Tuesday, July 23, 2013

2012 Colorado (August)

Our summer travels always takes us to Golden, Co., to visit with our daughter and son in law and have a great time there.  From attending the Buffalo Bill Days Celebration, Coors Brewery, Colorado Rockies Ball game as some of the events we like.  Another favorite is the farmers market a must stop every year.

This year we drove south to see Pike's Peak and ride the Cog Railway to the 14100 ft summit.  The weather was beautiful a little windy on top of the mountain, the view was spectacular with almost unlimited view and temperature very comfortable. 

Another attraction in that same area was the "Garden of the Gods" very large red rock formations and trails.  There the weather did turn somewhat questionable with some heavy rains, lightning and thunder.  This area was also affected with the wild fires earlier in 2012. We did not see too much of that but were told of the damage in parts of the area surrounding the Colorado Springs.  The rain was much needed in the area for what they have been going thru during the past few years. 

The week before we departed for Texas we got to see a great concert at "Red Rock Amphitheater" just outside Denver.  "Chicago and the Doobie Brothers" performed for well over 2 hours.  The amphitheater is set up on the hillside with a natural backdrop of rock walls giving it the Amphitheater setting.  There isn't one bad seat there. What a great show.  Have to keep this in mind for another repeat visit.

Just northeast of Denver is the Rocky Mountain Wildlife Sanctuary, this facility with over 700 acres was established to rescue wild animals like lions, tigers, wrestling bears from parks or shows that have gone out of business or circus that have shut down.   The park is laid out with an elevated walkway so there is not direct interaction with the animals.  The park has an area to get new animals aclamated with the park, personnel and soon their own breed, and later on they get to move to larger areas to roam and enjoy the rest of their lives. At the far end of the walkway there is the "Bolivian Lion House which covers some 20 acres is for 25 lions that were rescued.   Some 25 bears were rescued from Texas and for a guess a couple of hundred acres to roam and play.  There are pools, fountains, large cement culverts laid out like dens for them to rest.  You can watch the bears play on the rope tire swing. 
Downtown Golden

 Got to have the western theme with the "Bronco Buster" and training bull.

 Modified Lawn Mower with Pilot and Co-Pilot Seats and with matching coolers and it looks like "Charmin" paper.

Coors is always there with their message of "Proudly Supporting Our Troops".


Base Station Pike's Peak Cog Railway Manitou Springs
 More modern Cog Railway system.  Unlike NH which has the oldest in the world cog railway.
 Windy Point at about the mid point of the trip.
 Summit Station
 Tourist doing their thing to prove they were there.
 Spectacular View
 Garden of the Gods


 Red Rock Amphitheater

 Rocky Mountain Wildlife Santuary
 Elevated Walkway

 Bolivian Lion Habitat

Monday, July 1, 2013

2012 Colorado

We arrived in Golden, Colorado just before the 4th of July and due to the dry weather conditions and the "Fire Danger of Extremely High" was posted no fireworks were allowed and fire departments had roving patrols in the front range area as well as on the outskirts of towns.  We did get some rain and the danger was lowered but still not enough to stop the watches. 

We did attend the "Freedom Rings in the Foothills, Coal Creek Canyon" 4th of July antique car, truck parade and car show. 

My favorite car was the 1967 Ford Mustang fastback.  I had 2 of them in my early life, a 65 and then a 67. 

Another interesting car was the Police Car of the area.  Not sure of the year, I believe it to be a 1947-48 Ford.

Our travels in the Golden area included the downtown area, visiting of course the Coors Brewery, Buffalo Bill Days, Jeeping in the mountains visiting some old towns of past.  Along one of these old dirt roads thru a town that looks like most of it was deserted long ago was a pottery shop of course we stopped and the girls found a little hidden treasure.  A later trip would reap some great buys. 

Biking in Colorado is a big thing as across the state there are many hundreds of miles of mostly paved bike paths.  We took advantage one day and drove down the I70 towards Glenwood Springs and pulled off to a rest area and an entry point for one of these paths.  Sue and I along with our daughter and son in law and Copper (our cool Grand Dog) took a 15 mile bike trip along the interstate and the Colorado River.  A little secret is that going west it is mostly downhill until you get close to Glenwood Springs and there is a steep climb.  I walked but after that the hill went down into town.  The weather was great and the path in a lot of areas was below the elevated highway with great views of the mountains,  the river and rafters.  A great day.

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

2012 Trip to South Dakota

June 2012 traveled from Montana to South Dakota.

As we traveled east out of Montana we could saw many wildfires in progress and the smoke was thickening.  We entered into Spearfish, we could see the air drops from Helicopters and at one location towards Rapid City roads were closed and could see the flames.  This was a scene we followed from Montana all the way into Colorado.

This trip was a little exciting as the weather was not in our favor the day we left.  We traveled down from West Glacier along the east side of Swan Lake encountering some heavy rain, lightning and winds.  We finally got to Missoula and got back on I90 east.  Sue took over driving for a while and as we got closer to Wyoming we hit some heavy winds and had to get off the Interstate at a rest stop along with many trucks and RV's and wait for the winds to die down.  We got to South Dakota and checked in at Elkhorn Ridge RV Park and Resort in Spearfish, SD just off I90.

This RV Resort and Park was so well laid out with large lots, level and full hook ups.  They can handle any size RV's.
From Spearfish, we went to visit our friends who use to live in NH who now live in Lead, SD about 8 miles away.  Lead, SD borders the city of Deadwood the town where Wild Bill Hickok was gunned down in 1876 supposedly holding the famous "Dead Man's Hand of a pair of Aces and eights". 

Deadwood has been featured a few times on the "Ghost Hunting" when they visited a few sites there.

Deadwood is noted today for its casinos.  The newest one being that of "Big and Rich" Deadwood Mountain Grand.

Location is as they say everything, close to Mt Rushmore, Custer State Park, Windcaves National Park.  We still have to see the Badlands, Devil's tower, Sturgis and many more places on our return trip.

Custer State Park is one of those places we like to revisit.  The bison, donkeys and antelope run wild or just walk down the road stopping a lot of traffic.  We do not argue with them, its their back yard.  Another "Needles Highway" one of those roads that was not made for RV's.

These donkeys were going from car to car looking for handouts.  Many people brought supplies just in case they would be held hostage waiting for food. 

It is hard to believe that tour busses that are 40 + feet in length actually go thru this tunnel and sometimes there are kids that like to jump on top of the bus and jump off.  They jump from the left side where there is a small flat area and then exit on the right to another flat area.  The driver cannot do anything as he could not open the door even if he had to.  No, we did not try to bring our RV thru it.  We traveled in a Jeep Wrangler. 

Another repeat stop is Mt Rushmore.  The walk down the Hall of Flags and the scene above the amphitheater is always impressive.