Wednesday, September 10, 2014

My Favorite Place

I've had the good fortune to live in and travel to many different places in my life. Some that sound very exotic, like St. Lucia and Iceland. Others that are more homegrown, like Michigan, Oklahoma, South Dakota and Texas. But of all the places I've been, the one I love the most is Ouray, Colorado. True, my books are set there, but every time I visit this town, I fall in love all over again.

Why?

Let me start by giving you a little perspective. I'm currently a suburbanite living on the flatlands of Texas. I'm surrounded by highways and virtually every parcel of land is being bulldozed in order to build more homes or businesses. Old buildings aren't restored, they're torn down to make way for something more modern. 

But Ouray... 

Everywhere I look, there are mountains. And I don't mean in the distance. In Ouray, they are up-close and personal. Stand anywhere in town and you are enveloped by thirteen and fourteen thousand foot peaks. Trees perch on minuscule outcroppings, planted by the hand of God.

In Ouray, seventy percent of the town's Victorian buildings are still in use.
They revel in their history. No bulldozing going on here.

In Ouray, I can feel as though I'm on top of the world.

And marvel in alpenglow, when God paints barren gray rock the most incredible shade of red/orange/pink.

In my book, Ouray is like no place else on earth.

Do you have favorite place? I'd love to hear about it.


Mindy Obenhaus lives in Texas with her husband and two of her five children. Her debut novel, The Doctor’s Family Reunion, is a finalist in ACFW’s 2014 Carol Awards and her second book, Rescuing the Texan’s Heart, is a September 2014 release. When she’s not writing, Mindy enjoys cooking, reading and spending time with her grandkids. You can learn more about Mindy and Ouray at www.mindyobenhaus.com.

18 comments:

Pamela Tracy said...

Oh Mindy,
I feel the same way. When we were in Ouray this past summer, I looked at the price of houses and told my husband he could open his own plumber shop.
He gave me the look. He does that sometimes.
Last time he gave me the look was when I gave him a unicycle for his birthday.
Let's both move there and be neighbors.

Sandra Orchard said...

Gorgeous pictures, Mindy. I love the vast variety of landscapes in North America. It's difficult to pick a favorite.

Mindy Obenhaus said...

LOVE that idea, Pamela! I've made similar suggestions to my husband, too. Best I could get was that we live in Ouray during the summer and winter back here in Texas. Then HE threw out the idea of buying a condo. Use when we're there and rent it out when we're not to cover the payments. I'm on board with that, though there's been no further discussion. Ah well, it's always fun to dream. In the meantime, I'll just have to get there as often as I can. ;)

Mindy Obenhaus said...

You are so right, Sandra. North America is very diverse in it's landscape, each beautiful in their own right.

Christine Johnson said...

Beautiful pictures, Mindy! I'd love to visit Ouray one day. My favorite places are very diverse, just like the landscapes in this country. My husband and I love Glacier National Park in northern Montana. Lots of mountains there. We adore the Great Lakes and the rolling hills and dunes of the western Michigan shore. Then there's the Florida Keys. Those brilliant turquoise seas grab me every time.

Mindy Obenhaus said...

There is something very smoothing about the beach, isn't there, Christine. The sound of the waves rolling onto the beach. Ah...

I have not been to Glacier National Park, but would love to see it one day.

Leann Harris said...

Georgetown in the mountains near Denver. I loved going up there. I have the map of the city, which is maybe ten streets. It's a widening of the road.

Mindy Obenhaus said...

Oh, I'm going to have to look that place up, Leann. :)

Debby Giusti said...

Love your favorite place, Mindy. The pictures are so beautiful. I want to join you in Ouray.

I have your book. Can't wait to read!

Mindy Obenhaus said...

Debby, I would LOVE to take you to Ouray. I've always said it's a great place for a writers' retreat. That is, if we can stay put long enough to write. ;)

Pat W said...

Mindy, because of all your wonderful posts of Ouray, my BFF and I nearly went there on our annual trip this summer. We decided to go to PA and NYC instead. It's definitely on the agenda for next summer :)) Can't wait to read your book!

Mindy Obenhaus said...

Oh, Pat W., I hope you do get to go. You and your BFF will love it. Be sure to let me know what adventures you embark on while you're there. And don't forget to treat yourself to something from Mouse's at least once. ;)

Dana Mentink said...

The pictures are SUPER! Congrats on the Carol final!

Keli Gwyn said...

Ouray sounds like a wonderful place, Mindy. I love that the town embraces its history.

My favorite place is my hometown of Placerville, California. Old Hangtown, as it was called its early days, was one of the first and largest Gold Rush-era towns. Like Ouray, Placerville has a rich history. A number of our buildings date back to the 1800s. I'm smitten with this area, which is why I set my stories here.

Mindy Obenhaus said...

Thanks, Dana. And right back atcha! ;)

Mindy Obenhaus said...

Keli, your town and its history sounds very similar to Ouray, which was also a gold and silver mining town. You know, there's also a town not far from Ouray called Placerville. Go figure. :)

Keli Gwyn said...

Mindy, I'd heard of the other Placerville. The first gold discovered here was found in the placers (deposits of sand or gravel in a riverbed), which is where the name came from. Must be the case in Ouray, Colorado as well.

Our Placerville was founded in 1848 soon after James Marshall discovered gold in nearby Coloma. I see that Ouray was founded in the late 1890s. Both of the towns are still active. While your Placerville is very small, with a population of less than 1,000, our Placerville is ten times larger.

Can you tell I love history? :-)

Keli Gwyn said...

I've just added "see the other Placerville" to my bucket list. I'd love to explore Ouray and the rest of that historic area as well.