Wednesday, May 11, 2011

A beautiful hike and a long day

Jeff has an old friend that he went into the Marine Corp with back in the day...Pat lives in the Colorado Springs area and they were able to meet for dinner and catching  up.  It was a nice break for Jeff (and for me)---seeing someone he hasn't seen for 15+ years!  So very thoughtful, Pat found the Marine Corp Recruit Depot yearbook for Jeff and Pat's bootcamp!  He found it some time ago in Iowa (where they were from)  in an antique shop (gasp!!)...and he knew it must be Jeff's, since they were they only two from the area that enlisted in the Marines from that timeframe, so he purchased it and presented it  to Jeff during dinner!  How thoughtful.

What a gorgeous day Tuesday was!   We took the beast in to Camping World first thing in  the am to get the steering stabilizer installed and took the Honda to Pike National Park to do some hiking there.  We had packed our lunch and Casey "Noodle" food and parked at a great NP campground to hike to another campground that included a small (but full of wildlife) lake.  With our lunch and waters in our backpack we reached our lake destination in about 40 minutes and hiked the perimeter of the lake and then had our lunch viewing pelicans and beaver houses and dams.  Initially, we couldn't believe pelicans were here, but we've seen them several times in CO.  Below is a pix taken on our hike,  looking out on a great example of a beaver dam in the middle of the picture.

On the way to the NP, we stopped at a "Jug'n'Loaf"--(like a 7-11), and encountered several interesting characters!  So many groups travel together based on interests....we've seen a group of  probably 12 or 15  "mini-Coopers"  driven by a group of Italian enthusiasts; a group of 20 or so Harley-Davidson devotees from France that had rented the HOG's from a vendor that travels with them and carries their luggage (we actually were with these guys twice so far--they're very enthusiastic travelers!).  There are many small groups that hail from the same area travelling together as well. 

On the way "home" from our hike we were called by Camping World (CW) and told that we have a significant tie-rod problem and that they couldn't install the stabilizer but that a chassis repair shop could fix it and align the front end.  To facilitate the process, we went to the shop, got it "diagnosed"  and arranged for tomorrow,  then were back with the beast at 6:30 pm or so.  Still very windy and expecting snow/thundershowers overnight and next morning.

Today we woke to a rocking moho (due to the strong winds) and headed out with the moho to the repair shop 15 miles away.  They were to complete it within 3 hours and then we had to pick it up and take it back to CW for the stabilizer install....well, suffice it  to say we got it all  done, but got back to the Park at 5:00 pm, having been gone from 8:00 am inclusive......ah the many joys of mechanical/automotive things!

We're tired but really enjoying the areas we are visiting and the views/attractions/parks we are seeing.  We have been to Pike's Peak via the cog railroad previously (with some of our good ACEC friends) and also to Garden of the Gods.  We enjoyed both, and thought tomorrow we would make a trek to Garden of the Gods again and renew our enjoyment of that area.  We are planning on heading to the Denver area Friday where we hope to stay in a state park for 5 days (2 of which Jeff will be in Long Beach for a board meeting).  Those of you who have been to the area north and west of Denver, let us know what you think we should see as we travel back to the NW.  We're debating our route now...Along those lines, we have many folks that are reading the blog that are not listed as followers--that's okay,  you can still give us advice! 

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