Memory is such a gift! Can you imagine always needing to re-learn the multiplication tables, state capitals, and the Our Father? Memory serves me very well as I recall July 2021 when my sister and I toured the national parks of Colorado and Utah. I’m not one to take many photos, but I did collect brochures and purchased a couple souvenirs with my favorite scenic views—just in case my memory needed a nudge.
We started in Rocky Mountain National Park, and the Rockies became our traveling companion for the week. Could anyone ever tire of the grand landscapes of deep, sheer-sided canyons and high rock towers? The gorges carved by the Colorado River found an equal depth in my heart and memory. Plateaus were wonders upon which the sky and my hopes rested. The names of rock formations could not have been more poetic or practical: Pipe Organ, Kissing Couple, Sentinel Spire and Praying Hands. My favorite was Balanced Rock, a 600-ton boulder perched on an unbelievably small pedestal. (I didn’t stand under it very long!) Short hikes down canyons excited my pioneering spirit. My sister’s and my favorite trek occurred 12,000 feet above sea level. “The hills are alive with the sound of. . .” heavy breathing from tourists hailing from flat Ohio. The tour catered to persons in their 60s and 70s, as the sights swung between walking and sitting. Our favorite sitting expedition involved a ride on the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge Railroad. Unlike its use in 1881, we did not discover silver and gold.
History buffs that we are, we crossed the time warp between the 21st century and the first century when people came to Mesa Verde. We were amazed at the ingenious “housing development” of the Ancestral Pueblo people living in cliffs during the 12th century.
As I re-live my vacation I will be very grateful for the gift of memory.