Thursday, May 28, 2015

A Day Trip of Memories

downtown Denver as seen from Interstate 25
On Memorial Day we woke to sunshine and a pleasant temperature. We've had so much rain over the past many weeks that we decided to scoop up the opportunity to take a road trip, just for the day, so we could enjoy the weather.

the "cash register building" on the far right
We decided to go north on Interstate 25, which took us past downtown Denver, Elitch Gardens (the "Disneyland" of Colorado), and our football stadium.

approaching Sports Authority Field at Mile High -- home of the Denver Broncos
Maybe I can show you a better picture of the stadium later, when we are approaching it from a different direction.

I-25 heading north, past I-70
We came to the place where one has to decide which big university campus to visit. We have been to Boulder many times in recent years, since it is significantly closer to our home. This time we would visit Fort Collins.

Colorado's Front Range mountains

It's tricky getting a good shot of the snow-covered mountains when the white clouds are hugging the peaks. If you look closely on the far left and far right of this picture above, you can see white snow. We never tire of views like this.

an old house on College Avenue
Fort Collins is about an hour's drive north of Denver, west of I-25, and sprawls out toward the foothills. It is the home of Colorado State University, alma mater to my husband and one of our sons. It is also where we made our first home as a young married couple.

No, we did not live in this house (I wish we had!), but I wanted to show you some of the charm that is found in abundance in Fort Collins. 

Beloved outside the dorm from his sophomore year
One of the reasons we came to Fort Collins was to see where the campus intends to build their new football stadium. For many years it has been a couple of miles off-campus. Now they are clearing the land on-campus to begin construction.

Beloved outside his ground-floor door room; a vacant room
While Beloved was busy with college life, I was in Denver, studying to be a secretary and then putting those skills to use. But many, many love letters made the trip between us -- long before cell phones, email, and text messaging were available.

the crossroads in the center of the university Oval -- that's me waving at you

While Beloved did not propose marriage to me on campus, one of our sons chose this very spot, where the sidewalks intersect, to ask the hand of the love of his life.

bricks in the center of the Oval
We were interested to see these inlaid bricks in the center of the Oval representing contributions of $1 million or more. It's been a few years since we last visited this spot. We don't remember seeing this before. (and no, we haven't had an extra $1 million laying around -- you won't see our names here)

As you can see, the trees in the Oval are huge. On the left you can see smaller trees that have been
planted in-between the older ones -- planting for the future!

Trees like this are abundant in the older parts of the campus. Our heavy rains have made the grass look like emerald velvet.

Beloved outside the building that created his Bachelor's degree
Yes, I'll just go ahead and say it.  I married a real smartie! He graduated in four years with a grade point average of 4.0 and a Bachelor of Science degree in Statistics. 

I love the architecture on this old campus!
Many of the buildings, but especially those that surround the Oval, hold history from long ago. 

clockwise from bottom left: mountains easily visible from campus, the Lory Student Center,
Colorado Blue Spruce tree, me in front of Lilac bushes
Beloved outside the ROTC building
This is another building where Beloved spent a great deal of time. I would be remiss if I didn't tell you that the government gave my husband a scholarship that set our finances so we could get married during Christmas break of his junior year.

a lot of time was spent here
Of course, with a scholarship like that, there were strings attached. But fulfilling that commitment held many more significant blessings for us.

blooming Iris were on the campus and all over town
Colorado State University was founded in 1870 and opened its door to students in 1879. It was originally the Agricultural College of Colorado, so it is no surprise to see beauty like this in the flower beds.

perhaps only Coloradoans can fully appreciate this

As we walked among the classrooms, we came across this favorite statue with a nameplate to make us smile:

The Sculpture that goes with a poem by the same title. 

Due to copyright law I cannot reprint the poem but it's fun and can be found at this website:

Of course, there is much more I could tell you about the campus but we were getting hungry and our feet were tired.

old downtown Fort Collins
College Avenue and the surrounding area in downtown was our stomping ground after we were married in December of Beloved's junior year. We lived just two or three blocks from this street and I walked to work at a major bank in the town. 

one of several eateries in old downtown 
A major overhaul is in progress right now. We were delighted to see how big and well-developed the area is. There were lots of sidewalk cafe' options, quaint shops, and a kitchen store, The Cupboard, where I could easily have lost myself for several hours if somebody wasn't waiting for me outside with a cup of ice cream.

one of two statues like this in old downtown
Of course, as you would expect in a college town, there was a lot of artsy stuff.

The Crown Pub
We decided to lunch at The Crown Pub because it was cute and our feet were too tired to walk any farther! I had a scrumptious salad and Beloved tried out their burger. Neither of us was disappointed.

Our first apartment as newlyweds was on this street
Eventually we had to bid goodbye to Fort Collins, although there was more we wanted to see. The late afternoon holiday traffic would be heavy through Denver.

Denver's Sports Authority Field at Mile High
I promised you a better snapshot of where our Denver Broncos play their home games.

back to the real world ...
It was a day full of memories and sweetness but now we are back to the normal routines of work-a-day life. I hope you enjoyed our little day trip!


  1. What a lovely way to spend the day!! Thanks so much for the grand tour! Loved it!

  2. What a beautiful campus. My parents use to have a dear, dear friend that lived in Ft. Collins. Thanks for sharing your outing with us. Happy weekend!