At the end of last week, headed out to Telluride, Colorado for a few days of hiking, perfecting my book-to-scenery-line-of-vision equation, and dog cuddles. I hadn't been to that part of the country at all, but some family moved there a while back and I finally made it out there. It was one of those situations where I wouldn’t have visited this very beautiful place if they weren’t living there and I would have visited them if they didn’t live in a very beautiful place.
It turns out that I picked the perfect weekend - the aspen trees were at their brightest goldenrod and I got to skip out on the Texas heat for a bit and break out my ankle boots and a light jacket.
Telluride has a fairly tiny year-round population, but there's usually a festival in town (the film festival and Blues & Brews are the biggest, but there are so many more) and, of course, ski season is a big deal, but I'm not one for winter sports so I'm happy to have missed those crowds.
The town itself is supercute. They don't allow franchises, so it's all local businesses and there were plenty of fresh flowers everywhere. I set up a bit of a residency at a coffee shop that generously rewards patrons with free pastries and refills, because life requires caffeine and family visits require a safe space to duck off to.
I also stopped in a string of smaller Colorado towns in between mountain passes - all equally adorable and full of the particular brand of rugged whimsy that relatively isolated locales breed, like a jail converted into a thrift store.
Pretty much everyone has a dog and you can take them everywhere. It's great. This is Loki, who is massive but still a puppy on the inside.
My family legitimately lives in the mountains. This is a a picture I took from the gondola that takes you from the town of Telluride to their neighborhood. Yeah, man, their public transit is a fucking gondola.
I have long maintained that being on mountains with dogs is an important activity to participate in as frequently as possible, and I've gotta say, I had some of the best dog/mountain time of my life on this trip. You can't tell here, but I was actually very high up a few feet away from a pretty intense drop, so if Loki had decided to misbehave, he could have sent me flying off a cliff as he is much stronger than I am. It was cool, though - we just played! Good dog.
Super into the black and white patterns on the trunks of the aspens.