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Goodbye, Colorado

My first few hours in Colorado last year were filled with regret. As soon as I crossed the state line from Utah and got trapped on a winding mountain road behind a massive RV going 10mph under the speed limit who refused to pull over and let me pass (despite going by multiple turnouts), I remembered all the reasons I left and wondered why I'd signed up to come back. But then, I had a wonderful seven weeks! I ran races, hiked ten 14ers, saw all my friends, explored beautiful wilderness, and did all the things. 

So, still having more 14ers to hike and wanting to run some cool races, I signed up for another five weeks in Colorado this summer. This time, it was definitely the wrong choice. I wanted to be in Carbondale or Basalt, but there was not a single affordable, decent place. So I opted for Glenwood Springs. I'd been there several times before as a tourist and liked it, so I thought it would be fine. 

No. Not fine. Holy cow Glenwood is sooooooooo touristy. The traffic is insane. And I had just about the worst AirBnB experience to date on my nomad travels with an owner who doesn't give a fuck (despite the place have 4.83 stars with 172 reviews). I had several maintenance issues right away, and the owner was out of the country and completely non-responsive (and didn't even tell me in advance that she wouldn't be available and doesn't have a co-host on her listing.) Glenwood Springs is also very non-dog friendly (which was a problem when Joe came up from Santa Fe with his dog) and the pool is now $43 a day on the weekdays, $47 on weekends. 

On top of all that, I didn't get to do most of the things I came here for. My backyard ultra race was canceled, and two weekends in a row, I was completely rained out of doing 14ers. I kid you not, the forecast Monday through Friday was sun, sun, sun, but all day Saturday and Sunday was thunderstorms. 

So I was someplace I didn't want to be and then the reason I was willing to put up with it was ruined too. I could be anywhere in the country - in the whole western hemisphere - but I was stuck there. I did get to see Joe again (so soon after Utah, which was really nice) and several Denver friends and several acquaintances who live in the Roaring Fork Valley. All of that was great, but had I known my primary reasons for coming to this location would all fall through, I wouldn't have come here.

And I won't be coming back next year. Even though my 14ers list remains much longer than it should have at the end of this summer, I'm not signing up for this state again. I'll try to swing through for a weekend or two on my way to elsewhere and maybe the summit weather will cooperate, but this is the end of long Colorado stays for me.

But lest you think I sat around moping, I did make the most of it doing all the Glenwood Springs touristy things. I did a spa package at the Yampah Vapor Caves, took my kayak out at Harvey Gap State Park, went paragliding for the first time (so fun - would do again!), hiked in the beautiful Maroon Bells for the first time (I got two passes in advance, assuming I'd be rained out at least one of those times), went whitewater rafting on the Colorado, and did lots and lots of trail runs.