|s/y Nine of Cups
Colorado USA ... Rocky Mountain High
Area: 104,100 sq mi
(8th largest in the US)
Population: ~5 million (est 2009)
High Point: Mt. Elbert, 14,433 feet
Low Point: Arkansas River, 3,315 feet
State Nickname: Centennial State, Colorful
State Flower: Rocky Mountain Columbine
State Bird: Lark bunting
Colorado was the 38th state in the USA and entered
the union on August 1, 1876, centennial year of the
USA, hence its state nickname.
|The word Colorado is
Spanish for the "color
red," and refers to the
River. The Arkansas,
Rio Grande and Platte
Rivers also flow
through the state.
|In order to accommodate our schedule
and everyone else's vacation schedules,
we planned to continue cross country to
the northeast coast to visit Marcie's
Mom and sister and family and then
return to Colorado. So off we went, but
we'll return to Colorado soon. In the
meantime, next stop...Nebraska!
|There's always that special feeling when you
enter "home territory" and that's how we felt
when we crossed the state line into Colorado.
|Sunflowers and prairie dog towns
lined the highway.
|Talk about feeling at home...where else
in the world would you see this sign?
|Colorado National Monument, Colorado - 39N10.26 / 108W73.51
|We stayed our first Colorado night in Grand
Junction and stopped at the Colorado National
Monument to celebrate the 4th of July.
|Left, climbers ascended the sheer cliffs of
Independence Rock to raise the US flag for
Independence Day. Above, a tunnel through
sandstone along the scenic drive through the park.
|Diploid checkered lizard
|Once again, the sandstone rock
formations were awesome.
|Juniper titmouse watches us picnic.
|Denver, Colorado - 39N66.57 / 104W79.06
|Our visit to Denver was a busy, busy time,
mostly catching up with relatives and friends.
We had the chance to visit with grandkids
on several occasions. All are getting taller
and older...go figure... and we barely
recognized them. Our excursions included
visits to Castlewood Canyon State Park,
the Denver Zoo (world class!), Broomfield
Park, the Wildlife Sanctuary, Rocky
Mountain Arsenal Nature Reserve
(wow...what a change that is!) and a private
concert with Amy Brinkman-Davis.
|We used to take our kids here when they were
young and now we're taking our grandkids. Oh my!
|David's Dad helped to build the original
bridge here as part of the CCC effort.
|Grandson, Coleman (8), is sporting
quite the mohawk.
|The local chipmunks made an appearance.
The boys took cameras and it found it quite a
challenge catching shots of these little guys.
|Fun at a Broomfield park with Brad's family...Cat
(his wife), Jacob, Kaileah & Danielle.
|At the large animal Wildlife Sanctuary, we
watched a tiger take a cool bath.
|We were fortunate enough to be in town
when Amy Brinkman-Davis was giving a
private concert. Above, she's intense during a
particularly difficult piece.
|Having been at her birth, it was astounding
to see her all grown up, self-assured and so
very accomplished in her music. The
thumbs-up came after a "clean run".
|After the concert, proud mom, Marlys,
said a few words as Amy relaxed for the
first time all evening.
|The Rocky Mountain Arsenal, previously a
chemical weapons manufacturing facility, as its
name suggests, is now a wildlife reserve with a
herd of buffalo (American bison) in residence.
|Taylor and Cole enjoyed exploring what
the visitor center had to offer.
|This 12,500-acre expanse of short grass
prairie has survived the test of time and
transitioned from farmland, to war-time
manufacturing site, to wildlife sanctuary.
Above, mule deer and fawn graze.
|Interesting Colorado trivia...
|The Colorado Rockies are part of the
North American Cordillera, which
stretches 3,000 miles from Alaska, through
western Canada and the United States,
into northern Mexico. The centerpieces of
this dramatic uplift are the peaks over
14,000', or "Fourteeners", as they are
affectionately referred to by climbers.
There are 52 Fourteeners in Colorado.
David has climbed 32 of them and our son,
Brennan, has bagged 50.
|We continued on towards Denver and
detoured just a little to go over Loveland Pass.
|Manmade Lake Dillon and its little lake marina.
|A visit with our nephew, Gordo, allowed
us a chance to meet our grand-niece, Ava.