Hi! Lindi here. I’m so excited to introduce you to my sweet friend, Mindy Obenhaus. Mindy and I have been friends for a long time. She writes amazing romances for Love Inspired. If you’ve never read one of her books, I’m sure you’ll want to after meeting her here today.
The Great Escape
Half the fun of reading is escaping to another place. So today, I’d like to take you on a journey to one of my favorite escapes. A place that’s unique, where one can slow down and enjoy the simple things in life. Oh, and it also happens to be the setting for my books.
Ouray, Colorado (pronounced You-ray) is nestled in the San Juan Mountains, a high, rugged range of the Rockies. It’s a quaint little town at the northern end of the Million Dollar Highway, brimming with Victorian charm.
I learned about Ouray from my late mother-in-law. Her parents owned a photography studio there in 1920, near the end of the gold rush. At one time, this town of one thousand was home to more than ten thousand residents, most of whom worked in the mines that still dot the area. People who’d come from all over the globe in search of riches and a better life.
Today, people still travel from all over to explore the old mine roads that zig-zag through the mountains around Ouray. Known as the Switzerland of America and the Jeeping Capital of the World, Ouray still holds the allure of a bygone era, inviting guests to explore all it has to offer.
What is it that draws people to Ouray?
One of the things that strikes me every time I’m in Ouray is that the mountains are right there. They’re not a backdrop; the town is literally enveloped by them. Best of all, it’s all God. There’s nothing manmade about it.
Aside from being surrounded by some of God’s most majestic handiwork, there’s not a fast-food restaurant to be found in Ouray. There are no drive-thrus. Life moves at a less frenzied pace, leaving locals and visitors plenty of time to stop and smell the wildflowers.
Ouray’s Fourth of July Celebration is like no other. You can start your day with a fundraising pancake breakfast, walk or run it off in the Ourayce 10K before watching the Main Street Parade. Then you can wander down to the park to enjoy some games with the kids until it’s time for the Fire Hose Fights.
For more than a century, teams of two have battled each other with full pressure fire hoses. There’s a women’s competition, a coed competition, as well as junior and senior men’s competitions. It is truly a sight to behold, one that’s unique to Ouray.
While summers in Ouray are meant for exploring, winters are made for ice climbing. Believe it or not, Ouray is the ice climbing capital of the United States. A natural gorge is the perfect setting for the Ouray Ice Park and home to the Ouray Ice Festival. Ice climbers from all over the world descend on Ouray each January to participate in the annual competition.
And whether it’s winter, spring, summer or fall, what better way to unwind after a long day than with a soak in Ouray’s famous Hot Springs Pool. The recently renovated pools are enjoyed by both guests and locals alike. Best of all, there’s no sulfur smell.
Ouray has been an integral part of each of my books and my upcoming release, Her Colorado Cowboy is no different. Socialite and city-dweller, Lily Davis, brings her two children to Ouray for the summer to expose them to a simpler way of life. Though she soon finds that she’s fallen in love with the town, right along with her hunky hero.
Lassoing the single mom’s heart…A Rocky Mountain Heroes story
Socialite Lily Davis agrees to take her children riding…despite her fear of horses. But now widowed cowboy Noah Stephens is determined to help her get comfortable in the saddle. And, at her children’s insistence, Lily finds herself promoting his rodeo school. As Noah and Lily work together, will Noah continue to shield his heart…or can they discover a love that conquers both their fears?
I’m giving away a copy of Her Colorado Cowboy to one lucky commenter. U.S readers can choose between print or ebook. Ebook only for international readers. Simply leave a comment telling me if reading is an escape for you. If it is, has a book ever prompted you to visit the setting you read about?
It took Mindy Obenhaus forty years to figure out what she wanted to do when she grew up, but once God called her to write, she never looked back. A three-time Carol Award finalist, Mindy is passionate about touching readers with Biblical truths in an entertaining, and sometimes adventurous, manner. When she’s not writing, she enjoys cooking and spending time with her grandchildren at her Texas ranch. Learn more at: Mindy Obenhaus