Twenty-five miles east of the Rockies, the University of Northern Colorado is the site of the 2013 Gathering.
This is a beautiful, green and almost flat campus. Greeley is both a college town and one of Colorado’s centers of agriculture. It's a an hour north of Denver, within view of the mountains.
Field trips will likely include the Centennial Historical Village, the Model Train Museum, a day hike to the foothills, and the Greeley Stampede. For Friends who are interested in seeing more of the mountains than the view from the Great Plains, we are seasoning the possibility of a pre-Gathering day trip somewhere into the Rockies—so consider extending your stay by a day or so. Or, you can plan your own, more extended trip!
Reflections on the Greeley Landscape
The north-central Colorado prairie may not be the first place that you think to go to contemplate the edges of things, of faith, of spirit. At first glance, there are no edges on the prairie. Just a seemingly endless sea of grass and cattle.
But then you notice the sky, and the way it curves down to meet the edge of the earth. And you look to the west, and notice just how abruptly plains give way to mountains. Then you notice the cottonwood trees, and the way that they cluster around water, on the edges of streams.
And then you learn that it was only comparatively recently that this area was influenced by humans in anything other than a transient way. The Native American tribes in this area were all nomadic, and the first white settlers dismissed the Colorado plains as being too far from water, too far for agriculture, too far from the gold rushing in the rivers, too far from the railroad. The prairie was something you travelled through, not somewhere you went. And you think about the edges of human influence, of human society, of the lengths that humans will go to create something new.
And sometimes you wonder, if it was just a little bit more hilly, if you could imagine away the grain silos, if the Greeley sky is really that different from the sky that George Fox wandered under, seeking answers and Friends.