"Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one's lifetime"-MARK TWAIN

Friday, August 31, 2012

On to Kansas



Thanks to everyone for all the thoughts and prayers as we have had to deal with Issac the past few days.  We were in the Colorado Springs area until this morning waiting, talking with neighbors, waiting some more, and talking some more.  The bottom line is that we were truly blessed.  While over 90% of our county lost electricity, and some are still without, we never lost power.  We have a lot of trash in our yard but no downed trees.  The area received over 15 inches of rain Wednesday night, but it didn’t affect us directly.

Lake Tangipahoa, the lake that made the news all day Thursday with the potential failure of its dam, is about four miles downstream from our home.  Thankfully it didn’t give way and cause more damage.  All of our family and friends are ok, though some received damage to their homes or property.  Overall, it could have been a lot worse.

Tonight finds us at Lake Scott State Park, Kansas.  A nice place to ride out the Labor Day Weekend.  Seems to be lots of history here.  Will try and absorb some tomorrow.  Did finally get the kayak out of the box and in the water for its maiden voyage,  First lake we’ve seen in over two weeks that had enough water to float it.  Most of the ones in Colorado are so low you had to carry it a quarter mile from the boat dock to the water.


a Blue Moon tonight over the campground.


Think I’ll go have a glass of wine and watch it for a while…..jc

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Still waiting on Issac



Thanks to all the prayers and other good thoughts and wish’s, Issac moved his track a little more West of our home.  It’s definitely not over yet, and we probably won’t know our final condition until sometime tomorrow afternoon.  As it stands right now, everything is fine other than a lot of small debris which is to be expected from 50 MPH winds.

As we are just spinning our wheels and wearing our tires out here in Colorado Springs, we decided to take the drive up Pikes Peak.  We have been through the area a number of times in the past, but never stopped.  What a drive it was.  Nineteen+ miles up to the summit.  Not a lot of viewpoints along the way.   Even if it was, you would need chocks for your tires.  The old Chevrolet was happy to finally make the summit.

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The view that gave us the words to America the Beautiful.

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It was a little cool up there.

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Cog Railway that also runs to the summit.

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The cogs.

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Manufactured in Switzerland.  That makes sense.

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Unusual cloud formation over Cheyenne Mountain.  Could possibly be the Russians!

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It is just about impossible to show the scale of the summit to the surrounding landscape.  I thought the shot of these three folks overlooking the vast plains toward Kansas did as well as any of the other pictures I took.

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The day ended with a fantastic sunset.

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The moon a little later last night.

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We’ll see what tomorrow brings…….jc

Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Issac is knocking on the Door!


Hurricane, or Tropical Storm, Issac has our home in its sights.  As it stands right now, the projected path has the eye passing just West of home.  The Eastern side of the storm is the worse place to be, as that is the quadrant that spawns the most tornados. We made the decision yesterday to move near Colorado Springs for the next two days.  That way we can be home in a couple of more if needed after the storm has passed.  We are fortunate that we have great friends and neighbors that can do the prestorm preparation for us.  Also have a daughter and sil nearby that we couldn’t do without.  We will talk to them a lot in the next two days.  If we dodge the bullet with no damage, we will continue our journey for the next few weeks.  If things go the other way, we’ll leave Colorado Springs Thursday morning heading for home……jc 

Monday, August 27, 2012

Ouray and Silverton


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Ouray, nestled as it is up against the mountains that surround it on three sides, bills itself as the Switzerland of America.  An old town that was a support center for the surrounding mines back in the late 1800’s, it has lots of old and unique buildings.

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The only paved street is Main Street.  Probably only because it is Hwy 550 through the town.  All the others are gravel.

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Lots of the town is for sale.  Some even come with a supply of firewood.

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Flowers everywhere.

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A pretty town, in spite of the gloomy weather.

On another day we journeyed South over Red Mountain Pass to Silverton.  Wonder how it got its name.

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A view the other direction.

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Another old mining town along the way, with an artist in residence.

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Silverton’s down there.

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Ran across this guy just a few miles from Silverton.

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Lots of unusual buildings in Silverton, also.

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The first train of the day coming in with its load of tourists from Durango.

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We also stumbled upon the prettiest waterfall we saw anywhere in the area.  Don’t know its name as there was no sign.  You could drive by it without even knowing it was there, as the top is actually under the Hwy 550 roadbed.

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I would estimate it to have been around 100 feet high.

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A good roadtrip, even though it ended in the rain…….jc

Sunday, August 26, 2012

Ouray and Yankee Boy Basin


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We got a late start from our night at paonia SP as we didn’t have very far to travel.  We saw a part of Colorado that I didn’t know existed.  Somerset, CO is a coal mining town from another time.  Still looks like a place from the 40’s or 50’s except for the mile long coal trains loaded and on their way East.  And then, just a few miles further down the road are orchards everywhere, growing apples, peach’s, and cherries.  Acres and acres of sweet corn. We made it to Delta, CO and turned left toward Montrose and Ouray.  Arrived in Ouray around noon under a bright clear sky, and got a nice site in Amphitheater campground.  No hookups, but $9.00 a night in Ouray is a pretty good deal. 

One of the things we wanted to do was a jeep tour into Yankee Boy Basin.  We went to the visitor center for information and booked a trip for the following afternoon.  Little did we know that the weather was about to change. The view from the campground.

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Awoke to rain on the roof and it stayed for the day.  Not a heavy rain. Just enough to be aggravating.  We departed on our tour in a light rain and it was foggy the entire afternoon.  Everything was dark and gloomy.  Photo’s worth anything were practically impossible to take.

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Lots of old mine stuff, as well as new digs.

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Also lots of 4wheeling.

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Some of the roads we traveled.

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A really pretty place that I was unable to capture in pictures on the day we were there.  Hopefully, we’ll get another opportunity to see it on a bright sunshiny day.  I’m pretty sure it will take our breath away.

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More on the town, tomorrow……jc