Thursday, March 26, 2015

My Boy Nate

We drove up to Chatfield State Park which is in Littleton, Colorado – just a little bit southwest of Denver. Lovely day for a drive. We got to our assigned campsite – just electric and pretty good wifi, but tons of goose droppings.

Way back in the day, people decided to settle in the Denver area. The local First Nation people told them it was very bad medicine to live in this area, but of course, nobody listened. There were many floods of the South Platte River but finally in 1965 came the flood that really devastated the area. After this flood, the decision was made to build a dam and try to control the flooding. More Info on the Flood This created a reservoir and then the park was created around the reservoir. This park has boating, fishing, camping, biking, hiking, remote control airplane flying area, riding stables and the biggest dog park I've ever seen.

View out the door - See?  No Snow!!!!

We decided to stay for a few more days but asked to change sites. Got a lovely, goose dropping free site with a good view. Miko and I took off for the dog park. This place was so big that we were there for a couple of hours checking it all out. There are two ponds in the park and tons and tons of Labs and Retrievers all out there swimming. It was just last year that Miko realized that she wasn't going to die if she got her feet wet, in fact she was able to go up to her elbows in the water, but never any deeper. There was a guy throwing a tennis ball in the water for Gus, his border collie/lab mix and even though Miko really wanted to chase the ball, she would not go beyond her elbows. It finally occurred to me that Miko probably doesn't know she can swim. A new trick to work on this next summer. As it was, I would throw the ball a little bit deeper in the water each time and she would get braver and braver. Then I throw it just a few inches farther, to the point where she would have to let her feet leave the ground and actually swim and she just couldn't get that ball. She was funny, her front end sort of jumping trying to get that ball, but no dice. Good thing that Gus was such a ball fiend that he would collect all balls in the water and bring them to shore.

Wednesday was the day that I had been waiting for. I would get to see my boy Nate who lives in Breckinridge. Of course, this meant that I would have to leave the foothills where I had been staying and drive into the mountains. I had been impressed with the mountains in Arizona and New Mexico. I now realize those were just little baby mountains. These mountains in the Breck region were huge – intimidatingly huge.

When I started out the drive, it was raining and there were a few flakes of snow. As I climbed the first mountain, we got up into the clouds and visibility was really bad. You could not see beyond the side of the road. When we got through that first pass, it cleared up some. But then I started seeing signs that the freeway was closed because there had been an accident. My phone asked me if I wanted to save 45 minutes on my drive, I said of course. So we got off the freeway and for a while went along a frontage road. It was sort of fun – the freeway was at a dead stop and I was tooling along at 35 miles an hour.

Finally got past the accident site, got back on the freeway and through the Eisenhower Tunnel. Coming out of the tunnel, it was like a whole different world. Snowing, blowing, cold. Lots of different weather patterns in Colorado.

Got to Nate's house where he met me. It was so wonderful to see him and be able to touch him. He showed me his house – he has three roommates, one of whom lives in the sauna under the stairs in the house. A small dark little room. The rest of the house is a little trashy except for Nate's room and the bathroom. I was impressed with how neat and tidy everything was. It was a large room and I had to ask about the set of four tires and the car hood that he had there. He has a 1988 BMW that he is restoring and he really has no place but his room to store it. But it just added to the décor.

We went out to Fatty's Burgers for lunch where Maleena, Nate's girlfriend met us. I really like her a lot. She is inquisitive, not shy and the two of them are really good together. They both seem very happy with each other.

After lunch, we wandered around downtown Breckinridge for a little bit but it was really cold. The sun came out for a little bit and they took me on a gondola ride. Breckinridge is a very dog friendly town and so Miko got to go on the gondola also. She was not a happy camper. When we got to the top of the gondola, there is a chalet called Tbar. From here you can take chairlifts even further up the mountain. It was fun to see this because Nate seems to post a lot of pictures of this place on FB. We got back on the gondola and headed back down the mountain. Even though she had a bad case of the shakes, Miko jumped right into the gondola – she must have known we were going back home.

Spent the rest of the afternoon at Nate's house, just chatting and catching up. I had such a good time – I am so happy that I detoured up to Colorado and got to see Nate.

Miko is not too happy

Nate and Maleena - Aren't they cute?

I spent a lot of time trying to figure out which way I'm going back to Minnesota. I finally decided that I was going to head back south, back into New Mexico, through Texas and Oklahoma. It is a good thing that I went to Colorado first though since there was that tragic tornado that ripped through Oklahoma yesterday. Even though I have my tornado proof arrowhead for Oklahoma, I probably would have been in the area of that tornado if I hadn't gone to Colorado.

Snow on my view - time to bug out

Tonight I am spending another night at Capulin RV Park – the hard core Christian place in New Mexico. Tomorrow I hope to be in Texas.

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