During September and October Susan and I embarked on a tour of several midwestern and western states, driving in our 2000 Toyota Siena van(215,000 miles before our trip)a total of 7,279 miles through 13 states. We were gone 33 days and spent the night in 21 different places. When we got home it dawned on us that we had been together virtually 24/7 for the entire trip with no major disagreements and without growing tired of each other. I think our marriage of 41 years will last.

Monday, December 19, 2011

Wednesday September 21: Colorado

There’s not a lot of human activity between Goodland KS and the outskirts of Denver, so we had an uneventful morning.  West of Denver we headed north to Grand Lake—beautiful mountain scenery along the winding highway.  The aspens were in prime colors and were truly “quaking” in the slight breeze.  The view over Granby Reservoir was almost breathtaking in its beauty.


For the next four days we stay in Grand Lake visiting with a number of old (and getting older) friends from college.  We have been getting together annually for the last 35 years or so, and we visit various parts of the country each year.  It’s our own Big Chill weekend, but we don’t wait for someone to die like in the movie.  This year seven couples attended and we, as always, had a blast.
Our first outing on Wednesday evening was a short hike near Betty’s Barn in Rocky Mountain National Park.  Susan scored the bargain of a lifetime—a lifetime pass to all national parks, forests, and recreations area for only $10.  I’m not sure how much we saved on our trip by having the pass, but it was a bundle.  Anyway, here are a few shots around the Betty’s Barn area.

Notice the gray trees in the background—a beetle has wreaked havoc on many of the pine trees in the area.  The beetle is always present, but the trees produce a sap which the beetles don’t like; however, due to this year’s drought, the trees have not produced enough sap and thus the beetles have destroyed them.  At some point they will have to be cleared and burned.


A small mountain stream that eventually feeds into the Colorado River.


Most of our group—a little wine and cheese makes any hike more enjoyable.  That’s Susan in the green vest.  I’m behind the camera.


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