Sunday, August 31, 2008

Anna's 2nd Birthday

Anna turns two on Sept. 2. Beth and Jerry had a birthday party for her today. All of the Cole children were present, plus Katie. Brian was also there. But somehow I only have pictures of Anna! Here she is eating birthday cake:

Well, OK, I do have a photo of Deb—being abused by a sock puppet:

Anna holding up some of her presents to show everyone:

Here is what she really wanted for her birthday!

Alas for Anna, the motorcycle is Jenn's. It is a used bike, but new to Jenn, only a couple of weeks old. Way to do, Jenn!

Seven Falls

In the afternoon of August 22 we visited Seven Falls. It was very interesting. First we hiked up the 224-steps next to the falls. This is the first of two long staircases:

At the top we hiked both trails on this map:

First we hiked to Inspiration Point, where Helen Hunt Jackson wrote the book Ramona. You can see Colorado Springs through the trees:

Here is a telephoto view of Colorado Springs taken just a few feet away from where the previous photo was taken:

After Inspiration Point, we hiked to Midnight Falls:

The web site gives this explanation for how Midnight Falls got its name: "A hundred years ago this was a favorite and secluded spot for Colorado college students to visit late at night."

At Midnight Falls Laura spotted an American Dipper (but we didn't know what it was until later). We didn't see it swim underwater, but we certainly saw its unusual dipping behavior. I regret that I didn't take any photos of it.

The best view of the falls is from the Eagle's Nest viewing platform a little downstream from the falls. (You can either climb another 180 or so stairs, or take an elevator. We took the elevator up and the stairs down.) To the left of the falls you can see the 224-steps which we had earlier climbed up and down:

Here is a sign explaining the seven different waterfalls:

The falls are also open at night, and are lit up by computerized, colored lights (see the inset in the sign above). We were told it was beautiful, but our schedule did not permit visiting at night.

Friday, August 22, 2008

Garden of the Gods

Nancy and I went for a walk in the Garden of the Gods this morning, not far from our hotel, while Laura slept in. The park will celebrate its 100th anniversary next year:

Looking south at Cheyenne Mountain in the distance (where the zoo and the Will Rogers Shrine are):

The moon and the Kissing Camels:

Nancy and the Three Graces, so make that the Four Graces! We have a photo of the three kids here some years ago:

This squirrel wasn't waiting for the acorns to fall. He was eating them right out of the tree!

Pikes Peak from the Garden of the Gods:

We can also see Pikes Peak out our hotel window.

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Cheyenne Mountain Zoo

Today we visited the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo, overlooking Colorado Springs. The weather was beautiful. I won't bore you with lots of zoo pictures, but here is a picture of a meerkat:

Above the zoo is the Will Rogers Shrine of the Sun:

The shrine, the zoo and The Broadmoor were all built by Spencer Penrose, who made millions in gold and copper mining in the late 1800s and early 1900s. We drove up to the shrine, and climbed the tower. Laura on the top of the tower:

To the right of Laura you can see The Broadmoor and downtown Colorado Springs. To the left of the flagpole (touching the pole) you can see the Garden of the Gods.

Denver Art Museum

I had a meeting in Denver on the afternoon of August 19 and the morning of August 20. On the afternoon of August 20, Nancy and Laura came up from Colorado Springs to Denver and we all went to the Denver Art Museum together. Laura especially wanted to see the special exhibit "Landscapes from the Age of Impressionism."

The director of the Denver Art Museum is Lewis Sharp; he is the brother of John Sharp of Burlington. John Sharp, Tony Smith and I climbed a lot of mountains together in the winters of the 1980s and 1990s. We still get together once a year to catch up. Yet another connection—John's daughter Laura (who also hiked with us occasionally) taught chemistry at Colorado College for a couple of years.

After visiting the Denver Art Museum, we had dinner outside on the sidewalk at the Hard Rock Cafe on the 16th Street Mall. A passerby on the sidewalk stopped by our table and asked me if I was Mark Udall! (Mark Udall is a Congressman from Colorado who is currently running for the U.S. Senate.)

The Democratic National Convention is in Denver starting on Monday, August 25. We saw signs for the convention but no other unusual activity or crowds.

Laura Goes to Colorado

On Monday, August 18, Nancy and I flew with Laura to Colorado Springs for Laura's freshman year at Colorado College. The check-in line at the Burlington Airport:

At the airport we unexpectedly met Eric and Barbara Burnham. Eric is the only child of Clayton Burnham. (That earlier post mentions that Nancy and Laura attended the calling hours with me, but were out of town for a college visit on the day of the funeral; they were visiting Colorado College!) Eric and Barbara had been in Vermont to bury Clayton and take care of other family matters, and were returning home to Phoenix. You can see them in the background of this photo, but I did not notice them until a few minutes later when Barbara introduced herself:

We had uneventful flights and even arrived in Colorado Springs early.

August 18 was also Nancy's and my 29th anniversary. We celebrated by eating out (all three of us) at the Tavern at The Broadmoor. We ate in the glass-enclosed Garden Room. It was a delightful evening.