Tuesday, August 17, 2010

A trip to remember

It's been a while since my last posting so I'll try to fill in the many blanks of time since then.
My last home-time was good. My Mom came out to visit, we celebrated my sister's birthday and I brought my daughter out with me in the truck for about 5 weeks. My daughter and I spent a couple of days running around in a rental car through the mountains of Colorful Colorado and showed her a few of the places I visited whilst growing up in the Boulder area.
The first day we had the car we spent a good deal of time in East Portal, CO watching, or rather waiting for trains to enter or exit the famous Moffat Tunnel. Upon returning to the truck, we discovered the APU failed and provided no A/C or was charging the batteries. Consequently, the batteries were pretty drained and the battery protector cut them out. But to no avail, the truck wouldn't start. Being tired and nearly 11 PM MDT, we got a room at a nearby motel.
After a good night's rest, we headed out, this time to Winter Park, CO and the west portal of the tunnel. To our surprise, an Amtrak train running 3hrs, 15min late was due so we waited for it. It did eventually come through. Interestingly, where I was standing was looking straight through the bore and I saw the head light far in advance of the train's exit. Pretty cool. I have some video I'll post later when I get it off the camcorder.
We ate lunch at the Cheeky Monk tavern and then headed toward Fall River Pass to the Trail Ridge Store near the top. My daughter was astounded at the views and marveled at the fact there is a distinct line where trees can't grow above on the mountains.
From there we continued on toward Estes Park, CO and took Bear Lake Rd. to where else? Bear Lake. This is one of my favorite places. We took the 2/3 mile walk around it and were just thrilled and awed with the views. The trail has been formerly made a prepared path. Too bad. I liked the rudimentary trail it once was. It felt as if you were further into the wilderness than you were. What a difference 25 years make.
After our visit, we headed down the mountain through Estes Park and found a motel on I-25 in Loveland, CO. After breakfast at Johnson's Corner we headed back to the truck and used the rental to charge the batteries until it could be started. That done, we went to a free tour the Denver Union Station Project had sponsored and got to learn about the history of the station, it's importance in transportation and commerce and what they are doing to revitalize that role today. Very interesting stuff. You can visit their website for information about the project at www.denverunionstation.org.
As I close, I'm now in a truck with a working APU, new batteries, brakes and a load to go pick up as my daughter and I enjoy a final few days together before school starts on the 23rd.

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