Visiting Mount Rushmore has never made an appearance on my bucket list. After living in Atlanta for eight years near Stone Mountain, seeing the sculpture designed and initiated by the same artist carved into the granite mountain, my thoughts were “Impressive feat, but I don’t need to make a special trip.” However, with two national parks within a 75 mile radius, it got bumped up the list. Continue reading
It doesn’t take long after crossing the state line into South Dakota to reach the first of the state’s two national parks (Parks with a capital “P” of which there are 59 in the NPS.) A quick pass through the town of Hot Springs, and I am crossing the park boundary before I know it. Research has indicated that the town of Hot Springs is “HSINO,” (hot springs in name only) as the only source for the spring is a kids pool that is warm, at best. So I skip the pool and go straight for the park. Continue reading
My friend and frequent supporter of this blog recently reminded me of a song from my youth, “Willin'” written by Little Feat’s founder Lowell George, but made even more mainstream by Linda Ronstadt. Since Rhonda’s reference, I can’t get the song out of my head as I reflect on my summer spent in Colorado.
I’ve been fortunate to spend the entire summer chasing 70 degree temps while the rest of the US swelters through one of the hottest summers on record, and my dear family celebrates a cooling trend at 98. But my “summer in Colorado” has not been without its Continue reading
One might think that with a name like Rocky Mountain National Park, it would be all about the mountain peaks, right? After all, the park is made up of mountain ranges with 78 peaks exceeding 12,000 ft, so one can expect a spectacular mountain view anywhere you go. In fact, that’s the difference between the west side with more heavily forested views, versus the east side marked with stark mountain cirques carved by glacial ice, deep canyons, and jagged spires. Continue reading
After spending almost a week on the west side of Rocky Mountain National Park, I still hadn’t had enough of the mountains. Steamboat was beautiful, but the ridiculously expensive RV park where I was staying was too far in the opposite direction from the hiking trails, requiring a tedious drive through traffic to get to any areas suitable for a hike. A look at the map reveals it won’t be that far to backtrack from the I25 corridor to Continue reading
In order to get myself back over the Rockies from Steamboat Springs, I decide to take a more northerly direction up near the Wyoming state line through Red Feather Lakes. It’s a place I know little to nothing about, but have long been intrigued. There’s not much information on the area. In fact, it is a challenge to even figure out which roads are best to take and where to go once I get there. I get by with a little help from my friends… Continue reading
When I set my intentions to spend the summer in Colorado, plans included visiting as many of the hot springs as possible to include not only those I missed in my 2015 trip, but to also revisit some favorites. All told, I hit nine hot springs. A respectable showing, though there are still so many more. My wrap up includes visits to three springs, Continue reading
Connecting the quiet west side of Rocky Mountain National Park with its more popular east side near Estes Park is the NPS’ highest paved road, Trail Ridge Road. The scenic, twisting, winding road traverses through the heart of the park from Estes Park on the east side to Grand Lake on the west. It’s the only way to get from one side of the park to the other. But more noteworthy, it’s the highest paved road in our national park system. The two lane road is 48 miles long, ten of those miles above tree line, topping Continue reading
As I continue my northern trek up through Colorado, I sit at the crossroads. I want to visit Rocky Mountain National Park. Though I’ve been there before, it’s been many years, so I remember very little.
Besides, I am longing for some “ready made hiking.” I grow weary having to research every inch of my life. What are those noises and hiccups that the Winnie and Tracker make, and where can I get them fixed? What are the road conditions ahead? Weather research now includes not just storm clouds but smoke clouds as well. Where are the legal overnight spots? What are my best options for campgrounds? Continue reading
I met my former husband, Scott, during the glory days of airline travel. I was in my late twenties, working for Braniff Airlines on the heels of deregulation. Having just added “International” to their name, Braniff was hiring entire graduating classes from the local airline reservations school. I shared a seniority date with fifty people all hired on the same day. They were gobbling up international routes faster than the cryptic computer system, PARS, could keep pace. As they assumed routes of failing airlines like Pan Am, Continue reading