Words inspired by the backroads of America

The Fraser River Valley, Colorado

Rolling down off of Colorado’s Berthoud Pass on US40 I could feel the tension of the Denver/I-70 drive melting away.  I have always lived in Kansas, but each summer my family would load up the sedan or the wagon and head for the mountains for our summer camping vacation.  For two glorious weeks, my sister and I would climb rocks and hike, throw pebbles in the mountain streams, chop wood for our campfire, feed chipmunks and scout every clearing for signs of deer and bears, while my Dad made an attempt to teach us about wildflowers and igneous versus sedimentary rocks.  I’m still not sure which we got the most out of, but we enjoyed every minute of those trips.  Those old feelings came sneaking back in as my wife and I made our way down and through Winter Park on our way to a few days of respite away from work.

Our home away from home for a couple of nights was at the small, but immaculate and delightful Wild Horse Inn, just north of Fraser, on CR83, just off of US40.  We opted for one of the separate cabins for maximum quiet and privacy since the end of the week would be spent with a large group of family all meeting in Steamboat Springs.  The inn lived up to its billing.  The breakfasts were creative and tasty, the innkeepers friendly and helpful, the fellow guests interesting to get to know and the inn, simply wonderful!  The only drawbacks we could find were the lack of a mountain view through the pines and the large white tent in the clearing behind the inn, a wedding reception necessity in a high altitude climate.  The lack of view was more than made up for by the spectacular vista back across the valley as we drove up CR83 to the inn.  There may be more dramatic mountain views, but there is something special about the high mountain valleys, green with lush pastureland and meandering mountain streams.  I can picture it even now.  The sun setting behind the snow-speckled peaks, the deep blue sky with a tint of pink clouds, the long line of coal cars being pulled across the green carpeted valley, the lone rider crossing the pasture on his evening rounds, all framed by the dark green and rugged pines at the edge of the valley.  Quite a picture to remember! I only wish I had taken one! 


Our accommodations: The Wild Horse Inn, Fraser, CO