Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Life is what happens when you're making a plan!!
Our plan was to travel but unfortunately while munching a carrot, I managed to dislocate my temperomandibular joint. Wow Pain. Got to spend 5 hours in the emergency room before the doc could do the simple procedure of popping my jaw back into place. Ugh.. not something I recommend.

The trip to and from the hospital took us through a wonderful section of town. Old homes and mansions graced the roadway and entertained us on our route to and from the hospital.

This was our choice of homes in the area.

Our day at Pike's Peak

Traveling from Manitou Springs to the top of Pike's Peat elevation of 14, 115 feet. This is the 31st highest peak in Colorado. The Cog train has carried visitors for over 100 years starting June 30, 1891 to the top of Pike's Peak . This was a 19 mile journey through breathtaking scenery.

View from the top. We traveled through four life zones from high plains to alpine tundra. The dramatic cliffs and rock formations revealed the majestic Rocky Mountain, the Continental Divide, the cities of Denver, Manitou Springs, Colorado Springs, and Woodland Park and the historic gold camps of Cripple Creek and Victor.

Views of the mountains and rocks challenged our imagination to find rock formations of sleighs, sea lions, and goofy faces. Our conductor was full of entertaining stories. We saw forests of pine and aspen.

Views from the top. We were suppose to see 4 states but the clouds interrupted our views.

Views inspired the writing of the song America the Beautiful. One talented lady Katherine Bates who could interpret the views into song penned the words to "America the Beautiful."

We traveled the easy way by cog rail. Many others drove to the top conquering 25 % inclines and hairpin turns to reap the rewards of the view from the top.

Majestic views of our country as well as sightings of marmots, big horn sheep, mule deer, hawks and the little squirrels graced our trip.

We loved it. The high altitude was a little overwhelming but we delighted in the views of the day. Notice the tight grip on my little bag of donuts baked at 14,115 feet and covered in a delicious fudge. YUMM

Cog trains travel on special tracks. Interesting.

We passed several trains on the way up and down. Crossing close enough that we could have touched those travelers going in the opposite direction. A delightful entertaining day.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Seven Falls Colorado Springs
This has been called the Grandest Mile of Scenery in Colorado. WOW 7 falls cascade 181 feet down a solid cliff of granite. Dick is waiting to take the elevator up to the top of the waterfall.

We went to see this waterfall at night so the pics aren't particularly good but the view really was spectacular.

Critters galore. We were lucky to see several of these critters as we toured the area.

Lights illuminate the falls at night in multiple colors. Again a spectacular view of this canyon. We saw 42 foot wide Pillars of Hercules with 1,000 foot cliffs above. The box canyon terminates at a 181 foot waterfall cascading down seven different steps. It really was a magical evening.

United States Air Force Academy! What a patriotic feeling to tour this university and military base. The grounds cover 18,000 acres of pine forest.

The grounds were immaculate with a lot of attention to the sports fields. Touring the visitors center was quite an education and again such a patriotic feeling.

The Chapel was awesome. The chapel soars 150 feet and is an all-faith house of worship, It contains a chapel for each of 3 major religious faiths, protestant, Catholic and Jewish. We felt very fortunate to be allowed to visit this Academy.
Garden of the Gods
Wow a dramatic view of 300 foot towering red sandstone rock formations against a backdrop of Pikes Peak and brilliant blue skies. A free park for all to enjoy by driving, hiking or biking the area.

Rock climbers galore, Dick and I passed on this activity but we did hike several miles through this beautiful park.

Everywhere we look...spectacular views of the red rock.

All smiles as we enjoy this

Can you see the kissing camels.
First night out we are in Red Rock Park outside of Gallup New Mexico. Thank you Days End for listing this sight. 640 acre park against the spectacular red cliffs of the Entrada Sandstone (formed during the Mesozoic era 205 million years ago)

My morning hike up to this beautiful rock formation. A great way to start the day.

Great finds in little unknown places. The museum was quite well done and had many wood carvings representing family.

The outer walls of the museum were decorated with these fabulous paintings.

This self pic after hiking in the mtns.
Glorious morning. And we're off for another day.

My trail. Great hike.


On the road again. Finally after 7 weeks of delays we get to travel. My sis always says Life is what happens when you are making a plan. So during our 7 weeks, good things did happen. I got to spend a week with my Mom and Sister up in the mountains, spent a weekend visiting with my brother from Oklahoma, read 2 good books, took 7 kids and one daughter to see the circus, more time with mom and sis, learned the bus system in Flagstaff and went to several good movies. Hiked and biked in the mtns. and all around Flagstaff.

This was our parking lot for about one week of car repairs. Tag Automotive, two great guys who worked nights and weekends to get our car together and allowed us to park in their parking lot. If you're in Flagstaff and need work done, they are the guys to help you out and very reasonable, too. Even gave us a senior discount on the total bill.

This is what our car looked like with many of its parts removed. UGH!

Our car today with red ribbon on antenna. Ready for us to begin traveling. YEA!