|Ours is the one in the middle with the big green tree in front.|
We love it in the winter when we can strap on our snowshoes at the front door and set off over the drifts down across the frozen lake in front of the house, and over the mountain behind the house. Snowshoeing is a delight. You can take the beaten down path (if there is one) or you can just go overland. Across beaver dams, and straight down a hillside you could never traverse in the summer. It’s also a delight because the world is muffled by the snow, quiet and full.
You can see tiny mouse tracks on the top of snow, impossibly small and light enough that the mouse doesn’t sink into the snow. I always get my shoes tangled at some point and pitch into a snowdrift, which is somehow also fun.
We love it in the summer when it’s 90 something degrees down in Denver, but up here the temperature drops every night and every morning is cloudless, bright blue and full of adventure. A bike ride, a hike, a run, a drive.
Ten or so miles down the road is Twin Lakes, with cute little weekend cabins and lots of fishermen. On the south side of the lake is a hiking trail that travels along the length of both lakes. The trail goes out to the remains of an old summer hotel called Interlaken, where people would come for the summer. There was a steamboat that brought people across the lake. Now all that is left are a few old buildings, and the owner’s old house, which has been refurbished by volunteers. Just after Mr. Bump and I got married we tried to hike over there with my friends Paige and Melissa. I didn’t make it the 4 miles out to Interlaken before I had to turn around. The first time I eventually made it out there felt amazing. Monumental. Like I could do anything.
Twenty miles or so south of Bumpalot in Buena Vista is Kay’s Dairy Delight. It’s only open seasonally and you have to order from the window in the front and sit at a picnic table in front along mainstreet or go sit in your car. The soft serve is lovely, especially after a hot day of hiking or driving around. But my favorite thing about it is the fact that they turn their broken ice cream cones into doggie cones. They’ll give your pooch a little soft serve cone for free if you ask, or even if you don’t ask but they see your dog.
We love it most especially in the fall when the house is surrounded by golden aspen and the valley, all the way up and down, is filled with red and gold and green.
There is a place we go every year in the fall, called Vicksburg, which is basically an really picturesque strip of log cabins. Usually by the time we make it down there they’re all closed up for the season, but somehow that seems just right. We take the dogs and walk up and down the grassy “street,” checking to see if anything has changed. I remember doing this with Mr. Bump’s dad, who died in 2000. I think their family has been doing it for a lot longer than that.
But as much as I love all of the things we can do from here, the reason I love it most that we don’t have to do any of that. We don’t come up here as much in the spring (in part because the weather is more unpredictable) but when we do we tend to light a fire in the woodburning stove and curl up to read a book, because if it isn’t snowing then it’s melting and muddy. Although baking at 10,000 feet can be an adventure, I bake a lot up here, because I have the time to experiment and the kitchen, despite the ugliest of green formica counters, is lovely to bake in. There is lots of (ugly) counterspace, and a fantastically stocked kitchen. A pantry full of baking staples. It isn’t my dream kitchen, but it’s nice.
We don’t have satellite so no TV, although we have a TV and dvd player and sometimes watch movies. We poach wireless off a generous neighbor who hasn’t enabled security on their network, so it’s spotty and we feel lucky if we get to check our email once in a while. There’s always a project we’re working on (and by we I mostly mean Mr. Bump and my mother-in-law). Lots of puttering happens.
Have you ever had a space like this? It’s kind of amazing to think about, which I guess I don’t that often. One of us, or both of us, acknowledge how lucky we are to have this place, every time we’re up here.
The only thing about it that makes me sad at all is the fact that we haven’t shared it with more people. It’s a wonderful place. You should come visit. I’ll put the kettle on.