Remembering a Different Colorado, and Optimism for What’s to Come

By Edward M. Bury, APR (aka The PRDude)

The news reports and TV footage have subsided, just like the flood waters said to be of “biblical” proportions. But the damage will cost hundreds of millions and take months or years to repair; and without questions, lives impacted won’t be back to “normal” anytime soon.

Of course, I’m referring to the extensive flooding that struck Colorado towns in the Rocky Mountains and eastern foothills earlier this month.

If you’ve seen the scope of the flooding — caused by around 17 inches of rain, what that area normally gets in a year — you had to be shaken by the devastation and destruction.  I certainly was, but those thoughts were tempered by more positive memories and a sense of optimism.

One of the roads near Estes Park destroyed by flood waters.

One of the roads near Estes Park destroyed by flood waters.

In late March of this year, Susan and I spent a delightful week vacationing in the very part of Colorado that sustained much of the brunt of the flooding — the mountain town of Estes Park and the city of Boulder.  I reported on that Rocky Mountain sojourn in this blog.

It was a very special and therapeutic trip because it gave me time to re-energize before launching my search for that next great job in public relations.

But along with scenery and vistas in and around Rocky Mountain National Park, the crisp, fresh air, the elk herds outside our resort and the way cool vibe and great beer in Boulder, we were as impressed with the people we met: Friendly, welcoming, genuine and self-sufficient.

Missing from the news accounts were reports of looting in flooded Colorado towns.  I did, however, take in several reports neighbor-helping-neighbor and outright heroism.

The River Stone and Bear Paw resort in Estes Park survived the flood waters pretty well.

The River Stone and Bear Paw resort in Estes Park survived the flood waters pretty well.

Already, there are signs that the area — still soggy, still muddy, still challenged — had already made progress.  Here’s one example.

The nice folks at the River Stone and Bear Paw resort, where we stayed in March, sent out an email to patrons promoting “The New Estes Park — Mountain Strong.”

I couldn’t have written a better line myself.

You’ll be back to “normal,” Estes Park.  And hopefully, we’ll be back to visit again soon.

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