Friday, September 2, 2011

The land of calf muscles II

So it's time to finish my update on Colorado.

But first, I must tell you. I'm drove up yesterday to Charlottesville, Virginia, to spend the weekend with Beck! It was about an 7.5/8 hour drive to get here, but it wasn't bad at all! I got some books on tape. And they made the time fly! Except I got The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe, and the reader's voice for Mr. Tumnus was ridiculously annoying. And loud. But I made it through, and now I'm here!

Beck is at work all day--being a real nurse. But it worked out because I got my homework done for the weekend, and as soon as I finish writing this, I'm going to go explore C-ville!

And I've also discovered that one of the tiles on Beck's bathroom floor looks totally like a pig's head. Or maybe a cow's head. Can't wait for Beck to come home so we can determine the answer to this mystery together!

Okay, let's get back to Colorado!


Planes, Trains, Motorcars, and Boats!

To really experience the mountains of Colorado, you really need to experience them from every mode of transportation possible. At least, that's what we did.

So Wednesday, we hiked down to the bottom of the Black Canyon and took a boat tour.

On the boat was us and another family and then about 20 elderly people all there together. They all had a blast. Friends, when we're all wrinkly and retired, we better still be frolicking around together and taking boat tours. That is before, of course, we all move into a nursing and tear that place up!

This is called the Curecanti Needle. It's a famous landmark, and I think it's pretty.

 On the boat!

After the boat, we took an epic drive through the mountains. Here we are at the start.

Part of the drive was driving over this mountain on a road called "Kebler Pass." As we drove through the wilderness, we kept our eyes peeled for wilderness. We really wanted to find a moose or bear. But all we saw was a cow who did look ridiculously similar to a bear. Except for the fact that he was a cow.

We were also hoping to find some Kebler elves at the top with some cookies. No elves. And sadly no cookies. We did find a field with these pretty wildflowers at the top.

Also, among these flowers were a bunch of grave stones. This one was my favorite.

Is it weird to have a favorite grave stone?

Mary of FosterBambrough. Died in 1881 at age 17.

Here's the bottom part of her grave, where things got a little creepy.

"My good people as you pass by,
As you are now so once was I;
As I am now you soon must be,
Prepare yourselves to follow me."

What a creepy, ominous thing to put on your grave!

I think I want to put it on mine!

Then maybe people will blog about it years and years later.

I'm sure that was Mary's plan all along.

Stephen and I searched for more creepy gravestones, but most were from the 1990s and 2000s. At one point, we found ourselves deeper in the woods and out of sight of the road. And I heard a slight squealing noise. And I got scared.  I though it might be a bear. Or a cow that looked like a bear. I'm sure those can be mean too. Or even Mary coming to tell me to follow her. Stephen says he thinks it was a ground squirrel, but what does he know?

Thursday, we loaded up and headed to CO Springs.

We took a train into the Doe River Gorge!

The train went along side the Arkansas River and lots of people were white water rafting it, which was entertaining to watch because people are fools. Right as we went by, one man tumbled out. He obviously didn't have his feet tucked in under the seat in front of him. White water rafting 101, people. Must have been European. They were all over CO!

See that bridge way up there?

We decided to go give it a closer look.

And I for one was not a huge fan of being on the bridge. We were very high up there, and it was windy, and the wood planks going across it would bobble as you put weight on them! I'm personally not a fan of bobbling 1,000 feet over a canyon, but that's just me.

And what made it worse is that they let cars drive across this bridge as you can see in the right of the picture. Some of the planks didn't even looked screwed down. And would bobble like crazy as the cars went by.

There's our little train we rode on earlier. And see how high we were?! You wouldn't have liked the bobbling either. Unless, you're Anna. She would have cackled like a crazee and loved it. One time we were on a plane ride together that experienced some bouncy turbulence, and Ann just laughed and laughed. She'd whack my arm and yell, "Isn't this SO funny?! We're gonna die!" But I was too busy gripping my Coke for dear life to listen.

Ha. Anyways.

Mom and I rode the Carousel! Because we could! Dad and Stephen did not. Apparently, Carousels aren't manly. I rode the Zebra in honor of Africa of course.

Stephen did find himself an old school firetruck to hang out with. He's so manly.

On our last day all together, we trekked up to Pike's Peak. And by trekked, I mean we took a train. Because we're not crazy! That sucker is 14, 300 feet high! On the train, we met some girls who were participating in the marathon happening there in two days. They were gonna run 13.1 miles up that mountain to the top! And then 13.1 miles back down. Crazy! Absolutely crazy! It was hard enough to breath at that altitude, let alone race!

Our train conductor also told us about a car race that happens on Pike's Peak every year. Last year, the guy who won the race took a pinpoint curve at the top at 75 miles an hour! This was practically an 180 degrees turn! No guardrails there either! People are crazy.

Well, I didn't race up the mountain via a car or my legs, but I did have a high-altitude donut at the top and was satisfied!

Also, look what we discovered in the name of science! Sealed plastic bags puff up to max capacity at such high altitudes. I think Stephen or Dad explained the why of this situation, but I forgot. I'm not an altitude/atmosphere scientist. I'm more of a people scientist.

After our Pike's Peak excursion and lunch, we had to head back to Denver so we could catch our plane the next day, and Stephen had to head back to Gunnison and his job of protecting people and the park once more. And it was most def sad to leave Stephen. But he is enjoying his job and Colorado, so I can't complain too much! I just better get to see you again before this year is over! Or I'll be mad. And yell at you like Tina yelled at the moon.

And as we drove to Denver, we took a picture of this forest fire. Because Stephen like fires, and we wanted him to think we're cool.


  1. i like you. i love your pictures!

    I like your SHE DANCES shirt - you look hot in it!!

    Yes... I would have been squealing and cackling on the bridge! I probably would have hit your arm and said something morbid about the bridge crumbling and crashing to the ground! :)

    I love you and your fam jam! Glad you had a good time. It looks beautiful!!!!!

  2. your hair is getting so long, Emily! Looks like a fantastic trip!!! :)