Goodbye Colorado (and a Bear Update)

I am linking up with Running on the Fly and Confessions of a Mother Runner for their Weekly Rundown. Here’s a summary of my week of running (and other activities) in Steamboat Springs, Colorado.

First, the running

Meditations in Motion

My hubby Bill and I have been in Colorado for eight days so far and we have run six of those eight days. Sounds pretty good, but all the runs have been short ones. Our total Colorado mileage is only 20 miles.

Our runs have all been in the early morning, before my son and daughter-in-law leave for work so that we can be back in time to babysit our grandson.

We run two loops around the neighborhood (a little bit over three miles total) each time.

As I get older, the altitude, about 6,800 feet, affects me more. Hills I would power up at home, I often walk up in Steamboat.

I like variety in my running, so it is not completely satisfying to run the same route each day, but without driving somewhere else to begin our runs, there are not a whole lot of options in the short amount of time we have in the mornings.

It is gratifying, however, to look back at my running log and see that we make progress each day. With each successive run, we run a little bit faster, walk a little bit less, and feel a little bit better.

The runs end on an uphill, though, and I always arrive back at the driveway gasping for air and doubled over with my hands on my knees to catch my breath.

Next, the hiking

Meditations in MotionOn our last full day in Colorado, the whole family decided to go for a hike at Rabbit Ears Pass. There, at nearly 10,000 feet of elevation, gorgeous scenery awaited around every bend.

Meditations in Motion

The high alpine meadows were awash in wildflower blooms, creating a heavenly scent.Meditations in Motion

The wildflowers were humming with native bees, flitting from flower to flower, taking advantage of the brief summer season to collect nectar.

Meditations in Motion

My four-year-old grandson, who carried water and snacks in his own Camelback, and his best pal Junie (whom I wrote about in this post)  decided to take a break at a mountain stream while the adults looked on.

Finally, the bear update

Meditations in Motion

For our final dinner together, we decided to get pizza and hoagies delivered. As we sat around the dining room table talking after dinner, we noticed a Cooper’s hawk eating her dinner in a tree about 10 feet away.

We watched, thrilled and a little bit saddened for the songbird who provided the hawk’s meal.

After dinner, we took another short walk to look for treasures, played for a while, then went to bed.

In an earlier post, I wrote about bear warnings that were posted in my son’s neighborhood. Three black bears had been sighted, and I began running with bear spray just in case, but we never saw any signs of bears.


Meditations in Motion
Image by Brigitte Werner from Pixabay

Shortly after we went to bed, we were awakened by a noise outside our bedroom window. The guest bedroom is directly over the driveway.


Bill and I sat up and looked out the window. There was a big black bear in the driveway, directly under our window, rooting through the trash can!

I jumped up and alerted my son, who went out on an upstairs deck and turned on the outside light. The light did not scare the bear off, but when my son began clapping and yelling, the bear turned tail and ran – straight up the steps and onto the deck!

Fortunately, the deck is at ground level and not completely enclosed. The bear ran across the deck, onto the lawn, and across the street, where we lost sight of him.

An hour later my heart is still pounding and I cannot get back to sleep, which is why I decided to write this post while the incident was fresh in my mind.

The bear notwithstanding, I am very sad to be leaving my Colorado family tomorrow and I am already plotting our return.

Bill and I now travel on to Oregon, to visit another son and his wife. Who knows what adventure awaits us there?


I am linking up with Shank You Very Much for Global Blogging, Esme Salon for Senior Salon, Jenn @ Runswithpugs,  for RIOTS, Random-osity for The Good, The Random, The Fun, and My Random Musings for Anything Goes.







  1. Laurie, we have so almost crossed paths this summer! I returned from another visit to Denver just last week (a very fun one that involved not only a writing conference but wedding dress shopping with my caughter-in-law-to-be, her mom and bridesmaids. And we were in Oregon in late June. Please tell me you’re going up or down the coast — stupendous — and, if possible, heading east to Bend for a day or two. As for bears — we had them in our yard in Southern California nearly every night, and they became a major nuisance. Luckily, black bears tend to be more opportunistic than aggressive, although I sure wouldn’t mess with one. Love your photos!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Jan, my son has lived in Oregon (off and on) since 2004. We have visited many times, including trips to Bend and Newport on the coast. He got married in Corvallis (where he went to grad school and now teaches at the university) 2 years ago. In between, he lived in Berkeley and worked in San Francisco (for Yahoo). I am still in the process of forgiving him for leaving the Bay Area. I was scared when the bear appeared in my older son’s driveway. I thought he was brave for going outside to scare the bear off and clean up the trash, which the bear spilled on the driveway. His 2 dogs wanted no part of it!


  2. I will always remember a camping trip where were visited by bears. After destroying and eating our staples, we heard the(supposedly)mama bear walking down the driveway of the campground with a bag of dry cat food that we could her shake with each step.
    Glad you had a great trip though. Sounded fun.

    Liked by 2 people

  3. I envy your high altitude runs (even though I know they’re hard) and the hiking! OR should be a lot better altitude-wise.

    You are lucky to both be able to travel to visit family.

    I’m chuckling at hoagies. We call them subs. 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Judy, I was amazed at how you could see the progress Bill and I were mai=king on the runs. They were a little bit faster and we felt better each day. If I would want to do a long race out there, I would have to go out a few weeks in advance to acclimate myself to the altitude!

      I think “hoagies” is a Southeast PA thing! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. What a wonderful visit! You got to see a bear and some lovely sights! And it sounds like some good visiting time with you son and his family 🙂 Just went back and read Juni’s story – he is a super lucky dog!

    Liked by 2 people

  5. What an exciting exit post! I was glad you wrote about making progress with running at 6,800 feet and that you enjoyed a hike at 10,000 feet. Best of all, you got to see a bear without having to confront one. I’m looking forward to hearing about Oregon.

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  6. I’m glad you are enjoying our fair state! I’m glad your bear encounter did not endanger you. They’re everywhere here except the big cities. Enjoy the next phase of your trip!

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  7. So grateful you somehow found my blog and left a comment so I could find yours! What an adventure you enjoyed in Steamboat. My family vacationed north of Creede for many summers in my childhood. The photos you shared of the wild flowers brought back sweet memories for me. Would love to go up there just one more time again.

    Hoping you encounter zero bears in Oregon. Glad that the only one you met up with in Colorado was from the window. Had to giggle (just a bit) at the bear running toward your son rather than away when he began clapping and making noise in hopes of encouraging him to leave. My parents had a bear scare in their pup tent in Colorado on their honeymoon in 1951, with the bear almost shredding their tent. Beautiful creatures but better from afar.

    Liked by 2 people

    • I was thinking that too, but we had not yet thrown out the pizza box for that exact reason – we didn’t want to attract bears. My son keeps chickens and they get almost all the food-based trash.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. the scenery there is absolutely stunning. what a beautiful place to be Laurie! I can imagine you will miss it (along with family) but NOT the bear!!! OMG I thought for sure he’d have run away with the clapping and yelling, not run TO you guys!!!

    have a great time in Oregon! looking forward to reading the next installment!

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    • It is so beautiful, Renee. I miss my little grandson like crazy, but we have already scheduled our next visit, so I have that to look forward to. We went on our first hike in Oregon today. It was plenty beautiful too!


  9. Isn’t Colorado amazing, Laurie?? I am a little sad that we are leaving the state, but I’m sure we will be back to visit.

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  10. The bear encounter sounds frightening. We live near the Smokies and encountered a bear during a hike. Unfortunately, all eight people had different opinions about what we should do!

    Liked by 2 people

  11. Oh that bear! How scary. Colorado looks amazing except for the bears lol. I don’t run but we do take our dogs for walks, I try and change the route we do but they love doing the same way each time. visiting from #SeniSal

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  12. Hi, my name is Crystal and I come to you by way of Esme’s Senior Salon. Cool Site. I love nature too. I’ve been a country/woods girl all my life. We get all kinds of wildlife in our area. From Bobcats to Bears. Followed you.

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    • Yep. I was scared! Colorado is beautiful. We are now visiting another son in Oregon and it is beautiful here too. Hope to have a few photos to publish!


  13. What a lovely visit in Steamboat Springs. Time with family. Time doing the things you enjoy. The flower pics from the hike are beautiful! As for the bear, I’ve only seen one bear in the wild. We had been camping in the Sierra Nevadas, and were on our way home. We were 10 miles down the road when a large black bear sprinted out of the forest and across the road. I’ve heard that bears run fast, but seeing is believing! Glad your bear incident was also harmless.

    Liked by 2 people

  14. I love Colorado as well! Oh wow that bear caused a stir in some sleep.

    I had a coworker that woke up to honking. A bear got in his Hummer, and the door closed him/her in. It messed it up big time! Poor, scratches and slobber everywhere! They were in CO as well.

    When I went to Mesa Verde a bear got in front of our car. We were driving the speed limit – 35 or 40. A bunch of cyclists were behind us! We didn’t have a choice, and went over the bear. The State Trooper up the way said we did what was right, and that we didn’t have a choice. Who runs over a bear? We did. No damage to our vehicle!

    Liked by 2 people

    • Wow! A bear in a Hummer? That is crazy! What an experience running over a bear! Sometimes those collisions are unavoidable, but they leave you shaken.


  15. It sounds beautiful there but those bears would scare me as well Laurie. And you know I cringed over the Cooper’s Hawk sighting and its meal of the beautiful songbird. Sigh. Onward and upward for you and hoping your trip remains joyful.

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    • Thank you, Linda. I thought about you when I wrote about the hawk and the kingbird. I felt sorry for the kingbird, but the hawk cannot have too many misses or she would starve! We are having a lot of fun in Oregon right now. Eating way too much of my son’s good cooking!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Yes, I am such a bleeding heart Laurie. I know the hawk has to be diligent so it can eat, especially if there are nestlings. Glad you are enjoying yourself in Oregon and I remember you said both your sons loved to cook.

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