Day 81 – Corey’s Entry – July 2 – 5:15pm – Garden of the Gods - Bunk House 7 – Colorado Springs, Colorado
The Garden of the Gods stands well maintained with spectacular views. Down in the valley, you see Pueblo homes beautifully blend into the red rocks. It rained again, but at least I had some good light early in the morning. Every Home should have some sort of garden. Whether it’s for the Gods, the birds, or for produce. Gardens instill a sense of comfort and community.
Day 81 – Emily’s Entry – July 2 – 5:45am – Garden of the Gods – Colorado Springs, Colorado
Difficulty waking turns easy when I see the golden sun currently peeking over the horizon clouds and illuminating the fiery-red rocks in this spectacular park.
The upcoming final three weeks of this journey in canyon, mountain, and valley should end us with a bang.
Day 84 – Emily’s Entry – July 5 – 11:11pm – Uncle Duane’s House – Buena Vista, Colorado
This house currently houses my Uncle Duane, Aunt Darlene, Mom, Dad, sister India, Corey, and me. The first day, we took Duane’s RV to Aspen and surrounding cities. It has been nice to relax on this little family vacation. There’s nobody quite like parents and siblings. Even as adults, my sister and I act like children wrestling, kidding, and clinging onto Mom. It’s comfortable not being the most responsible one in the room for a few days.
My uncle has wanted us to visit colorful Colorado for years, and now I see why. Towering 14,000-foot collegiate peaks test your resistance to crying from sheer beauty and altitude sickness.
The seven of us visited the ghost town of St. Elmo, Colorado, which served as a mining town in the late 1800’s for fortune seekers and prostitutes alike.
History aside, chipmunks crawl on you, and eat out of your hand here. It’s adorable.
Day 85 - Corey’s Entry – July 6 – 6:45am – Buena Vista, Colorado
What beautiful country Colorado has to offer. We stayed with Emily’s Uncle Duane and Aunt Darlene in Buena Vista. Everywhere you looked there was a mountain. This was like another family vacation, but this time with the Van Horns. We went on an RV trip to Aspen, Colorado. I’ve never been on the road in an RV before. It was relaxing and a bit uneasy at times. When we went around sharp turns on thin roads, you could reach your hand out and grab a tree. Mostly we chatted as we watched the beautiful Rocky-Mountain landscapes.
Aspen is a great, little city. It’s kind of kitschy in the best way. I loved seeing old skis attached to Homes and buildings dressed like old ski lodges decorated with antiques.
We had a wonderful time exploring Buena Vista and thoroughly appreciated the hospitality.
The last day, we all went white water rafting. I’ve white water rafted before, but not in 50º water when it’s 62º outside. I sat up front paddling with my father-in law Austin. At one point, we hit a rapid called Big Drop and Austin just about fell out. I grabbed his sleeve and pulled him back in. Noah’s Ark White Water rafting had amazing staff.
Duane and Darlene live in a subdivision of Buena Vista called Game Trail. There are no outdoor lights allowed to eliminate light pollution. They don’t have to mow their lawn because deer and elk come by and chew their grass down. It’s a great community where they live among wildlife without interfering. They have seen all sorts of animals living in a natural habitat right outside their door. One problem the neighborhood has is when animals are too active. One time, a black bear trolling the neighbor smelled a car of someone who had gone out that night for a pizza. The bear tracked the car and somehow managed to get into the car, but found no pizza and couldn’t get back out. The next morning, they found the bear stuck in the mangled remains of their car. Emily and I parked our car in Duane’s garage, since it‘s basically our kitchen and dining room. Good thing too, because, that night, a bear visited. The bear knocked over a bird and hummingbird feeder. There were claw and paw prints on the dining room windows. What an exciting place to live.