Jan. 26, 2023 — Melissa Strong was living her dream.
Home was Estes Park, CO, gateway to the glorious Rocky Mountain National Park.
Her passion was climbing, mostly bouldering, that purist sport of scaling big rocks without ropes, relying on just your fingertips, feet, and crash pads below.
Her career was hospitality, managing a busy restaurant while fantasizing about owning her own place.
Then it happened: the dream and a nightmare.
At 43, she bought an old restaurant and gutted it. On April 2, 2017, Melissa was in her driveway adding decorative touches to the wooden legs of the tables for her restaurant, scheduled to…