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Monday, July 27, 2015

Upstairs to the Peak

     North bound to Colorado Springs which for our liking is way too populated and sprawled out but is surrounded by mountains and the weather is pretty ideal, although a bit hot during the day but in the 60s and 50 at night.  Got a campground about 12 minutes from my daughters' house which makes going back and forth easy. Monday was spent shopping and stocking up on supplies, Tuesday a bit of rock scrambling with the kids at Palmer Park and a visit to Angletech Bicycles to visit and talk with Calvin.  He also stocks and sells mainly recumbents and trikes.
     Wednesday was a day for play and a trip to Manitou Springs and a climb up the Manitou Incline.  This is a stairway made of RR ties straight up a mountain for a mile, gaining over 2000 ft. of elevation going to 8000 some ft. Gotta say I was pretty proud of Cindy and I for making it to the top as there were much younger people huffing and puffing on the way up. Running down with  Ethan and Ryan  was a blast and a great pay off for the climb.


     Thursday was checking off a bucket list thing, taking a fly fishing lesson. Very informative and makes me want to try my hand at it.  Ethan got a good handle on it, Ryan maybe too young yet. Cindy and daughter Shannon caught on very well. Maybe something to do in the future or later on in this trip.

     Son in law Paul took off of work Friday for a trip up Pikes Peak, a drive to 14,110 or 14,115 depending on which sign you're reading. Regardless the oxygen is rare, but no ill effects even climbing around on the rocks  and over to actually walk in snow, something I haven't done for years.  The views were stunning until a rain and hail storm moved in.  I really wanted to ride my trike on the way up or down but no shoulders and hair pin turns and drivers looking at scenery persuaded me from doing so.
     Last night we made a drive to Garden of the Gods for a sunset but the Gods had other ideas and a storm ensued  but not before we got a good look at these ancient rock formations,




    Did you see the mt. goat in the 3rd picture?
A new week, new adventures to come.


Friday, July 24, 2015

Finding time

     Sorry for the delayed post but finding time is tough with all the activities we've been doing with daughter Shannon and the grand kids. 
     So to catch up in order lets start 0n 7/12 when we left Olathe KS. and stopped over night at Water Sports CG in Dodge City.  No water that I see for any kind of water sports, and the AC in the camper hasn't turned off since we got here. Left the next morning and stopped to visit Jerrel at Rans Bicycles in Montezuma KS.  I like where he is taking this fine line of recumbents and pedal forward bikes.
     Arrived in Alamosa CO. a couple days early, our destination for the train ride on the Rio Grande RR.  Elevation is @ 6600 ft. surrounded by the Sangre De Cristo Mts. to the East and San Juans to the West. Got to play a round of disc golf while Cindy did a bit of bird watching.Different hazards here in Co.



     The family arrived from Colorado Springs on the 15th so we headed for the Great Sand Dunes National Park and Zapata falls.  Being the largest sand dunes in the country made us feel like we were in the Sahara Desert.  Boy did that sand get hot. Pictures from a phone can't get the scope of the size of these dunes so maybe if interested go online and goggle the park. 
     Zapata falls was the opposite in as far as temperature goes with the ice cold mountain water on bare feet. Fun rock hopping with Ethan and Ryan.

                                                                                                  7/18/15
     As mentioned earlier in this post the main reason for the stop in Alamosa was the train ride, but not just any train ride.  This is a ride on the former train form the Illinois Central Line, the City Of New Orleans and in the club car "Mardi Gras" which was the car Steve Goodman wrote the song while traveling on the line in 1971. Not only is this special but add to this the band Trout Fishing in America is on the same car on the way to a concert at Fir Mt. concert venue. It was about a 2 hour scenic ride up the mountain and a fabulous concert featuring Trout Fishing's Ezra and Keith and opening act Ann Hills. Icing on the cake was the ride back to Alamosa and jamming with the musicians.




     North to Colorado Springs where we're settled in at Falcon Meadows CG for 2 weeks visiting the family.  Made a side trip while here to visit Calvin at Angle Tech Bicycles and see his operation. 
     More to come as photos get up loaded.   So far aside from a sudden thunder and hail storm the weather has been great. Not missing the Florida heat at all.
                                                                                    

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Sad beginning happy ending

     The news of Dennis Cooper's death was a shock to say the least but a nice memorial and celebration of life that followed was up lifting.
     We now sit in the Watersports campground, don't let your mind go to the gutter as mine would do, in Dodge City, KS, around 102 degrees no shade to speak of and our little AC on the roof cranking away. Brings memories of Needles CA.
     While in Olathe KS, Cindy's hometown known for the LARGE amount of trains passing through  one at least every 9 minutes or less being the crossing of the Santa Fe', California, and Oregon trails and a main RR line from Los Angeles  to Chicago we parked in brother in law's driveway about 150 feet from the tracks. However a newly enacted "quiet zone" helped with the previously endless amount of train whistles all day and night.
     While here we delivered to Cindy's great niece her first bicycle.
Right away a neighbor girl came over with her bicycle to ride with Celeste. Here is dad Rus doing what is one of a dad's finest moments of parenting.
     As the title says sad beginning happy ending, we also attended the wedding of Cindy's beautiful niece Brianna to a fine handsome gentleman Ben Grise', whom should now be on  honeymoon in Cancun. Sorry the picture was from an i phone in motion.
      Something I have never seen before is a finger print tree instead of signing a registration book. Maybe in case someone makes off with the wedding gifts, LOL.
     The wedding was held in the restored Vox Theater which went through several transformations from silent movie theater, to talkie, to auto garage to event hall.  Cindy's mom used to go to movies here when she was a teen. The wedding ceremony was a joyous occasion as the dance floor was never empty and everyone had a grand time.



     We also went to a Trout Fishing in America concert while in Olathe and now on the way to see them again in Alamosa Co. on the Rio Grande RR concert train.  Ezra and Keith will think we're stocking them. Hey, I've never followed Fish so I guess I'll follow Trout.
     Now waiting for a bit of a cool down before riding into Dodge City on our bikes.  Oh, there are sand spurs here in KS by the way.