My wife and I have a lot of things in common, including the fact we both fell in love with Colorado in our younger years. I made two trips there with my parents while growing up, the last one in 1970, and I briefly considered going to college there. My wife made one trip with her parents when she was a teenager, then made a solo driving trip to Boulder in her twenties. We visited Durango together back in 2011 to ride the narrow gauge train that goes from Durango to Silverton, a ride I made with my parents on the 1970 trip. That was an awesome experience, and we knew we needed to return to Colorado again soon.
We made our return trip a couple of weeks ago, flying into Denver then renting a car and driving first to Estes Park, then down to the Colorado Springs area. Lynda and I had both visited the Garden of the Gods before, and she had taken a copy of the above photo along with her to see if we could recreate it. That’s her standing there with some unrelated and unidentified people. Below is the photo we took this time, again with a few unidentified people waiting in line to get their pic taken by the rock.
There were so many people climbing up on the rock that day that I decided to dash out in front of it for my photographic moment. I also wound up taking a photo for a young family so they could all be in the pic together. The boy was too young to remember the visit, but at least he’ll have the photo some day when he’s older.
My past visits weren’t so easy to recreate. When I toured Trail Ridge Road with my parents back in August, 1970, we found snow in several places. That’s me and them in the below photo, pretending to have a snowball fight. The snow was a bit dirty but very real.
We couldn’t find any snow this time, except what was way up on the mountains. But the views were just as beautiful as I remembered them. I also remember the thin air, brilliant sun, and clear blue sky, which were all pretty much the same. My parents both loved the mountains, and it is safe to say it rubbed off on me.
I also remember going up on Pike’s Peak with my parents during that visit. My father drove for a living, and decided he was up for driving to the top. And when he got there, he swore he’d never do it again! Sadly I can’t find any of the photos we took up there. Based on my memories though, I knew it was someplace that Lynda and I needed to visit. We left the driving to someone else, and took the Cog Railroad up to the top. It’s a great way to get there and I highly recommend it.
I also tried to find the cottages we stayed at in Estes Park back then, but found they had been completely rebuilt and were considerably more upscale now than they were back in 1970. Lynda and I stayed in a cottage too, one that had a full kitchen and a great view of Fall River that ran right in front of our porch. It also featured a herd of elk that made regular appearances. Nothing like getting up close and personal with an elk while you’re relaxing on your patio! The manager there also said we had a bear trying to raid the dumpster late one night. I’m glad I slept through that one.
We both had a great time on the trip. It was nice to revisit a state that has a lot of good memories for us, but then we are also making new memories and love celebrating new traditions we have come up with ourselves. Like visiting farmer’s market for instance, something we did in both Estes Park and Colorado Springs. And taking self-portraits by setting the camera down on whatever available surface we can find. In this case the camera was on the patio table outside the cottage in Estes Park, with Fall River and a stand of Ponderosa pine trees behind us.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this little break from gardening and food while I took a trip down memory lane. I’ll be back soon with more happenings from HA, where it’s now officially fall and the weather is seasonable!