The mountains of Colorado have been incredibly good to us, giving us days upon days of perfect weather, letting us rinse off in the cold alpine lakes and rivers, and introducing us to some crazy wildlife characters. But, nothing has been as rewarding as reigniting old friendships and making new connections in these welcoming mountain towns.
Pagosa Springs is a town filled with kind souls. Entering this town, it had been a long time since we showered, so our first goal was to find a place to clean up. We found the town recenter, and i'm not sure if it was because of our horrid smell or if this guy was just a saint (HE WAS A SAINT), but he let us rinse off for free and with open arms. In addition to recenter saint, we ran into Half-A- Shipwreck (adorable band and incredible artists) as they were playing at a local brewery. We both recognized each other since we camped next to them the night before and enjoyed swapping of stories. They are lovely people and we hope to run into them again sometime soon.
In Durango, while getting groceries, my husband had an awkward encounter with an old friend of mine, which led to an incredible home cooked meal, a afternoon bike ride, and drinks laughter and conversation. Kiki, you are a wonderful woman and we love your light.
Getting into Telluride Mark reached out to an old friend hopping to receive information on where we could park the van safely in a small town for the night. Richie greeted us like family, with his warm smile, engaging laugh, and amazing ability to hold conversation we were immediately welcomed and comfortable. Asking nothing in return Richie was happy to introduce us to his new home town. Offering us tubes to float the river, harnesses to climb the via farratta, a shower, places to eat and so on. We met him on a roof top bar where we were greeted by "Hey, you guys must be Richie's friends, he's upstairs." Hugs all around and then on to a quick tour of the town down main street and a quick tour of hellos from the locals (like a rad dude named Sunday). We slipped into a pizza, the BEST, pizza joint where there were more introductions and amazing pizza. We had a place to park and sleep free of hassal and a shower offered as well, which we took. The next day Richie had to work but we had our own fun in town which was not void of running into our "new" friends of Richie's that always said 'Hi' and always had a suggestion of something to do. Richie was working and told us to stop in for dinner, which we did. Although we thought we'd slip in have a few apps and drinks at the bar say and leave. But no not tonight, we were greeted by two employees when we walked in to a restaurant that was empty. Little did we know that this town eats dinner so late. Richie proceeded to make us a 5 course meal leaving nothing out. His love never stops. You will find him in Telluride greeting the locals with a huge smile and riding a beat-up mountain cruiser with bandages covering its scars and a an old bike tube tied to hold his brake and shifter cables together. Thank you, Richie.
Cheers to good friends and to seeing you in your town.