Sunday, July 31, 2016

Week Two in Colorado Springs

Saturday was a fairly laid back day.  Kara had to check out of her cabin by 11::00 so they came to our campsite since their flight was at 7:00 out of Denver.  They left about 1:30 to have lunch on the way.  Denver is a big airport, they needed to return the car and then there is security but they all do have pre-check so that helps.  She texted me when they were at the gate.  I know they arrived safely because she posted they were on the ground but another plane was in their gate delaying their disembarking!  At midnight this is really irksome!

We all went to the Cathedral downtown to Mass at 4:00.  There are a lot of homeless people both young and old here in Colorado Springs - out by our campground, in Manitou Springs, in downtown you see people carrying their belongings in bags of all sorts.  It makes me wonder if their marijuana laws are contributing to this or is it just the economy.  We were asked to sign a petition to get rid of the election caucuses. I said we didn't live in CO but I did understand their position.  No one has bothered us or been impolite, there are just a lot of them.

We went to an upscale Italian restaurant in town and it was very good.  I ordered the gnocchi and it was the best I have ever had, light and fluffy versus others I have eaten which can be very heavy but still good.

We walked around the restaurant block in town before heading home which was only one exit away. We once again enjoyed our convenient location.  Another game of Mexican Train was played and the scores were the closest ever, all four were between 315 and 324 with Ted being the winner.  Scores now are Ted 4, Tom 3, Donna 1 and Eileen still not on the board but she had a good shot that night.

Tom and Eileen left early for Denver to meet a friend for lunch on Sunday.  We whiled away the day doing three loads of laundry and watching golf.  It is good to sit back and relax on occasion.  We ate some chips and the package was all puffed up from the high altitude.

We had just finished our dinner when Tom and Eileen returned.  We sat outside and watched folks pitch a tent.  This is the first premium site we have parked in where the scenery on the ground is tent camps!  There have been no problems or noise though even when an entire motorcycle group heading to Sturgis spent the night.  

We all went over our next month and how to divide the time.  This week we are seeing friends from Mission, TX; Gus and Melissa from Troy, MI who are in Fort Collins to see their first granddaughter after 3 sons and 5 grandsons; and Lauren and Paul, old neighbors from DeBary, FL when all of us lived there.  They moved to Denver about the time we moved to Texas.  Busy, busy week.

Monday we messed for an hour and a half setting up reservations for our next week until Labor Day.  We had to do some "number of days" adjustments but I think we are all set.  Afterwards we left for Cripple Creek to visit the Mollie Kathleen gold mine,

Mrs. Gortner was the first woman to have a gold claim in her own name.

View of Cripple Creek from the gold mine entrance.  It was a beautiful drive to Cripple Creek.  However, casinos are about the only thing there plus a few small museums.

The wench that would lower us into the mine.

The cage that held six of us!

It was chilly down there and we had all brought jackets.

Our guide was excellent and very knowledgeable. She is explaining the different methods of drilling holes over the years.

This is hard to see but the 32 hole pattern is filled here with dynamite (not real) and she explained the sequence they would go off in to create a hole and a neat pile of debris that would then be taken away.  

Upmining.  Because this is hard rock they were able to mine from above without fear of collapse.

This photo is looking up.

Equipment changes and upgrades were evident all along the way.

A "ride" through a connector tunnel to the next mining site.  Tom and Eileen in their jackets and hard hats.

What the boss would ride between sites.  It was easy to look busy because you would always know he was coming.  Jack Dempsey, the boxer, was fired from three different mines as a tenderfoot because he didn't have the stamina to keep up with the loading of rocks.

When it was time to leave, our guide rang the bell as indicated to have the cage sent from above ground to the 10th level to pick us up.  These signals are still used today.

We went into town and ate lunch at a casino that took up an entire city block.  We drove around and came across wild burros that roam the streets looking for handouts.  

After we arrived home, Tom realized his wedding ring was gone.  They were looking all over the place and then thought maybe he had left it at the lunch table if he had removed it to put sanitizer on his hands.  While I was looking for their phone number, Ted said my prayer "Good St. Anthony look around.  Something's lost and must be found."  He added "It is Tom's ring.  Show me where it is."  With that he looked down at the ground which is all pinkish large gravel, and there was the ring! 

You may think my prayer is foolish but I can't tell you how many things I have found after saying it and believing.  My sister-in-law found the large diamond from her wedding ring on her pantry shelf after she asked me to pray.  In response you are asked to give money for bread for the poor.  I told Eileen she needed to find a "poor box" at a church and put money in.  Since our church is St. Anthony's we have envelopes specifically for St. Anthony's Bread and it is used at our food pantry.  I use a lot of them since I am so good at putting things in a really good place and then can't remember where that is.  It amazes me how a thought pops into my head after saying my prayer and I can go right to whatever I am looking for.

We played Mexican Train and Ted won again!  He is in the lead.  Tom and Eileen's friend asked if that wasn't a racist name for a game - but we didn't name it!  I am starting to worry about French fries and French toast.

Friday, July 29, 2016

End of the Kids' Week

After the Ghost Museum we went to Pizza Hut for dinner.  They have gluten free pizza and the Pizza Hut in Troy closed so the kids were excited to eat there.  While eating we decided to see if we could get tickets to see Donald Trump the next day here in Colorado Springs.  We were successful and we then took our phones to UPS to have the tickets printed out.

Thursday night we all went back over to Garden of the Gods park so the kids could climb some more.  We all enjoy the scenery so much.  There is something new to see each time we go there.  First thing was three young bucks with velvet on their antlers.  This is a bit blurry though.

Next, there were rock climbers everywhere and we saw a lady about six months pregnant climbing a very tall, sheer rock!

The four of us with our feet on the ground.

And our own resident climber, Morgan.

When we came home and settled in to watch the news, they reported a terrible hailstorm had hit Colorado Springs and did lots of damage and caused flooding.  We didn't get any of it so were very lucky.

Friday morning the four fellows went shooting.  Sam did great with the .22 rifle.

He did equally as well with my .22 Beretta but balked at the kick of Ted's 9 mm and chose not to shoot more than the two trial shots.  I think they all had a good time.  On the way back they went past the college where Trump was appearing.  

They had opened the doors at 11:00 and people were still wrapped around the building trying to get in at noon.  They stopped someone who said a second room was being opened but viewing would be on a monitor.  If you watched, you heard Trump say he was going to the other room to speak to the folks the Fire Marshall wouldn't let in.  So far all our time and trouble, we saw it on TV but he didn't say much!

Kara and Morgan went horseback riding so we rode over to see them off.  The one thing I will say for this park is that it has been really convenient to most everything.  

When they returned I went into Manitou Springs with Kara, Bill and Morgan.  Morgan was doing her souvenir shopping and bought a wooden flute and a piece of amethyst.  Sam had stayed with Ted and when we returned they were just coming back from Wendy's. Tom and Eileen had been bike riding so they joined Kara's family and went back to the park.  We stayed behind.

Tomorrow the kids go home and on Sunday Tom and Eileen are going to Denver to visit a friend.  It will be a nice break and time to get caught up on laundry and stuff.

Ghost Town

Ted spent a good deal of time Thursday morning trying to get some new filters for his CPAP machine.  They are literally small packets way less than the size of those packets you find in purses and shoes to keep moisture out.  It took about three hours.  He went to four places before anyone would sell these filters without a prescription.  He has used a CPAP machine for 23 years!  We will order them online before leaving home from now on.  We can legally buy marijuana on any corner in this city but God forbid we need an opaque square inch of paper!

We got a late start but were going close by to a Ghost Town.  It is housed in an historic train roundhouse.  It was the exact place Teddy Roosevelt's train stopped on his visit to the area.  The other half of the roundhouse is a medical clinic.  A street divides the two.

Inside we found a whole town that was very authentic in its duplication.  We had a good time telling the kids what different things were used for. My first thing to notice was a Procter & Gamble Lenox soap box.  I loved working for that company in Cincinnati.  It also gave Kara a chance to explain my Christmas stable was made by their great grandfather from a similar wooden box that originally contained Werk Tag Soap. 

The General Store contained a bit of everything.

This was their display window showing hats and shoes.

Next was a shooting gallery and most of us took a turn.  Sam is a great shot!  I didn't do badly myself.  Morgan, Kara and Eileen didn't do as well.

Ted always enjoys the newspaper business.  He said this was an old Washington press and explained typesetting and the old press operation to everyone.

Sam learned his great-great-great grandma Shinkle had this type of phone on her farm in Connersville, Indiana.

Every town had a livery stable.

There was usually a boarding house for people to rent a room in.  This was the "front room."

The Wells Fargo bank plus telegraph office.  

And no town is complete without a bar!

A Cincinnati beer from our childhood.

A Detroit beer.  I do remember they survived Prohibition by making Stroh's ice cream.  

This was the largest rack I have ever seen.

I didn't end up IN jail this time, it was already occupied.  

The firehouse.

Ted and Tom inspecting the stagecoaches.

Next was panning for gold.  We found several nuggets of "fools' gold."  Ted had it put into a small bag for Morgan.

The Old House showed how a wealthy family would live.

They even had an inside bathroom.

I was impressed with the quality and quantity of things to observe.  Having the kids along to explain things to made it even more special.