New Mexico back road

U.S. 87 traveling toward Amarillo.

While traveling from Colorado to Amarillo, Texas, we were never short of something interesting along the route.   Interstate 25 was picturesque and intriguing, and then we took U.S. 87.  

I could imagine the area filled with prehistoric creation combined with volcanoes in this area.  

Another thought occurred too.  Is this part of the terrain where monstrous cloud systems form, creating super cells and major tornadoes heading east?  That was certainly on my mind.  It didn’t help that occasional signs with warning lights warned motorists of potential high winds crossing the roads.

As we approached a dark image ahead we first thought it was part of a mountain range – BUT, we soon learned it was a large cloud.  Should we turn around? 

No, we would continue and see what it was about.  

While we didn’t see lightning I was still apprehensive about continuing through this cloud.  

Well, we didn’t even encounter rain until farther along toward Texas – just a lot of gray cloud cover.  

So, when things seem dark and scary as we face them, unless there is real danger we should continue pursuing our destination.  Sometimes the threat is not as ominous as we initially think.  

I thought it was neat to see the long trains on each side of U.S. 87 – sometimes on the left and sometimes on the right.  Here is a little video of the ride at certain segments.  

Traveling along U.S. 87 in New Mexico from Colorado toward Amarillo.  

Blessings along the Way!

Ron

Stand the test of time

Rocks that tell the tale of time.

As I look at these images over and over again,

I can’t help but wonder what has passed by through the ages.

Rocks of old, pinnacles and spires – formations;

Taking untold years of change and erosion,

From the affects of the sun, rain and water – life.

But they stand, albeit weathering that which would take it down;

Representing a part of our own lives, and how we can endure.

When the affects of life take their toll and we wonder how we’ll go,

But we’ll endure with God’s help as He preserves our being,

When we have our trust in Him – 

This I know.  

National Park Service image display, edited for clarity

According to geologists and the U.S. National Park Service:

Morrison Formation, Jurassic (bottom left of photo) – Picture herds of dinosaurs grazing alongside streams; turtles and crocodiles slip unnoticed in an out of the water; termites scurry in and out of underground nests.

Dakota Sandstone, Cretaceous (next level up) – This cliff band was formed from warm river valley habitats; fossils of lush flowering plants are trees are found here.

Mancos Shale, Cretaceous – Fantastic creatures lurked in the ancient waters of a broad inland sea that deposited this shale layer; ocean waters covered Colorado.

West Elk Breccia, Tertiary – A mud flow from the West Elk Volcano that froze in time.

Blue Mesa Tuff, Tertiary (top right of photo) – Cemented ash from towering volcanoes once found near the present day San Juan Mountains. 

Pancake mountains?
National Park Service image display, edited for clarity

The Dillon Pinnacles are an example of the many spires found in the Curecanti National Forest, Colorado.  You can tell how the wind, rain and ice carved away at the landscape.  This process happens everywhere but how does the rock at this area form pinnacles? 

When the erosive forces hit the hillside, the underlying weaker rock wears away rapidly.  The more resistant tuff forms a cap of rock on top.  The cap rock helps protect some of the rock underneath while the surrounding rock erodes more quickly.  Thus, a spire or pinnacle forms.  Eventually the cap (tuff) erodes like many of the pinnacles in this area.  (U.S. National Park Service)

Hiking information in this area can be found at https://www.nps.gov/cure/planyourvisit/hiking.htm.

Blessings and love along the way!

Ron

Aspens and life

Aspen trees glowed as we traveled through Kebler Pass 

Come!  Let’s travel a little distance along the Kebler Pass in the Colorado Rockies.  The Pass connects Crested Butte to Paonia to the west.

Kebler Pass is a terrific high-mountain pass and is a gorgeous seasonal shortcut to Aspen, Colorado.  

The pass summits at 10,007 feet above sea level, passing through the Gunnison National Forest.  It’s probably best know as one of the premiere spots to be blown away by the fall aspens.  It’s home to one of the largest aspen groves in the United States, situated in the Elk Mountains. https://www.uncovercolorado.com/scenic-drives/kebler-pass/

 
Aspen trees glisten in the breeze.

As I looked at these photos and thought about Thanksgiving in the U.S.A., I couldn’t help but begin writing out my personal thoughts.  I trust it is okay with you, if you choose to read them.   

As we see the beauty that rises up and around, beholding life that God has provided – even the air that we breath, the sun, the trees.

We are all special, just as we behold the Aspen in the beauty of the Rockies.

Can we say to this tree you are more important than the other?

Can we say to the leaf, glowing with brilliant, gold color that you are more beautiful than the green leaf that has not adjusted for the pursuing winter?

Can we say to the leaves that glisten and shine that you are more important than the ones that do not gather attention of the passer-by? 

The air moves and causes disturbance of the stillness; leaves move and sway with the direction they were moved, like an orchestration of love and beauty.

They enjoy life and fulfill their calling, adjusting their color, falling, providing cover and support, foundation for some of creation.

They yield as the cold gathers and the whiteness from the sky causes a new glisten – and they are renewed when the time is right.

I am thankful for the simple things of life. 

Is one day sufficient to be thankful for all that is around?

Family, friends, life, air, freedom, sustenance as energy for the shell that is home to my inner being, my soul.

I am thankful for life and the abundance of it – physical, mental and spiritual; for God who loves us and desires for us to see his beauty around; 

That He draws us to know of His eternal plan – and that His love surpasses all understanding.

Let’s listen to each other, love each other, be thankful for life and all that is offered. 

Being thankful is not for just one day of the year or even a month.

Recognize all that is around us – living each day – loving each day – caring each day,

Knowing that we are all different and created special for this moment.  

Blessings along the way!

Ron

Beauty among thorns

Cactus near SalidaHave you ever wondered as you look at a cactus,

Staying at arms link to prevent the prickly touch.

How they flourish in the drought and void

As they grow they don’t need much.

But how do the flowers adorn the plant?

The beauty among the instrument of pain.

Yet they grown and the beauty they present

They don’t let the thorns overcome their plan

To attract those passing by to stop and look,

Regardless of the thorns that try to overcome.

Life is full of thorns along the way,

Don’t focus on their intent of pain

But keep an eye for the beauty within.

As the flowers grow brighter when receiving the rain.

 

Blessings along the way!

Ron

 

Canon City characters

Canon City wall art

While traveling through Canon City, Colorado, we just happened upon a couple of places I thought would be appropriate for today, October 31.

Canon City wall art - close-up“The Coolest Store in the Universe” caught my attention as we passed by.  I would have liked stopping to check out the store but we didn’t.  Now, I wish we had.  It’s named for mountain wookies and you can gather more information at their website:  http://mountainwookies.com.

Canon City is a nice town as one travels through the Rocky Mountain area.  I readily noticed some of the local culture influence, which I’ll share in my next post.

One of the back areas just off of the main stretch on U.S. 50 also caught my attention.  I just had to turn around to check out the old train cars.

Canon City inactive train-3

Canon City inactive train-1

Canon City inactive train-4

Canon City inactive train-2

Canon City inactive train-2a

Long sit the trains of yesteryear,

Silence now, laughter and chatter cease.

They rocked and rolled, along the track they roamed,

Where they went is mostly unknown.

Unless you talk with those of the past,

Asking them about their journey,

What they saw and what they heard,

But – wait – they are gone and only the remnants remain.

The busted windows for the wind and rain,

The elements of the earth remain.

They become pieces of art for others to behold,

Although we may not know what new stories are told.

But we still enjoy the relics that may not last,

They remain in our minds and some reminders of the past.

Blessings along the way!

Ron

Scenes along the way

Highway toward Canon City-1Don’t you just love the open highway?  That’s my thought traveling toward Canon City, Colorado.  I’m glad you are riding along with us during our recent journey. We will continue traveling in Colorado and will stay a little while at Crested Butte.  We’ll then travel back south into New Mexico, Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama and Florida.  Stay with me!

Here are some little images as you look out the window.

Highway toward Canon City-2

Highway toward Canon City-3

Highway toward Canon City-4

 

Where do you want to go,                                                                                                                    As we travel along.                                                                                                                                And behold the beauty,                                                                                                                          Of life itself, of earth and stone.

I’m glad you’re here,                                                                                                                            To share your thoughts;                                                                                                                      It won’t be long                                                                                                                              Before we make another stop.

We won’t stay long just so you’ll know,                                                                                  Because we have places to see and more travel to go.

It’s sort of like a journey in life,                                                                                                          As we travel along;                                                                                                                                We’ll make some stops,                                                                                                                          Regroup, rest and recharge.

Life is a journey – we behold its beauty,                                                                                            But we can only rest for the moment, as life moves on.

Highway toward Canon City-5

Blessings along the way!

Ron

Mountaintop

 

  1. Pikes Peak below summit 4
    View from the back of the gift shop just below the summit (peak) at more than 11,000 feet elevation.  Travelers to the summit take the bus due to construction.   

Reach for the mountaintop,

Even though breath is labored and you breathe in deep.

For I’m from a lower plain, not accustomed to the steep.

The head is a little light, and I take it slow,

But I behold the wonderful beauty that’s set above.

Pikes Peak summit area from gift shop-2Where do you go once the peak you reached?

Can you go higher, or down in retreat?

Pikes Peak summit area from gift shop
Image behind the gift shop just below the summit.

IMG_7481
Pikes Peak gift shop and restaurant just below the summit.

Pikes Peak below summit

IMG_7477
Image behind the gift shop looking upward to the summit area.

Pikes Peak summit area from gift shop-3
Image behind the gift shop just below the summit.  I wonder how many would be tempted to climb these rocks?

Pikes Peak summit area from gift shop- no scrambling
Image behind the gift shop just below the summit.  

Pikes Peak summit area from gift shop-4At Pikes Peak the choice is clear,

Downward I travel – beauty still around,

Pikes Peak summit area from gift shop-5Of the trees, the lake, the rocks and life.

pikes peak lake
The summit trip was cut short due to weather – and snow beginning; hence no photos from the summit itself.  

Pikes Peak leaving signI’m glad I had this mountaintop trip,

Instead of looking above from below,

Wondering what it would look like, or be,

Of the experience that one loves.

Pursue your mountaintop experience – physical, mental and spiritual.

Blessings!

Ron

Pikes Peak Info – Thoughtco.com

Elevation: 14,115 feet (4,302 meters)

Prominence: 5,510 feet (1,679 meters)

Location: Front Range, Colorado

Coordinates: 38.83333 N /  -105.03333 W

Map: USGS topographic map 7.5 minute Pikes Peak

First Known Ascent: Dr. Edwin James and 2 others, July 14, 1820.

Ute Indian Name

The Tabeguache Band of the Ute Indians, who often camped in the valleys below the mountain, called it Tava or “Sun.” Tabeguache means “People of the Sun Mountain.” The Arapaho Indians from northern Colorado called the great peak heey-otoyoo’, which means “long mountain.”

Named for Zebulon Pike

Pikes Peak is named for explorer Zebulon Pike, who described the mountain on an expedition in 1806 to determine the southern boundary of the newly acquired Louisiana Purchase. Pike, naming the mountain Grand Peak, attempted to climb it from the south but deep November snows thwarted his summit bid. The early Spanish explorers called it El Capitan or The Captain for its dominance of southern Colorado’s landscape.

First Known Ascent in 1920

The first recorded ascent was by Dr. Edwin James, a botanist on Major Stephen H. Long’s expedition, along with two others on July 14, 1820. James’ party set a forest fire on the way down, scorching thousands of acres. Major Long named the peak for Dr. James, but trappers and mountain men continued to call it Pikes Peak.

First Woman to Climb in 1858

Julia Archibald Holmes was the first recorded woman to climb Pikes Peak with her ascent on August 5, 1858.

She was also the first woman to climb a Fourteener in Colorado. No other woman accomplished that feat for 23 years. Read Julia Archibald Holmes: First Woman to Climb Pikes Peak for the complete story about her landmark ascent.

Most Visited High Mountain in the USA

Pikes Peak is the most visited high mountain in the United States, with over 500,000 people reaching the summit by hiking, climbing, driving, or cog railway.

Most drive up the paved 19-mile-long Pikes Peak Highway, which starts from Cascade in Ute Pass and winds up to the peak’s flat summit. The Pikes Peak Cog Railway finished in 1891, carries passengers 8.9 miles from Manitou Springs to the summit.

Pikes Peak Marathon

The Pikes Peak Marathon, a grueling test of running endurance, ascends 26 miles up and down Barr Trail every August. The day before the round-trip event is a one-way 13-mile race to the summit.

“America the Beautiful” Song

In 1893 schoolteacher Katherine Lee Bates was so inspired by the view atop Pikes Peak that she wrote “America the Beautiful,” the unofficial hymn of the United States.

Pikes Peak or Bust!

”Pikes Peak or Bust” was the slogan of the 1858/1859 gold rush to the diggings west of today’s Denver near Central City. The slogan was painted on the sides of covered wagons. Yee-Haw!

https://www.thoughtco.com/pikes-peak-31st-highest-mountain-in-colorado-755729