that colorado magic

If you want battleship on a Friday night over a craft beer, visit Jake’s. A lemon-ginger light ale will bring joy even to the more heartier beer types. Myself included.

For mythological creatures on a cold afternoon (because it’s Colorado and it can snow in May), try the Denver Museum for Nature & Science. If you need coffee, you can find Pablo’s just a few miles South. Pablo’s is organic, “green” coffee (whatever that means, honestly, other than the fact that it tastes as smooth as a freshly opened bottle of Red wine) that was one of Denver’s first coffee roasters. It’s tasty.

The Alamo in Littleton combines the classic drive-ins with a modern, sleek edges (healthy food, too!); the Tattered Cover satisfies the literary types with comfortable chairs that allow for imaginations to run wild in politics, creative non-fiction, and travel books. Just to name a few.

Our towering rocks with a sandy, burnt dust color were once used by the Ute tribes and now find themselves home to ambitious Denver runners, the Fray, the Eagles, and Tracy Chapman. Anyone, really, who’s “made it,” At Red Rocks, anyone can sound good.

There are other things, things in between county lines, homes, and mountain ranges that are a bit harder to capture. You know, that thing of home. How can you really describe the moments that comprise a vacation that includes a shared meal with family for Mother’s Day? A wine-tasting party that has grandma sitting next to her daughter sitting next to her daughter. Or maybe, it’s the long walk you took, to nowhere in particular, losing track of time (even with the rubbing sole of your boot digging into your heel) because just being together is enough. These are the parts of vacation magic that don’t have a ‘yelp’ rating, a review, or an easy way of promoting. They’re good enough, just as they are. Sharing this life is sweet, like molasses on top of a ginger snap cookie. Sweet, because mostly it doesn’t have to make sense. It’s good enough, even as a standalone.

Colorado – home – always has been.

Lauren and I couldn’t stop saying #butforreal, discussed the metaphorical meanings of the Avengers, looked at old photos, watched Land Before Time, and went hiking. We did a little bit of this, a little bit of that. Colorado makes it easy in this way; with so many hidden gems, there is always something to do, something to see, something to explore. A year ago, I was recently coming home from a journey that I had hardly begun to process.

This time, I’m headed on another journey, having had processed more, finally realizing that processing our past events takes a really, really, uncomfortably long time do so. I’m leaving, but I’ll be back.

I was lucky that in between I could be filled up by someone who knows me well. Someone who knows my rambunctious spirit, someone who hears the details I hang on to, and who has been there for so much of the previous transitions in my life – college, hockey, post-graduate life, etc. Our talks, whether in a duct-taped car, along the treacherous dirt paths (none of which we are sure we are walking correctly on), or in my cozy living room, make for comfort and the sense that hey, I’m right where I need to be.

Colorado is, always will be, and couldn’t not be home. I don’t need to make a hard sell. I think it speaks for itself. And yes, Casa Bonita is involved. Guilty as charged.


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Heather Newell Oglesby

Hi! I'm Heather. I am a writer and counselor in-training. I share stories so we can keep the magic of being human alive. I spend a great deal of time going on long walks with my wife, rollerblading, learning, and traveling to find new adventures. By day, I work as an Education and Employment Specialist for Jefferson Center for Mental Health, working with adolescents who have experienced their first episode of psychosis. A Colorado native, I love dark-roasted coffee, sunshine, and succulents. Enthusiasm, passion, and possibility: that's me at my best.

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