Driving around town that first week back was distasteful. I know, know, know that I love this town and its very own brand of beauty, but after being in green, lush, gorgeous Denmark for days and days this town looked brown, washed-out and garish. Signs everywhere so loud and ugly, architecture that only recalls post-modern yuck and big box retail, and houses that were built surely but plainly mostly in the the post-World War II boom with the additional sprouting of the the 9os mcmansion expansion throughout the valley.
How I ached for a curved window, a more elegant line anywhere and somewhere. Most of this town seems a lot like the private university nearby. A few pretty buildings, but most are brick brown and dull as dirt. Uninspiring. The grounds are the bright spot at this temple of higher learning--manicured and well-ordered and at least colorful.
The native landscape here can be strong and vibrant with rich browns, bold oranges, and startling shots of green. But today it seems parched and withering after the green softness of coastal Denmark.
Today I'm seeing with new eyes an old place that I love. And that place isn't winning.
So, I'm going for a drive up the canyon, past a lovely waterfall, and up a windy, windy road on the side of a mountain to a place amid aspen and pine trees that is one of my favorite places. Just so I can drink in the sharp tang of the trees, the rushing cold water of a mountain stream, and the cool mossiness of a forest hanging sharply to the side of steep cliff.