I walked into the shire tonight - the Colorado Shire. Its a small coffee shop known as the Matte Factor, nestled in the foothill town of Manitou Springs. My roommate's boyfriend is visiting from Minnesota - we all went to college together, and we relaxed under vines, basket lighting, and fifer music. It was lovely. Rooibos latte, mmmm. Waking up is a daily reminder that we live by the mountains - but daily life here seems the same without them - I don't notice until I'm turning down an on-ramp and BAM, there's Pike's Peak. Meeting friends here is easy - making new ones everyday. They say its because most people here are transplants, newbies, so everyone is eager to establish roots, grow their circle. Its a nice change from youthful cliques and the complacent routines that develop if you never go out of your comfort zone. Sometimes I look at the mountains and imagine what mysteries lurk up there - what stories are told of these mountains. Apparently there's a secret city under one of them. Maybe I'll research it when I'm home for Thanksgiving - 7 hour drive to my brother then 10 hours together on a trek to Wisconsin. Still no snow. On the walk back to the car I spotted a piece of home: Minnetonka Moccasins - 25% - 50% off.