After 4 years in Chicago, we got tired of urban living, especially the cold and gray winters. In 2002, we went to a friend’s wedding Denver, Colorado, and added on a trip to Moab, Utah. After that one week, both Geny and I had decided that we would move to Denver. She applied to residency programs in the Denver area and in the summer of 2003, we found ourselves in Lakewood, a suburb west of Denver. Some people ask us why we chose a suburb rather than the city. We picked Lakewood because (1) we’d already had our fill of urban living in Chicago, so Denver didn’t really appeal, and (2) we wanted to be close to outdoor recreational opportunities, and being at the base of the foothills gave us easy access to the mountain playground (we could pick up Bear Creek Trail about 4 blocks from our apartment).
That first year, 2003, despite Geny being in residency, we did a lot of hiking and biking. We were out almost every weekend and many weekday evenings doing stuff…
Given that the Front Range (the whole Denver-Boulder-Colorado Springs area) is a high desert environment, fall is not naturally colorful. Aspens, which provide most of the color in the Rockies, are to be found at higher elevations, so after some research, we drove up to Crested Butte for a weekend in September. We were not disappointed.
Before winter set in, there was time enough for a trip out to western Colorado, to Colorado National Monument. It is a far cry from the snow-capped mountain vistas that is usually associated with Colorado, but very spectacular nonetheless.