I thought I’d only be blogging our life once a month, but as it turns out I have too much to say, and I never know when I’ll have WiFi…so I hope you won’t grow too tired of my babbling. Before I get to our Colorado Springs events, I want to share the day Dan and I spent with his good friend, Tony, while we were still at my stepdaughter’s home. Tony became our “Senior Tour” guide for the day since he was familiar with the place. We headed out for a two-hour drive to the Pawnee Butte National Grasslands. I mentioned this on FB, but I thought I’d share another photo. On our way to the Buttes, we stopped and took shots of the valley, and of an old abandon farm. We traveled on to the Buttes and though half of the travel was on a dirt road, it was well worth it.
On the way back we stopped at a local cemetery. The history was amazing as you read headstone after headstone of children and families that died from the Spanish flu in the early 1900’s. My heartstrings pulled even tighter as I spotted graves with only a piece of cement for a headstone, or just a bag of cement, now broken and hardened in the weather, because not everyone could afford a proper headstone in those tough times. Their devastation was a daily experience, and I couldn’t help but shed tears of sadness.
We left the Denver area and headed to Colorado Springs to start our real travel adventure. First stop in Colorado Springs was the Garden of Gods. It is a natural rock formation park that will have you dropping your jaw. Unfortunately, the entrance we took didn’t sport the sign the other entrance did that specified NO RV’s etc…and let me tell you, between Dan’s F350 and a 30’ trailer we found ourselves trying to maneuver 50’ of metal around corners not designed for anything other than a vehicle. Our final nasty turn took out a tire…as we expected. So, after Dan pulled over the best he could and changed the tire our next stop was…you guessed it, a tire shop. But that is only the beginning of our “Friday the 13th” tale.
Next was finding a place to camp. We started calling RV parks, but one after the other was booked up. Finally, one gal gave us the number of another park she thought might be able to help us out. Thankfully, we thought, they had a spot so we made our way there a few minutes before he closed the office. Our eyes opened wide as we took in the view of a homeless community stationed along the sides of the driveway leading into the park entrance. I try not to stereotype people, but after the three break-ins to Dan’s truck in Washington, and the police telling us it is “homeless” getting what they can to sell…well, you can imagine our concern. However, we needed a place to park so we paid for two nights. Turned out the inside of the park was what we found to be more of a concern. During our stay, we witnessed two drug deals go down close to our camper. My upbringing gave me a lot of insight, so I know what I’m talking about. This told us we may come back from our day trip to find our tires gone…an expression I wasn’t too happy to hear come out of Dan’s mouth.
The next day we decided not to let our current living conditions stop our plans for our day trip. We took what might possibly have been our last look at our home on wheels, took a deep breath and headed to the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. They have the most amazing giraffe exhibit I’ve ever seen. It is below ground so the giraffe’s heads are your level. People could feed them and even pet them, which I did, of course. The zoo is built on the side of the mountain, and every exhibit is amazing. The reptile exhibit has beautiful glass art along with other art inside the glass cages. The whole experience made you smile. And bonus…since you are on a mountain, you enjoyed panoramic views of the valley below. I loved it all. Then we went back to the Garden of the Gods so we could pull into the different parking lots and take photos. We entered from another side this time and there we found the notice about no trailers. Live and learn…lol.
Bonus – when we got back to the RV Park, all tires were still intact, and so was our home. The lesson we have learned quickly is that cities are not made to tow trailers around. That it is best to go outside the city to find camping areas, drop the trailer and enjoy the sights. Another lesson is to check all park reviews before signing up for more than one night, or any night at all. But the biggest lesson is to be patient with each other and to quote Sue Aitkins from Life Below Zero (one of my fav shows) “Don’t take it personal” – and she would be right. It’s simply a learning curve and it will get better.