Monday, June 3, 2013

Salida, CO

Last night’s sunset. 

After a good night’s sleep, I started the day in Buena Vista hiking the Barbara Whipple Trail.  This is my favorite trail, by far, I’ve ever hiked.

It makes its way through canyons of boulders climbing ever higher over the Arkansas.
There were lots of paddlers today, braving the 19-mile stretch of the Arkansas River, weaving throughout the Class I – Class IV rapids. 

Your turn.

It’s good to be back here in the Arkansas Valley in general and Salida in particular.  I worked here for 3 months as a travel nurse during the winter of 2005.  I had never heard of the place until my recruiter mentioned it. 

Cynic that I am, I thought the Heart of the Rockies talk was all hyperbole; it was anything but.  Except for the difficult work environment and the unfriendliness of the staff, I thoroughly enjoyed my time here.
About to hike then

About to hike now

A few things have changed, but not the important stuff.  Salida is still its fun, funky, unpretentious self.  And I’m relieved to see that it remains relatively undeveloped. 

From 2005.  In 2013, still only one stoplight.

It seems like everyone I met back during that winter said the same thing: you need to come back in the summer.  Well, here I am and I’m still blown away by all this area has to offer.  And now I can see what’s under all that snow. 


The most prominent peak is Mt. Shavano at 14,231 feet.  I took this photo from my camping spot for the night, Wal-Mart.  I notice that, in summer, without her “wings”, she looks more like a friendly ghost rather than an angel.  

She looks out over this 360-degree range of  mountains.

 I look forward to watching the sunset tonight directly on Mt. Shavano and her equally breathtaking neighboring peaks.

1 comment:

  1. Colorado is a beautiful state...I think about my fourth favorite...after Arizona, Utah and New Mexico. Glad you are having a nice trip.


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