Tag Archives: Colorado

Mount Rushmore Road Trip Part 15

3 Feb

A Slice of Life

Bill LItes

Day 15 Wednesday 


After Breakfast this morning I headed northwest 15 miles on US-50 to visit the Rocky Ford Museum located in downtown Rocky Ford, CO.   This museum is located in the former 1908 Rocky Ford Library, and has two floors filled with artifacts and memoribilia related to Rocky Ford and the surrounding Arkansas Valley area, of southeastern Colorado, dating from 1878 to the present.  The museum also has the recorded history of the early Arkansas Valley Fair & Watermelon Day celebrations from 1878 to the present.

As I headed northwest out of Rocy Ford, I came across a detour that took me north 10 miles, out of my way, on CO-207.  At the junction of CO-207 and CO-96, and just south of Crowley, I was finally able to turn west again.  What a waste of time and gas that was!  However, when I mentioned that I had been thru Crowley, DiVoran reminded me that her family  had lived in Crowley for a while, when she was about 5-years old.  Her father had been the maintiance forman for a tomato factory there, and her mother had the job of feeding the factory workers lunch every day.  It was another 30 miles west on CO-96, thru Olney Springs and Boone, to where I could meet back up with west US-50 again.

US-50 intersected with I-25, 15 miles later, at the Fountain Creek Corridor, where I headed north toward Colorado Springs, CO.  I had seen an ad for The Airplane Restaurant in a tourist magazine and wanted to have lunch there on my way north.  Greta (my Garmin) took me right to the restaurant, located adjacent to the Colorado Springs Airport.  The restaurant has been built around the entire airplane in a very creative way.  The upper fuselage of this retired U.S. Air Force KC-97 Tanker (#30283) has been converted into a dining area with 2 & 4-person tables.  If one doesn’t want to climb the stairs to the upper deck, there are pleanty of tables and a bar downstairs.  My ‘Piper Cub’ (BLT) sandwich and French Onion soup was very good, and I loved being able to view the cockpit and the boom operators position from the upper level.  If you are ever in the Colorado Springs area, I can highly recommend this restaurant.  Check out their website for their menu of delicious ‘airborne’ goodies.

After that delicious lunch experience, I continued north on I-25, thru Larkspur and Castle Rock (and miles of road construction), around Denver, all the way to Globeville, CO.  Then I went west on I-70 to Arvada, wheree I wanted to see if, by chance, the Cussler Museum was open today.  It was still closed, so I headed back east, skirting Denver on I-70, to visit the Aurora History Museum located in Aurora, CO.  This museum has a large number of historic displays and antique artifacts related to the history of Aurora, Arapahoe county, and the central Colorado area.  The main attraction among their artifacts is a restored 1913 Colfax Ave. Trolley (# 610).

It was that time that comes at the end of all of my road trips; time to give up the hunt for another museum before the day ends.  So, I called it a day and head for my motel located there in Aurora.  After I got checked in and got my things in the room, I heated up last night’s left-over Chili Rellenos from the El Azteca Mexican Restaurant.  The meal was wonderful.  Yummm!  Then with a full tummy, I recorded today’s activities and tried to watch some TV.  But of course, that only put me to sleep.  So I turned it off and slipped under the covers for a good night’s sleep.

—–To Be Continued—–

Bill is a retired Mechanical engineer living with his wonderful artist/writer wife, DiVoran, of 63 years in Titusville, Florida. He was born and raised in the Southwest, did a tour of duty with the U.S. Navy, attended Northrop University in Southern California and ended up working on America’s Manned Space Program for 35 years. He currently is retired and spends most of his time building and flying R/C model airplanes, traveling, writing blogs about his travels for Word Press and supporting his wife’s hobbies with framing, editing and marketing.  He also volunteers with a local church Car Care Ministry and as a tour guide at the Valiant Air Command Warbird Museum there in Titusville.  Bill has two wonderful children, two outstanding grandchildren, and a loving sister and her husband, all of whom also live in Central Florida, so he and DiVoran are rewarded by having family close to spend lots of quality time with.

One of Bill’s favorite Scriptures is:  John 10:10

Breckenridge 4

13 Aug

My Take

DiVoran Lites

Mabel Morgan 16 years old

From last week’s post:

“Even though Dora Bell wrote to the O’Shea address every week, she never got an answer. She was as worried about Mabel as she could possibly be, but she and Mr. Hunter had no idea where to begin looking for her. They started saving small amounts of cash so they could leave the mountain in case they ever found out where she was. 

It was two years before a letter came to the Breckenridge post office and the postmistress walked it over to the hotel where Dora Bell was cleaning a room. The letter written in a shaky hand had a Chicago postmark. Here’s what it said:

“I am in Shekakgo. I work at a bar on skid row, but I can’t make enough muny to come home.” Luv, May Bell.” There was no return address. 

As quickly as she could Dora Bell sold the cabin she had lived in for a quarter of a century to a newly arrived prospector. With Dora Bell leaving town, her long-time friend, Mr. Hunter had no reason to stay. Dora Bell grateful for the help and protection of Mr. Hunter packed up, and they caught the train to Chicago.

When they got there they went into every bar on skid row to inquire about Mabel, they met a gypsy-dressed woman who claimed to be a fortune-teller. She demanded money then told them where they could find Mabel. Later, they wondered whether she might have seen Mabel around and had taken advantage of them.

They went where she told them to go and ran into Mabel sitting in an alley under a stair-well with a baby in a box beside her. Mr. O’Shea had not turned out to be a gentleman Dora Bell had thought he was after all.  

Somehow they all got jobs and managed to care for the baby until they had enough money to return to Colorado. They lived for a while in Pueblo across from the gasworks. Young Mabel met one of the young men who worked there and after a time of courtship, Mabel and Roger married.

When Roger got a promotion to manage the gasworks in Canon City, they all moved there. A family conference decided that Dora Bell and Daddy Hunter would take Don, the baby boy born in Chicago and rear him as their own child.

Roger and Mabel started their family with Smithy, then they had a girl and named her Dora Jane. Later Mabel had another child and she was named Julia May Bedell.  

Roger Bedell, Vera Morgan, Dora Jane Bedell (4) Mabel Bedell, and Dora Bell Hunter

Author, Poet and Artist

DiVoran has been writing for most of her life. Her first attempt at a story was when she was seven years old and her mother got a new typewriter. DiVoran got to use it and when her dad saw her writing he asked what she was writing about. DiVoran answered that she was writing the story of her life. Her dad’s only comment was, “Well, it’s going to be a very short story.” After most of a lifetime of writing and helping other writers, DiVoran finally launched her own dream which was to write a novel of her own. She now has her Florida Springs trilogy and her novel, a Christian Western Romance, Go West available on Amazon. When speaking about her road to publication, she gives thanks to the Lord for all the people who helped her grow and learn.  She says, “I could never have done it by myself, but when I got going everything fell beautifully into place, and I was glad I had started on my dream.”

Road Trip~Chimney Rock Monument

29 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


Day 12, September 18, 2017

This morning my body decided to rebel  and sent me to rest for the day. Not wanting to ground everyone else, I suggested they visit the nearby Chimney Rock National Monument.

Since I was not on the trip, I am relying on excerpts from the website:

This undiscovered gem is an intimate, off-the-beaten-path archaeological site located at the southern edge of the San Juan Mountains  in Southwestern Colorado. You’ll walk in the footsteps of the fascinating and enigmatic Ancestral Puebloans of the Chaco Canyon, following primitive pathways that haven’t changed for 1,000 years. Archaeological ruins and artifacts, abundant wildlife, and its setting in the breathtaking San Juan National Forest make Chimney Rock a must-see. 


Also from the monument website:

Chimney Rock is the highest in elevation of all the Chacoan sites, at about 7,000 feet above sea level. From the base, the hike to the top is just a half mile and it’s rewarded with dramatic 360-degree views of Colorado and New Mexico.



If you enjoy photography, Mountain Photography has a collection of breathtaking photos.


They returned from their adventure with stories to tell and I enjoyed hearing them and felt confident I would be feeling better for our trip to Mesa Verde the following day.

Here is my favorite picture of the day.


Rebekah and her dad

Road Trip-Sunday Ascent

15 Mar

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


I'm a winner



Day 11, September 17, 2017


After our adventure at Night Glow, I wasn’t excited about arising early on Sunday but a balloon ascent was planned to take place at the Wyndham resort where we were staying. I needed coffee!!

We weren’t 100 percent sure where the ascent was to take place so we drove around until we spotted the field where the balloonists were setting up.



Rain was in the forecast but several of the balloons took a chance and arose into the sky.



This balloon crew were planning to ascend but the balloonist’s young daughter begged her father to change his mind. She claimed to be able to feel the lightning in the atmosphere. After what appeared to be talking back and forth between the crew, the decision was made to not make the ascent. It was the correct decision as clouds rapidly built.



We returned to our truck and Rebekah drove as we followed the flights of the balloons that were descending.

Feeling damp and cold we headed back to the condo for a cup of hot cocoa.


Pam caught up with Facebook, sharing photos and catching up on texts.



Rebekah took advantage of the light and captured a great picture of our view.



Hubby had declared the day, a day of rest (It was Sunday, after all) So the girls piled into the truck and Rebekah drove us around to check out the town and have a girlie lunch at The Rose, one of the local restaurants.


I apologize for the time in between my posts. Life moves faster than I can type!

Road Trip~ Denver, Colorado to Pagosa Springs, Colorado

11 Jan

On the Porch

Onisha Ellis


Day 9, September 15, 2017

We enjoyed our road trip to Denver, but this morning we were excited to begin the next segment of our journey, a week’s stay at a condo in Pagosa Springs! This trip began back in the spring during a conversation with our friend, Pam.She has a timeshare and occasionally she has points and no plan on where she would like to travel and it just so happened that we had a slight windfall of cash and wanted to take a road trip. I told her that if she had timeshare points to use, we had funds! After looking at several locations, Pagosa Springs was a good fit for both of us. She and our daughter could fly to Denver and hubby and I, not a fan of flying would drive our truck.

Hurricane Irma update: Before we left the hotel, our daughter checked to see if the power was back on in her home. It wasn’t, but there was hope that maybe by the end of the day.

We decided to avoid the interstate and once we were clear of Denver, began our journey south on US 285.  The ride was pleasant and as the scenery was new to us, the time flew. Pam’s daughter who mountain climbs with her husband had advised us to look for an outfitter store to purchase Acli-Mate for our daughter’s altitude sickness. Since she was still feeling queasy, we were on the look out for one.  I really wish I could remember the name of the small town where we stopped. It had a tiny outfitter’s store but it was filled with supplies. I think the name of the shop had the words Eagle Claw in them so if anyone is familiar with the area, I would love to know the name. We were in luck! The store had individual packets of Acli-Mate  upfront at the register. While Rebekah paid for them, I decided a bathroom break was a good idea. I was a little hesitant, though, wondering how clean the bathroom might be. To my surprise it was not only very clean but had the best reading material! One whole wall was shelved and held a magazine for any type of outdoor sport one could think of, all neatly laid out. I wish I had taken a picture, but it just seemed wrong.

Once we were back on the road, we began looking for a place to have our picnic lunch.  We found a park with picnic tables, but were irritated to read a sign requiring a daily use fee.  After grumbling, we decided to ignore the fee as we weren’t going to be using any other portion of the park. It was windy with a chill in the air so we chose a table in the sun.





Our drive south took us through the Pike and San Isobel Forest, then the Rio Grande National Forest and they were beautiful.


By robert thigpen from diboll, texas (Stony Pass roadUploaded by PDTillman) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons


Finally, we made it to our home for the week! Wyndham, Pagosa Springs.


Our Unit


Once we had unloaded the truck, the ladies headed out to Wal-Mart to pick up some grocery items for breakfast. By the time we returned it was dark and an unexpected visitor had surprised my husband as he glanced out the sliding glass door. I’m glad he was able to capture this picture.


Just checking out the new neighbors!


We made it an early night as we had big plans for the next day, here is a hint.


Tin Cup

3 Dec

A Few Thoughts

Patricia Franklin


Tin Cup is a very special place.  It is a unique, old fashioned little mining town in Gunnison County, Colorado.  I’m not sure if anyone lives there year round, but the old homes and cabins are all occupied in the summer.

I love their cemetery most of all.  A little creek runs through it and you have to cross over some little hills and a little bridge and follow a little path to reach the different parts of the cemetery.

One hill is Jewish, one Protestant, one Catholic, and then the last one is Boot Hill the final resting place of criminals and nondenominationals. The unique graves and tombstones are fabulous.  Famous people, infamous persons and paupers are all buried there.  One man’s grave had a stump at the head of it with an old tin cup sitting on top.  I’ve seen the cup every time I’ve visited the cemetery. I’m sure almost everyone who passes by has picked it up and set it back down again.

In the cemetery, up a long hill, we saw a single gravestone inside a rail fence, so we walked up the hill to look at it. The name on it was Kate Fisher. Later we heard her story. She had been the only black person in town, she had fed and sheltered the community in her rooming house, but the cemetery was segregated, so she had to be buried alone. She was well-loved and revered, so I like to think her grave was above the others because she was so special to the miners.

The old jailhouse is still there. Someone bought it and made it into a home.  The bars are still on the windows of the tiny cabin.  We took a picture of it when we were there, but that has been at least a couple of years ago.  I don’t know where the picture would be.

There is a legend about how Tin Cup was named:  A man dipped a tin cup in the stream and discovered gold-dust and sand at the bottom of the cup.   I bet you could find something at the library or on the internet.  There is a beautiful lily pond on the other side of the town, just a little way from the main (dirt) road.  You have to know where it is to find it, as you can’t see it from the road.  I love this place.

Please see pictures at http://www.ghosttowns.com/states/co/Tin Cup.html










An Amazing Adventure~Part 14

25 Jan


Judy Wills



After our venture into the mountains, we drove back to Denver. We parked and walked some of the downtown area. It is a lovely city. We walked through Lincoln Park.


We saw, across the way, the County Courthouse, decked out with pink ribbons on the columns.



We saw a statue memorial to a Medal of Honor Recipient from World War 2;


we saw a cowboy and an Indian warrior.


We saw bronze statues,


and the library, and a cow!



In front of Katie Mullins bar were some bagpipers.



We went through the library and were fascinated by it. Very modern. It was of great interest to Karen, as she is a librarian in her hometown. We rode the downtown bus—free—for several blocks, just to take in some of the town, and the architecture.

Finally, tuckered out, we drove back to the hotel. Actually, we stopped at the Texas Roadhouse Grill for supper. The food was really good, but there was an enormous amount of it! We were stuffed! Then back to the hotel to pack and sleep.

The next morning, we checked out of the hotel, then went back to Rosie’s Diner for one more breakfast. Then Karen and Brian drove us to the airport, where we said our goodbyes to them. We then flew home. Karen and Brian had most of the day to do with, and they made a full day of it.

So, as you can see, the whole thing really was an A…M…A…Z…I…N…G adventure! One we would happily repeat!

As promised, one last word about the friends we stayed with our second night (I invite you to revisit my November 2, 2014 post).


Ruth Anne and I have known each other since early childhood. We both lived in New Mexico: she was in Deming, and I was in Albuquerque – about a four-hour’s drive apart. Our fathers played college basketball together in Louisiana (early 1920’s). We are fairly convinced that her father was partly responsible for bringing my father to Albuquerque. I would spend weeks in Deming in the summers with her, and she would spend weeks in Albuquerque with me. We met up with her and her husband while studying at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Fort Worth, Texas, in the early-to-mid 1960’s. Charles went on to become a pastor, while Fred went into the Air Force. We visited with them and their family once when we were all living in Kansas. After their daughters were grown and away from home, Charles and Ruth Anne went to the mission field, in Malaysia. They were invited back recently by the Malaysian Christians to help them. They are absolutely lovely people, and we rejoice that our family has stayed connected with them all these years.

~~~~~~~FINALLY…..The End…of an AMAZING adventure!~~~~~~~




The whole earth is filled with awe at Your wonders…..

Psalm 65:8

The Gunnison Adventures~Part 1

19 Aug

A Few Thoughts

Patricia Franklin

We will try to fill you in on our latest adventures in gorgeous Gunnison. While everyone here was baking in the July heat, we were relaxing in the nice cool mountains in the glorious Gunnison Country… truly God’s country… and half-way to heaven. We spent about half the time in town and the rest driving all over the mountains.

The flowers were gorgeous this year because of the moisture and we were there at just the right time. A couple of outings were particularly fun and beautiful.  We had a day trip to Powderhorn, Lake City and up Slumgullion Pass — half-way to Creede. We stopped and took a picture of the beautiful waterfall that you would never know is there unless you knew about it. Although they finally did post a sign pointing to it. The land looks flat, but about 1/4 mile off the main road a creek runs through the mountain meadow, widens out a little and then drops off 100 feet or more into a ravine cut into the flat land.. a beautiful hidden waterfall.


We then went back to the old mining town of Lake City with its wooden sidewalks, dirt streets and old buildings. It is not real touristy there, just a small old-fashioned community surrounded by mountains. We had lunch there and some ice cream at the ice cream parlor, then took an old side road back to Gunnison. The guys thought they remembered how to get there, but after coming to a dead-end and trying a couple of roads, we finally found the back way home. Luckily we missed the downpours that were just ahead of us or behind us in that area. We have had many violent thunderstorms with flash floods, hail and tornado-like winds this summer.

Several miles out in the high country we discovered a huge summer sheep camp in a large mountain meadow. There must have been 1000 sheep, a shepherd with his camper and four dogs tending the sheep. We did not stop to talk to him but regretted it later, as just about 1 – 2 miles from the camp, before we got to it, a mountain lion streaked across the road and was headed in that direction. We were sorry we had not warned the shepherd. Anyway, we made it back


Speak Up Saturday-Paint Mine Park

20 Oct

Speak Up Saturday

Patricia Franklin

A few years back we took a ride to northeast Colorado near the small town of Calhan. Someone had told us that there was a beautiful area there called the “Paint Mines.” We were out in the middle of nowhere, when we saw a sign ahead that said “Paint Mine Park,” so we turned off and followed that road. We drove further out into the prairie land which was flat and barren. As we drove along, we saw indications of some ridges and gullies in the landscape.

Our road led to a parking lot, where we parked our car in an almost vacant lot, and started walking along the trail that was indicated there, although we saw nothing and did not know what we were looking for. As we got further along, we saw a couple of crater-like holes in the ground. When we looked into them, there were indications of beautiful rock/dirt formations in different colors. As the trail went on, we came to a curve, where the trail doubled back and went downhill from there, then snaked to the right and further downhill.

When we got to the bottom and looked ahead, we were flabbergasted to see we were in a rock canyon with beautiful spires and rock walls in breathtakingly  different formations and colors. As we walked into the area, we were soon surrounded by these amazingly beautiful formations in bright purples, pinks, mauve, yellows, and stark white. It was absolutely unbelievable to walk into this alien land in the middle of the Colorado prairie. To make it even more eerie and exciting, the area was deathly quiet and no one was around. We almost felt like we had walked into the past. We eventually did run into a few people during our walk. It was strange how you could be alone in the quiet one minute, round a corner and meet up with someone without hearing a sound or seeing anyone until they were right there with you. At other times, you could hear voices, and never find out where they came from.

These rock walls, tunnels and spires were cut in here thousands of years ago by Mother Nature, and the Native Americans used these natural clay deposits for painting and pottery. The trails go along for a few miles of different kinds of formations. They are amazingly alike and amazingly different from each other. At one point, there are rows of large towering ghost-like formations called “hoo doos.”

This is one of the best kept secrets in Colorado. We took pictures, but you will get a better view of the Paint Mines if you just want to Google “Paint Mines, Colorado.”



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