Whit’s End: Welcome to my home | PostIndependent.com

Whit’s End: Welcome to my home

Paula Kellam, Heather Gardner and Carla Jean Whitley on Hanging Lake trail in 2015.

Heather was anxious. She loved Glenwood Springs and wanted to show it off. But it wasn’t just that: She wanted us to have a good time. She wanted us to love it, too.

Twenty-six months ago, Heather, Paula and I held our almost-annual girls weekend in Glenwood. The three of us and Apryl Marie, who couldn’t make that trip, bonded during our years at Florida State University. For a decade, our trips were primarily to beach destinations. But Heather’s job brought her to Colorado, and we decided it was the perfect destination for 2015’s gathering.

We embraced the experience — and there was so much to experience! We ate out and grilled out. We biked from Carbondale to Glenwood. Heather worried that our repeated attempts to find a parking spot for Hanging Lake were eating into our adventure time, but Paula and I were happy with the ride into the canyon. On our third try, we were able to hike with bellies full of Sweet ColoraDough. (I love Hanging Lake and I love apple fritters, but I do not recommend the combination.)

Heather clearly didn’t need to worry. Less than two years later, I relocated to Colorado. And today, I share the anxiety she experienced.

Paula is back and ready to hit the trails. This time we’ve also got Apryl Marie and her family in tow.

Historically, I’ve been good at showing off my home. Working in media makes it easy; I’ve got to know what’s happening in order to do my job well. Four years ago I convinced AM to move to Alabama, after all, and I still send her ideas of things to do there.

And there’s so much to do in and around Garfield County, surely more than we can pack into a short visit. I want them to see the beauty I now call home. I recognize this anxiety is born of love for this community. Like Heather, I want to spread that affection. Anxiety aside, that’s a good place to be.

Carla Jean Whitley is the Post Independent’s features editor. She loves showing off her new home to visitors from around the country.

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