San Luis Valley, Tuesday 

This morning dawned with a skiff of snow blanketing the valley floor. Soon, the sounds of people preparing for the day greeted my ears. Alyssa and I planned to be at the Sunflour at 7 AM for breakfast before Alyssa was expected at work. As we walked through the door, the warm, familiar scent of bread welcomed us. I chose to eat a delectable breakfast burrito for my meal. After eating, Alyssa left for work and I meandered to the kitchen where I visited with Rhoda for the better part of an hour. Oh how I’ve missed her!

Around 9:30 AM, I ventured to Matt and Viv’s home. Over coffee, we talked about boarding, relationships, books, and more. Truly, a lovely morning!

The Windsor dining room. Simply remarkable!

At 11:30 AM, Lizzie and I met at the Windsor in Del Norte for lunch. The focacia bread was delightful-especially when paired with the lightly salted butter. We both ordered grilled salmon salads that, in a addition to the fish, contained walnuts, feta cheese, and was topped with an oil based berry dressing. Over several cups of coffee, we caught up on each other’s lives, shed tears, and laughed the better part of the meal. After lunch, we traversed to Lizzie’s workplace, the Columbine.  Marsha was arranging flowers and while she worked, we conversed for a good while. A highlight of my day! 

An approximation of the weather at Wolf Creek. I truly love boarding, but wind can make the most diehard boarder question their commitment.

I feel as though I should address the lack boarding content in this post. All last evening, I had been checking the weather reports, webcams, and snow report for Wolf Creek. The forecast was not promising. Heavy snowfall, cold temperatures, and the biggest problem- 20 mph wind with gusts up to 50 mph. All of the above mentioned- combined with the treacherous pass, made staying in the Valley seem like the right decison. I also have reason to believe that I would have been disappointed, as yesterday was truly incredible. Although it pained me to be so close to heaven on earth, I remained resolute with my decision.

When I returned to Mike’s, I packaged my snowboard and most of my gear in preparation for shipping it from Monte Vista later in the afternoon. Jace and I drove to Monte, where we visited the Post Office. After shipping my board bag, we stopped in at Big R to look for a metal container for Nada. Not finding what we searched for, we exited the building; the “country feel” clinging resolutely to my person. Dairy Queen was our next stop on the journey; ice cream was purchased and then we were homeward bound. 

The Sangre De Cristos at twilight.

A flurry of activity ensued as we prepared to depart for Mark’s. Supper was set for 6:30 PM with Mike bringing Pizza Hut carryout. Mealtime was an enjoyable affair with plenty of animated conversation and hearty laughter.

All too soon, the time of parting arrived. Now, let’s just say I’m not okay with goodbyes.  My heart felt heavy and my throat was oddly constricted as I bid farewell to my family. Hugs, well wishes, and yes, tears, all made for an emotional evening for me. Later at Mike’s as I finished my final preparations for departure, I felt more settled in knowing this High Valley country holds my heart.

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