Well, solo-ish.

On Friday, Nate and I decided to do a last-minute trip somewhere in the mountains where he could go snowboarding, and I could have a retreat to myself. I craved time to write, read, seek the LORD, and be. We ended up deciding on Buena Vista, so he could go to Ski Cooper. It’s an affordable, smaller mountain, and actually the first, and last, place I ever skied.

These days, I dabble in snowboarding with the hopes of becoming decent. I didn’t show much promise with skis seeing as four-year-old me primarily only cared about the M&M’S, my mom told me. “That’s right, mister ski instructor man, just keep the little chocolates coming, and we won’t have problems ….” Sounds like me.

Whipple Trails Map Buena Vista

On Friday evening, we left behind a snow-covered Colorado Springs to find Buena Vista with nothing on the ground, but plenty to see on the surrounding, snowy peaks. We’d found an Airbnb called Camp Elevation that offered a large breakfast spread, hot tub and incredible views in a perfectly tucked away location. You could still see the town of BV and get there by 15-minute drive or a beautiful, 45-minute hike. Plus, our host, Ruth, provided great conversation, helpful instruction on the area, a delicious breakfast, and overall, a simply delightful stay. We’d found the perfect place.

Saturday morning, we woke up bright and early to gobble down waffles, eggs, bacon, granola, yogurt, strawberries, orange juice, and coffee in time for Nate’s 7 a.m. departure; he still needed to buy bindings for his board. I can’t remember the last time I ate such a wonderfully large breakfast spread.

It was nearly as magical as the banquet scene in Hook with John William’s glorious instrumental resounding in the background.

While Nate scooted off to the mountain, I made my way back to our room to spend the rest of the morning reading and journaling. I’ve had some changes come up in my life recently and have really wondered what 2020 will hold. I typically create a goals list at the start of each new year, and while I did, I found this year’s list more challenging. I desired direction.

Bible reading

And, whether the Lord would see fit to give me some or not, I sure planned to find the space to ask and listen. Thankfully, He provided me with three clear instructions. The first will probably make you laugh, but I really found, and still find, each one truly inspiring and am committed to the mission. I’m kind of scared for you to read them because then I’ll really be held accountable …. Well, I suppose that depends if anyone reads this post. Mom, Nana, I know I can count on you.

Directions in journal, research done and ready for a break, I went on a hike that Ruth recommended. Near the end of the BnB’s driveway, there’s a trail map with multiple routes; I took the Camp Elevation Trail to town. I packed a bag with books planning to go to the Buena Vista Roastery on Main Street and enjoy the rest of the evening, until Nate’s return, reading. Nate ended up getting back to town just as I made it to the bridge crossing the Arkansas river to the new, trendy quarter on South Main. I highly recommend visiting; it’s fun, unique and keeps growing.

Time for dinner.

While his arrival foiled my reading plans, the timing was perfect for us to grab dinner. I ended up foregoing lunch earlier in the day; a couple small snacks sounded best after all the waffles, bacon and such. All that to say, I was very ready to eat. We both enjoyed burgers at House Rock Kitchen. It’s a little pricier, but everything we’ve had tastes great; we’ve been there a couple times. It offers a healthier menu featuring local, seasonal ingredients.

On Sunday, Nate found his body less sore than expected and decided to board a half-day at Monarch Mountain, another more affordable, ski spot. It’s about 45 minutes from Buena Vista. I enjoyed another marvelous day of reading and journaling, and finally managed to accomplish some more substantial writing. Plus, it snowed! The views encircling the adobe home’s 11 large windows and two glass doors perfected what I’d imagined a writer’s weekend might entail.

Looking back, I have a couple final thoughts from the weekend. Firstly, I HIGHLY recommend making time for a solo(ish) retreat. You don’t have to go far, and really, you could do it at your house or apartment. Personally, I think there is some benefit to getting away from the normalcy of your home; so, if money’s tight, look at Airbnb, and if that’s still a stress, consider finding a quiet place near a trail. As someone who falls near the center between introverts and extroverts, I thoroughly enjoy and need time to myself, but I think it benefits everyone.

Time alone can be rejuvenating … in Buena Vista or your backyard.

Secondly, in the midst of all the handwriting and typing, I consumed what seems like gallons of hot tea. I’ve been drinking a LOT of tea lately. I’ll tell you why in an upcoming post. That said, if you have any tea recommendations, please comment below or send me a message on Instagram or Facebook. I’m eager to discover new, delicious teas to fill my days with warmth and joyous taste buds as I hope to spend many more hours writing.  

Want to see more pictures from our trip? Check out this album or my personal Instagram account.