Colorado | 2003

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…

Biking Bergen Peak in Evergreen
Our first hike in Colorado, to Mills Lake in Rocky Mountain National Park
Hike to Columbine Lake - unfortunately we had to turn around on this hike due to too much snow (that we weren't prepared for)
One of my favorite hikes to this day, Herman Gulch -- this is the quintessential Colorado scene
Guanella Pass
Hike to Byers Peak
Wind-swept Byers Peak summit
Indian Peaks Wilderness
Glenwood Canyon
High country summer
Trail to Eccles Pass
Eccles Pass
Maroon Bells in Aspen - this is one of those times when it was better to be lucky than good. The morning dawned completely overcast, but I still took my camera out just in case -and sure enough, suddenly the clouds parted a little and a shaft of sunlight struck the Bells; 30 seconds later, it was gone

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.

Waking up in Crested Butte
Biking Brush Creek
Kebler Pass
Hiking Beckwith Pass, with Ruby Range in the background

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.

Colorado National Monument


4 thoughts on “Colorado | 2003”

    1. My wife applied to residency programs in both Denver and Chicago, and based on the interview experiences, Colorado is/was a much more laid back and manageable place to do it. Still very tough, mind you, but when you can easily go for a hike or ride or some skiing after a long shift, it makes it a lot easier.

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