New friends and old mountains.

Time goes so fast, I just can’t believe that it’s almost August! I can’t believe I’ve been here for almost 2 months already, but I’ve seen so many things that I hardly can remember it all. I’ve said it before but I’ll keep saying it, because life is so incredibly good. No, good is not the word I’m looking for. Life is great. Amazing. Fantastic. This is how life should be, simple as that.
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This is approximately how I have travelled so far. I cycled up until the third white dot after Wilmington, and then I’ve been driving the rest. Still so much left to see! I need to come back, that’s for sure. 

I left Zion on Monday, and drove towards Arches National Park. It took me a few hours, but I got there right after lunch time and drove into the park. It’s a park filled with these natural stone formations, and most of them were really cool. But it’s mostly famous for the arches that nature has formed though, so I set out to see some of them.
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This one was called the double arch. 
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This was either the south or north window. 
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Can you see me up there, with a halo of blonde hair? I don’t think I’ve been this blonde since I was 12, but I’ve barely seen a cloud the entire time here and the sun is strong.

To get to the Delicate Arch, which is also the most famous one and the symbol on Utahs license plates, I had to go for quite a hike. It was very hot but it was so pretty. 
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I wish I could do that…
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I expected to at least see a snake or something while walking this trail, but nope, just some tiny lizards and that was it. Disappointed.

Right across from the Arches national park is Canyonlands, which is where I went the very next day. I picked a trail I wanted to do, which went up on top of one of the rocks there. It was pretty steep though, so when I was sitting there sliding down on my butt to get down I just thought “I’m so happy my mother can’t see me right now, she’d freak out”. But I got up and down in one piece, so no worry. And the trail was called Aztec Butte trail, I don’t know how to say butte or what it means so I just figured it means you need to slide down some parts on your butt. (I googled, it means “an isolated hill with steep sides”. The more you know…)
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Since it’s mostly rocks they put these tiny little formations so you know where to go. 
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Up at the top I found this. I couldn’t find a sign or anything indicating how old it is, but I’m guessing that it’s pretty old… 
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If at first you don’t succeed… 
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…try again!

After the hike I got back in the car, and was finally headed for Colorado. I’ve been looking forward to that state for so long. I was almost immediately rewarded with the most amazing views, as the landscape soon shifted from the red rocks, to a lush green with high mountains showing up far, far away.
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I think I startled the guy on the bike as I shouted “do you want water, peanuts, nectarines or cherries?” (which was everything I had in my car) as he rode by… he didn’t though. I also stopped next to every other cyclist I saw along the road and offered them the same things, Colorado has a lot of cyclists! I’m jealous, but not really, because this state has too many mountains for it to be fun…

I got the Salida in Colorado late that night, and spent the night there. The next day I got to sleep in for a bit, before I was back on the road, heading to a very, very small town called Westcliffe. There I had been invited to spend the night with Jeanie and Mike, all through the wonders of the internet. Oh, I love the internet… After a luckily very small wrong turn I got to their house, and it was just gorgeous. It’s out in the middle of nowhere, with an amazing view of the mountains right in their backyard, and their house was so beautiful too.
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Ceffie the lagotto! It’s the same type of dog that my parents have. They had the exact same mannerism, it’s so fascinating. 
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Just an hour after I had arrived, so did two of Jeanies friends, Cindy and Kathleen. I had the absolute best afternoon getting to know them, they were just hilarious. I’m so thankful that I get to experience things like this, what other tourist gets to do that? This trip has just turned into something so much better than I ever dared to dream of.

When I arrived I was told that there would be gifts waiting for me, but that most of them would be gag gifts. This is everything I received:
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Socks, sandals, a chocolate moose, candy, a bunny pin, a necklace, bracelet, a Colorado cup and a bottle of wine. Not too bad! Though I had sworn I would never wear Crocs in my life, I guess that’s about to change. But I promise that I will never ever wear them with socks again!

We spent the entire afternoon talking and drinking some wine, before Mike cooked us an amazing dinner and Jeanie made a coconut pie that was delicious. I fell asleep as soon as I laid down that night… which was good, because the next day we were hiking up to a waterfall close to where they live. But not before sitting on their back porch drinking coffee and talking for a few hours. This place is just too beautiful. IMG_5186It was a fun hike, and I enjoyed both that and actually having other people to talk to, not just myself for once.
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After a while we got to the falls, and they were amazing! I took the chance to get me feet wet.
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I got some pretty nasty mosquito bites, can you see the one growing on my arm?
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Ceffie and Mike hiking ahead, they were fast.

As we got back to the house I took a quick shower, had a fruit smoothie and was on my way towards Loveland, Colorado. I left at around five in the afternoon, and got to the hotel at almost nine thirty. But I stopped just outside of Denver to have dinner and buy some real hiking shoes at REI. That place is just great, I could easily spend so much money there. As soon as I got to the hotel I started researching where I was going to hike today in the Rockies, but I quickly decided that I needed rest. I’m constantly moving around and doing things, and I’m in desperate need of both a mental and physical break, so that’s what I’m doing today. Well mostly, I do have some minor planning that needs to be done as well but other than that I’m in need of a down day.

Thank you so much Jeanie and Mike for taking me in, you’re the reason why I love this country so much. And Cindy and Kathleen, it was such a pleasure getting to know you! I can’t believe how I got so lucky to get to know such amazing people during my journey across this country. And Colorado is just amazing. I even asked the ladies if they could find me someone to marry, just so that I can stay here. I know I’ve said it before, but Colorado really is my favorite state so far. Might even be my favorite place on earth.

I’m such a lucky woman.
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Comments

  1. Saskia says

    looking at those photos i completely understand why you are in love with Colorado. it’s so very beautiful. Enjoy the stay and your day of resting.

  2. pappa says

    alla som har Lagotto är trevliga människor och att du kunde finna några mitt ute i ingenstans är otroligt. När man nu läser om din resa och allt du får uppleva så blir man lite avundsjuk. Du gör något ensam som inte många har mod att göra men du är en tuff brud under ytan och kan ta vara på dig. Det är ju bra när det kommer två lantisar från Halmstad och skall göra dig sällskap i ett antal dagar senare denna månad så du kan hjälpa dom i det stora landet USA. Saknar dig och ser fram emot att få träffa dig. Kram pappa.

  3. Mamma says

    It`s funny that you are in love with every state you are visiting! This must be an amazing country and with all the great people that you meet as well. But after this journey I want you to come home, no such talk about finding someone to marry 😉 But first we will soon meet in San Fransisco and I can`t wait!! Lots of hugs to you my sweet daughter 🙂

  4. Jeane says

    I loved your post and your beautiful photos!!! You were such a joy and delight, Cecilia! I told my daughter all about you, so she is hoping that the two of you can meet and spend some time together when you are in Brisbane. 🙂 Be safe, and enjoy the rest of your travels! I can’t wait to read your future posts about the incredible places you have yet to visit. You are in for such a pleasant surprise! Love and hugs, Jeane

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