It feels so incredible to have a story to share!
Dan and I decided to take a few days off and slip away to Salida, Colorado during my Thanksgiving break from grad school. It has been a long time since either of us has had a real break from responsibilities — even when we visited Grand Junction in June and Grand Lake in August, we took our laptops and worked during the days. (Such a gift to be able to do that! Still, one needs an actual break from time to time.)
We had visited Salida once before, just for a single night. (As it happens, on that visit we’d been en route to Gunnison, where my grad school is based, though I was not a student there yet.) This visit would be a little different, including a brief side trip through Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument.
The monument’s museum is closed for the duration of the pandemic, but we lucked out and had a beautiful day to wander the trails and learn about the site’s petrified wood and citizen scientists such as Charlotte Hill who made some of Florissant’s biggest fossil discoveries in the late 1800s.
Afterwards we made our way to Salida, where we had rented a sweet home right at the edge of town.
Optimistically, we brought bikes. (We’re talking about a mountain town in late November, after all.) Dan got a gorgeous day for a mountain bike ride, and we also managed an 11-mile ramble together outside of town. Salida, it turns out, is a haven for mountain bikers, not for casual trail/road riders like me. Lesson learned.
Salida is also full of independent shops (all enforcing mask usage and offering hand sanitizer), and we made a brief visit to their charming soda fountain for sundaes. Below, the Cookie Monster: cookies & cream ice cream, cookies on bottom, walnuts, chocolate syrup and blue sprinkles on top.
But mostly we stuck to our rental and to the outdoors — even when we woke up to a few inches of snow on the ground.
Snow or no, Salida is a darling city — the perfect place to hide out for a few days, in awe of different mountains and a different river.