On a clear winter day, we went snowshoeing outside Breckenridge, and as the sun began to set, we wound up a narrow road to a little motel at the top of a nearby mountain. We settled in for the night, our legs aching and our skin salty-smelling, with the snow falling lightly outside. The next morning, pure white covered the ground, shrubs, and trees, and the ski trails across the valley, contrasting with the evergreens—eye-straining brightness reflecting the sun's rays.
When we drove into Yosemite, everything more than fifteen feet away from us was obscured by a thick layer of mist. It was like entering another world. On a narrow, winding road, we headed further into the park, where the tops of steep cliffs were completely hidden behind fog. The next day, I woke up prepared for more cold weather, but the sun was unobstructed. As beautiful as the scenery had been the day before, I was eager to see Yosemite on a clear day.
It was early October, and I didn't expect to have to fight my way through a snowstorm to reach Vail. I also didn't expect to wake up to 26 degrees. But this view, framed by a rickety wooden bridge, almost made it worthwhile. As the cold air bit at my cheeks and nose, I leaned over the bridge and stared at the blazing aspens, the snow covering the riverbank and weighing down the evergreen trees, and the early morning sunlight on the water. Only later did I notice the spider web interlacing the beams—the little flaw that turns pretty things into beautiful things.
We walked through the habor toward the Queen Mary on a foggy day. Later, on the tour, we wound deeper and deeper into the ship, past guages and steering wheels, restaurants and cabins—always expecting to see the ghosts of gloved and hatted passengers around the next bend. Then we resurfaced, like divers coming out of the dark sea, and took a walk on the planked deck before closing out the afternoon with a cocktail at the Observation Bar.
Summer is a time for road trips, whether the sun has just come out of hibernation or it is about to disappear for several months. Driving north from Denver, you pass through Johnson's Corner, famous for their cinnamon rolls—the perfect pick-me-up during a long haul. In the back parking lot, semis line up, the sun glinting off their colorful backs. Sometimes you can find beauty in the most unusual places.
Colorful surreys line up expectantly, like playful soldiers in an Alice-in-Wonderland world. Even in the middle of the city, sometimes a vacation is only fifteen minutes away. Whether you're on a bike or a boat, with the wind in your hair and the sun hot on your head, you can find stillness in movement as you smell the wet sand, the freshly cut grass, and the fecund plants, with the lively cries of children in the background.
During a weekend trip to Glenwood Springs, Colorado, I stood at the edge of the natural spring pool. I could smell the wet concrete. I could almost feel the fresh water on my skin—cool in this pool, warm in the neighboring one. Across the water, chairs lined up like flamingos, and the resort's red roof and red flowers blended in with the mountain's red rocks. I was almost transported to another time, half-expecting to see ladies in one-piece suits and wide-brimmed hats lounging in the chairs or soaking their feet.