A Day in Durango

By Gigi Peterson (Colorado)

The weather of Colorado is widely unpredictable and results in frequent plan changes. We experienced this on a Monday when we planned to go on outdoor adventures in and around Pagosa Springs. Because of the stormy forecast, we altered our plans and journeyed to Durango for the day. Although we were looking forward to the original plan, I was excited to explore the mountain town. My dad often visited there as a kid and has told me stories of his escapades in the town and the surrounding landscape. I was eager to experience the place he often talked about from his childhood for myself. So, Monday morning we packed lunches and drove through the misty mountains to Durango, Colorado.

The van ride was arguably one of the highlights of the whole day.

Even though it was only an hour and a half each way, the ride consisted of intense singing, radio games, and deep conversations. When we arrived, we stopped at Goodwill to pick up necessities including full American flag boxing suits, grandma sweaters, Halloween socks, and a giant stuffed elephant named Beth. After that, we drove into Durango where we all split ways and ventured around the town for the day. If you’ve never been to Colorado or a mountain town in general, Durango would be an excellent introduction to the vibe of the culture and the beautiful scenery. The streets were lined with a variety of bohemian shops, diverse eateries, and art galleries.  In general, the atmosphere was light and welcoming, and the locals seemed genuinely communal.

Upon arrival, the group divided and began to formulate plans for the day. These mostly included shop hopping, Spike Ball, skateboarding, and eating. Some students also used this time to enjoy the quiet coffee shops and bookstores to study. The town was scattered with intriguing cultures, art, and music. All these factors aided in the general peaceful feeling of the mountain town life.

This excursion was filled with spontaneous and relationship-building moments.

Although several plans were changed along the way, the experience as a whole was exciting and enjoyable. The fluctuation of the day caused me to realize that every moment is a new opportunity. No matter where we are or what we may be doing, the quality of our time is fully dependent on how it is perceived. So, throughout the routine of familiarity, by striving for joy and appreciation through the unpredictability of life, I will inevitably grow to be grateful for every moment, and see God’s hand in all my endeavors, whether it be a blessing or a trial.

Durango Colorado will now be the home of many memories shared by the Summit Semester group.

From the wild van ride there to the sleepy one back home, this adventure day was full of surprises and good fun. We experienced a new culture together while building community with each other and the people around us. Although we all enjoyed the day in various ways, I think I can speak for everyone in saying that our undertakings in Durango were a time to remember. Personally, I appreciated the spirit and atmosphere of the town and being able to relate it to all the stories my dad has shared with me. There was beauty dispersed throughout not just the nature surrounding Durango, but also the people and town itself. Because of the intentional and secluded lifestyle we have in Summit Semester, God’s work seems to appear more vibrant. So, looking back at the day, I could see God’s hand in many ways including relationships built with each other and the locals. The adventure to Durango was a time to step away from our new normal at Summit and appreciate the beauty that surrounds us in everything.