Colorado Springs

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Happy Friday!

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Backpacking

So maybe this IS turning into a doggy blog. Seriously. Look at her, like she was posing in her new backpack, but really only eager to go, go, go. When we adopted Ms. Juni B., we told the rescue we wanted a medium to low energy dog, because, though it may not seem so right now, we want our life to be about other wonderfulness, too. And she was low energy, at first, utterly pooped after a thirty minute gambit through the neighborhood. But now, this little whippersnapper gets an hour-plus every morning and 20-45 minutes every afternoon, like it ain’t no thang, smiling and skipping and hopping along.

This beautiful hike, some 6.5 miles in length, a good quarter of it up hill, did not so much as slow dear Juniper down, even while sporting her adorable backpack loaded with water, pop-up bowls and kibble. The girl is a machine! And so we are also becoming them. My gams are gonna be glorious, I tell you!

And it was wonderful, with our first pulsatilla sprout spotted springing near Bear Creek, the scent of evergreens in bright sunshine, froth of nascent leaves dotting trees and shrubs, all tiny promises of new worlds amongst last year’s leaves. Happy Spring!

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You may be wondering if this is going to turn into a doggie blog. It might rabbit, it just might. Nah. That said, we are in serious doggie mode here. Our schedule has been upended, with us more regimented, rising earlier, so we can get at least an hour walk in every day, though Juniper sometimes behaves as though it’s only been fifteen minutes, darting around the yard like a race horse before deciding she is REALLY hungry and devouring her food in a minute flat. She’s energetic like that.

Our choice of books has been augmented to include everything dog, heavy on the Cesar Millan. We our doing our best to be calm-assertive pack leaders. She is doing her best to keep us guessing, well behaved dream doggie to a spazzy-zig-zaggy pup in the blink of an eye. She’s goofy like that.

But that’s not all I want to talk about, partially to prove that we are not all dog, all the time, and partially because it’s what is on my mind. I am pretty sure I have already mentioned this, but because I am human and rather fallible, I’m going to act like I didn’t. Part of what I love about Colorado Springs, besides its close proximity to near and dear ones and New Mexico, is that it reminds us of all the places we have ever lived.

Much like me, the hubster, and our new pup, our fair city is quirky, complete with a Keep Colorado Springs Lame bumper sticker. Our house is blocks away from a very Powell Boulevard-esque street. It is a five mile bike ride from downtown (though it would have been a treacherous one in Pittsburgh) in a very walkable city, for which we thank goodness, because we are going to cover every inch of it with our sweet Juniper Beulah. Palmer Park is almost equidistant as Mount Tabor was, complete with a snow capped mountain in the background! Capacious Red Rocks Park and Bear Creek serve as fine Forest Park and Frick Park stand-ins, swapping geologic wonders of granite and sandstone for dense woods and towering trees.

Though Portland reigns supreme in this category, we have some super organic food and grocers and stellar local restaurants. One of our favorites, insert spooky sound effect, even has the number 503 in its name. Whaaat?! Though it refers to an address, not the area code of our favorite rainy city. But still.

It is a collection of hills and dales and flat plains, coal mines slipped in and amongst a perfect grid and bowl of spaghetti collection of senseless winding streets, the best and the worst of East and West Side Portland and the whole of Southwestern Pennsylvania.

It is blue collar and higher ed, an hour from every beauty imaginable, save the stellar Oregon coast.

It is HOME, and we are so happy to be here.

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This City

I may not have gone where I intended to go, but I think I have ended up where I needed to be.

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Up above the city, spikes on ice, reveling in silent communion, two friends (my pal Phoebe and me) happy to be out of the thick of it and into the pines & blue sky, scent of cedar and snow. There were minutes we listened, not a bird, not a breeze, not a single sound. Then juncos, crows, jays, towhees, and chickadees. Humans and their canine companions. And that view!

 

 

 

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