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.