Monday, June 18, 2018

No internet!

How life had changed! We have been RVing for30 years and until recently, we rarely had internet access. We most often stayed in state parks and forest service campgrounds. When we stayed in commercial campgrounds, to get our email we had to go to the office or the office porch to plug into an outlet on the pay phone or be close enough to use their WiFi. Once in Alaska we even used the fax line in the harbor master's office. In Prince George, British Columbia, they gave us a suitcase which supposedly gave us internet access. We never got it to work.

We could get our email in these situations. How many of you remember email you could download, then read after you disconnected to the internet? We would compose responses then go online in the park office to send them. Today, we have to be online to read the email and to compose and send the response.

We used a pay phone to call for reservations. Who heard of researching local attractions or hiking trails on line. We called home once a week to find out if everyone was OK.

Today, we are used to internet access almost everywhere we go. We can talk to family and friends day or night and are online in our RV, as we drive down the road—everywhere.

That is, most of the time. For 5 days we are at Rifle Gap State Park. We have not been here before but it is great—huge sites, good views, full hookups. But we don't have internet or cell phone access. It is Father's Day and we expected a call from our sons to John. Good luck. We can't call each other here in the park. So no one else can reach us, that is for sure.

As we did in years gone by, we will go somewhere each day to check our email and make any phone calls we need to make. How often in the past did I go to the park office where we were volunteering to check our email. One park where we volunteered, the only cell phone access was down by the lake. Another time, it was crossing a bridge over a river as we entered the park. We would stop there and I would call the bank's automated system to check all the checks that had cleared the account. In Montana, we drove into The Dallas several times a week to check the internet and make phone calls.

Ask me if I am nostalgic for days gone by and happy to be repeating the situation. Not on your life! However, we are going to England for 2 months this summer and know that at times we will be in this same situation. At least it is good practice.

We do have TV reception here, but without the internet, would you believe we actually played Gin Rummy this afternoon. And it was fun! I don't think we have done that for 6 years.

Sent from my iPad

Saturday, June 16, 2018

Beauty Going West on I-70

Yesterday we left Grand Lake and drove west on I-70 over Vail Pass and through the Glenwood Canyon. The scenery is wonderful.

A view of Shadow Mountain Reservoir.

Ride the Rockies, a bicycle race held each year over several high mountain passes in Colorado, was in it's last leg.  The riders had spent the night in Grand Lake and were heading down to Granby the Weston US 40 to Kremmling, Highway 9, headed for Silverthorne at I-70.  Unfortunately, that was our route to I-70 so we had to carefully pass at least a couple dozen riders.

A view of what I think is the Gore Range from outside Kremmling.

Islands in Lake Dillon from the interstate.

The green ski trails at Vail Ski Resort.

Then the spectacular Glenwood Canyon along the Colorado River.

One of the tunnels on the canyon route.

Note the 2-level highway here.  Building the 4-lane highway through the canyon took so long, some highway engineers worked their entire career on the road.  They made every effort to preserve the beauty of the canyon as they widened the old 2-lane road to 4 lanes, divided.

And we are seeing the unmistakable sign of the summer travel season--a Cruise America RV.

Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Old Haunts, Old Friends and Family

During our last couple of weeks in the Denver area, we visited old haunts, old friends and family. We drove to Longmont to visit Larry and Betty. Larry and John were Boulder policemen at the same time and we all lived in the same trailer park for a while.

We went to Fort Collins and had lunch with John’s sister Cindy.

We looked around Castle Rock where John grew up and we lived with our 2 sons and operated the funeral home. The funeral home looks good.

Our last day in the Denver area, Eric and Liz, Kylie and John brought dinner to us at Cherry Creek State Park. Leaving family is always the hardest part of our travels.

Then we were off to Grand County where we lived during the first years of John’s ministry. The scenery is stunning.

This is St. Anne’s Catholic Church in Grand Lake. The pastor was gracious enough to allow John’s ordination to be held there in 1987. During the summers we were in Grand County, John conducted a celebration of Holy Eucharist on Wednesdays there. The Catholic priest held their Sunday Granby service in our church in Granby.

Yesterday we hiked the Oahu Trail in Rocky Mountain National Park and today we drove to the top of Trail Ridge road in the park. It is the highest continuous road in the U.S. More great scenery.

Add to all of this, the temperature at 11,837 ft was a cool 61 degrees. In a month, we will be in our home in Arizona. The temperature there today was 108. Ouch.

Friday, June 08, 2018

Unusual sights along the way

There are lots of RVs, made by many manufacturers, modified in many ways. We are familiar with them from our 30 or so years of staying in RV parks and state park campgrounds. But once in a while, we see something new.

This small trailer is cute. In the past we have seen RV gatherings of units that have been restored and decorated by women with a taste for something out of the ordinary. I wonder if this unit has such an owner.

The name on the front of this trailer says "Terry Classic" but we have never seen something like this before so I wonder if it has been modified.

You just know this was once a bus in the city. It might have been one on 16th Street Mall in downtown Denver. Those free shuttles run up and down the pedestrian mall every few minutes. It's pretty long but it would take a lot of work to make it into something comfortable to live in. It did come with a bike rack on the front. Very convenient.

We've seen this bus conversion in both Chatfield State Park and Cherry Creek State Park. We know that either they didn't make reservations until late or didn't make them at all because every 2 days they are parked in a different site. Sometimes even a full park has a few sites available for a couple of days--if you are willing to wait in the registration office each time to see who has cancelled their reservation. This bus has electric but no water or sewer connection. There is always a large bucket by the water hookup so they can fill a container whenever they need it. I guess this is boondocking with electricity.

We had never seen a van that looked like this one. We don't know if it is homemade or some new manufacturer.

This teardrop looks like it is homemade. The black top is strung on like a well-secured tarp. It is really small.

Not all unusual sightings are RVs. This Jeep is owned either by a talented woman or a man with a girlfriend/wife who likes to crochet.

Thursday, May 31, 2018

Phantom Canyon--Beautiful but awful

The shortest route from Canon City to Victor is driving up Phantom Canyon. Perhaps that is why the railroad carved out it's route through the canyon in 1894. It is not, however, the fastest route. The trip was just under 20 miles, creeping along the gravel road with lots of washboard sections. We climbed 4,000 feet in that 20 miles and it took us over 2 hours. The scenery made the trip worth it, but we said, "Never again."

My mother grew up in Victor and nearby Goldfield, graduating from high school there in 1932. I have been to Victor a number of times over the years. I think this is only the second time we have gone through Phantom Canyon. Victor and Goldfield are in what is called the Cripple Creek Mining District. Gold isn't found on level, soft ground unless it has traveled there by stream from higher altitudes. My grandfather was a gold miner in Victor.

The canyon walls are steep and rocky.

Since it is May, the trees have leafed out and the ground cover is green.  I was sitting in the back seat of the truck and caught a few pictures of the sideview mirror as well as the scenery.

This one-way tunnel shows the hard rock the mountain is made of. The tunnel isn't long but if we had met another vehicle, someone would have had to back up.  Even on the open road, there often was not space to pass another car or truck.

This is the way Colorado mountain sides should look, in my opinion.  Thankfully, there are many better roads to view them from.

This was probably our best mountain excursion for the summer. Soon we will return to lower altitudes and warmer temperatures--at least until we fly to England.

Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Visiting With Family

Sunday, on our last day in Canon City, after attending worship at Christ Church, we had lunch with many members of our family.  We gathered at John Abbott's house for burgers.  Other family members brought salads and condiments.  We took pictures of many of those who came. 

 John and Andy


Tim and Todd

Jarid and Tim

Devin, Jarid, Gabe and Andy

John Abbott and Kim.

There were others there, too, but both of us became so involved in talking to people we stopped taking pictures. Sorry, Mike, Megan, Vicki, Jordan and any other folks we missed getting photos of.

Monday, May 28, 2018

Honoring Family Who Have Died

We spent four days in Canon City which put us near where numerous family members have died, John's parents, his sister Kendal, our sister-in-law Diane, as well as my grandfather who is buried in Victor, a town just under 30 miles away from Canon City--if you take a really washboard, curving road through Phantom Canyon. (More about the drive and Victor in another post.)

My grandfather's grave is located in the Sunnyside Cemetery outside Victor, in the Elks Rest section.

The mountain cemetery has no perpetual care.  /weeds and grass grow where they will.  I am the oldest living relative and only relative living anywhere nearby and we hadn't been to the grave for 5 years.  The whole grave looked like the ground you see here around the headstone.

Friday John and I and our brother-in-law John Abbott drove to the cemetery and the two men used a shovel and a rake to clean the grave. Before leaving John's house we had picked peony flowers and I put some on the newly-cleaned grave.

The next day we met John's brother Tim and his daughter Megan at Mountain Vale Cemetery where Tim and John's parents, Tim's wife Diane and John Abbott's sister-in-law are entombed and his parents are buried. Megan helped with some of the work decorating with more peonies.

Next we were off to nearby Lakeside Cemetery where John Abbott's aunt and uncle are buried.

Our last stop was at Christ Episcopal Church in Canon City where John's sister Kendal's cremains were placed in the columbarium in January.