The History of the Far West goes back 120 years. At least that is the feeling we got during our wonderful Holidays. The Indians didn’t write anything down so the Ranger who showed us Mesa Verde couldn’t tell much about the Pueblos. He acted like a guide to prevent us falling from ladders and to tell us what we saw already for ourselves. We stayed in a small farm where history was everywhere. Even in the form of a video about the cowboys who lived here until a few years ago. We felt their struggle to survive. One of them said that she liked this way of living, away from all the troubles in the world. Just her own small community, separated from hardships elsewhere. It was moving to watch them struggling and not making it in the end: their lifestyle couldn’t stand the developing world around them. To bring the cows to their summer location up in the mountains was met by misunderstanding and aggression.
We were impressed with the history of the farm. Only later I realized that it was ‘only’ 120 years old. The same happened to all the Goldmines we visited. They went back to 1872 and were deserted during the second world war. Gold lost its value and steel was what people were looking after. Now all the former gold mines are ruins of piles of wood. The landscape changed dramatically because of all the ore (stones) that were mined and pulverized. Luckily plastic wasn’t invented yet otherwise all these mines in the middle of beautiful nature would have looked like a dump. Nowhere was any history to be found before 1872, except for the beautiful nature.
We explored on mountain bike the Arches that we know from the Westerns, the Colorado river happened to be the place to come to a rest. Rafting in a very gentle river while swimming with our PFD (‘personal floating device’) brought a new peace of mind. We slept under the stars next to the river with thunderstorms and rainbows in the distance.
Telluride looks like a combination of Volendam and the Grachtengordel of Amsterdam without water. They did a better job in adjusting to the new world. The former mine city is now the place to be for rich and alternative Americans. Handmade cowboy boots cost over 1000 dollars and just for the fun 40 bicyclists decide to march naked through the streets. All houses are small, painted in fresh colors and maintained exceptionally well. The smallest one costs already 1 million dollars. Several movie stars bought one so that they have their own condo during the famous film and jazz festival. We stayed at the New Sheridan Hotel with hot tubs on the roof right in the center.
Best of all was to visit our friends Jim and Tania in Boulder. We spend several days with them before and after our journey in the Far West. They helped us to find the best route and places to visit. But their company and hospitality makes the difference.