The Open Road

Even when I'm home, my head is always somewhere else. In the clouds. Reminiscing about the comforting feel and sound of a warm breeze outside of the Cathedral Basilica in downtown Santa Fe.  Trying to remember the name of the old school BBQ shack in Austin where I waited for 45 minutes in the rain just to get up to the order window. Wondering if "uno mas cerveza" also works in Spain...

Living in the beautiful state of Colorado, it's easy to find adventure not too far from home. One of my favorite things to do is hop in the car and drive-- because there's nothing, nothing like the open road. Today is Thursday, and I'm winding my way through Rocky Mountain National Park, en route to Steamboat Springs. What's in Steamboat Springs? I don't know. But it's where I'm headed. Because it's a weekday, the roads are quiet. The hoards of people that frequent the park each weekend are still sitting in their offices-- signing off on invoices and writing memos. Today-- the road belongs to me. Only the sky and sun can tell me what to do. Out here, it doesn't matter if I didn't check my e-mail today. Or if I eat a whole bag of Harvest Cheddar Sun Chips before I even exit the park. I don't have to explain myself to anyone when a One Direction songs comes across my road trip playlist. It doesn't matter if I don't know where I am or how to get to where I'm going. All that matters is that the sun is shining, and the sky is the bluest blue you'll ever see. 

Whenever I'm traveling on mountain roads, I always think of my dad. My love for the outdoors and adventure comes from him, and the hundreds of stories he's shared about his own love for the open road. As I take in the cool, crisp air on Rabbit Ears pass, I can't help but wonder if he's ever done the same. And if he knew where he was going. And if he too saw that one patch of trees, stubbornly holding on to the burnt orange and dull yellow leaves before the winter wind blows them away for good.

I spend so much time taking photos and taking it all in, that it's almost dark when I drive along the last stretch of road, the lights of Steamboat Springs in the distance. I'm tired, and slightly sunburnt from leaving the sunroof open. A cold beer, a quick bite, and a good nights sleep is the cure. Tips from the locals are welcome. The adventure begins all over again tomorrow morning.