Travels with Leslie

Visiting Colorado and California in the same road trip has become rather routine for us, but this year’s trip was anything but routine. Although I swore several years ago that I would never visit Colorado at Thanksgiving again, it was really the only time we could get there this year so we planned some possible alternatives and went anyway.  Our first long day was quite pleasant — the roads were clear of snow and there was barely a sprinkle here and there. 

The second day’s drive through southern Wyoming wasn’t too bad, either, though the constant warnings about an incoming storm ensured that we would reach Colorado on our second day because it was clear that they were planning on closing the freeways on Monday.  The winds were picking up, but, as far as I can tell, high winds are the norm in southern Wyoming.

The storm that hit Broomfield, Colorado on Tuesday night and Wednesday dropped a record snowfall for this time of year so I felt pretty good about planning to arrive early.  Still, two feet of snow changed or plans somewhat. Strangely enough, I don’t feel the same way about playing in the snow at 77 as I did at 7. We finally managed to get out and see Leslie’s friend Greg Wednesday, and our ex-Tai Chi teacher on Saturday, but, other than that, I was generally housebound for the week.  

We kept our eye on weather forecasts as we tried to decide whether we should continue with our plans to visit New Mexico and Arizona on our way to Fresno to see Leslie’s brother Jeff and his wife Debbie.  Again, we felt lucky that we didn’t have to leave until Monday because the weather was awful on the whole West Coast.

When we finally headed south from Denver on Monday, we were greeted by lots of sunshine for our first stop, Garden of the Gods.  I’ve seen them several times before, but Leslie hadn’t so we decided it was a good place for a short break before heading to Albuquerque. I actually thought there would be a little more snow that there was and it would provide a nice contrast to the red rocks.  They had had white-out conditions a few days before we got there but apparently the snow had blown off the rocks.

Still, there was enough snow to add a little extra contrast to some of the wide-angle shots.

The park was as spectacular as I remembered it from previous visits, with rock formations rivaling some of the more famous ones in Utah.

This huge, red mesa is a colorful reminder of where Colorado got its name from.

Perhaps the Gods would be happy to have an entire garden of rock, but we mere humans tend to prefer bushes and trees with our rocks and there were some spectacular examples of those that have been able to withstand the harsh conditions here.

We probably spent a little longer here than planned, but we could easily have spent a lot longer if we hadn’t set up ambitious plans for the drive to Fresno.