Sunday, June 10, 2012

Rocky Mountain High

Colorado . . .

Back to blue skies.  Back to green grass.  Back to mountains.

Back to civilization.  Or so we thought . . .

I have to mention that there is one part about Colorado that's not so civilized.  There's sometimes that you just want a good brew.  We got to Colorado Springs and it was hot. Exclamation point hot.  We needed dinner and something to drink.  There was a Wallmart right across from the show venue; note that we don't usually frequent Wallmart, but in a strange town you sometimes have to go with what you can find.

I don't care for that p*ss-colored-watered-down-poor-excuse-for-a-beer Coors Lite.  Or Bud.  I like things like Black Butte Porter.   Or even Guinness.  But all they had a the Wallmart was bad beer.  And No Wine, either!  This is a serious lack.  It wasn't until Sunday when we stopped at a liquor store in the town of Divide  that someone explained the facts of Colorado life to us.  Grocery stores can sell only 3.2% beer.  Real stuff and wine is sequestered in liquor stores.  What the heck, Colorado?  We thought that Oregon had backward laws (and does, compared to California).

We suffered through the heat and the dust and the dirt in what was a pretty awful show grounds at an equestrian park, then were quite ready to get on our way for the final week of our trip.

Just out of Colorado Springs, in the area that burned just a short time after.  A beautiful area and my heart goes out to all those who lost their homes. 

It didn't take us long to reach the Top of the World (or so it felt). 

 Highway 24 follows the Arkansas River (#11 for the trip) to its source.

 Old mining towns dot the river's banks.

The largest of the towns was Leadville.  Full of beautiful old buildings.

One final mining town, then over the divide.

 It starts to feel more like "home".

Back on the Pacific side, the Eagle River (#12)  soon meets the Colorado on I-70.