By Savannah Garza
The best summers I ever spent were in Colorado. No hot, humid Texas summer will ever compare to the cool, breezy summer nights in the Centennial State. No sight can compare to the one I had on my dads backyard porch. My stepmom and I would sit out on lawn chairs with our cats with Cheyenne mountain in plain sight right before us. Straight ahead was the mountain range, no house or building could have blocked our view.
Every evening was a treat watching the purple and pink swirled skies fade as the sun set behind the big rocky landforms that towered everything before it. The weather was chilly like a Texas day in the winter time. The news in Colorado would talk about what a “scorcher” 84 degrees was. As we watched the sun set behind the mountains my stepmom and I would talk about anything and everything, we’d talk about her life in Germany, I’d keep her updated on my life and my friends lives, we’d talk about food, clothes, politics, boys, society, everything and everything.
After we’d watch the sun set, we’d usually sit together and watch a movie or make a pizza from scratch. Sometimes we’d drive around and search for bears and mountain lions since they were abundant in the area my dad and stepmom lived in. Other days we’d play laser tag and go for some gelato after. I remember one time my stepmom, dad, and I all went to this cute little town in the mountains called Manitou Springs.I love it a lot because it reminds me of the small town version of Austin. Before the sun set my stepmom and dad decided to check out the neighborhood, which basically led us higher and higher up a mountain. The nervousness and shakiness in my voice became more oblivious each time we passed another house and went higher up. I kept telling them we needed to go back down, but they didn’t listen. They didn’t listen until eventually we heard a screech come from the woods, it had to be about 80 feet away from us. It sounded like the startup of a dirt bike or fast car, but we all knew it was a mountain lion. It was then that my parents decided to scream and run as fast as they could down the mountain and back to safety. As scared and terrified I was that I was about to die in that moment, I can now look at that memory and laugh at myself and my parents and how foolish our decision was to go up the mountain alone. That’s another thing unique about Colorado nights, the locals fear of stepping outside of their own home at night in the case that a mountain lion or bear decides to show up and eat them.
I remember every night from every window you could see the NORAD center’s glowing red and white lights on Cheyenne mountain. It always freaked me out to see it through my window every night. The room was pitch black and the windows were open since air conditioning was unnecessary and all you would see are glowing red and white dots in the sky. I also remember how scary the roads were at night. One moment you see a house and the next you see the edge of the road and have no idea what would happen if you were to be ran off of the road that very second. I remember every afternoon looking out my dads backyard at this white medieval looking tower in the distance on the mountain that would ring at certain times in the day. I loved hearing the ring because it was very similar to the beginning tune of “The Handshake” by MGMT.
Colorado is one of the most magical places I’ve ever been to. Colorado nights are the most magical sights you will ever see. I would give anything right now to pack up and board an airplane this very moment and go back to when everything was okay.