Travel Ahh…Colorado Rocky Mountains

© Stephanie Glaser 2003

© Stephanie Glaser 2003

To be honest, the ocean is zen to me. It’s where I’d most love to be. However, mountains aren’t a bad substitute. I live in Colorado with some pretty spectacular peaks. In fact, as a teacher, every year I had my students write about the mountains that we often take for granted.

The above photo I took in Telluride, Colorado, USA. Before we had kids, Kurt and I would choose a new place in Colorado every fall to go and check out the Aspens.

© Stephanie Glaser 2004

© Stephanie Glaser 2004

Aspen, CO, USA.

© Stephanie Glaser 2004

© Stephanie Glaser 2004

Aspen, CO, USA.

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Travel Ahh….Rivers

© Stephanie Glaser 1989

© Stephanie Glaser 1989

Rivers are compelling — whether they’re slow and meandering or fast and furious. With a dual personality, rivers represent both nature and civilization. Regardless, they take you on a journey that metaphorical and literal. The above photo is the Amo River running through Florence, Italy.

© Stephanie Glaser 2006

© Stephanie Glaser 2006

The Danube River is particularly beautiful. In Visegrád, Hungary, its “S” curve is almost always in view.

© Stephanie Glaser 2006

© Stephanie Glaser 2006

The Danube, Budapest, Hungary.

© Stephanie Glaser 2006

© Stephanie Glaser 2006

The Dnieper, Kiev, Ukraine.

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Sign of the Times: Think of Your “Happy Place” — The Impound Lot

© Stephanie Glaser

© Stephanie Glaser

Colorado, USA: You have to love it when traffic sign writers use sarcasm. This one, in particular, caught my eye. Definitely, by conjuring up an image of my minivan being towed, I thought twice about parking in this spot.

Visualize being towed

Travel Oops’s Friday Funny Sign: Keeping it Real (they know their stuffed elk is dead, right?)

© Stephanie Glaser

© Stephanie Glaser 2013

Poncha Springs, Colorado. Hunting is a prevalent activity in the west, and many hunters turn to taxidermists to display the ultimate evidence of their favorite pastime. Of course, as most people know, the animal is dead and stuffed.

I realize Real Wilderness Taxidermy’s sign uses quotes for “real,” but this still just doesn’t seem like the best word choice. In fact, they could substitute “lifelike” for real. That would even create some parallelism with “lifetime.” As a geeky English teacher, this makes perfect sense to me.

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Travel Oops: Friday Funny Sign — Stuck in Garfield? Guess You’re SOL

© Stephanie Glaser 2013

© Stephanie Glaser 2013

Garfield, Colorado, USA. Better not have a breakdown or stall even at the mall in this small mountain town. Despite the promising AAA sticker, you’re unlikely to get service from this joint. Not to mention, the “only mall” doesn’t appear to have beer, braunschweiger or munchies either. Totally SOL.

© Stephanie Glaser 2013

© Stephanie Glaser 2013

© Stephanie Glaser 2013

© Stephanie Glaser 2013

© Stephanie Glaser 2013

© Stephanie Glaser 2013

Friday Funny Sign: “Shovel Not Included”

© Stephanie Glaser

© Stephanie Glaser

Colorado, USA, Along highway 285. Dirt can be a hot commodity — by the truckload —  but this little snow encrusted pile seems like it might be better for a batch of mud pies. I saw this on the way to Denver International Airport and didn’t have time to take a photo. Surprisingly, it was still there when Kurt, the kids and I returned to Colorado a week later. I’m guessing it’s not going anywhere.

© Stephanie Glaser

© Stephanie Glaser

Friday Funny Sign: Walk-ins Welcome but Leave Your Saddle at the Door, Please

© Stephanie Glaser

© Stephanie Glaser

Colorado, USA. The west may be wild, but you can still look good — even if you’re a horse, right? This part of the country does love their horses and people have a tendency to name anything from bars to beauty salons “Wild Horses.”

The Friday Funny Sign: Sorry Your Brakes Have Failed — But Please Wait Two Miles

© Stephanie Glaser

© Stephanie Glaser

Monarch Pass, Colorado, USA: It’s nice to know there is a place for out-of-control semis to go, but there’s something a bit unsettling about seeing a sign like this. First of all, there is a reason for a runaway truck ramp — because there are runaway trucks. Secondly, a lot can happen in two miles when a truck has brake failure — especially on a narrow mountain pass with one side that drops off substantially.

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Travel Ahh….Holidays in the Quiet Mountains and in the Crazy City

© Stephanie Glaser

© Stephanie Glaser

Salida, Colorado. Winter in the mountains is farther away — it shows up in the peaks, evergreens and the chair lifts. Christmas is calm and quiet.

© Stephanie Glaser

© Stephanie Glaser

© Stephanie Glaser

© Stephanie Glaser

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Travel Oops — Mad about Mountain Biking

© Kurt Glaser

© Kurt Glaser

Embracing the active, outdoor lifestyle seemed like a great idea when I first arrived in Colorado for a visit.

However, after a few weeks, while white knuckling it on a mountain bike ride, I started thinking that maybe listening to some John Denver while drinking Coors Light was a better idea.

It’s actually best not to know anything about a mountain bike trail before riding it. Ignorance, while not bliss, is definitely an advantage when it comes to participating in an extreme sport.  It’s either ignorance or fearlessness —and — since I am not fearless by nature, at least I was clueless. In fact, I was completely clueless about what I was in for.

© Wiros Barcelona, Spain

© Wiros Barcelona, Spain

Most of the Crest Trail, which runs along the continental divide in Colorado, is considered to be “singletrack,” a dirt path not much wider than the bike.  When you’re riding downhill next to a sheer drop off on three inches of trail that goes over rocks and tree roots, it seems more like “tightrope trail” with no net.

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