Sunday, 14 September 2008

A Short (ish) Travellogue

Here I am in Colorado Springs, enjoying a holiday with the YD. And I am writing this on her other laptop, a mini with a touchpad which runs on Vista. Please insert from memory all my usual whines about this rig, with the addition of a new one – something I am doing keeps switching the text into italics. I am not a happy user of her equipment, just let us say.
Colorado Springs is an intriguing smallish city, filled with military types, some of them retired. So far I have managed to pick up two of them, much to the YD’s amusement. I talk to people, which I suppose is a bad habit overall, but one that provides me with endless entertainment when I am waiting for something. I am quite sure that when she was a teenager, the YD was completely mortified by me when I did this, but she is now a laid back and tolerant adult, and puts up with me very patiently on the whole. She tells me that the area is a big hit with retired officers; the one man I talked to had served on the DEW line in the fifties and sixties and was really interesting to listen to.
On Friday, the city got 5”+ of rain, one third of its total rainfall for the year, I have learned. All the drains and streambeds were running with red and ochre mud, and we had to wade into our motel unit. Yesterday was absolutely glorious, sunny and breezy and cool. We went to an attraction called Garden of the Gods. Spectacular red and white rock formations, wonderful walking paths, and photo ops at every step – I have a multitude of shots of the scenery, of the YD taking pictures of the scenery, photos that, alas, are still on my camera whose computer cord is sitting on my desk at home. Do go and look at the link, however, if you do not know about this wonderful place – it is a municipal park, and immaculately preserved. Also free. Wow!
Today we were planning to take the cob railway to the top of Pike’s Peak and when we woke up on Eastern Daylight time, the snowy top of the peak was shining in the sun. But when our appointed departure time arrived, the mountain had disappeared. I am now scheduled to go tomorrow. We went shopping instead and found a Coldwater Creek store, from whence I emerged with a Very Large bag of purchases. I hope I find a tolerant Customs Officer on the way home, oh boy. All the Coldwater Creek stuff fits me, fits in with my lifestyle and is not outrageously expensive. The YD’s judgement is that her father is not going to like one jacket, but too [censored] bad, is what I think.
After taking in the red rocks yesterday, we set off for a short drive up into the Front Range just for a look see. We came to a fork in the road at ? and the YD said “Which way?” “Right,” said I, on an impulse. (We had come away without the Colorado map. Or our cameras, silly us.) We got on to an excellent paved two lane road which took us across plateaus in the forest of the Pike National Forest. We drove on, exclaiming at the scenery.
Some time later it occurred to us that we did not have a clue where we were. So we asked advice from some well lubricated locals at a crossroads and were directed down the South Platte River Road, across a pass (only four miles of gravel, very good) and ended up in Sedona. From there it is a short hour’s drive back to Colorado Springs down the interstate. But it was all beautiful and we found a super restaurant for a (late) supper in Sedona. With a full tank of gas comes confidence. But I must get a map and figure out what we did do.
After I get home, you will be regaled with my pics of Pike’s Peak and the red, red rock formations. But I am now quitting, before I lose it entirely and throw this miserable machine out the window into traffic.

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