Monday, September 15, 2008

Colorado - Kansas

(Jan) We ended our stay in Colorado with stops in Salida, Woodland Park and Trinidad. At Salida we boondocked along the Arkansas River on BLM ground N38 30.481 W105 57.652 – 7,010 feet elevation, a great place for walking along the river, doing laundry and grocery shopping in town. At Woodland Park we were at Pike NF South Meadows CG N39 03.889 W105 05.675 – 7,835 ft. elevation, a place we had camped with the boys back in the ‘80’s. We visited the fabulous Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs, walked the loop around the tall rock features in the center of the park and also stopped at the famous balanced rock. We browsed the gift shop and enjoyed ice cream out on the deck under the trees. It was very rainy when we got back to the CG so didn’t get to take the cog train up Pikes Peak the next day. In fact the next morning there was snow on the mountains!

In Trinidad we stayed at Budget Host CG N37 08.372 W104 31.092 – 6,370 ft. elevation and had full hook-ups. This morning we headed across eastern Colorado which has some interesting buttes in the wide open country; you could really imagine wagon trains rolling along through the valleys between the buttes on the Santa Fe Trail. The dust and sun must have seemed overwhelming at times. We spent a couple of hours at the Bent’s Old Fort National Historical Site thoroughly enjoying our tour guide, in period dress, explaining day to day living at the fort. The fort is a carefully reconstruction of the actual non-military fort that was built in 1834 at this site. At that time it was on the border between the U.S. and Mexico. Primarily a trading post with the Indians for buffalo hides, it was the only white settlement between Missouri and Santa Fe. As we were driving along, after leaving the fort, we saw something on the highway that we hadn’t seen since our days at Ft Sill in 1974; big, hairy tarantula spiders sunning themselves on the warm pavement!

In the afternoon we stopped for ice cream (two days in a row!) in Lamar. CO., and then headed over through the Kansas plains to our overnight stop in Pawnee Rock, KS. The elevation there was 1,920 feet; probably the lowest elevation we have been at since July.

Today we drove to the eastern side of Kansas to visit my sister and brother-in-law, Linda and Richard. Good to see them again; wonderful visit, delicious dinner and great apple crisp fresh off the tree! Must be an old family recipe....right , Linda? Tonight we are at Cabela's, 10 miles from their house, right off of I435 in K.C., KS. N 39 07,300 W 094 49.061 - 975 feet elevation. Tomorrow it's north to Iowa.

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