September 26, 2013

Monument, Colorado (Week 1)

The week here at the Colorado Heights Resort  in Monument has been nice. It's been in the 70s most of the week. It rained only one night. Didn't realize it, but we are at 7,543 feet above sea level. For me, this is the sixth day and the first day that I didn't wake up with a headache. It takes a bit to get adjusted to living at this height.

I asked a guy in the laundry room the other day how this works out for football athletes who come here to play the Denver Broncos. He said that they come here at least a week ahead of the game, and sometimes come and go for three or four times during the month before the game just to get acclimated to the thinner air.

 Driving into Monument, Colorado

Colorado Heights Resort

Snow on Pikes Peak as seen from the RV Park
the morning after the rain

Pikes Peak is 14,110 feet high. There is a cog railway that takes people up to the top. We haven't done that yet, and I am not sure that I want to do it. Again, the guy in the laundry room said that if you are not acclimated to the height in this area, you will get sick going up there. By "sick" he means that you can get dizzy, light-headed, weak, nauseated, and feel as if you are sea-sick. Not only that, you may feel as if you have a hang-over for a day or two after you get back down. The trick is to drink lots of water.

We went to the Garden of the Gods the other day. What a great way to spend the day. Especially since the weather was also so nice.

Entrance sign to the Garden of the Gods

Pikes Peak as seen inside the Garden of the Gods

Balanced rock

Rock formations inside the Garden

Walking paths throughout the Garden

Another site that we took in was the Air Force Academy. It has been 50 years since I first visited this place.

United States Air Force Academy

Air Force Academy Chapel

Inside the Chapel as seen from the back

Turning around, you see the huge organ 
in the balcony

A closer view of the windows from the inside

Smaller chapel in the basement for Catholics

Flying out to Atlanta tomorrow to attend Stu's memorial and will be back on Sunday. Jerry and Chanti will be holding down the fort. Then, John and Marijean arrive to join us next Tuesday.

Live the life you love!

September 22, 2013

Monument, Colorado

This basically was a week of travel -- getting from Iowa to Colorado, covering a distance of 750 miles. We actually stayed another three days in Des Moines waiting for a thunderstorm to pass before we moved out. Starting our trek on Monday, September 16, we went first to West Omaha, Nebraska, for one night, and then on to Gothenburg, Nebraska, where we spent two nights.

While we were in Gothenburg, we stayed at a KOA park right along the North Platte River. Listening to the local news, we heard about the concern of the folks in the area that the Colorado flood waters would be making its way along the North Platte River into Nebraska which was expected to flood its banks in the coming four or five days. Since we were parked right along the river, we made sure that we didn't stay too long. In fact, the local weather service forecast was for this park to expect flooding.

Parked at the KOA in Gothenburg, Nebraska
(North Platte River is to the left of us.)

 Gothenburg is a very small town, but it is home to the two Pony Express stations. The Pony Express station in town operated from 1860-1861, a period of only 18 months. The Pony Express was discontinued because of the Civil War and the emergence of the telegraph. To get a letter from St. Joseph, MO to Sacramento, CA took nearly 10 days using 183 riders. It was dangerous work and some riders were as young as 11 years old.

Plaque in front of the Pony Express station.

Pony Express Station in Gothenburg, Nebaska

On Thursday, we continued our trip and entered Colorado. We signed up with the Colorado Department of Transportation to receive constant text updates as to which roads were blocked because of the recent rains and flooding.  We stopped the first night in Sterling, Colorado.

Road into Sterling, Colorado,
was closed due to flooding. Luckily,
we didn't need to drive through the
the town to get to the RV park.

Then on Friday, we moved on to Colorado Springs where we stayed at another KOA park. 

Parked at the KOA in Colorado Springs, Colorado

Right across the road from where we were parked was a river that 
over-flowed its boundaries the previous week.

The waters of this river came across the road.

A dam is located a few hundred feet up the river.
We could hear the rushing waters as we slept at night.

Close-up of the dam.

Yesterday, we hit the road again and traveled just a few miles to Monument, Colorado, where we will hang out for two weeks. Monument is about 30 miles from Denver. 

A very close family friend (Stu) passed away suddenly last week. So on Friday, I will take a flight out of Denver, join up with Tom, my son, flying in from LA, to attend the memorial service on Saturday in Cumming, Georgia, about 35 miles from Atlanta. Stu will be terribly missed by all who knew him. He was one of a kind -- in a very good way.

Until next time, enjoy the life you love -- especially 
since it can turn on a dime.

September 11, 2013

Forest City, Iowa

RVers who have to go back to their factory to have work done on their coach can appreciate our experience these past two weeks. Yes, we have spent two weeks in Forest City, Iowa, home of Winnebago. For the first week, they needed to keep the coach overnight for three days. So we checked into the Knights Inn Resort. Nothing like hanging out in a room for three days. Got a lot of reading done and Jerry spent his time working on his blog videos.

The Resort is situated in a beautiful country-side setting adjacent to the longest golf course in Iowa. We were able to take long walks along the pathways in the area and in the local park.

Thomas Bearse Park 

Swinging bridge in the Park

Close-up of the swinging bridge

We made a  couple of trips into Mason City during this time. Mason City is about 30 miles from Forest City and is the largest city around this area. On the way, we also checked out Clear Lake.

Clear Lake, Iowa

Clear Lake, Iowa

We left Winnebago yesterday and traveled to Altoona which is right outside of  Des Moines, Iowa, where Jerry is adding a bit of chrome to the outside of the coach. At that point, we are finished up-grading the RV. And, we love the changes that we have made to it. In another blog, I will post pictures of the coach.

We will leave here on Friday and continue our slow trek back to California. We will be spending some time in Colorado and meeting up again with our friends, John and Marijean. That will be the third time we have met up with them on this two-year trip.

This will be a short up-date as we really did not take many pictures these past two week.

Continue to live the life you love.