|Kissy Face waffle breakfast for my Beloved yesterday morning|
|Pikes Peak as seen from Colorado Springs|
|driving past our kids' high school|
|Cheyenne Mountain. Beloved worked inside this fortress some 40 years ago|
|Frog Rock along Highway 24, west of Woodland Park|
We relived serious, funny, and perplexing memories that include the private jokes happily married couples share.
|the community that clusters around Lake George, Colorado|
We came face-to-face with some unrealized dreams we now feel certain will never come to be -- human life on this earth can never live them all out.
We thank God some of those hopes did not materialize. At the same time we thank Him for the dreams that are finally coming into focus.
|one of Beloved's boxes of bugs|
When we arrived at Eleven Mile Canyon, which is a portion of the South Platte River that comes out of the Eleven Mile Reservoir, we made our first stop and Beloved pulled out his fly fishing gear.
|"I see by your outfit that you are an angler..."|
Note: a fisherman (and I imagine hunters, too) should always carry their wallet because Forest Rangers can appear at any time and ask to see their hunting/fishing license. It has happened to my man and this is not unusual.
|I made a video but haven't figured out how to post it to my blog|
But the women did not leave immediately. One asked him if he was married because the other one thought he was cute!
At that point Beloved felt it was okay to be rude and just turned his back on them. They drove away.
|a peaceful portion of the stream|
Eleven Mile Canyon is like a piece of heaven to us. We have taken others up with us (Judy and Bob, Denise and Alan, Sue and Gregor, as well as our children when they still lived at home with us) and they all are inclined to agree.
|One really, really big rock|
The sky is blue-blue, the rocks are huge, the Blue Spruce and Pines always show off with scents and height, and the water babbles cheerily.
|tree roots define the steps to the picnic table|
There are picnic tables, charcoal grills, reasonably clean potties, and limitless opportunities to hike. Some even bring their climbing gear to scale the rock faces.
|water splashing around boulders|
While some of the river is quiet, other parts turn into white water as it navigates rocks of all shapes and sizes. Sometimes the fish linger in the pools (and sometimes not).
|the only road in and out of the canyon|
The dirt road can have that 'washboard' texture at times, which kicks up the dust with traffic and is bumpy-loud. We saw a grater going over it at least 3 times today, which is a decided help.
|one of three short tunnels that takes us through solid rock|
|watching the water|
|more splashing water|
I enjoyed the coolness of the breeze -- these days of cool will be remembered and missed in the Land of Flip Flops!
|the fisherman returns|
|walking back to the car|
But Beloved has always held onto the thought that "a bad day fishing is still better than a good day at work."
He's retired now. He doesn't eat fish and most of this area is declared "catch and release" by the state of Colorado, so he's okay with an empty creel. (well, pretty much. The thrill of the catch would have been nice.)
|the back side of Pikes Peak, looking east|
|Pulpit Rock in Colorado Springs|
On our way home I re-lived one more memory. In the late 1980s and till 1995 we lived among the trees on the left side of this picture. Our kids were teenagers and would hike to the top of Pulpit Rock. I mean, to the TOP!
One time they invited me to go with them and I did. I even got to the pinnacle, but I was on my stomach! I was too afraid to stand up! But at least I can say I did it and made a good memory with my children at the same time.
We are thrilled we get to move on to another home, closer to more of our family. But it would be unrealistic to deny the emotions we feel for Colorado as we leave.
It was a sweet day.