Colorful Colorado (Part 1)

If I look at the lower 48 states of the USA, I see a large number of states I wouldn’t want to be buried in and a smaller number of states that I like to various degrees. For me, Colorado has always been an attractive state with beautiful scenery, great outdoor opportunities and a good standard of living. However, there is one thing wrong with Colorado, there is absolutely no access to an ocean. Over the last 4 weeks I am trying to answer the question whether I could live here?

We spent two weeks in Pagosa Springs, CO. I have never been to Pagosa Springs before but moving north from Santa Fe, NM the location of Pagosa Springs seemed to be just the spot for rest and exploration. When we settled in on the RV park things did not look well. It was cold, raining, hailing, snowing and there were still no leaves on the trees. What the hell is going on, after all it was early May? Pagosa Springs is located at an altitude of 7100 ft/2100 m.

The weather changed significantly within the first two days of our stay and all was good. One day after arrival we started delightful hikes in the Turkey Springs and Coyote Hill trail system through wooded areas interrupted by meadows with enough light for green grass to grow between the trees. It was there that Cooper caught, killed and delivered his 1st squirrel. The squirrel did not pay attention and once it realized the dog was coming it had absolutely no chance. Bad luck for the squirrel, good luck for Cooper. After all, he is a hunting dog and he clearly needs the thrill of a kill.

Driving on Piedra Road north, the road after 10 miles turns from pavement to a good gravel road leading toward the southern tip of the San Juan Mountains. Along the road one can find a large number of trailheads. We hiked the Piedra River Trail, the Williams Creek Trail and last but not least the Martinez Creek Trail. All of these trails are located in the San Juan National Forest and offer “out-of-the-world” vistas and very little traffic.

We have been traveling for close to 2 years now and I have gotten haircuts in local barber shops all over the country. The barber shop conversations always lead to the topic of me being houseless and living in a motorhome traveling across the country. Every time I mention these circumstances I hear people say that they want to do that at some time in their life too. I am convinced that this urge to live free is rooted somewhere in the American DNA.

This week marks what would have been the 100th birthday of legendary American physicist Richard P. Feynman. Feynman was one of the most brilliant scientific minds of the 20th century. His most celebrated work were his contributions to the theory of Quantum Electro Dynamics (QED). QED is an advanced theory of electromagnetism that incorporates quantum mechanics and Einstein’s theory of special relativity. God’s speed Mr. Feynman, RIP.

Albuquerque

I never spent any significant amount of time in Albuquerque before, but I was always fascinated by the location of the city. On the eastside of town are the impressive Sandia Mountains reaching an altitude of 10619 ft/ 3234 m and on the west-side is the vast expense of a high featureless plateau reaching to the horizon. The contrast of the landscape is very stark. Located at an altitude of 5400 ft / 1650 m the city celebrates in 2018 it’s 312th birthday. As such, Albuquerque is older than the good old US of A. Think about it.

We stayed in Albuquerque because I had to travel to Germany and therefore we needed access to an airport. Other than evaluating two local breweries (Bosque Brewery & Canteen Brewery) we really did not do much in the city. However, we explored the trails of the Cibola National Forest and had a pretty good time. We especially enjoyed the trails on the southeast side of the Sandia Mountains near Tijeras and on the northwest side of the Sandia Mountains near Placitas.

There is one more thing to be said about Albuquerque; the weather sucks. The early spring season is characterized by high winds almost on a daily basis and the air is filled with dust. Due to the altitude nighttime temperatures can be quite chilly.

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From Albuquerque we traveled for one week to Santa Fe and then moved to our current homestead in Pagosa Springs, Colorado.

Are you enjoying the Trump show? What you see is a president and his band of loyalists getting stuck in their web of lies and being increasingly pressured by the special counsel. My advise to Mr. Mueller is to grab them by their balls and I predict their hearts and minds will follow. All of these folks will have to understand that the presidency is more than the person in the oval office and that nobody is above the rule of law. Get the popcorn ready, this will be a hot political summer.

Stay tuned