Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Insert Cheesy Slogan Here

Salida flowers, originally uploaded by apkoski.

Ahhh, home sweet home. Back from or rocky mountain high in the rocky mountain state, we're maxin' and relaxin' outside of our house.... scraping paint again. Enough about that though, let's talk about our Colorado vacation!

We flew to Denver and had reserved a compact car bound for Salida, which is about 3-1/2 hours SW of Denver. Well, we got a "complimentary upgrade" Monster Ford Escape, and were pissed for several reasons... until we discovered how many "2 wheel drive" roads we would be driving on that week. Let me tell you, if you have any jiggly spots on your body, they will be called out while driving/riding on 2WD roads, which are just 4WD roads minus the giant boulders: washed-out, dirty, rocky, wild rides.

Anyway, my (Anne's) dad & Sandi & Luke have a house just outside of Salida, which sits just east of Sawach range, and just northwest of the Sangre de Christo range. It's a beautiful place, with beautiful views, and hummingbirds everywhere. (Is that the CO state bird?)

We did a bunch of hiking. Also attempted a 14'er (Shavano) but the weather didn't hold. We got above the clouds to the treeline, and saw more clouds building. Then we never saw any lightning from the vantage of the house. Bummer.

We got to go mountain biking, not once, but twice. Once with Paul's Uncle Paul in Nucla on the Paradox Trail (BRUTAL!), and once up and down the Shavano/Tabagauche trailhead road with my dad (downhill is SO fast & fun!).

At the house we played lots of games, listened to music, and read (Harry Potter-heads). Paul got sick for about a day, so he got a little more house time than the rest of us. He would tell you that it is NOT fun to be sick on vacation.

We went to the local library regularly to make contact with the outside world (no phone/tv/radio to our knowledge @ the house). On our second day visiting, a cycling criterium was being held right outside its doors. I sat and watched, but didn't have my camera to document my first ever viewing of a Crit. Nobody crashed - and then the monsoon rains arrived during the last race of the day. We could hear it coming over the rooftops from blocks away! We raced for cover, and assumed that the Crit. ended early.

We ate some great meals at the house, and made our own candy-packed Blizzards with a grinder that Luke found at a yard sale. What crazy individual would give that up -- for $5?!
We played with doggie Bobber, of whom we regrettably have no photo.

We had a wonderfully scenic drive back from Nucla to Salida; saw Aspen forests, what appeared to be the whole San Juan Mtn. range - filling almost 1/3 of the 360 horizon, 6 very polite cattle, & 5 pickups heading the other way.

On our way back to Salida, we added another stamp to our National Parks Passport at the Black Canyon National Park. Those park rangers are smart... Pleistocene... igneous... magma... Cool.

That's our trip in a nutshell! We had a great, fun-packed time, earned ourselves a house key, and are missing everything/one already. More pictures are available at our flickr page, sidebar.


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