There’s a lightness on the edge of town

If there was one theme that repeated itself every dang day during my dear wife Karen’s Family Reunion in Estes Park, it was: Take a Hike.

Last full day for us.

Last full day for us.

So on Monday morning bright and clear, the gang that remained gathered on the Village Green with a mission to walk along the Creek Walk that at its start passed along the back of a stretch of store blocks that we’d been visiting through the front doors since our Thursday arrival.

We’d already said goodbye to sibling Lynne and nieces Stormy and Kimi, who’d stopped at the cottage on their way to the airport. This would be our final hours with sibling Jana and niece Dacia and nephew Drew, who would take a lift from sibling Scott back to their place to grab a shuttle into Denver following this walk.

Mobilizing toward the busy street.

Mobilizing toward the busy street.

So the strolling cast included the brothers Scott and Steve, with nephew Ross, all who would be staying like us until Tuesday before leaving for California, Oregon and Washington; our crew of four with daughter Elisabeth and boyfriend George Three, who happily participated in every event and were welcomed into the Miner family big-time; Jana, Dacia and Drew before starting the long trek home to Alaska; and cousin Beth with boyfriend Joe, who brought two sweet dog with them in the RV they drove up from Arizona to arrive late Saturday.

After crossing the busy street and passing through the parking lot that serviced both the adventure company that took us up the mountain in the big jeep and Mexican restaurant that whipped up a delicious meal for 15, reached the walk and headed to the left.

Click on gallery photos for a description. Click on the bottom right photo for an enlarged slide show.

My mind turned to our downtown Syracuse Creekwalk, a path of striking appearance and utility that just sort of … sits there, with no stirring of economic growth of new restaurants or other service establishments along its way to my eyes. Sigh.

The gang gathers again.

In Colorado, though, they’ve created a pleasant union: Urban commerce if you choose it on one side; nature’s big sell on the other. A bunch of us ducked into Rocket Fizz, carrying out bags of retro candy and bottles of soda, brands you can’t find in any old store. Friendly folks stopped to pet the dogs while others waited to regroup to continue the journey.

The kids contribute to the scene.

The kids contribute to the scene.

At the other end, we discovered the light at the end of the tunnel. Both ends, actually, where Estes Park officials had decorated the bridge underpass with attractive and amusing small-panel student artwork.

Jana, Dacia and Drew headed back for some last-day shopping at this point, but the rest of us continued onward.

Building up?

Building up?

We spied a fly fisherman working the waters near the bridge. All five days, I’d been speculating that as beautiful as Estes Park is, it’s teetering at the point of too much encroachment on what was there before we came around this land. Who’s to say?

Elisabeth and George decided to turn back to shop, too, but we kept going across a wood bridge to see a sign that proclaimed that we were now on the Lake Estes Trail.

I saw the village’s golf course up close, and on the day I was missing my little weekly golf league back home in Syracuse. But I really wasn’t missing that at all. Too much intrigue in Colorado. My brother-in-law Scott explained to me that the fence around the bird sanctuary kept out the elk, which would otherwise eat the trees and plants needed to house the winged creatures. And the longtime civilian worker for the Army Corps of Engineers also looked over that power plant and figured out how it moved water to other places as needed.

Then we turned around and headed back to meet Elisabeth and George in town for our own last stand at the shops. I figure we’d walked about four miles. I still felt fresh.

Tomorrow: Way, way up

Wednesday: Top of the world

Do you have a walking trail near where you live, and how do you think your governing officials fare at make the most of it? What spot along the trail is your favorite, and why? What picture is your favorite, and why?

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43 thoughts on “There’s a lightness on the edge of town

  1. We have a walking trail nearby, I used to call the area a “forest” until my BFF kindly informed me it is not a forest it is the “bush”. It is quite lovely to work in, you feel away from the city. And it’s closeby we can walk there.

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  2. Amazing photos – looks like there’s no shortage of stuff to do there Mark. It’s funny you should mention golfing, because I wondered before getting into the meat of this post if you’d be missing your regular golf dates! ❤
    Diana xo 😉

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  3. The nature around Estes Park looks very beautiful. The skies are such a beautiful clear blue. There are some nice hiking trails here even though we are on the edge of a huge metropolitan area. We have the Santa Monica mountains nearby and beaches. There are some wild areas a few blocks from here. My daughter is the hiker.

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  4. Splendid weather and scenery 🙂
    Yes, we have walking trails, but more of an effort needs to be made to connect them. This is an issue in the next mayoral election, and I’ll be voting for the guy who wants to put money into that project. We need more pedestrian bridges and more under-the-road routes.
    Of course, downtown, walking a continual path is effortless, but those of us in the outer niches can only get about two miles before OMG MAJOR THOROUGHFARE! lol — people don’t wanna risk crossing a four lane road, ya know?

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  5. I really enjoyed your creek walk, Mark. I also finally got a chance to hear a little bit in reverse order of your vacation. I will head backwards and totally understand if you don’t respond. I will leave comments because this is how I feel better being behind. I want to be completely “caught up” Mark, really I do!
    My first husband’s parents, my ex-in-laws went to college out in Colorado and they met my godparents, at our wedding. The two couples had hiked and picnicked at Estes Park numerous times. I thought back then, this is a good sign. My godparents were good friends of my parents, obviously so I had high hopes our connections would help bind us together. Anyway, I have seen photograph albums from my ex- parents in law. I loved seeing your photos, too.
    This sounds like a trip of a lifetime, so happy especially for Karen!! Also, of course, for you to finally meet everyone and really get to know them. 🙂

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    • Yes, I would have been hopeful about that connection just as you were, Robin. Ah, well. I know you tried so hard.

      Estes Park is a delightful spot, and Karen deserved this reunion very much. I was so glad that Elisabeth, George Three and I were able to see her be so happy with her siblings, and also for them to accept so naturally into the family. ❤

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  6. To walk in the Rocky Mtns again. Thanks for the virtual tour Bro. Mark. I did walk this past week though, using my walker most of the time, but hanging on to walls and whatever I could grasp other times. But mainly brother, I WALKED. What do doctors know?

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      • Yes I did. And today I stood for over one minute, hands crossed over my shoulders, while my PT case worker watched, before releasing me from this round of therapy. I didn’t know I could do that one until I did it. still some things he told me not to do alone bro Mark, but that one I can do as long as my walker is in front of me, and my nest is behind me. I seldom have been able to impress a therapist, but today it happened. I even impressed myself!

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      • Thank you to all my fans in Syracuse, and around the world. Oh, I mean, thanks bro Mark. It felt good to know I can do that.

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  7. wow, what a beautiful hike, mark and how much nicer with the company you kept. i love the student artwork very much. we have some beautiful parks and trails here that are embraced by the whole community and i plan to visit them more during this last month of summer –

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  8. No walking trails near us. Most people walk on the road with all the huge houses a couple of streets down. We just usually walk around our neighborhood, because the streets are quiet and pretty. Too stinking hot to walk this time of year, not until well after the sun has set.

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