Dixie Darr

Almost Native

In Colorado, Home, spirituality on June 9, 2017 at 6:47 am

Colorado is the most beautiful state in the U.S. That’s a stupid statement, I know. First, beauty is subjective. Science has yet to invent an objective scale to measure relative beauty. Second, while I have seen quite a lot of the state, I sure haven’t seen it all. Third, even if I had seen it all, I haven’t seen every bit of every other state with which to compare it. Nevertheless.

My family moved to Denver on my third birthday. We had a party in the morning, and then packed up the car and left Des Moines for good. I always considered both the city and the state to be my birthday gift. When they came to visit (and a lot of them came to visit), my Iowa relatives told me how lucky I was to live in Colorado.

We would take them up to Central City (before gambling) to see the face on the barroom floor and to Garden of the Gods and to Estes Park.

On my parents’ summer vacations, we ventured farther afield. Most of the time we camped in a station wagon with roof top tent my dad made from a pattern in Popular Mechanics.

When I was 10, we took our most memorable trip, driving west to Grand Junction then south to Ouray, “The Switzerland of America.” Still heading south we drove the harrowing hairpin turns of the Million Dollar Highway to Silverton. Carved into the side of a mountain in the 1880s, the narrow road is one of the most spectacular drives in the country. Ask anyone.

We also rode the narrow gauge railroad between Silverton and Durango and then headed west to Mesa Verde. The ancient and mysterious cliff dwellings moved me deeply although the precarious cliffside position scared the piss out of me (literally, but that’s Too Much Information). Let’s just say I learned that year that I have a fear of heights.

Our last stop was Four Corners, where we took the obligatory pictures standing in four states at once before heading home to Denver.

I defy anyone to take that trip and not believe Colorado scenery, from the city to the mountains to the desert, surpasses everything else in the country.

I feel the same way about Colorado that Eliot felt about E.T.

It’s mine. I’m keeping it.


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