There’s No Place Like Home

Click through to purchase Wizard of Oz hardcover--There's no place like home!

There’s no place like home!

I agree with Dorothy from The Wizard of Oz: there’s no place like home! I don’t hate traveling, precisely–but traveling and I just don’t get along as well anymore.
That said, I still travel when I have to.
Colorado used to be home for us, so it creates this magnetic pull on us that keeps us coming back for one reason or another. A week ago last Saturday, Maria and I took a trip to Colorado to see the naturopath.
I try to pick days for traveling where the weather is good and I don’t have to worry about the condition of the roads. I checked the weather online for Colorado, and for here, and my parents checked the weather in between. The forecast was for some wind and snow showers.
I was good with that, or so I thought.
We left I-80 just after Kearney and headed south into Kansas toward Colby and I-70. We wanted to avoid the long hours through the panhandle of Nebraska and the traffic in Denver, and cutting off an hour of the trip seemed like a great idea.
It was blustering and snowing when we left I-80, but as we headed southwest, the wind calmed and clouds rose, and we even had a little sunshine. Maria took a turn at the wheel, and we had smooth sailing for several hours into Colby and then beyond, as long as we were in Kansas.
And then we crossed the state line into Colorado.

There’s no place like home for us–except for Colorado.

Fresh bales of hay in a field somewhere in Eastern Colorado on I-70

Fresh bales of hay in a foggy field somewhere in Eastern Colorado on I-70

At first, I thought, “Well, this fog isn’t so bad–I’d rather have fog than blustery winds and driving snow.”
Wind turbine lost in fog somewhere in eastern Colorado on I-70

Wind turbine lost in the fog somewhere in eastern Colorado on I-70

But then we saw this wind turbine. The way the blades slowly turned, disappearing into the cloud, then slowly descending out of it.
So…creepy…in a Day of the Triffids kind of way…
Fortunately, by this time I was driving again.
Heavy fog isn’t what Colorado is known for. While we’ve seen it before, we’re used to blue skies, crystal-clear air (at least on high plains and up in the mountains) and beautiful sunshine.
But that Saturday, there wasn’t any blue sky or sunshine in sight.

And then I noticed the trees. They looked a little funny…

Icy pine trees

Icy pine trees

I remember thinking that they looked one-dimensional and stamped onto the landscape…And then I realized that the needles were frosted with ice, which blended with the color of the fog, and–
My windshield iced over and the wipers froze and squeaked and scraped, making horrible sounds.
We reached Limon at dusk, and I thought things were getting better. The windshield thawed as soon as we slowed down on the exit ramp. We filled up with gas and decided to keep going.
The road out of town was wet, but not icy. I thought everything was going well until we neared Matheson, and I needed to slow down. Suddenly, that shine on the road wasn’t water, but ice, and I had no brakes!
Fortunately, this happened going uphill. I used the car’s own mass and gravity to slow down. What a relief that Maria wasn’t behind the wheel when the wheels hit the ice. I know how to drive on ice–but I hate doing it. Maria is still learning.
We overnighted in an inn just outside of Calhan–it’s a nice inn; I recommend it–and continued on in the morning.

In Colorado, the storms usually clear out fairly quickly.

The sun comes out, the road ice melts and the surface dries in a matter of hours.

Sunny Colorado--Now, that's more like it!

Sunny Colorado–Now, that’s more like it!

We saw a few good friends as well as the naturopath. He seems to think that I am doing somewhat better than I was, so that is good news.
We returned home to not-so-sunny Nebraska, just in time for Thanksgiving and a blizzard. And we’re so happy to be home, warm and safe, in our own spaces.
There really is no place like home, even if we sometimes miss Colorado.

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