A Pacific Coast Vacation

The sea! the sea! the open sea!
The blue, the fresh, the ever free!
— Bryan W. Procter excerpt from “The Sea” ca. 1837

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Is it autumn yet?

I can’t wait!

But it’s coming, I’m sure.

Autumn is my absolute favorite time of year.  Three amazing holidays fall in autumn (oh, that was a good one!)…Halloween, Thanksgiving and My Birthday.  I’m so excited!

There are so many other reasons I love fall.

The aroma of evening fireplaces burning in the neighborhood.  Wearing sweatshirts and jeans. Shuffling through crisp, crunchy leaves on the ground.  Shopping for new school supplies (even though I don’t really need any more pens).  Saying the words ‘burnt umber’.  Wearing fluffy socks. Baking punkin’ pies.  Sipping apple cider.  Putting more blankets on the bed.

Here in Colorado, it’s a little early for most of that…today’s temp finally dipped below 95 degrees, the Front Range is still pretty green, and putting more blankets on the bed would be ridiculous.  But I know it’s coming.  I saw it in the leaves…

You never really leave home

I left Wisconsin for Colorado 32 years ago.  I’m living a wonderful life in Colorado with an amazing family and dear friends.  But every once in awhile, I get a little homesick.  My trip back to visit family and old friends a couple weeks ago was a lot of things…joyful, tearful, delightful, and even frightful once around the campfire.  We shared wonderful meals, laughter, old stories, and memories.  The people you come from shape who you are.  But the place you come from is the backdrop for all the memories.  The places even become memories themselves…the Queen’s Chair, the Fort, the Res, and the Woods.  On Wisconsin.

Stations of the Cross Shrine

The best road trips are often those that begin with a plan as simple as getting in the car and heading in a particular direction.  No intended destination, no rigid itinerary to keep up with, no reservations and no idea what you’ll discover along the way.  I call these adventures!

On our most recent adventure, we found ourselves in San Luis, Colorado.  San Luis is the oldest settlement in Colorado dating back to 1851 when it was part of the Territory of New Mexico…10 years before the  establishment of the Colorado Territory.  Located in Costillo County in southern Colorado, the town is small with a population of under 1,000.  But this tiny historic town has a very unique feature…a mountaintop art installation depicting the Stations of the Cross.  Bronze sculptures created by local artist, Huberto Maestas, line a 3/4-mile trail that switchbacks its way up the  La Mesa de la Piedad y de la Misericordia (the Hill of Piety and Mercy).  The La Capilla de Todos Los Santos (The Chapel of All Saints) at the summit is a beautiful spot for reflection with spectacular views to valley below.