Posts Tagged ‘Colorado’


A New Pencil Box

25 Linda schoolLinda Burton posting from Arkadelphia, Arkansas – A new pencil box and the first day of school. Who is old enough to remember the fresh wood smell of newly sharpened pencils? I’m thinking about that as I put on my hat and head out the door for my first day of classes at Henderson. The American West and Arkansas History; that’s my course of study this semester. Why? On the Journey I explored almost every inch of the “western” states but was left with more questions than answers by the end of it. I want to learn more about the legislation that opened those vast lands for settlement, the many treaties with the natives who were already living there, the creation of the new states; in other words, the expansion of our country throughout the 19th century. All to make this site more useful for everyone who accesses it. The Arkansas History class will help with that too, and additionally will provide insights about the emigration of my ancestors who died here in 1849 on their move from Alabama to Texas. Ancestors. A little family talk now. And “how I spent my summer 25 group at pianovacation.” Since I’m settled in one place with plenty of room for visitors, I invited, and they came! Grandson Andrew arrived June 21; grandson Sam July 12. Andrew left July 16; son Mike, and his Brenda, and her grandson Michael arrived July 31. Granddaughter Kayla and son Rick arrived August 2. Mike and Brenda and Michael left August 3; Sam left August 6. Rick and Kayla left August 16. Did you notice? There was a perfect alignment of planets on August 2. » read more


Rooms With A View

Linda Burton posting from Westcliffe, Colorado traveling between Denver, Colorado and Santa Fe, New Mexico – I’m taking a break. Two weeks in the Colorado Rockies, in the autumn of the year. Expect no posts, beyond today, till I get to Santa Fe. I’m at son Mike’s and Brenda’s house, but they aren’t here, it’s just me and the cats. Yesterday I ate lunch at Rancher’s Roost Restaurant in a bowling alley in downtown Westcliffe. A cute little bowling alley; a spectacular view of the Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range and the Wet Valley from the restaurant. As I ate, and stared, I thought about telling the owner to move the booths away from the windows so as not to block even one inch of the scenery. There’s one grocery store here, where I bought 21 bags of groceries today. I may not leave the house again till time to go to Santa Fe. Look at these pictures, and you’ll see why. The great room overlooks the valley and the mountain range; deer come near the dining room window to graze; we watch each other eat. Two bedrooms and two bathrooms with the same view; the kitchen too. Every room is perfect; why leave? Meanwhile, here are some straight facts on the area around me. » read more


Golden Arches

Linda Burton posting from Denver, Colorado – The minute I stepped inside I felt the golden glow. There was no outside light filtering in, but there was warmth and color in every direction. Does it represent the discovery of gold near Denver in 1858? Or is it intended to remind visitors of the abundant golden sunshine Colorado is so proud of? The shapes are pleasing too — curving archways to walk through; an oval opening in the main floor to peer downward, a shiny golden railing at the edge. And just above each architecturally pleasing turn is a stripe of red, yes, I remember, Colorado literally means “color red.” Move on to the grand staircase in the rotunda; “grand” is not an overstating word, it’s gorgeous with more impressive curves and golden shine; above my head is the dazzling dome. Murals in warm and earthy tones curve around this central room; the walls below are a reddish marble like I’ve never seen before. Too much to comprehend, I head for the Visitor’s Desk to get a brochure; it’s time to get some facts. » read more


Where You Can Bloom

Linda Burton posting from Denver, Colorado – “Bloom where you are planted” is a phrase we’ve all heard before. Today’s trends are busily reversing that age-old axiom to “Plant yourself where you can bloom.” Maybe it’s the high price of gas and the worry over fossil fuels. Maybe it’s the wear and tear of the daily commute, which can put you on a diet of Prilosec. Maybe it’s the longing for an Opie life, whistling as you walk to the fishing hole. Or maybe you’re a fast-tracker with an impatient soul, who wants things to happen now. Would you rather be doing than driving? According to a report by The Worldwatch Institute, 2007, for the first time in this country’s history the majority of our population lives in cities. The Baby Boomers (b 1946-1964) and the Millennials (b 1981-2000) are leading the charge; these are the two fastest growing demographics. The Millennials want a work-life balance in compact communities; 88% choose to live in an urban area. And the Baby Boomers have retirement in mind; they are thinking about having time to do things they’ve put off for years, so being close to those things is important. Denver is planning for all of that. » read more


Scaffolding, and Squirrels

Linda Burton posting from Denver, Colorado – Port-a-potties behind a chain-link fence were my first glimpse of the Colorado state capitol this afternoon, not a pretty sight. Snow and cold gone, warm blue skies lured me downtown; I turned right off Colfax and parked on Grant Street behind the capitol. Straight in front of me in the paved circular walkway was a statue of a Native American standing over a dying bison, surrounded by prairie grasses, it seemed. The dome of the capitol was encased in scaffolding, the lower part further sheathed in a blanket of white. On the left more scaffolding stretched from the ground to the top of the building, cordoned off by that chain-link fence. I’d heard about the renovation needs; the rusting iron and falling building chunks that had resulted in “hair-netting” the dome since 2007. So now it’s underway, a three-year, $17 million project. Camera in hand, I began to walk around the block, hoping to get a clearer picture of exactly what was going on. Scaffolding, and squirrels, were what I found. » read more


Art At Heart

Linda Burton posting from Denver, Colorado – I’m in Denver now, just a hundred miles south of Cheyenne, and the cats and I are settled in, ready for new discoveries. I’ve left the Cowboy State for the Colorful State, according to the Welcome signs, although I saw nothing but brown hills where I-25 brings you in. I left a hotel with roofers hammering madly overhead and endless trains across the street for a hotel with an inner brick courtyard and roses blooming by my window. Freeway traffic got heavy as I approached big-city life; I traded wind and trains for roses and traffic, I chuckled to myself. The highlight of my day was a stop about halfway between Cheyenne and Denver, in a town with the lovely name of Loveland. Also called “The Sweetheart City,” one of Loveland’s claims to fame revolves around the little Cupid guy that flies in sometime in February; that would be Valentines Day. Want to mail a Valentine to someone special with a hand-stamped message of love on the front and a postmark of “Loveland”? Loveland has been re-mailing Valentine cards and love letters for more than 66 years now; they come in from all 50 states and more than 100 countries around the world. It’s the largest program of its kind in the nation, and here’s how it works. » read more


Hot Dam

Linda Burton posting from Pierre, South Dakota – “Now you’ve got me curious,” Pat said. “I’m going to look it up.” Pat Feiock was manning the Corps of Engineers Visitor Center at Oahe Dam today. He’d been answering my questions about the Dam, till I got to this one, about a fact printed on one of their display boards: “If Oahe Dam is the 4th largest man-made reservoir in the US, what are the other three?” He knew Lake Sakakawea in North Dakota was 3rd; we both surmised that Lake Mead would be one of the larger ones. He turned on his computer and began to search. “Yes, Lake Mead is 1st,” he said. “And Lake Powell 2nd. But then,” he hesitated, “there are so many way to measure – acre-feet of water, miles of shoreline, size of the dam, production capacity. There are lots of things you can compare.” We chatted a little more; then Pat jotted down his number so I could set up an appointment for a tour of the power plant on another day; it was too late today. I said goodbye and stepped out in the 103-degree heat. » read more