Community Travel

The Grass is Greener where I Live

…a week spent in Colorado Springs.

Colorado is a dusty place with a western flair in the front lands where we were in Colorado Springs. My first time in Colorado mesmerized me.  The cave dwellings are here, the healing springs in nearby Manitou Springs, the Broadmoor, a resort by the lake with Rocky Mountain backdrops which will host the Women’s U.S. Open this summer is located here. The Garden of the Gods has a garden of vertical red rock slabs coming from the earth in hundreds of feet high. Colorado is a mystical place where I could sense past tribes, an old culture living in the mountains, a place that still held a maze of spells out to it’s visitors. My husband and I spent a week with old friends and here is what we uncovered.

Stone pillars in the airport walls.

The wind trying to break in our apartment at 3am

it was only rolling down the mountains just west of us.

We visited the Garden of the Gods

the dirty windy rock and sultry flat plains

before the Rockies in bright reddish colors.

We ate at the Pantry, in the gravel front yard where the screen door slammed behind our waitress and I gazed into the bright big sun I couldn’t hide from.

The shadowed part of the Green Mountain had waterfalls coming from below the melted ice. We scrambled lightly on the lush side of the mountain staring up into the open skies and rock. The day was spotless, very blue and slightly chilly. We’d walked along a cabin road with wood carved statues of bears.

Through old Colorado City we drove through flat neighborhoods where houses had turned to boutiques. Some young creative shops were booming –Squash blossom, Out of the Box, and Envi.

There were clay pot places and great western antiques. Signs were reminiscent of the old West and Las Vegas. On every drive you could see the dusty trails and pale ground cover going somewhere, perhaps all leading to the west, onward along Pikes Peak road to the Peak itself.

Then, there was Manitou Springs…

“Manitou,” a Native American word for “spirit,” describes this beautiful mountain community. Eleven named mineral springs throughout town are fed by the snows of Pikes Peak. Long before white men traveled here, the Ute, Cheyenne and many other natives considered this area sacred.  -Manitou Springs Chamber of Commerce and Visitors Bureau

The businesses boasted locally owned, not to Colorado but to Manitou Springs, and I began to think to myself about what made it special. Obviously being a hub for the Cog Rail up to Pikes Peak, and the mountains scored a beautiful backdrop, but if I were coming here to shop or drink at a local brewery, these things didn’t necessarily have to be there. I began to think about super imposing my town of St. Clairsville over the streets of Manitou.

Manitou brought visitors to town often with different parades, traditions, legends and events they held to celebrate them. What did St. Clairsville have?

Running at home, upon our return, I imagined all of our storefronts of St. Clairsville boasting a home brewery, an art gallery, a bead shop, a Hip Vintage Stop, Momentum, a potter… but all of our storefronts were dark and empty for a sunny Sunday evening.

We didn’t get to the Cliff Dwellings but next time that will be on my list. My visit also made me want to reread The Night Journal by Elizabeth Crook.

2 replies on “The Grass is Greener where I Live”

great post Kellie! as usual, but this post really affected me because my brother just moved to the area around colorado springs a few years ago and i have seen many of these same things/places as you have. i think along a similar parallel as you do, but am not so linguistically proficient in expressing how i feel! i love your writing, i cant wait until you start publishing some books 😉

and, im so glad you and phil come back…..

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