Today I'm in Ouray, Colorado, a spectacular tiny town surrounded by towering, snow covered crags on all sides. My friend Missy and I are staying here at a place where there are natural hot springs where we can soak surrounded by these mountains, and by wild deer grazing on the grass a few feet away. I've been in Colorado since Monday, mostly in Grand Junction where Missy and her sweet husband, Mark, own the Main Street Bagel Bakery. This is the most soulful and welcoming place in town, and attracts crowds of hungry people all day long. Mark (below with his dog, Dora) makes the most amazing, frothy, home-brewed Chai anywhere, and their baked goods are just superb. It's worth a trip to Colorado just to eat here!
Missy (photo above shows her at the Bagel shop) and I go way back. We've been friends since our children were little, so probably almost 30 years. Even though we don't see each other often, our friendship is a treasure and we immediately fall into that easy conversation that goes on and on and on for days, deep and free and wandering and wide open to each other. I love her dearly and feel so lucky that we made this time together.
On Tuesday Missy and I drove up to the Colorado National Monument, an area of red rock canyons and hiking trails just outside of town, and hiked up there for several hours of solitary bliss. The trails and roads were so high up that you could sometimes look down at the tops of large birds soaring in the canyons below - awesome!Yesterday was my birthday, and as you can tell, it was celebrated in High style! There was an even more amazing icing on my cake - my niece Amy gave birth to her new baby daughter, Kathryn, yesterday morning in New Hampshire. Those of you who know me know how I adore Amy and her husband, Carson. She and I are bonded at the heart, big time. Even though it wasn't planned this way, for her first baby to be born on my birthday just feels like a huge gift. I'm very excited and thrilled for them and can't wait to see my new grand-niece and shower her with love!
Today we will probably go up to Telluride, after some hiking around Ouray. I return to Santa Cruz on Saturday. It has been a total joy to travel so extensively around the country and be with so many dear friends along the way. I'm flying!!