Monday, July 7, 2008

Hwy 50 to Colorado Springs... part 1

It was time to take a trip back to Colorado to visit me brudder and his family and friends of ours in Colorado Springs and up in Denver, some of whom we had not seen in about 20 years! We lived in Denver when I was first working in radio news (1977) then moved to Milwaukee so that the dear Hubby could learn mold design (die cast die and plastic) from his Dad who had an office in Hubby's old bedroom. We lived there for five years before moving out to California, but I digress!
  • This was more recent history as we left Sacca-tomatoes on June 16th and set out on what is alleged be one of American's "loneliest roads", Highway 50, whose fortune was eclipsed by the building of the interstate system in the late 1950s.
We didn't see many cars on the road as we ventured into Nevada. We were in the camper van with Crash! the dog. (If only I could think of a way to write his story as a musical.)
  • But we saw a lot of these signs
Apparently warning us of wild bulls or steer or cows - can you tell I'm more of a city girl? The drive through Nevada was, in a word, boring. Although we did go through some scenic little towns like Eureka, an old mining town that looks as if it's hanging in there.
  • We stopped for the night at this little State Park where there was a reservoir and green for that part of arid Nevada. Next morning brought us to Ely for breakfast at a funny little casino, very western and mom and pop in a way. I actually won $20 on a wheel of fortune machine on my way back from the ladies room! Wahooo. You'll see couple of great shots on the Flickr site including why artists should NOT move to Ely.
We then drove through the last part of Nevada and into Utah. But we did stop at a little state park that had petroglyphs, which will resurface in some art in another year or so I bet. Here's one and you'll find more on that Flickr site.
  • We had high hopes of making it to Green River, Utah before nightfall so we could make camp. The hubby had scoped out another state park that looked like it was right near the river, which was very appealing because it was incredibly hot out that day.
But before we left Nevada, we passed by this arch near a ranch that had been completely covered by old bones and antlers. The hubby was driving and realized that I wanted a photo so he pulled over so I could get this shot. It reminds me of the big bone arch that was up at the Burning Man Festival the first year I went in 1996.
  • It's tough to post many photos to this blog because they always end up at the top and you have to drag them down, so look for fantastic shots of driving into Utah on the Flickr site.
We pulled over in a little town for lunch - sandwiches that I made in the camper - when I spied one of those kitchsy fake deer that people put out on their lawns, except they had made it even better, by wiring real antlers to it! Ya gotta see it, you know where!
  • When we finally arrived in Green River, Utah, I don't know who was happier, me or Crash. Both of us for the same reason actually, the green grass at the campsites at another great little state park. Can you tell I'm a fan of state parks? They're so much nicer than those "RV Parks", where everyone is crowded in cheek to jowl. And I don't care if we don't have electric hook ups because that's not the reason we're camping.
And I finally remembered to have the hubby take a photo of me with the Webist sign. Thanks Ingrid for sending me the high resolution version of the sign. and thanks to all the Webist artists who are joining in solidarity all over the world!
  • The next morning it was off to Colorado and to a national park called Black Canyon of the Gunnison, which is a river (and a college town nearby) that runs through this incredibly tall, but narrow canyon. The Park website puts it better than I can:

The Black Canyon of the Gunnison's unique and spectacular landscape was formed slowly by the action of water and rock scouring down through hard Proterozoic crystalline rock. No other canyon in North America combines the narrow opening, sheer walls, and startling depths offered by the Black Canyon of the Gunnison.

  • There were three camping loops at the south rim, one of which actually had electric hook ups! By this time my camera battery was getting low so this was a good thing. It seems that they want to ban generators, which is all well and good in my book, but also offer the park to camping wienies such as myself, who don't want to backpack in and sleep on the ground.
And at the elevation that we were at there - over 8,000 - it was blessedly cooler than it had been the previous days. We took a drive around the park where I rediscovered my vertigo! but Crash was a happy dog getting in and out of the van with us to see the sights there. And except for forgetting the electric cord and driving away without it, the camping there was uneventful. The dear hubby noticed it when we stopped for a bathroom break before we were even out of the park, so no harm, no foul!
  • Then we were on our way first to Cascade to visit our friend Bud and his new bride Teresa and then onto Colorado Springs for a couple of days with the one and only Atomic Elroy aka me brudder, his wonderful wife Lisa and his getting very tall son Tristan. Join me for part two once I get those photos processed maybe by week's end.
Go here to see more photos on Flickr http://www.flickr.com/photos/ann_tracy/
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