Since most of my mugs remind me of somewhere I’ve been, I often ask myself where I want to go as I reach for one while coffee is brewing. And I feel like the pairs or sets of mugs here lend themselves to the weekends, allowing me to travel back somewhere together with my wife. This set from Colorado falls into that category.
Before kids, we used to visit national parks on many of our vacations. In 1997, it was Rocky Mountain National Park. After heading west from the Chicago area on I-80, we angled into Colorado on I-76 and picked up U.S. 34 to head over to Estes Park, which sits just outside RMNP. (The same U.S. 34 runs through the Chicago area as Ogden Ave.)
West of Loveland, Colorado, U.S. 34 shared a narrow canyon floor with a river. Signs along the route urged people to seek higher ground in case of flooding. Looking left and right, the only higher ground I could see was at the TOP OF THE CANYON WALLS. We made the trek safely and soon were spending our nights camping in Estes Park and our days in Rocky Mountain, hiking, taking pictures and driving Trail Ridge Road.
Exploring Colorado Springs was next. There we visited the Olympic training complex, the Air Force Academy, Focus on the Family and the old mining town of Cripple Creek. While exploring the Old Colorado City area of Colorado Springs, we happened upon the finishing line and last day of a 10-day solar car race among teams of college students, called the Sunrayce. We also discovered a wonderful little French bakery and a shop that was selling these mugs by local pottery artist Anne Shimek. We bought four mugs, one of which has long since lost its handle getting dropped while being removed from the microwave.
After Colorado Springs was a visit with my sister and her family in the Denver area. And for good measure, a visit with my wife’s parents as they attended a convention in Kansas City and then a Pirates vs. Cardinals game in St. Louis. It was on this trip that my wife introduced me to the work of author Tony Hillerman — and reintroduced me to the rich notion that books can be entertaining and not merely information sources.