Golden, Colorado 2015

On the Road with Don & Norma

Norma’s “On the Road” last week ended with us at Clear Creek Park in Golden, Colorado. We had a week to explore the area around Golden so this is where I’ll pick it up again.

Clear Creek Park, Golden, Colorado:

  • Saturday, June 27: We went out for an early hike along Clear Creek and then took off to walk to the nearby Safeway grocery store. It’s great to be in a place that allows you to walk/bike everywhere. Coming back a few hang gliders were flying down from the mountains.

HangGliderGolden

The Golden area has a very active lifestyle; people are always out jogging, biking, tubing, kayaking, etc. Made me realize the small hill climbs on my bike in St. Francisville are nothing compared to the climbs out here. We even came across a guy riding a unicycle up Lookout Mountain road.

KayakClearCreek

  • Sunday, June 28: Today we hung out spending
  • some time researching and trying to plan our next few stops. So far it appears we will drop down south to Manitou Springs for a couple of weeks (staying there for the 4th of July holiday) and then head north again, back to Golden. From Golden, we’ll head into Wyoming and then maybe towards Idaho. This can change as we go along.
  • Later we walked down to the ballpark and watched the locals hanging out. We were entertained by what appeared to be two biker gangs playing a game of kick ball. Lots of “ink”.
  • I met another Leisure Travel Unity owner in the RV park, so I had to stop by and talk for awhile. It’s interesting to hear their stories and road adventures. They sounded similar to us, retired, sold their house, and hit the road.
  • Monday, June 29:

We decided to go explore the Lariat Loop again and go even further. Leaving Golden, we stopped at the National Renewable Energy Laboratory. Even though we arrived when there wasn’t a scheduled tour for the whole facility, the receptionist took the time to show us around the education center and all the displays. The main building is 360,000 sq. ft. and is a net zero building – powered by solar and wind power. For a “green geek”, it was very impressive.

NREL

Heading towards Morrison, the next stop was at Dinosaur Ridge. We bypassed the visitor’s center and started the hike up the ridge. It is a 20 degree inclined paved road that is blocked off for hikers and cyclists only. Along the way there are interpretive stations explaining the rock formations and the footprints of the iguanodon dinosaurs. It was on the warm side, no shade. But once we reached the peak, it was all worth it – we had a beautiful view of the lower Rockies and the Red Rock amphitheater area.

RedRocks1

We came back down and got into the jeep to head off to Red Rocks. After driving around the mountain roads to get back to Red Rocks we realized we were within a few hundred feet of where we stopped our hike!

RedRocks2

The traffic was picking up the closer we got to Red Rocks, Ed Sheeran was going to perform at the amphitheater that night and people were already camping out at the entrance at noon. This is a place to add to our bucket list – come back for a performance with one of our favorites, like Los Lobos or Widespread Panic.

RedRocks3RedRocks4

We drove into the small mountain town of Morrison to look for a bite to eat. The hardest part was finding a place to park. We ate at the Blue Cow Café for a quick bite. The café is right along Bear Creek.

We made it back to the park and went near the office for a good Internet connection. We needed to get our mail forwarded to our next stop and place an Amazon order. While hanging out there, a goose family strolled by.

GoldenGoose

  • Tuesday, June 30:

Today we both needed haircuts so we split up – Norma headed to a salon and I went to look for a barber. Well, I found an old-fashioned barbershop that has been around for 35 years, still gives trims with a straight razor. I haven’t seen that since leaving the Air Force. Norma walked back from the salon with really short hair, it looks great!

Today is the hottest day yet in Colorado, reaching the upper 90’s, so we are doing laundry and kicking back. It still cools off nice in the evenings, we can open all the windows and sleep with just a fan. It’s kind of weird to need a blanket on the bed in the summer.

  • Wednesday, July 1:

My sinuses have been acting up since we arrived in this dry climate. We took off this morning for a short walk to get coffee and biscuits. After lunch we drove south to the edge of Denver to go shopping at Ikea. This is a huge store! We mostly browsed around, but did find a few things for the RV.

Another fun job we had to tend to this afternoon – defrosting the freezer! Anyone old enough to remember when all fridges were that way?

It cooled off nicely as the sun was setting, we had time for a nice walk along the creek.

 

  • Thursday, July 2:

Time to say goodbye to Golden and head south to Manitou Springs. We broke camp and took our time driving, arriving for a late lunch. We have a great site under the trees and it feels cooler here. After setting up we took a walk to explore the local area, making it back to the RV park at sunset, which is about 9:00 over here.

ArriveManitou

  • Friday, July3:

Today we got up and headed out to America the Beautiful Park in Colorado Springs for an Arts/Music Festival.

AmericaBeautifulPark

We enjoyed sitting out on the grass, listening to the band playing Van Morrison hits, drinking a new craft beer.

When we returned “home”, we had a large envelope of mail and a few packages from Amazon waiting at our doorstep. This was the first test to see if the mail forwarding service would work for us, no problems. Our Texas driver licenses arrived in that bulk mailing, I won’t comment on how my picture looks – let’s just say it’s rough.

  • Saturday, July4:

Happy Fourth of July! Yesterday we researched Farmers Markets for the local area. There were two listed, one in Old Colorado Springs and another in Colorado Springs. Old Colorado Springs is close to where we are, so we hit that one first.

This is one of the best markets we’ve been to. We really didn’t need anything, we were just checking it out – we’ll have to go back next weekend when we are running low on groceries. I did buy some pork tamales, they were excellent, a little on the spicy side.

The Colorado Springs market didn’t have much to offer and it was starting to rain, so we took off for the drive back, taking the scenic route.

ColoradoSpringsMarket 

Future Plans:

  1. Pikes Peak RV Park in Manitou Springs, Colorado, July 2-July 16
  2. Tentative: Wyoming, Idaho, Oregon, Washington, a little of Canada … & then heading back “down south” before winter kicks in.
  3. Back to Baton Rouge for the Christmas holidays

Till we meet again!

 

Don

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