In 1967 my father bought a Pontiac Catalina and a dingy old travel trailer and took his girlfriend, my brother and me on a road trip. Over the next 8 weeks we drove 13,498 miles, visited 51 parks, and saw wonders like geysers, redwoods, grizzlies, and the Summer of Love in San Francisco. The trip made an indelible impression, cementing my appreciation for the natural world and the American landscape. This summer Pamela and I hope to repeat the experience for our family.

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Dave: Can you have a good conversation in Telluride?

After creeping through a slashing thunderstorm, we descended into Telluride.

Pamela and I have always liked it there, so we thought the girls would appreciate the stop.

Before we got out of the car, the girls, especially Lark, were perking up. The town is pretty. The streets were full of people. "This place reminds me of home," said Lark.

We walked around looking for a place to eat lunch. Rain kept falling off and on.

During the first hour we were there, we starting discussing a change in trip plans. Maybe we could spend the day in Telluride and then blast all the way to Niwot the next day?

But the longer we stayed, an interesting thing happened. As we poked around, it seemed like there was less and less to the place. We had a long discussion about cosmetic surgery. There was plenty of it in evidence, and I started nudging Lark every time I saw a woman who looked like she'd had some facial re-sculpting. We tried to arrange for Lark to get her hair trimmed, but the woman said the price for a youth was $45. We decided to wait until Boulder. We looked into a number of interesting shops, but everything was outrageously expensive.

Eventually we decided it was time to move on. Telluride was pretty and lively, but maybe there wasn't really as much there as we had thought at first.

It kind of reminded me of my short move to Aspen when I was 21. When I first arrived, I thought, "Wow! Cool place, full of good looking people. Lots of things to do." But the longer I stayed, the more I started thinking, "It's hard to get a good conversation going in this place. Everyone just wants to talk about skiing." I left Aspen after a couple months.

We left Telluride after three hours.

Of course, it was raining the whole time. We might have thought differently about Telluride if the sun had been shining.

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