Tuesday, June 29, 2010

June 28 - Garden of the Gods

After a delicious breakfast at Bon Ton's, we went to the Garden of the Gods and hiked the Gateway Trail out between the rocks.  It was hard to pick out just a few good photos of this gorgeous place on a gorgeous day.  It was 75-80 degrees with low humidity.  What a treat!

June 27 - Pikes Peak UMC

The church building is over 100 years old.  The congregation is small and friendly.  Galen and I went to the Sunday school class before the service and took part in an interesting and lively discussion about sin, repentance, and forgiveness.  The minister was on vacation so one of the lay leaders delivered an excellent message.  We look forward to returning to this church again next Sunday.

June 26 - :-(

We had to squeeze through a narrow gate when we left the Pueblo RV Park and the rig cleared just fine.  Unfortunately, the bike rack and my bike were not so fortunate.  There was only a little scratch left by the rack as it clipped the gate, but my bike is totaled.  We never felt or heard a thing when all this damage was done.  At this point we don't know if it worth buying a new rack and bike or not.

June 23 - Coffee

Yay!  My coffee from Michigan has arrived.  Thanks to the coffee shop in Glen Arbor, MI for the quick service!  The Chocolate Cherry Festival is one of my favorites.  The Lakers Blend (Lake Michigan - not the horrid basketball team) is also quite good!

The bottom photo was taken in Las Animas, CO at Jackie's Java - a coffee shop we stopped in last fall and on our way to Pueblo today.  Jackie remembered us because Galen and I played music in her shop last time we were there.

June 23 - Pueblo Riverwalk

In the process of looking for a farmer's market we discovered that Pueblo has a Riverwalk!  It doesn't compare to San Antonio's Riverwalk, but it is pretty nice.  The market was right on the Riverwalk on a Thursday evening.  I took the rainbow shot on the way home and used a new feature in Photoshop CS5 to easily get rid of the ugly buildings.

June 23 - Kansas to Colorado

Left Lake Scott this morning - one of those white specks in the trees is our RV.  We'd planned to go to Pueblo but had to wait a day for a site so stopped at John Martin Reservoir in Hasty, CO for one night. We've been here before and really liked it because it is so uncrowded. 
We stopped at this cemetery in Hasty to find a geocache on the way out of town.
Our new home in Pueblo, CO.  The folks who were supposed to vacate the site saved for us didn't leave because of a medical problem so we were put in the back by the horse arena.  We really liked it except for the bar noise at the far end of the arena.  We had planned to stay a while but the meeting with Dillon and his family has been changed from Denver to Colorado Springs so we left after a couple of nights.

June 22 - Battle Canyon

We drove back into Battle Canyon today.  This canyon is the where the last battle in Kansas between the USA and Native Americans.  The battle took place in 1878.

June 20 - Scott City UMC

Galen and I went to church and Sunday School at the Methodist Church while Jen and Ken pedaled their way to town.  They arrived shortly after noon and Thelma, on the left, took all of us in this photo plus one other lady to a wonderful chicken buffet lunch.

This is almost the hottest temp our truck has ever registered.  I didn't get a photo when the temp went up to 102 degrees.

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

June 21 - Father's Day Hike

Jen and Galen ready for a belated Father's Day hike.  They looked a lot better before than after thanks to near 100 degree temps.  Smelled better, too.  :-)

June 21 - Sleepy Simon

Jen, Ken, and Simon stayed in our fiver with us last night because the storm left the ground too wet to pitch a tent on.  Simon is most definitely not a morning dog.  We were all up and about but he continued to doze.

June 20 - Father's Day

We spent 1.5 hours on Father's Day afternoon either standing in the men's room (Jen and I wanted to die with our men.) or standing just outside the building until the tornado warning was over.  

Jen and Ken brought cheese, crackers, and root beer to the "party".

These guys waited a bit too long to put their awning up.  Ours went up when the guy came driving around with lights flashing and warned us about a possible tornado.

We found ways to amuse ourselves during lulls in the storm so we wouldn't get too bored.

I admit that I Photoshopped in the lightning on this photo I took, but we actually did see lightning in front of blue sky just like this.  No tornadoes in the park but one was spotted a few miles away and there was a lot of rain, wind and hail along with the thunder and lightning. No damage was done to our "house" or truck.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

June 19 - Lake Scott State Park

This is the view from our front door at Lake Scott State Park.  We are at the end of the row so enjoy an unobstructed view of the lake.  We biked five miles this morning while it was still cool and saw many deer, rabbits, birds, and a couple of big fish in a spring fed pond.  Except for the blistering heat (it is supposed to be about 100 degrees tomorrow) and marginal electricity since a blackout two days ago, it is very pleasant here in this oasis in the prairie.  Scott City, the nearest town, is 12 miles away.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

June 15 - Hutchinson Salt Mine Museum

If you don't mind a two minute ride in this,
you will probably enjoy fascinating tour, especially on a hot day since it is always 68 degrees in the mine and no humidity.  It is a good place to be if there is a tornado and Kansas has more F5 tornadoes than any other state.

June 15 - Mine Storage

The potential for storage in this huge mine became known in 1959 and the mine now houses movies, costumes for movies, and all sorts of other things.  There once was a plan to put nuclear waste in the mine and let the mine seal itself shut but the plan fell through when scientists discovered that it would take 500 years for the mine to close just 1".
Top photo: Tommy Lee Jones wore these shades in the movie "Men In Black" - one of our favorites.
Bottom photo: The Superman costume was worn by Dean Cain in the TV Superman series - 1993-1997.

June 15 - Hutchinson Salt Mine

Our tour of the salt mine did not begin in a comfy elevator with elevator music.  It began in this two layer hoist that rattled and banged down 650' to the mine.

Galen standing next to a huge chunk of salt.  The salt from this mine is not used for table salt, but other mines in the area are.  The salt from this mine is used to make animal feed, salt roads in winter, make ice cream, etc.  The mine covers almost 70 miles and there is enough salt in it to last 2000 more years.

We were allowed to mine our own little bit of salt.

There are all sorts of safety precautions taken.  We each wore a hard hat and carried a little three-pound machine that would allow us to breath for 90 minutes if there was an accident in the mine.  The mine is very clean: No gasses, no dust, and the machine hasn't been used once in 50 years.  But anything made of metal that stays in the mine too long stays forever because it would almost immediately disintegrate in the open air.

June 15 - Little Arkansas River

These photos were taken very near where the road was flooded.  By the way, the name of this river is not pronounced like the state.  After all, we are in Kansas so it is pronounced Are-Kansas instead of Are-Can-Saw.  There is flooding all around the state because of the recent heavy rainfalls.

June 15 - Flooded road

We drove to Bueler, KS to meet Jen and Ken so we could drop off master links for their chains and food for them and for Simon - different foods.  :-)  The road was flooded so we waited to make sure they could get across on their low slung bikes.  Bikers who had just pedaled across stopped to take photos, too.

Monday, June 14, 2010

June 13 - Scenery

A Kansas wheat field.  It is getting close to time to harvest the wheat, but all this rain is coming at a very bad time for wheat farmers.

We saw this scene on the way to Jen and Ken's and stopped to take photos on the way home.  This photo doesn't show it well, but there is a cowboy with his dog, an Indian on horseback, a buffalo, a cow, an eagle, and a bear.

We nearly missed this touching sign that explains the reason for the cowboy scene.

June 13 - Sunday afternoon

We went to see Jen and Ken at their campsite in Hesston, KS, and it looked like this.

We are staying 30 miles away from Hesston at the Kansas State Fairgrounds in Hutchinson, KS  and when we got home it looked like this.

A few hours later, another thunderstorm blew in, just like last night except this time the wind blew harder.  There were 60mph wind gusts rocking our rig.  Jen and Ken's tent has stood up well to all three of the pretty fierce thunderstorms we've experienced in less than a week.  Little Simon doesn't seem to mind them.

June 13 - Hutchinson UMC

We are told there are five Methodist Churches in Hutchinson, but this was the first one.  It was also the first one we found on the internet so it is the one we went to.  We also joined the 50/50 Sunday school class.  I'm not sure why it is called that but it is made of up folks our age and we enjoyed them and the class very much.  This church serves coffee in a lovely carpeted parlor that has a fireplace in it.