A Walking Tour of Montrose

Putting on tennies in the dark isn’t easy. Neither is slipping out the hotel door without waking your comrades. I wasn’t totally successful. In fact my friend and fellow speaker Kathleen E Kovach told me later she rolled over, emitted a soft moan, and asked God to keep me safe before she slipped back into slumber.

(This post relates to point #2 from my Little Bit Wiser blog a few days ago.)

It was the day after we’d taught Fiction FUNdamentals at the Montrose library. Soon we’d load five women into a truck crammed full of luggage and begin the 12 hour trip home. (Okay, Montrose is roughly 6 hours from Denver, but not when you travel with five women who like to shop and need lots of potty breaks.)

I needed some movement before the drive–and wanted to experience a little of the town instead of whipping through, speaking, and packing up. I’d walked a bit the morning before the library gig, but it was mostly a clear my head and pray kind of trek. I didn’t have time to go far and my wanders led to a very dry, ugly spot full of cracked earth, desolation, and old furniture dumped haphazardly. It was great inspiration to pray for opportunities to replace barrenness in a place where there seemed to be little community or support for Christian writers. It was not, however, especially attractive.

So this morning I headed the opposite direction, initially following a small river.

walk 01

Soon that path ended. Disappointed I headed down the primary road, unimpressed with the end of town that sported mostly old signage. (I later discovered a quaint main street awaited me farther down, but alas I saw it only from a moving car.)

signage

I turned down a side street and the adventure began. What I noticed most were the trees. Beautiful, diverse, and full of character. If you know Colorado you know that on either side of the mountains, or in long valleys, trees are not plentiful. This made the trees of Montrose even more treasured, and I wondered who planted, watered, and cared for them. How old were they?

walk 1 tree

I got really excited when I found a bike path, just sure it would lead to a nature walk or beautiful park.

walk 4

After lots of concrete I found myself at the city hospital.  At least I found roses hanging over a privacy fence.

walk 3

I gave up on the bike path and returned to the shaded streets of a modest neighborhood. I’m always grateful to those who take time to bring beauty into our world by planting flowers.

walk 2

Eventually I found my favorite site of the day, the beautiful Townsend House built in 1887.

walk 7 (2)

I was especially intrigued by the two sidewalks in front of the old place–a decaying brick path and a new concrete one. One of these days I’ll find the metaphor here, and we’ll have another blog post.

 walk 9

walk 8

I’d walked almost an hour when I met a lady who urged me to go past the swimming pool and the big red silos to the park on the edge of town. She said the path there would soothe my soul. I didn’t want to be late for breakfast, but I couldn’t resist. I set off for the park jogging a little and wondering if I’d have to run a good deal of the way back to be on time. That was not a pleasant thought, but it didn’t deter me.

walk 10

As I headed down the trail to the park I saw a sweet-looking woman walking alone. I asked the Lord if I should talk with her. Soon we were in conversation. She and her husband daily feed the cats and ducks at the park. When she discovered how far I was from the hotel she offered me a ride back. Her husband initially turned the wrong direction assuming my hotel was on that side of town. They were a surprised I’d walked the entire length of their community. (And I’ll admit it. I felt a bit of pride at the thought.)

When I returned Kathy rolled her eyes at my story of the provision of a return ride. I told her they were nice people who fed the wildlife. She said I needed to start watching Criminal Minds. I told her I prayed first and knew they were safe. That seemed to calm her.

(And don’t YOU start worrying. I don’t typically take rides from strangers.)

It’s a good thing I took a walking tour of Montrose before the road trip home. Five women pack a lot of snacks.

So there you have it–how to fight the battle of the bulge and see the world, one sidewalk at a time.

Hope you protect some time this week to find the little things a nice walk reveals. If you do, I’d love to hear YOUR story.

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Discovering the world on foot

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8 thoughts on “A Walking Tour of Montrose

  1. Rosemary July 18, 2013 at 4:33 pm Reply

    This is great Paula. I know of Montrose, have several friend that live there. So I know of the 1887 house, the red silos and the swimming pool and beautiful park. What a lovely story. you make my da!!

    • Paula Moldenhauer July 18, 2013 at 5:58 pm Reply

      :O) It was fun discovering it all on foot, sort-of accidentally as I happened upon it.

  2. Shari July 18, 2013 at 5:41 pm Reply

    Great musings Paula! I do relate to my Sis’ comments though, runs in the fam. LOL

  3. mariekeates July 20, 2013 at 2:16 pm Reply

    So e times I think listening to the news makes us more afraid than necessary. People often tell me I should t walk on lonely footpaths alone because once someone got mugged. The thing is, lots of times someone got mugged right there on the street but everyone forgets that. It’s easy for these things to make you afraid to go out and live and enjoy life. Having said that, it’s always wise to be aware of your surroundings and who else is about too. Glad you had a good walk 🙂

    • Paula Moldenhauer July 20, 2013 at 2:47 pm Reply

      Thanks, Marie. Honestly when I first started walking this was a huge detriment–overcoming fear. I didn’t ever walk by myself. I try to be wise when I do walk by myself now, but I try not to let fear keep me in bondage.

      • mariekeates July 20, 2013 at 8:47 pm

        Good for you! I had my moments when I first tried the Navigation, it was so lonely it scared me and I turned back. Now, a few years and lots of off road walks in woods and on footpaths later, I can’t imagine what I was afraid of!

  4. Paula Moldenhauer July 20, 2013 at 9:39 pm Reply

    Again, you are an inspiration! I still feel fear sometimes, but I just pray through it and keep walking.

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