over the fire - we managed to bolt for the tent before being drenched, and had to restart the fire with wet wood after the rain dissipated). One of the best things about Capitol Reef is that it wasn't near as crowded as Utah's other parks - you really felt as if you were out in nature.


We made it into Colorado Springs two days later, after driving through some beautiful scenery in Vail and other high mountain towns along the Colorado River. Our new home is in one of the temporary lodging units on base at the Air Force Academy, set against the mountains just outside of the city. It is kind of like staying in a hotel (the maids come every day to clean and restock the shampoo and mouthwash), but it spared us the headache of having to find a 3-month lease for under $1500/mo, which seemed virtually impossible. The unit isn't bad - granite counters, wood floors, a great playground for the kids right out our front door. But the BEST thing is the view - here is what we look at all day long from our front porch - amazing, huh? And if you look the other way, there is a fantastic view of the entire city of Colorado Springs (no picture).

Ah, the mountains! Literally taken just out our door. I could get used to this.

The playground, 10 yards away from our front door.

And you know that smell of being in the mountains, away from everything else? The one with a mix of pine, sage, and the freshest air you've ever breathed? That's what we breathe all day long here. We love it! It comes replete with black bears that visit our neighbor's garbage cans every few nights and strew the trash over their lawn (the bears are nice enough to leave ours alone - I think the poopy diapers in there act as a deterrent - anyone interested in marketing some cheap bear repellent for campers?). There are also hordes of deer that roam around the place, and supposedly a handful of elk and coyotes (haven't seen any of those yet).

We've been settling in here quite nicely. Dave is able to come home for lunch every day, and is off by 4:00 or 4:30 every afternoon. There is so much to do - more hikes than we could ever possibly do in 3 months, and breathtaking scenery everywhere. It seems that being active is the thing to do here - apparently Colorado Springs is one of the most physically fit and most educated cities in America, and you can tell by the number of hiking and biking trails. Nice.