Sunday, September 30, 2007

Sun, Sept 30, 2007: Estes Park to Nederland

So many pictures this weekend, I hope it makes up for all my lame words you've had to read in their place....

Today I headed up to Estes Park, planning to travel Rt. 34 to some really neat looking lakes. Overlooking the Boulder valley were white mountain tops, an interesting contrast to the lower elevation foothills.I posted a picture very similar to this when I first came out here and traveled to Estes Park, but this time there is snow on the mountains!Something that I have not yet posted, and one of my favorite things about Estes Park, is a picture of the lake that stands in the middle of the valley in which the town rests.I headed up Rt. 34 and waited in a long, long line of cars... only to find out that the road is "Temporarily Closed". Bummer! I'm not even sure why it was closed - avalanche from the 2 inches of snow? Rock slide? Mountain goat migration? Anyways, while I was waiting in that line of cars, I got to take some really nice pictures of the beautiful scenery outside my window.

I turned around and headed down Rt. 7, towards Ward and Nederland. I'd traveled this route once before but it was much more spectacular adorned in its autumn colors.I flirted with the idea of stopping in Nederland - there are some really neat looking stores in the center of town - but decided against it. This loneliness thing I'm on right now is still holding strong and it's just not as much fun exploring by yourself sometimes.

The road out of town ascended up out of the valley and over the mountain ridge toward the plains. The view of the valley was amazing, and as I climbed I stopped like 5 times to take pictures. The snow dusted mountains towered above the little town, and a light covering of pure white clouds was just starting to roll in beyond. The rest of the winding drive through the mountains was beautiful as usual, and then I was greeted by my least favorite sight: the plains! Noooo! That means my trip is over for the day. This is a pretty neat shot of the greater Denver metro area; downtown Denver is just to the right of the road in the distance.I have been homesick lately, fall was the most "New England-y" season to me so to not be there for it is really sad. I miss the smell of damp decay in the woods, of rotting leaves and dying plants. That sounds sort of morbid but it wasn't, it was beautiful and alive and provided nutrients to the plants for the next spring. I miss the sound of my feet shuffling in ankle-deep crunchy leaves, seeing the reds and yellows and oranges swirl around my feet. I miss the sweet tang of apple cider and the rows of Macs (apples, not computers) in white bags lined up in the grocery store, fresh from the orchard.

Here fall smells sweet and hot, like dead flowers burned up by the sun. The temperature is about right, it was in the low 70's today and I drove around with my windows down. The sky is the same too. In autumn in New England, the sky turns into what I always think of as "sapphire sky" - that deep, deep shade of blue with no clouds. I thought it looked to blue because of the contrast to the leaf colors. Apparently that's not the case! The sky was that color out here today, even against the greens of the longpole pines (... I think that's what they're called, my friend's gonna pick on me for that if I'm wrong. :P ).

And of course there is that warm yellow glow of the aspens, present once again today as the trees were bathed in the sunlight. I'm not sure I've experienced that anywhere in Connecticut. Bathed in many colors, yes. But not just yellow.

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Sat, Sept. 29, 2007: Aspen Foliage

This morning I checked the weather and was bummed to see rain in the forecast for today! I figured I'd head up toward Leadville and not go any farther if the weather was bad up there. A friend recommended the mining museum there so I figured I'd have something to do if it was raining.

While heading out to get breakfast, the same friend called to tell me the Maroon Bells were awesome today and I should try to go there when I'm in Aspen. He said something about a bus that takes you to the mountains... after thinking about it for a bit, I thought to myself "Hellz no!". When I go on a road trip, I can't handle running on someone else's schedule, even if it is just a bus. (Plus, it turns out I couldn't get out of Aspen soon enough anyways...).

I headed up 70 West and through the Eisenhower Tunnel, the highest highway pass in the country. It's not really very nice looking, but it's cool! Once you cross through it, you're on the other side of the Continental Divide.My trip took me through Silverthorne, which had some very pretty colors.I passed through Leadville and found myself surrounded by snow covered peaks on all sides, half visible through the thick blanket of clouds that was hanging over the town. I decided that I was having fun driving even though it was cloudy out, so I headed through town and toward Independence Pass and Aspen.

At the intersection of 90 and 82 was an area called Twin Lakes. Somewhere nearby was a campground which boasted a view of Mt. Elbert, the tallest peak in Colorado and the tallest mountain in the Rockies in North America. I took a bunch of pictures of the mountains in the area... I have no idea which (if any) is Mt. Elbert, but it might be there!!

After taking a plethora of pictures in this area, I headed out once again. I think this was my favorite part of the drive: I love the contrast of the gray clouds against the sharp white of the mountain peaks, and the warm yellows and browns and grays of the plant life below them.There were a few moments when the sun broke through the clouds and I spoke to the sky, asking it to please let the sun out so it could fry up all the clouds and share the beauty of the place with everyone passing through. Though it was beautiful, I'm sure there were other distant peaks that were enshrouded by the clouds and hidden from sight.

Despite my request, the weather continued to worsen as I approached the Independence Pass section of Route 82. Eventually I ran into a giant snow storm......and was really excited! My first snow of the season, and my first ever snow in the mountains! I could see the hazy outlines of the mountain peaks surrounding me as I traveled along the pass, and smiled with amusement at the "Scenic Overlook" turnoffs. I tried peeking to see what I was overlooking... the answer was cloud 3 feet from my face.

Once the road began to descend toward Aspen I left the clouds behind and began to see some very beautiful colors. I was kind of saddened by the lack of sun, because the aspens along the road didn't take on that golden coccoon feel that they had last weekend. But they were beautiful just the same.In some of my blogs, I have talked about the shrubby plants around here and the color that their leaves add to the environment. Out here in the fall, it seems like the rusty reds and oranges, which in New England are contributed by the maple trees, are a product of these shrubby plants. There is a little line of them running up the mountain in this picture.During some parts of my drive down the pass there were no other cars visible, as they were hidden beyond the bends in the road. I liked these moments when I had the colors all to myself.I drove through Aspen, which is probably the most aptly named town I have ever encountered. The place was literally crawling with the trees, all of them in various stages of colorful transformation. It was about lunchtime when I reached the town but I didn't stop, because Aspen and Vail remind me of my ex and for that reason I hate them... very mature and well-adjusted of me, I know. I think that as my anger toward him lessens, so will my dislike of these places. I still have some work to do.... I'd love to go back to Aspen someday, maybe when I'm dating someone. It would be a really neat place to go away for the weekend.

Driving toward Glenwood Springs (one of our stops on Adventure Day), I passed this beautiful mountain. I have no idea what its name is, but I loved it instantly.Once I reached 70 I was excited to see Glenwood Canyon again. What a beautiful drive! The trees inside the canyon were still very green, only a few were barely beginning to show their fall colors. That was a really interesting thing I learned on my drive; in some areas the trees were way past peak and were actually bare, and in some the trees hadn't begun turning at all.

The trip back was relaxing and uneventful, except for my emotions being triggered from my brush with Aspen. These next few pictures were taken fairly close to Vail.

So that was my Colorado foliage tour, and this time I actually brought my camera! I don't think the rain and snow really affected my trip very much, other than making me very happy to be in my car with the heat on. Plus the snow was a fun adventure. : )

Sunday, September 23, 2007

Sun, Sept 23, 2007: Aspens

That would be aspens the trees, not Aspen the town. This is yet another blog with no pictures, as this was an impromptu road trip and I didn't have my camera. : )

I had a pretty quiet weekend. Something (or maybe things) in my life is tiring me out lately and I'm not sure what it is - city living, being around so many people all the time, going out a lot, stress from work... probably a little of all of the above. I'm a very solitary person and I like spending a lot of time alone, especially time alone outside. It rejuvenates me and helps me to process the things going on in my life. Being in the city is tough; I really can't get away much except on the weekends, and sometimes it's nice to just bum around on the weekends instead of driving all over the state like a mad woman.

So that's pretty much what I did for most of the weekend, just bummed around and relaxed the days away. This afternoon I got the itch so I went for a drive into the mountains... the first drive I've taken without consulting a map! I just randomly picked roads and drove on them, like I used to do back at home.

My route took me through the town of Evergreen (which I visited a couple of weeks ago) and turned west towards Mt. Evans on route 103. I got my first beautiful taste of what fall is like out here in the mountains.

There were gashes of lemon yellow aspens bleeding out from the deep green pines. The small shrubby undergrowth in the woods was turning all shades of red and pink and orange and brown. Larger areas of aspens coated the mountains with a palate of every shade and tint of yellow I've ever seen: brown-yellow, green-yellow, lemon yellow, orange-yellow.... The ridiculously bright colors were made even brighter by their contrast to the dark, unchanging pines.

Today is the first entirely overcast day we've had since the day I arrived here over 2 months ago, but as I was driving the clouds began to break up and glimpses of sunlight slipped through to touch the mountains. To the variations of colors was added variations in light hitting the trees, some areas in the dark gray shadow of the storm clouds and some beaming in the fingers of the sun.

During several parts of my drive, the road was surrounded on both sides by aspens at the height of their golden color. The sun shone on the trees, heightening the effect of being enveloped in a warm cocoon of light and energy. There was also a field, ringed by aspens in various shades of yellow, carpeted by long light brown waving grasses, overlooking the rolling green mountains splashed by yellow. Two couples were walking through the tall grass and laughing as their dogs raced ahead, heads visible as they bounded across the land.

There were some aspens that were still green, their leaves just beginning to be fringed by yellow. I hope to spend next weekend and the following one driving in the warm, golden beauty that is fall in the mountains. (Next time I'll bring my camera with me...).

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Thurs, Sept 20, 2007: Fall in Colorado

I've had several people tell me that I'm going to be very disappointed at the fall season out here, but I can't say that I agree. I'm not sure how I could be disappointed when I have no expectations of what fall out here "should" be like; therefore there is no schema of fall in my head by which I would judge this place. I suppose I would expect a lot of golden aspens, but they are one of my special trees - so how could they possibly disappoint me? Whatever they do will be right. : )

Today after work I let my car stretch its legs on the prairie, heading east on I-70. Once you head out of the city, there are large houses with pretty big yards. Prairie land isn't the thing bringing in the money out here, so I guess they figure they can be more generous with it. I mean, who wants to live in a sea of featureless yellow-gray in Colorado, which has so many breathtaking places to live?

I turned off a random exit and drove along the outskirts of a housing development. I saw the softly bobbing white-tan heads of grass stalks, their stems browned from the intensity of the summer sun. The grasses parted around large leaf-green bushes adorned with bright yellow flowers, lightly brushing against the bushes as a breeze rippled by. I saw sunflowers hanging their heavy seed-laden heads, bowing in contemplation toward the east. Fields of smaller sunflowers were interspersed with the deep reddish-brown stalks of yellow docks, alternating their colors against the backdrop of the Rockies. The mountains themselves were wearing the colors of twilight as the sun nestled into their folds to rest for the night.

In New England, fall is like a proud young woman strutting her beauty around, daring anyone to overlook her. She is rich and vibrant and fertile, and the result really is amazing. Out here, fall is the beauty of a woman who is contemplating. She is calm and slow and peaceful, without the need to flaunt herself. I think she doesn't care if you notice her because she knows that she is more powerful than you regardless, moving her slow and steady hand over the mountains and the grasses of the plains.

Either this weekend or next I'm hoping to spend a day up in the mountains to see the golden aspens. I think this place is just as beautiful, in its own unique way. There are many things that I miss about Connecticut and New England, especially in the fall... but Colorado is sitting hard and fast in my heart. How can I help but love it?

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Weds, Sept 19, 2007: Deja Vu That Hasn't Really Happened...

This freaky thing happens to me sometimes. I tend to think of it as deja vu, but it's not because what comes to me in my head isn't what is actually happening.

Just now I was sitting here listening to music, when in my head I got the feeling of deja vu, being on the phone with a guy who called me and was crying and me being stunned and kind of cold, considering his emotional state. Nothing like that was actually happening in my life... I was just sitting here by myself listening to Swimmers and the thought came into my head. It's nothing related to anything that happened in my real life; I "remember" the scene happened in this room and since I moved out here I definitely haven't talked to any crying guys.

This has happened to me ever since I was little, things coming into my head like this. They're always extremely vivid, and I can describe the scene in my head with great clarity (though I stopped doing this long ago when people started looking at me funny...). I also started thinking that maybe if I tell people the "supposed to have been" or whatever it is, it might mess up what's supposed to happen.

I can't decide if they are a "might have been", or a "should have been", or what. Is it a missed opportunity or something bad that I managed to avoid? I wish that I could connect with them somehow to figure it out, it's always puzzled me.

Does anybody even have any idea what I'm talking about? ...

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Sat, Sept 15, 2007: Apple Picking

Okay so I've been slacking on my blog, forgive me! : )

I think I'm going to start with yesterday and work my way backwards this time. Last night I went to see The Arcade Fire with my roomie and her friend who is out here visiting. I knew that I would like them because two of my friends do, and they both have great taste in music... and I was right, I did like them! I will definitely be listening to more of their music.

On Sunday my roommate, her friend, and I went out to lunch with a woman who I work with. She is a very kind and awesome person, and her friends who went to lunch with us were great too! We had Indian food.... mmmmmm Indian food.....

And now we have arrived at Saturday, which was my adventure day for the weekend! Two of my roommates and I drove down to an orchard about 45 minutes southeast of Colorado Springs. We took Route 115, which has become one of my favorite roads out here, having been on it once before on the trip to Royal Gorge in August.

When we arrived at the orchard I was so excited! Nowhere in New England can you pick apples while surrounded by these giant mountains:The owners of the farm told us to head out and start picking. I was confused - weren't we supposed to wait for the wagon? How could we know which areas can be picked if we don't take the wagon to get to them? And this is where my disappointment began. The orchard was so small that we could saunter from one end to the other in about 3 minutes. In the picture above, the little red pavillion at the end of the road is where the trees end.

Not only was the place small, but they didn't rotate where people could pick at all which meant the trees were completely picked out. The only apples that were left were either tiny or covered with blemishes. I picked one and got about 2 good bites out of it, and couldn't find any others that I wanted to bring home with me.

The three of us had wandered away from each other in search of fruit and at this point I headed into the store hoping that at least the pie and cider would be good. They were okay. The whole day made me feel very sad and homesick for the beautiful harvest season in New England.

Life has been a little tough lately. Work is getting stressful and my personal life is wearing on my emotions. It's so strange that this place has been all about absolutes for me. I feel like I'm always being inundated by experiences and feelings and sights and sounds, and it's wearing me out. You know how if you go skiing, you go to bed that night and you can feel your muscles still doing skiing motions? Or when you spend all day in the ocean, and you can almost feel the waves rocking you while you fall asleep? That's what it feels like to me, this tide is rocking my insides and crashing me in 17 different directions. I have a print back in Connecticut that carries the title "Flotsam", of a woman who is washed up on a beach with a wave about to fall on her... that's what life feels like to me. I find myself longing for the peace I found at Seven Falls, the peace that I could find back at home just by stepping out into the backyard and listening to the wind in the trees. I wonder if the leaves are turning yet, and if their incessant fluttering to the ground has begun. I remember when my sister and I would run around in the backyard, our feet crunching on the dead stems of the summer weeds, arms outstretched as we lunged to catch them. I used to think that if you caught a leaf right out of the air it meant that you could make a wish on it. I wouldn't mind some of those leaves in my life right now.

((Present Day note: Looking back on this blog is pretty sad. I was so homesick on this day! Being raised in New England really spoils fall for you anywhere else. The smells, flavors, colors - everything is so bright and bold, fresh and tangy, that it's really not an experience I think can be had elsewhere. Every place is unique and all the more wonderful because of it. I think the tone of this post comes across as pretty down on Colorado, but it wasn't meant to be anything more than an expression of my longing for fall in New England.

I can still feel it in me now as I sit here writing this. The leaves will start turning soon, the sky takes on its beautiful sapphire hue, and the spicy smells of plants will fill the air as they make their last bid for life before settling into the quiet of winter. I can almost smell the fresh vegetables, taste the cider on my tongue, see the vibrantly colored leaves against the deep blue sky and hear them fluttering in the wind as they fall to the ground. Wow, I almost miss raking leaves. Allllmost...).

Saturday, September 8, 2007

Sat, Sept 8, 2007: Seven Falls

(I was hoping to go to the Scottish Festival in Estes Park with a friend this weekend, but my breaks were making hideous noises and I had to bring my car in. There ended up being nothing wrong with my breaks, which was puzzling but fantastic, but I was really disappointed about missing it. Maybe next year!)

I've seen a bunch of brochures about this "Seven Falls" place just outside Colorado Springs, so I decided to investigate today. I am in love with the land outside Colorado Springs but because of the vibe of the residents there (it's a very conservative community...) I don't think I could ever live in that area, which is a shame. Those hillsides are so beautiful and magical - deep valleys and tall foothills, canyons, streams, creeks and lakes... filled with faeries and imps and the spirits of the rocks and trees... *sigh*

When I drove in to the Seven Falls area, I saw the funniest little sign:It was true too, there were tons of chipmunks running around. I'm impressed that someone thought they were worthy enough of note to make a whole sign just for them!

The area was pretty touristy, which ended up working well for me since I felt safe wandering around alone due to the numbers of people there. There was a pretty neat elevator inside of a mountain that took you up to a platform with a nice view of the falls:The staircase slapped on the side of the cliff I could have done without, however it proved to be highly useful when I decided to climb to the top of the waterfall. The sound of the rushing water was such a wonderful relief to my ears and it soothed some parts deep inside of me. As I've been having these experiences in Colorado, some things touch me deep inside and snap one of the bands that has been compressing my chest and my heart for months now. With each band that breaks, I feel more peaceful and happy and free, on my way to returning to some sort of "ground" state from which I will someday build again. The beautiful sound of that water released a band for me.

Once I reached the top (there were 240 stairs by the way, which seems like not much until you start walking them...), I had the option to choose between 2 hiking trails: one that would take me to Midnight Falls and was the easier trail, and one that would take me to Inspiration Point and was more difficult. I'm still not very confident in my ability to hike out here, so I decided to try the Midnight Falls trail and see how I felt when I was done.

On my way to the falls I passed a sign in front of a gigantic pine tree, declaring that the specimin is a Ponderosa Pine that's over 450 years old. I have been thinking a lot about the plant life in Colorado since arriving here, and have often remarked to myself that there is a notable lack of diversity out here when compared to the incredible variation of plants present in New England. Looking at this massive pine tree, I realized that my observation is not entirely true: there is a lot of diversity in plant life out here... they're just all pine trees. Millions and millions of different types of pine trees.

For part of my walk to and from Midnight Falls, I didn't see a single person for about 15 minutes. It was pure bliss. Isn't that strange? After all, I'd been alone for the entire 1.5 hour car ride down there. But I think there is something completely different about being alone in nature than alone anywhere else. The only sounds were birds and breezes and the stream that ran beside the hiking trail. It was so peaceful, and another band around my chest broke and disappeared.

The "falls" part of Midnight Falls was so small, but the runoff area down which the water slipped added to its beauty:Upon reaching the main trail once again, I decided I was up for the hike up to Inspiration Point and headed in that direction. Though I did become winded and have to stop a couple of times, I was impressed by how much better I felt than when I'd previously gone hiking out here. It pleased me to think that I might finally be getting accustomed to the elevation.

Inspiration Point was very nice, though there were a few other people there so I didn't feel the deep peace I'd experienced at other points in my hike.The city in the picture is Colorado Springs.

I headed back down, and my hike back to my car was fairly uneventful... until I got to the stairs. While climbing those impossibly steep stairs, I'd forgotten that I would need to climb back down them, which is quite possibly one of the most terrifying things I've ever had to do in my life. I was clinging to the handrails for dear life, willing myself to look only at the stair immediately below me since every time I tried to look farther than that I felt an overwhelming desire to pass out. My hands didn't stop shaking until I reached the bottom, at which point my terror quickly passed and I jaunted off again.

While the sounds and smells and scenery were all beautiful, I'd have to say the best part of this trip was the sense of peace it gave me. I think that was the best gift I could have received.

Monday, September 3, 2007

Mon, Sept 3, 2007: Labor Day Weekend - Telluride Film Festival and Mesa Verde

Yay I went to some places! Here is a map of my weekend:One of my roommates is a film major in school and invited all of us to join him at the Telluride Film Festival this weekend. His grandparents live in Norwood, which is a small town about 45 minutes from Telluride, and we were invited to stay at their house for the weekend. I left for Norwood after work on Friday night and caught a spectacular sunset over the Collegiate Peaks. Darkness fell and it struck me how utterly boring driving around here is when there's nothing to look at. It was torture knowing that there were beautiful things flying by me as I crossed the state, unable to see them in the darkness. I very excitingly collapsed as soon as I arrived at my roommate's grandparents' house, after deciding that I love their dog and want to kidnap him.

The next morning we (my 2 roommates and their friend) headed to Telluride to check out the film festival-type events going on there. We drove into a little dead-end valley surrounded on all sides by towering mountains. As you drive in to the town, opposite you is a stream carving its path into the mountain and a large waterfall. Here is a view from the main street, Colorado Ave. (Ok seriously... who names a street after the state they're in?!). The sparkley trail running down the mountain is the stream and waterfall.We saw some famous people talk, including Sean Penn which was the only name I recognized, and watched a series of short films by students from around the world. As I was sitting in the theater watching these stories from far away places, I was overcome by a feeling of concern for my destiny, almost to the point of stressing out about it. Sure, I moved to Colorado and this has been a big step for me... but is this where I'm meant to end up? Was this move just meant to shake me up so I'd be willing to move again? And if I'm supposed to stay out here, where should I live in Colorado? Should I move to California? New Zealand? Scottland? Those places have always called to me too, should I answer them? And when?

We headed up one of the mountains outside of town on the free gondola ride to catch the sunset:
That night we watched HELP!, the Beatles movie, projected onto a giant screen in the park at the center of town. It was very fun, but so cold! I still have not adapted to the Colorado way of dressing yourself - dress for the weather, then bring 7 changes of clothes appropriate for temperatures ranging from -30 to 115 degrees, just in case.

The next day, Sunday, I headed off for Mesa Verde, the remains of the cliff dwellings of the Pueblo people from between 1100 to 1300-ish AD. I figured I'd take 550 South since on the map it looks like a pretty major route; however, the map totally lies. 550 flows from a 2-lane each direction regular-type highway to a 1-lane each direction highway that weaves in and out of about 5 canyons at a speed of 15mph, and crosses over at least 2 mountain passes. It was *fantastic*. The landscape was insanely diverse, here are some pictures of some of the things I saw:

Randomly red mountain peaks:Randomly spiky mountain peaks:A random pyramid mountain plopped on top of another mountain:And those don't even include the canyons! I highly recommend the drive.

When I arrived at the Mesa Verde park, I had to drive in 15 miles along the ridge of some mountains above a canyon before I reached the visitor's center to purchase my tour tickets. When I walked up to the counter at the visitor's center, I asked the woman who greeted me which tour was more fun: Balcony House or Cliff Palace. Without hesitation, she answered "Balcony House", then proceeded to ask me if I'm afraid of a few little ladders. I said no, but my brain said "Whaaa...?". I purchased a ticket based on her recommendation and headed down to Balcony House.

The tour guide explained what we would be going through during the tour. There would be two ladders, plus a point where there was no wall holding us back from the edge of the canyon, plus a little passageway that we would have to crawl through on our hands and knees. Whaaaa...?

Balcony House was so amazing!
Afterwards, I wanted to visit Spruce Tree House to see one of the sacred areas the tour guide told us about there. The sight of a massive incoming storm changed my mind though, and I quickly decided I'd rather leave the park early than be stranded during a lightning storm on top of a giant plateau. Good thing too... because lightning did in fact strike the park and I was able to see the fire it started on a hillside as I drove out:I drove back up to Telluride from the south and got an incredible new perspective on the mountains that surround the town. It's so interesting to look at them from inside the valley because each group of them seems to have its own character: there are some spikey rugged looking ones, some softer green ones like the one from which the waterfall descends, there are some that look like pyramids of sand painted earthy reds and browns, and some that have ski trails carved into them. Here is a view of some of the diverse peaks from the south:And here is the coolest thing I have seen out here, no joke... a GIANT ROCK BEAR looking around from on top of a mountain!!
For real, look at him! RAAAAAWRRRR!!!

That night we sat in the freezing rain and watched "Into the Wild", Sean Penn's new movie about a young man's travels around the country which eventually lead him into Alaska. It seemed like the message of this movie was perfectly timed in its introduction to my life. The guy in the movie, Chris, left his comfy life and gave up all of his material posessions to experience a life uncorrupted by society. His adventures took him from Virginia to Colorado to Mexico to North Dakota to California, then finally to Alaska. As I watched it, I thought about my travels and my life and wondered again where I am "supposed to" end up.

Toward the end of the movie, Chris realizes that the life he has been traveling around the country to find can be experienced anywhere. At the very end of the movie, he wrote these words in one of his books: "Happiness not real unless shared". I realized right away how important these words are to me, and they soothed my panicing mind. Life isn't necessarily about your geographical location, though moving does allow you to free yourself from any trenches you're stuck in and kicks your a$s with a breath of fresh air. So much about life is inside of each of us, and inside of the people we interact with every day, and to experience those thoughts and interactions you can be anywhere. His insight reminded me that I don't need to be anywhere but right here, doing what I'm doing. And I'm sure that if I am "supposed to" move again, something will come along to carry me there just like the events that unfolded to carry me out to Colorado. I owe Chris thanks for giving me this peace of mind (it's a true story, so I'm not crazy and thanking some made-up guy!).