Friday, June 24, 2011

Summer in the Rockies

We had a fantastic time in Colorado last week! My sister, my niece, my mom, and I spent six wonderful days exploring the area around Colorado Springs and Woodland Park. This was a homecoming for me - I attended Colorado College, in Colorado Springs, from 1971-1975. The week was filled with lots of reminiscing about my days at CC and all of our wilderness backpacking adventures. It was great to be back in the mountains and to be able to share it with my favorite girlfriends. I thought you might enjoy seeing a few of the pictures I took while we were there.

The view from the neighborhood where we stayed...

That's the back (western) side of Pike's Peak with fresh snow on it. Every time we drove down the road and saw this view, we felt as if we were looking at a postcard!

The first day, we took a drive to Florissant Fossil Beds National Monument (we had to do some educational things, since my niece was along!) We stopped at the Hornbek Homestead, where an amazing pioneer woman, Adeline Hornbek, raised her 4 children and ran a successful ranch back in the 1800s. It's a neat story - what a strong, courageous woman!

Me, Saundra, and Karli

Rocky Mountain bluebird

We visited the Colorado Wolf and Wildlife Center, an amazing wolf sanctuary and educational facility. The coolest part of the tour was when we got the wolves to howl - first one, then another, then all of them at once. It was so awesome!

 That evening we drove up the Rampart Range Road to enjoy the views ...

and watch the sunset at Rampart Reservoir ...

The next day, we visited Colorado Springs and the US Air Force Academy.

Here's Palmer Hall, at Colorado College, where I spent many an afternoon daydreaming and looking out the windows at that beautiful blue Colorado sky.

When I was in college, I backpacked to the top of Pike's Peak carrying a 30-pound pack (twice!) - this time I wimped out and rode the cog railway to the top.

The view from the top, looking out over Colorado Springs and the eastern plains, is spectacular.

One of the prettiest sights in Colorado is the Garden of the Gods...

 Can you see the "Kissing Camels" rock formation at the top? (below)

We did a little hiking at North Cheyenne Canyon, just up from Helen Hunt Falls ...

When we visited Mueller State Park, it was a perfect Colorado day with that deep, deep blue sky, puffy white clouds, and just enough breeze to keep you comfortable. Hiking along through the woods, listening to the birds and discovering wildflowers along the way, smelling the summery fragrance of ponderosa pines baking in the sunshine, I felt so absolutely content and happy. What a blessing, to be able to spend time in such a beautiful place!

Karli, me, mom Saundra, and sister Donni

My mom and I remembered camping along the South Platte River, near Lake George, CO, years ago when my family came to pick me up from college one summer. We were so excited to find the same canyon where we had camped 40 years ago. Nothing had changed about it - that's reassuring.

These gorgeous Rocky Mountain iris were blooming along the South Platte River.


One of the prettiest sights from our week in Colorado ...

Eleven Mile Canyon & the South Platte River

If you've never visited the Rockies, I hope you'll have a chance to one of these days. There are beautiful sights around every corner, and I can practically guarantee you'll be on a Rocky Mountain High!

I'll be back in a few days to show you the sketches I did while I was away. They just need a few finishing touches.


  1. Leslie,
    We got to go there several years ago. It was beautiful. We did the cog to the top of Pike's Peak, but the view was horrible. It was snowing and lightening. We were advised to stay in the cog. So glad you had such an awesome view. We also enjoyed the Garden of the Gods. We did horseback riding and a train ride.
    I bought a Bernina 1630 today!! Loved the learning weekend you provided. Thanks again to you and your mom.
    My husband and I also thoroughly enjoyed our 5 days in PA.
    Diana Tullis

  2. You have brought back soooo many wonderful memories. I grew up in Colorado Springs !! I graduated from St. Mary's High. I have lived in Dallas, Texas now for 38 years... 38 miserable summers !! If it wern't for my kids and grandkids, we'd be outta here in a nano second. Love your blog. You are one talented gal.
    Truly gifted.


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