Heidi told me that it was my turn to blog this week and when your boss speaks I have learned that it is good to listen, so here it is. I started at 2:30 am last night but I was way to sleepy so I had to quit and try again today.
Time is now offically flying "bye" , it is now about gone! It does not seem like we started this trip 6 months ago but you know what they say about time flying when your having fun. Then we look back through all of the pictures and realize that we have done a lot the last six months! We have also seen some real cool things along the way. This trip has definitely been a blessing for us that we will not soon forget.
The last couple of weeks have been a blast! We got to Estes Park in Co. two weeks ago today to visit my sister Becky. As we drove into town I looked over at Heidi and asked her why we were going back to Alaska. She reminded me that it was for our kids but at that moment I did not want to take them into consideration. I had found the place that I was looking for! That small little town that "I" could open up a coffee shop in and live "my" perfect little life in.
Estes Park is located in a bowl at about 8000 feet up in the rockies. It is a town of about 5500 full time residents and 3,000,000 tourist a year. As you drive into town you drop about 300 feet of elevation down to the bottom of the bowl. So as you are driving into town you look out onto a Lake directly in front of you. Off to the left is a beautiful 18 hole golf course and then nestled on the far side of the lake is another 9 hole golf course that butts up to the lake. What an awesome sight! When you get down in the bowl you look up on all sides at snow covered mountain peaks. The beauty is truly breath taking!
As you drive through town you can truly feel the charm of the place. People are happy and very friendly. There is a sidewalk that skirts a river that runs behind the businesses on one side of town. A truly peaceful setting that is calming to the nerves. The down town area is about a 1/2 mile long and is all along one street which is very quaint setting. Shops line both side of the street that, from 8:00am to 9:00pm each day, is busy with activity.
If you continue out of town about 3 miles you enter the Rocky Mountain National Park which is really an awesome sight in itself. The place is teaming with wildlife (We had deer and elk in the motorhome park where we were staying) and there are hundreds of places you can hike and enjoy its tranquility.
So yes, we did do what we set out to do on this trip! We found our little piece of heaven in Estes Park, Co. So now you are wondering why we are still going back to Alaska? That cold land that we left in our rear view mirror 6 months ago. Well those of you that have kids will understand, that sometimes parents do crazy things for there kids. So mark this up to one of those times. Even though it is the place we (Heidi and myself) were looking for, we have found that our kids do not share our dream at this point in time. Since we are a family that works together we are respecting their desire to return to Wasilla, Alaska. Also lets face it, we (Heidi and myself) do miss some things also, our friends being the main thing. So not everything is bad when contemplating our return home.
Also while in Estes Park my Aunt Joyce came up to see us from Colorado Springs. It was nice to see her and spend some time with her. The last time we had seen her was a few years ago. So it was great to have a couple of days with her.
So as we left Estes Park in our rear view mirror after 5 days, there was some sadness about leaving our piece of heaven behind but at the same time we were looking forward to the adventures yet to come, including the journey home.
Next we headed to Grand Junction, Co. to see my sister Lizz and her family. On the way we stopped at Water World, a water park in Denver. Kevin and me had a blast hitting every ride we could. After a day of playing in the water we continued across the state and arrived at 11:00pm in Grand Junction. Along the way we went through a bunch of tunnels, which Tristan got a real kick out of. Each tunnel we went through we had to hold our breath until we got through the tunnel. On one I about passed out as it was over a mile long. That would have been a real good one trying to explain to the police why I wrecked the motorhome. "Well it was like this sir. My son wanted me to hold my breath going through the tunnel and the next thing I know I passed out and wrecked!............................................. Here's my sign." :)
While in Grand Junction we went to Utah to the Arches National Park in Moab. A very cool place but the day we were there it was 100*F out so we did not do much hiking. In Grand Junction we also found an outdoor public pool that we all enjoyed, as the temp both days we went to the pool broke 100*F. The heat was great and will be the one thing we miss in Alaska.
While there we also went to the Mesa Monument above Grand Junction. What a sight! The sun was setting and the red rocks were gleaming in the setting sun. What a sunset! Tristan was in his element climbing on all of the rocks and we got some real good pictures. The next night we all went to the local rodeo in Fruita. When we first got there Tristan and Calista were bored with it but by the time we left we had to coax them out of there. Another new experience that they loved.
We left on wednesday morning for Mount Rushmore and after two days of driving we arrived! On the way we were bored out of our minds by all the wide flat open land called Wyoming. No wonder only 490,000 people live there.....YUK! It was as bad as Kansas in my mind. I know for sure that I'm not a flat lander.
Once we hit the Black Hills in South Dakota things started to change. More trees, hills and rocks. Then we saw the Crazy horse rock carving which is a neat thing but is unfinished at this time. Then onto Mt. Rushmore which was very cool. What an accomplishment! Something everyone should see with their own eyes.
When we left Rushmore we headed to Rapid City, where we are parked right now at John and Karen Buxcel's. The kids are having a blast playing with their kids and it has been nice for Heidi and myself to be able to visit and have some down time to relax. To top it off they like good coffee too! YES! It is so good to be on the west side of the USA!
So we will be here a few days before we head onto Montana and then home to Alaska. I hear the boss calling for the computer so this job is done for now! :)