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Spanish Peaks, Colorado

Friday, October 29, 2010

Random Colorado Photos

 After some business in Aurora at the Verizon Store and the Apple Store, we set out for a drive west of Denver to Golden. We took some detours here and there. This was a stunning rock formation somewhere west of Littleton. The sun was in the wrong place for a clear picture of these beautiful red rocks.

 As the sign says, "Welcome to Golden". Since it was late in the afternoon, we cut our sightseeing short and only stopped at the local Burger King. Golden is the home of the Colorado School of Mines, as well as the site of a Coors Brewery. Those seemed to be the main businesses.

 We had to drive to this "town" many miles east of Strasburg, because Keith's middle name is Woodrow, a name we use frequently to tease. Here it is, out on the high plains. It contained 2 houses, a church, and a building that combined the post office, a coffee shop and a general store. That was it!

 This is the outskirts of the town and the typical scenery of just about anywhere east of Denver, on the high plains. We think we've about had our fill of this eastern panorama and will concentrate on going west towards the Rockies from now on!

 Nice sign!

And the many-functional General Store, Coffee Shop and Post Office of Woodrow, Colorado.


Friday, October 22, 2010

The City of Denver

 We made a trip into Denver to pick up Keith's repaired laptop and decided to tour the busy canyons of the downtown. The buildings are huge and tall! Here is one I snapped from my car window. I don't know the name of this building. I would have loved to get good pictures of some of the more impressive edifices, but they are so close together and so tall that they wouldn't fit into my camera lens.


 We found our way to Riverfront Park where we walked the paths for a short distance. I love this photo of the city with the ornamental grass in the foreground.


 And for my daughter Jessi, the baseball fan, the Coors Field! Again, it was so huge we couldn't get the whole thing in pictures.


 Driving under an overpass on our way to the park we saw these gorgeous paintings on the wall, protected by the bridge above. There were 7 or 8 faces there, all beautifully done, as well as wolf, deer, and fox faces, each one 5 or 6 feet tall. I love the way they've painted the city skyline in the sunglasses. (Click to enlarge.)


 This is the famous Platte River, which runs through Denver, the same river followed by the Oregon Trail pioneers on their way through Nebraska. There are several foot bridges throughout the park crossing the river, so it's easy to walk the entire trail on both sides.


 As we drove towards home we took residential streets to avoid the mainstream traffic. This is 6th Avenue, a long street filled with gorgeous stone and brick homes, beautiful plantings, and, as you can see, lovely fall colors.


And, as we exited the city and headed back out on the plains, we could see Strasburg far off in the distance. This is pretty much what it looks like east of Denver, for miles and miles, clear to the Kansas border and beyond. The land is mostly flat, rolling gently in some areas, and was planted with wheat, corn, and sunflowers, which have been harvested. That's all we've seen so far. Spring might tell a different story!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Comanche Crossing

  Strasburg Colorado's claim to fame is featured in a local museum and display of the old railroad station and other early buildings and artifacts. This somewhat weather-worn sign is near the actual location of the final rail connecting the east coast and the west coast. By clicking on my title, you will be directed to the website for the Comanche Crossing Museum, where I copied the text below. Comanche Crossing, a sometimes dry and sometimes raging creek, was the original name for the area.
                     
"On August 15, 1870, the last 10¼ miles of track were laid by two crews, one working from the east and one from the west in a record-breaking nine hours. Fifteen months earlier, the golden spike ceremony had been held in Utah, to note the joining by rail of the eastern United States with the west. But the tracks joined at Promontory Summit connected only Omaha and Sacramento in a continuous chain. With the completion of the rails at Strasburg it became possible, at last, to board a train in New York and travel all the way to San Francisco by rail."

Here I am standing by the original old train depot and an old caboose.

Another view. This location is on the National Register of Historic Places.

Keith had to get up on this old Case tractor!

That's me inside the whatchamacallit, the little car that goes by a hand pump along the rails.  Anyone know what that's called?

 And last,  my favorite picture, not at the museum — it's an old abandoned railroad car alongside the tracks right outside our KOA. I like the lonesome prairie scene.
(You may click on any of these photos to enlarge them.)

Thursday, October 14, 2010

The Denver Zoo

 Other than a few short drives on the country roads surrounding our new location, Strasburg, our trip to the Denver Zoo was our first big excursion west to the big city. It was well worth the distance and the traffic! The Zoo is very large and well thought out. Each group of animals have ample enclosures. I've put up just a few of our favorite pictures, first the giraffe. Keith queried several zoo-goers with this question, "Why is the giraffe's neck so long? Because his head is so high!"

 These zebras are beautiful, standing in the shade on a warm day.

 A popular attraction, the elephant! Our only mistake on this trip was coming on the Denver Zoo's "free day". It felt like there were a million people there, and we couldn't see the critters without stepping on the humans! Next time we'll go on a "pay day"!

 I forget what kind of penguin this is. He posed nicely.

 We were anxious to see the grizzlies after our great experience with Tank and Cherokee at Bear Country USA. These 2 didn't have names posted, but they did the same 'grizzly' things we were used to seeing. Bears everywhere seem to love the water!

Heading back east after our time at the Zoo we were surprised to see this large prairie dog colony right in the city, in a vacant lot! There was even a sign up telling people not to drive or park in the lot, or dump garbage there. We had the feeling the neighborhood was quite protective of their furry little residents!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Fort Collins to Strasburg

Choosing to stay 2 nights at the Fort Collins/Wellington KOA, we needed to find something to do during the day. Locals said the Poudre (pronounced Pooder) Canyon drive was beautiful so we decided to do that. It truly was beautiful. Here is our little car going through a tunnel and, in the photo below, coming back the other way, just for fun.

The Poudre River is gentle, clear, and inviting on a warm day. We passed several spots where people were fishing, or just lazing away on the rocks.

My favorite photo, wildflowers overlooking the river. This looks like a good place to jump in!

We were told the colors up the canyon would be pretty. It's been hot here in this part of Colorado, so the the leaves weren't as brilliant as we hoped. Still lovely, though. I'm taking a photo of the cliffside here.

 Heading out of the canyon we were surprised to see this fence line made up completely of old skis!


 Finally, we've reached our destination! Here we are at the Denver East/Strasburg KOA, in place for the next 6 months. Weather is warm and sunny for now. We'll be experiencing some snow and cold soon, but we know how to hunker down for that. I'll be getting more photos as we make our way into Denver to see the sights there.