Walden, CO

August 19, 2019

We left the northern corner of Colorado today. Rising early to catch the sunrise, we watched with our coffees before hitting the road. The southern corner now awaits us and, as I drive, I reflect.

Here are the things I learned in Walden, Colorado.

5 hour drives are not actual torture and are, in fact, a great way to experience the Colorado terrain.

I can only say this in confidence for this state in particular. I would not recommend spending half of your days driving the lengths of Nebraska or Iowa (though they both have their hidden beauties). Colorado is a stunning piece of earth in ways you cannot find anywhere else. Driving is not a chore but a privilege. Plus the declines are great for fuel efficiency.

Hummingbirds are so common you get used to them.

So small are these creatures that seem to hover about in thin air. Never have I seen such a spectacle of hummingbirds before coming to this cabin. Dozens of them all day long! Also, although they are smaller than the palm of your hand, their personalities are fit for drama. I spent mornings and afternoons watching them haggle one another for a spot on the feeders and fell in love. 

Being a wilder woman is inspiring and may also be a plan B for yours truly.

The AirBnB that hosted us on this leg was run by a woman named Deb. She met us coming in and guided us to our secluded nest up in the trees. 

Deb drove a white truck with a decal on the back that looked both like the heads of two indian chiefs and angel wings. She told us of her life living on these family lands of hers. Six generations deep they were and still just as devoted. She worked to rehabilitate local wildlife and I believed she was making a difference when a fox kit followed her up and back to her own residence.

Needless to say, I think I may have found my plan B if my current trajectory doesn’t work out. Thanks for inspiring, Deb.

Nissan Sentras are just as capable as all-wheeled vehicles.

Our compact vehicle was the ugly duckling in the pond of trucks, Jeeps and Subarus. I now understand why the prevalence of these three types is so prolific here. Many roads in Colorado are not two-wheel drive friendly, particularly near the trails. Nevertheless, our little Nissan was the Sentra that could. She climbed hills that would make Jeeps nervous with ease. That silver bullet even got an impressed nod from the Deb I spoke of before. Don’t judge a car by it’s all-wheel drive, folks. 

Climbing in altitude in a car like ours, though… That was not anything to brag about.

Walden is a beautiful nowhere.

I was not expecting to love Walden as much as I did. I saw a lot of it thanks to the countless drives I took to and from and the hikes embarked upon in the ranges that surround the town. This is a country that remains largely untouched and the people that do make their homes there are folks that adore nature. Wildlife is more bountiful than people and the trails are not often trekked upon. To experience isolation like this may sound frightening but it’s far from that. Walden makes you feel small and insignificant. That, in turn, makes everything you are dealing with radiate a similar energy. 

To the mountains that hosted us, the moose herds that called to us, the hummingbirds that lived their lives regardless of us, thank you. 

Walden, we’ll be back.


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