Senior's Trip to Colorado

It was past the prime of my life, but I married really well.  Dianne and her late husband, Gary Affolter, raised two great kids.  They are both at the pinnacle of their respective medical careers and totally self sufficient.  Bryan is a nurse anesthetist for a surgery group in Tennessee, and Brittany is a nurse practitioner for a surgical group in Arkansas.

For this year's family reunion, they picked a large, historical farm house in Salida, Colorado.  It was built in 1892 with 5 bedrooms and 6 bathrooms in order to house the farm workers who worked the land.  Happily, we didn't work any of the land.

Historic farm house.
The living area of the farmhouse.

Dianne and I made our way there from Colcord, OK, a distance of about 600 miles.  We arrived in Canyon City, Colorado on highway US 50, and stopped at the Royal Gorge, which is a canyon of the Arkansas River.  

The general admission ticket of $32 will get you a walk across the bridge and a gondola ride across the canyon.  A zip line across the canyon is also available for an additional fee of $30.  If the wind is excessive, they close the gondola and zip line.  

The walking bridge across the canyon represents a drop of some 1250 feet or 80 meters down to the Arkansas River.  

The walking bridge.
Gondola arriving for exchanging passengers.
Getting ready to depart across the canyon.
The walking bridge view from the gondola.
Arkansas River view from the gondola.

From Canyon City and the Royal Gorge, we went directly to Salida and checked in to the rental house. as pictured above.  We rented from Rocky Mountain Jeep Rentals.  They were friendly and helpful and the Jeep was in good condition.  

The Jeep was very useful. I'm grateful we didn't need to use the winch.
On the trail to Boss Lake at 10,000 feet elevation.
We ate our lunches on the shores of this lake (Boss Lake).

The off-roads we traveled (more like trails, actually), were not navigable accept by a Jeep or ATV.  While the scenery was very beautiful, the ride was definitely NOT comfortable.  You must be very careful and attentive, "lest thy head be smitten by part of the Jeep".  The ride was very bumpy and jostling.

A singing creek on the trail to the Continental Divide.
Lush foliage on our way through an Aspen grove.
A beautiful lake surrounded by beetle-killed pine trees near Continental Divide
At the Continental Divide. Water from the western slope flows to the Pacific Ocean, while water from the eastern slope flows to the Gulf of Mexico.
Behind the farmhouse in the late afternoon.

 Afternoon rain showers often form from clear, sunny morning skies.  This approaching thunderstorm is coming from the east, while to the west the skies are clear and  a beautiful blue.

Dianne and I are very grateful we were able to spend time with the kids and extended family.  We certainly would not have been able to participate without their huge contributions.  Hopefully, you, too, can get together with your kids and family and plan a similar adventure.  Why not give it some serious consideration?

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