Cabin among the Evergreens

If you’ve used airbnb before, you know that it can be a wormhole that takes you on a somewhat seedy joyride through mostly benevolent host’s homes but might also creep you out. We’ve used airbnb probably 5 times in all now and one of our favorite experiences was our most recent trip to Evergreen, Colorado. Evergreen is this quaint mountain town about an hour southwest of Denver. The main street winds along as you pass those quintessential golden meadows of Colorado, stately lake houses, a golf course and a string of old and charming cafes each with a covered porch made of rustic beams and actual tree trunks. We flew into Denver and rented a car for the short drive, stopping along the way for our necessities; Colorado brewed beer, cheese, coffee and snacks. We were photographing a wedding the next day so getting situated in our temporary abode was priority after scouting some locations at the Evergreen Lakehouse where the wedding would be.
As we followed the directions along the winding mountain roads towards the cabin, we kept talking about the odd weather. It was cloudy, raining, foggy. Not at all the typical Colorado weather we’d experience on every trip prior. Colorful Colorado was as moody and emo as the PNW that day. I can’t say we minded much…it made for some awesome portraits while we were scouting, never mind the mist and mud. The driveway to the cabin was steep, dirt and red. Well marked and easy to navigate, albeit a bit sketchy in our low-profile tires donned VW Jetta. We made it. Got the key, went in and didn’t die. Isn’t that always the first notion of probably making a good decision when booking airbnb…you didn’t die.
The cabin was ideal in most every way. The next day when Evergreen, Colorado had it’s first snow of the season, a complete blizzard by NE Ohio standards, it became even more ideal.
Bare necessities was the vibe at the rustic cabin on the hillside and we didn’t mind much. We were within 10 minutes for restaurants, coffee shops and a long list of hiking/sight-seeing but tucked up on a secluded mountain road far enough away from everything to feel all alone. We weren’t though, the cabin has a tiny neighborhood of other units housing some long-term renters which actually gave us a little more piece of mind out there in the middle of nowhere. We hiked Mt. Falcon, Mt. Evans and traipsed all around the Evergreen Lakehouse. We ate brunch at The Wildflower Cafe, has the best Oregan Spiced Chai of my life at Muddy Buck along with a pretty stellar Corned Beef Rueben. With all that Evergreen and the area had to offer, we even saw a bunch of Elk pretty close, our favorite part of the trip was lighting a fire in the woodburning fireplace at the little cabin with big windows while the giant snowflakes collected on the Aspens and Evergreens outside.

Why should you read Big Magic?


For my first “book review” post I feel only proper to express my credibility. I can read. I graduated college. I read a few books every couple of years. Since the invention of audio books I’m a much more productive “reader”. I’m a self-proclaimed creative writer who gets read by her mom and mother-in-law. That’s it. My opinions are based on my own life, relationships and experiences. That said, I audiobook’ed Big Magic at the start of my off-season expecting it to maintain my attention and enlighten me.

I’ll start by saying that I do enjoy Elizabeth’s Gilbert’s writing style. Her writing style in Big Magic actually reminds me of my own at times. Generally, the book succeeded at inspiring, storytelling and evoking a deeper level of thinking. What I didn’t expect was for it to be so relevant to how I was feeling at the time. So to the point…

Why should YOU read Big Magic?
Big Magic touches on this concept of authenticity versus originality and I LOVED it. I hadn’t been able to articulate that thought on my own but I had been having it for over a year with my work, my business and in my own life. It was like a revelation. She touches more on it here on her website.  If you’ve ever had that feeling of putting something creative out in to the world and then simultaneously decided not to for fear of being ridiculed for copying someone or for fear that it was too similar to whatever inspired you to create it in the first place then you need to read her thoughts on this topic. Even if you’d dreamt about posting, sharing, publishing, creating something and didn’t for fear of your own failure; she has so many, important things for you to hear.

Towards the end, after a handful of her personal life stories and reasons for chasing a creative life even though it’s hard she says this: “What would you do even if you knew you might very well fail? What do you love so much that the words failure and success become irrelevant?” And this my friends is the million dollar question. Or the million dollar answer. Or the key to success. Or the golden ticket….or whatever. It. Is. Everything. To a person struggling to live a creative life, struggling to find their place in one or struggling to find what their passion is this question is their everything. Answer this question and I bet you’ll find a whole new perspective in your life.

This book is a must read for any creative types, any entrepreneural types, anyone seeking a creative lifestyle that’s authentic to them and different from the mass. Not only did it maintain my attention and enlighten me it sort of asked me to do more. It asked me to do more for myself and my real dreams and for others struggling the same way I am.