Sunday, August 4, 2013

Our Getaway - Part Two

Just as June was ending, my husband and I had a getaway prior to his back surgery.  I wrote about part of that getaway in "Our Getaway - Part One." (Click to read that posting.)  Now, as we are beginning August, this posting I am finally writing is old news, but I did want to share with you some of the places where we traveled on our getaway.

Just looking at the photos I took has actually caused me to long for another getaway.  In the meantime, I will take some refreshment and joy by remembering the beauty we saw as we traveled to some beautiful parts of Colorado.

The Fourth of July is never my favorite time to be on the road.  In fact, I prefer to stay home that weekend or get to my destination before the holiday begins.  Unfortunately, this year, our decision to take a small road trip during the holiday was a last minute decision I insisted on before we faced my husband's surgery.

Thankfully, we found great accommodations in Glenwood Springs despite it being a holiday weekend.  We did not plan on spending time in the pool during the heat of the day on the Fourth of July, and we didn't want to go in and out of tourist shops in town.  Jim wanted to go over to a small town near Glenwood Springs called Carbondale, Colorado because he found that was where the nearest dog park was located.  It had been a long time since I had been to Carbondale, so I was up for the 13 mile drive to find a dog park.

We had even thought of driving on into Aspen for the day.  Aspen is only about an hour from Glenwood and just about an additional 30 miles from Carbondale.  While the prospects of going to Aspen for the day were intriguing, I didn't really want to be limited to where we could go while we were there because we had the dog with us.  So, as we drove towards Carbondale, I pulled out the map and suggested we go to Marble, Colorado.  Jim immediately and incredulously responded with, "No, are you kidding?"  You see there is a story behind this response.  One that will take another blog post.  It involves a wild ride I once wanted to take him on over Schofield Pass.  Google Schofield Pass images for a reason why he did not want to go to Marble with me.  I guess he doesn't trust me.  I assured him that I had a different route to Marble in mind for this trip, so he agreed to take my word for it that he would like my plan.

I'd forgotten how beautiful the drive between Glenwood and Carbondale was.  As Mt. Sopris came into view, I asked him to pull over so I could photograph this beautiful mountain.  As you can see, my selection of spots in which to take a photo was not the best, note the telephone wires, but you get the idea of how beautiful the area is.

As we pulled into Carbondale, we headed towards the dog park.  Boston was ready for a nice run and a refreshing drink of water.  

While Boston romped and ran, I walked down towards the entrance to the park to a community garden that had caught my eye on my way into the dog park. I loved the sign that the gardeners had created.

Can you imagine the joy that gardeners in this spot enjoy?  What a view!  The neighborhood around the garden and the dog park was lush with beautiful yards and flowers because of ditch water that ran through the area.  

After Boston was duly exercised and watered, we took CO 133-S to Redstone, Colorado.    

Once we got into town, which is more like a village than a town, we wished we'd planned our trip better.  (This is the story of our lives!)  Our timing was slightly off.  We headed down Main Street just after the Fourth of July Parade ended.  In fact, some folks might have thought we were part of the parade!  This town would be the perfect place to watch the perfect small town America Fourth of July Parade.  Every tricycle, wagon, child, and dog seemed to be decked out in red, white, and blue.  The town is tiny, so the street is closely bordered by mining era houses that are decorated for the holiday.  Being a mountain town, the flowers were stunning in their profusion and rich hues.  I just could not bring myself to stick my head out of the window of the car to take photos.  Trust me; it was a magical, patriotic place on this day.

We were starving, so we found a place to eat that was dog friendly.

We will return to Redstone, and next time we will plan our trip better.  We hope to catch a tour of the castle there and even perhaps spend the night at the Redstone Inn.  Both of these things have been on 
my bucket list for quite some time.

Just outside of town, one find the interesting and historical coke ovens that were built by the Colorado Fuel and Iron and the coal "coked" by these ovens was transferred by the Denver and Rio Grande Railroad.  Both the CF&I and the D&RGRR figure largely in my personal family history, so I am always fascinated by the history of such places as the coke ovens near Redstone.

After taking a short time to photograph the coke ovens, we needed to go to a place I had been longing to re-visit for a long time:  Marble, Colorado.

I had not been to Marble since my girlhood days.  I don't even remember when I last went there on one of my father's fascinating road trips through Colorado.  If only I had a recorded oral history of his voice as he told us about these places in Colorado.  He had such knowledge of these places, and he told the story of each place in such an interesting way.  I used to love these trips with him.  Now, all those stories are lost somewhere in the recesses of my memory, but I remembered the town, and thankfully, it had not really changed.  It is still a place off the beaten path that is somewhat undiscovered.  It is hard to read the sign, but it states that the population is 85 and the elevation is over 7,000 feet.

Just as I remembered, marble is everywhere.  It almost litters the ground, if marble could litter.  

Naturally, many sculptors live in this area.
 This is a rock solid mail box holder!

The sizes and shapes of the white marble against the blue of the mountains and the green of trees and grasses is a delight to the eye.

As we drove through town, it was hard to believe that in the rest of America crowds where thronging and celebrating.  This was the view that welcomed us as we drove toward a small church in the town.

Here is the perfect setting for a small family wedding the mountains, or for a peaceful Sunday morning service.

We parked the car near the church, and I wandered to side yard.  I found this beautiful sculpture next to the church.
 I could not help but lift my eyes towards the heavens and think of my darling daughter Julie as I sat in this peaceful place surrounded by beauty and peace.  I thought of her in the presence of real angels and rejoiced that she was in a place of peace.

My reflection was soon interrupted by a visitor.

Boston joined me on a marble bench and brought a big smile to my face and gratitude to my heart for this dear canine companion.  It seemed that this was the perfect ending to a perfect day.  Soon, the three of us, Jim, Boston, and I, headed towards Glenwood Springs where Jim and I would enjoy a great evening soak in the hot springs.  


  1. What a wonderful day you all had... I fell totally in love with that little church... GORGEOUS... I love the small towns also---and the ones tucked in the mountains like that have their own character. Amazing to see MARBLE all over the place... Awesome!!!!!

    Glad the THREE of you had a great vacation.


  2. I too prefer to be home for 4th of July but this trip was so worth it!!!!....:)JP

  3. What a delightful trip and how smart to take one pre-surgery. Loved the small towns and that you were almost a parade participant. I was once by accident and just waved and grinned. Confused the watchers.
    Those coke ovens were interesting and glad they haven't been bull dozed.
    Aren't you thoughtful to find a dog park for Boston.

  4. I really enjoyed reading this. I think you must have your fathers gift for storytelling as your voice is so soothing as you tell your story.

  5. You chose some wonderful and historical parts of our state to visit. I'm glad it was such a refreshing trip for you. How fun that Boston got to go along.

  6. Your text and pictures took me back to Colorado! I sure enjoyed it all, and the last picture of you and Boston is wonderful. You sound peaceful and contented, Sally. Thank you for sharing this with me. :-)

  7. Boston knew you needed him at that very minute! Lovely day you had, the three of you. I'd never heard of Marble, CO. Very interesting tour you gave us!

  8. Looks like you saw a lot of great stuff. I really enjoyed the photos ... esp. the last one of the two beauties on the marble bench!

  9. I love this post. The fact that the memories of visiting Marble with your father came rushing back to you touches my heart. He will always be with you.... just like Julie will always be with you.
    I haven't been there nor even heard of it until I read this post, but I want to go there now.
    So happy that you shared these beautiul photos of your trip. I love them.

  10. I really loved feeling like I was a passenger in your road trip, Sally. Having Boston is like having a little grandchild with you on the trip and having to consider his needs and enjoyment. Colorado is so beautiful! One of these days, one of these days. It will have to go on our bucket list for now.

  11. Hi Sally This was a wonderful trip for the three of you. Lovely small towns and interesting text.

  12. I just LOVE that photo of you and Boston! I learned a lot from this post -- I'm so glad you had this opportunity -- and made the time to do it -- before the surgery and post. It looks fabulous and fascinating and I'm so glad you shared it. All places I haven't been -- I love to learn about things like that!

  13. Thank you for taking us on the lovely trip with you. My husband, our firstborn and I also got caught in a holiday parade on a day trip to New Orleans that we made years ago on St. Patrick's Day. Upon our usual turn into the French Market, a police officer waved us forward.

    Perhaps the green of our old van made him think we were of a certain ethnic heritage and parade participants. There was no way to get out of the parade. People along the route waved and cheered. We grinned and waved back.

    What would they have thought, if they had known they were cheering three Skupiens. I am told that in Poland our surname is as common as Jones is in the U.S.

  14. A wonderful day to remember and now you already know that such days can be repeated by the three of you whenever you wish.

    I love the sense of small town America I get from your posts (and the posts of other bloggers), it is such an alien world to us. Small town Europe is perhaps not very different, but we have centuries behind us, whereas the US is fresh and new and young and vibrant.

    You make day tripping sound so easy. I’d be struggling with the traffic.

  15. So enjoyed my visit today and glad I did so I could see pictures of your trip.
    I love that you thought of Boston and found a dog park for him.
    Marble was a neat place to visit and amazing all the marble just everywhere.
    Hope your hubby is recovering well

  16. Just delightful. Thanks so much for posting this. Hugs.

  17. A great mini vacation that for sure. Wonderful scenery and small town flavor. I love it....:)

  18. Hi Sally. I'm catching up on your life after a summer away from blogs. I'm so glad you and Jim are both feeling better, and that you had this great vacation before his surgery. I love this picture of you and Boston, and laughed at your writing about getting him to walk on the leash appropriately with you. It's going to be so great to see you again. I hope your summer ends as beautifully as it started.

  19. Redstone and Marble are very charming, and the white marble angel is glorious.

  20. I really did enjoy this post, as I make the trip through this.wonderful scenery with you, Sally. Such a good idea to have a getaway before Jim's surgery and these tiny towns would certainly give you the feeling of being away from everything for a little while. I can't believe how small the towns are and how high above sea-level!

  21. How lovely to read this post of a fun time for you and your Jim along with Boston.
    Holidays are a gift that many cannot afford. Many of us bloggers are more fortunate than so many. Though we have our sorrows we have opportunities that can help us move onward with less financial stress.


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