Last week, we just returned from a nine day motorcycle trip from Minnesota to Colorado. Leaving Minnesota, we entered the farmlands of Iowa that spread out before us for miles and miles. We then moved across Nebraska from cities into the vast prairie lands where towns were few and far between. As we entered Colorado, we were met by ranches set upon desolate lands, until we finally reached the majestic Rocky Mountains.
We saw farmers and ranchers, working in the fields and repairing their fences. We saw America’s roadways being upgraded by heavy equipment operators and construction workers doing their jobs in the sweltering heat of the day. We met people in the service industry, working hotel front desks, and serving us in the restaurants. We even had a young man from Kazakhstan on a student work visa, so happy that he gets to “experience America”. He was so appreciative of his parents for funding his trip to our great country, and planned on making enough money as a server in the restaurant where he was working to pay his parents back when he got home. He was curious about our travel on motorcycles and so happy to be where he was.
We ate at a wonderful restaurant in the inner city of Denver with the BEST Chili Rellenos and green chili that I have ever tasted! I also saw the hookers, the drug dealers, and those who were addicted to those drugs. We witnessed the challenges of inner city life and within an hour, we were in the midst of the mountains – so majestic, and so pure.
We rode through the richness of Aspen (rich in beauty and wealthy visitors) and conversely, we spent a short time visiting with relatives in a poor tribal nation of South Dakota.
The people of this land, whether natives or tourists from other countries, were happy, smiling and friendly. I saw contentment. I saw peace. I saw happiness.
I reflected on our way home on the gratitude I have for the diversity of lifestyles and individuals who inhabit this great country. I am proud to be a part of this great country, just as I know others are proud to be a part of theirs. I am thankful that I have the opportunity to see, feel, hear, and taste all that this life has to offer.
If you have not taken time away from your day-to-day routine lately, I encourage you to turn off the TV news and the news radio, step away from the same, and experience the world that is right outside your back door…