2016-10-12.Rocky Mountain Highs
The highlight of the last week has been our visit with my cousin Eileen and her husband Dan Howard in Monument, Colorado. We also got to see my cousin Tim and his wife, KJ who live near Denver. It was so nice to see all of them and to spend so much time with Eileen and Dan and their Aussie, Buck. Roadie had the best time of all, running all over the house and yard, taking every single toy out of Buck’s toy box and eviscerating each one until there was pillow stuffing all over Eileen’s house. I don’t think Roadie will be invited back....though we did have to check the truck to make sure that he had not been kidnapped.
We had a wonderful visit. On Sunday, we took the 9:20 a.m. cog railway trip up to the top of Pike’s Peak. It was a beautiful day though it was only 35 at the top. However, there was almost no wind. The views up the mountain were wonderful and the best part was seeing a herd of about 15 big horn sheep grazing on the mountain’s slopes. Pike’s Peak is striking partly because it is the only 14,000+ ft. mountain sitting alone on the front range in Colorado Springs area. The top had a little snow on it but was not snow covered like the mountains in Rocky Mountain National Park last week. The great thing about Pike’s Peak is that because it was not snow covered when we visited, we got to see the layers and layers of scree rocks covering its top. You can hike up/down the mountain and we saw both hikers and bikers testing their skills on the incredibly steep slopes. The Cog Railway is the way to go. Yes, you can drive up the mountain but, frankly, you can’t beat the Cog Railway if you want to get a leisurely look at the sights. Above treeline, the views are expansive with Colorado Springs and the Air Force Academy easily recognizable. At the top, the fresh donuts are wonderful and, along with hot chocolate, make the trip even better. This was the first time we had been up Pike’s Peak even though we have visited Colorado many times so it was a treat, and the weather cooperated too.
My cousin, Eileen, also arranged for Roadie to have an agility course experience with a great trainer who has a course set up on her property. Roadie loved it and immediately “got it” when asked to traverse the various obstacles. The trainer told us that in her view, Roadie should get more agility training when we get home and I’m sure he would really like it. She also suggested that we get him a backpack so that he always has a job to do. At Eileen and Dan’s, his job was to destroy as many toys as possible and to play tug of war with Buck.
The only negative experience was on Wednesday when it was so foggy you could not see your hand in front of your face. Bob and Dan were in one car and Eileen and I, who had different errands to run, were in another. Eileen and I stopped to get a soda and when we left that store, we ran into a huge traffic jam caused by the fog. There were so many accidents that the police, fire and ambulance companies were stretched beyond their capabilities. Traffic was stopped waiting for one accident to be cleared when Dan and Bob were side-swiped by a guy towing a work-type trailer who was speeding in the fog and unable to stop in time when he came upon the stopped traffic. He hit Dan’s car and three others. Neither Bob nor Dan were hurt but the car needed to be towed. Luckily, we came upon the accident scene right after it happened so could stay close by until after the police were done taking all the reports and until the tow truck got the car. We then picked up the guys and went home where, Eileen made a wonderful chile relleno casserole and we all celebrated our time together and close call by consuming three shots of tequila.
Today, we headed east and then north along the eastern boundary of Colorado toward Nebraska. We are NOT going through flat and windy Kansas, instead opting for Nebraska and I-80. We stayed in Wray, Colorado in the middle of absolutely nowhere. Eastern Colorado is desert-like with yucca dominating the hills. There are bands of flat farmland or grazing land with corn and some sort of grain as the predominant crops mingled with the occasional sunflower field. The fields are vast and the farm equipment huge! The Hitch’n Post RV park was very small but quite nice and located on US 385. The folks who run the park were genuinely nice and we were serenaded by the neighboring donkey who brayed very loudly until late at night. Kinda funny though.