Friday, October 16, 2009

Road Trip

Life has been exceptionally busy lately. Jim and I started out Sept. 23rd for Colorado Springs, Colorado and the Home School Legal Defense Leadership Conference.

I was a bit anxious, since we took our 22-year-old station wagon and traveled with a top speed of 60 mph -- giving us two full days of travel time. I brought all kinds of reading material, but ended up just being a tourist by soaking in the scenery as we traveled.

Most of the photos I took were through our car windows, so that is the reason for the glare. This is the type of land we traveled by as we made our way through North Dakota and some of South Dakota.

We stopped at a tourist area in Wyoming, where there was the remains of salt mining. The scenery was great! Our first day got us as far as Newcastle, Wyoming.

We actually encountered snow as we neared Colorado Springs, and a 4 car accident on the Interstate almost made us late in getting to the hotel. We managed to check in at at 4:55 p.m., and were informed we needed to be ready to board the busses for the Flying W Ranch at 5:15. And we made it!
One of the featured speakers was Dr. David Noebel of Summit Ministries. Jim and I attended all of his workshops, and he also spoke at one of the luncheons. On Friday afternoon we left a workshop early to drive over to Manitoux Springs to take a tour of the Summit Ministries campus. It is an old remodeled hotel, and the ministry has also purchased surrounding homes for office space as well as living areas for staff. They have a very nice view from over there, but the streets leave something to be desired. It reminded me of the narrow streets of Boston.
My photos are out of sequence, and for some reason I can no longer move the pictures around. Farther down you will see a photo of Summit Ministries' main building.

This is me in front of Focus on the Family headquarters. What a beautiful location! Jim and I drove over there right after a workshop by Dr. Noebel. The tour was at 4:00 p.m. and the buildings closed at 5:00, so we didn't spend a lot of time there. It was a rather chilly day. We spent a bit of time browsing the bookstore until they closed up at 5:30.

Here is Jim in front of their main area. The mountains were so nice to look at from this vantage point. I heard at one time that Dr. James Dobson views Pikes Peak from his office windows.

This is another view of the mountains from the Focus on the Family campus.

I stepped out onto a balcony to take this photo.

At the luncheon on Friday we had Dr. Dobson himself as the featured speaker. Dobsons walked right behind Jim as we were visiting with a couple from Montana just outside the dining room at the hotel conference center, and that was the closest I ever got to him. We sat in the back of the room. They were mobbed afterward with people wanting photos with them.

This is the photo I took of Jim standing across the road from Summit Ministries.
Manitoux Springs is quite the town. There are some very strange looking people walking around the main area, and Dr. Noebel made quite a few wisecracks about its inhabitants. Jim and I walked around a bit, and found a small store that custom made soaps and lotions right on the premises to suit the purchaser.

Not too far away from that store was this Dulcimer Shop. It was getting close to 5:30, but we stopped in for a quick look around. I ended up talking with one of the guys that worked there. When he found out my father-in-law had built me a mountain dulcimer, he told me to choose one of the store's models and play it. I declined, telling him that I have yet to learn how to play it. He pointed to the older man behind the counter, and told me that if I came back the next day (Saturday) I could get a free lesson from the owner of the shop. I guess the owner wrote one of the Mel Bay instruction books for the mountain dulcimer. We knew we wouldn't have time to go back, but it was fun just to think about it.
Afterward, Jim and I found a restaurant that called itself a bistro, and we stopped in there for a quick supper. We discovered after talking with one of the waitresses that it was a Polish restaurant. I've never tasted a hamburger that had the regular toppings along with fried egg and fried pineapple! Jim and I split the burger, and it was very good.

This was the hotel where we stayed, and also where the HSLDA conference was held. If you look at the upper left side of the building you will see some windows. They are located on the 4th floor, and that was where we had morning devotions as well as the keynote session for the day. Those windows were behind the speaker, and the view looked out on the mountains. It was beautiful.

This is another photo taken of the landscaping in front of the hotel.

Well, we headed back home, back through the Black Hills. We didn't go near the Presidents, but the scenery on our road was spectacular. I loved seeing all the Ponderosa Pines. That is one thing I miss about our neck of the woods; back in the Turtle Mountains in the past there had been a fire that wiped out all the evergreens, and Aspens grew up in their place. There's not much to see in the winter, at least in the way of greenery.

Lots of grain fields in North Dakota!

In fact, the grain harvest was so good this year the farmers began stockpiling grain in their fields. That was the first time I had seen this happen. Of course, if they didn't get it up before the rain and snow -- I wonder what would have happened to it.

We drove by a field of wind towers just south of Minot.

We also had 2 trucks with wind turbines pass us on the highway. They certainly are huge things.

Here is a close up of a completed wind tower.
It's good to be home!


Marci said...

What did you think of the Flying W? I think I was 16 when we went there. We all loved it!!

Benjamin said...

Wow, busy trip- sounds like a fast one! Heather's Mom and Dad are in the Denver area right now on vacation, from the pictures CO looks to be beautiful. Had to laugh about the old vehicle comment- would would people do for excitement on a trip if you didn't have to worry about hitch hiking half ways across the country? Hope all is going well for the Bartletts- seems like ages since we last visited. We finally moved our house, we're about 5 miles from Cavalier- we've got 15 acres for now. Lots to do before winter really gets here! Say hi to everyone for us.

Carolj said...

Ohhh...we missed you guys. But we were up in the Fort Collins area.

Kimberly said...

I looks like a great trip with some beautiful scenery. The Black Hills is my favorite place. I would love living there if my family weren't all here!