I last left my readers in Duluth, Minnesota, but we have been back in Denver since that trip. This autumn season has been packed with things going on each day. It’s been interesting and entertaining, but it hasn’t left a lot of time for blogging. I’m still finding my way through the slowness of the internet and my computer. In these beautiful fall days, I’d rather be outside, pursuing non-computer related activities, or enjoying the little time we have left here in town with my grandchildren!
But to pick up that trip just a little, we had back-to-back stays at state parks in two states on our way back. The first was Platte River State Park south of Omaha, Nebraska. We were here for a family reunion some years back. My oldest brother had to stay at an RV park down the road because there were no RV sites at Platte. That has changed with the addition of a new RV campground, with full hookups, just completed in the last handful of years. This time, we were there to spend some time with my sister Gloria, who rented a cabin in the park. We also went in to Omaha to catch dinner with her husband Chuck. This waterfall is an easy hike, and is one of the centerpieces of the park, besides the Platte River. I also caught a pretty picture of the little fishing lake early one morning while walking over to Gloria’s cabin.
It’s always fun to have a “girls day” (if you identify as a girl, that is) and Gloria and I did that with a day in Lincoln, Nebraska. We toured the Capitol Building. It’s different than others I’ve seen. The original building, which was built like typical domed capitol, actually crumbled while sitting on ground that was too soft. This one was built in the 1920’s and looks much like that era to me. There was a lot of beautiful artwork meaningful to Nebraska laid in the architecture. A guide took us through and pointed out many things I would have missed.
After walking through downtown to a Mediterranean restaurant for lunch, we finished our day with a visit to the International Quilt Museum. This quilt was one of my favorites.
On another day, Gloria drove us through the Lee Simmons Wildlife Safari, which is just down the road from Platte. I was happy to see this sandhill crane. From late February to early April, over 600,000 sandhill cranes migrate on the Platte River valley before heading farther north. That is something I’d like to see some day – but I don’t know if I’d want to be in Nebraska at that time of year!
After leaving Platte River SP, we headed directly southwest to Tuttle Creek State Park just outside of Manhattan, Kansas. Manhattan was a place we called home for four years and both of our daughters were born at the hospital at nearby Ft. Riley. It is the kind of small university town with huge leafy trees that you would expect to find somewhere farther East, and we loved our day to day life here. We have traveled down memory lane several times in Manhattan, so our purpose this time was to catch up with our friends Gayle, Roger, and Gayle’s niece Annalise. All of the roads around Gayle’s berm home on a hillside are dirt, so they have ATVs. Of course we all had to go for a ride. Cal and I have been on many conveyances in our life, but this was our first for ATV riding.
Here we are with Annalise, who at eleven has her own ATV and rides it around her neighborhood like other kids might ride a bike. We rode to the top of a hill for a great view of the Kansas countryside.
Gayle kept us on our toes, so we didn’t have a lot of time at Tuttle. It is a pretty park which could use a little TLC. They are building a new RV area, though. It was odd to be overnighting at a park we had only driven around in our former life here. It was too close to home, back then, to camp in.
Back here in Denver, Cal and I have been homebodies this fall, enjoying our grandchildren and keeping busy with day to day life. But we did get in a day trip to Rocky Mountain National Park. The rumors are true – this park is busy and we had to make an advance reservation. Arriving early morning, the parking lots were already full and we had to use the park shuttle. Sort of makes me miss the days when we would go to a park on a whim and just tool around. We’ve been to Rocky Mountain several times, so on this day we just headed directly for the trail. We took an eight mile hike to “The Loch”, a pretty mountain lake. It was straight uphill all the way with an elevation gain of 950 feet. The Loch was at 10,190 feet. The beauty all around us was incredible.
Back here in Denver…
I’ve been part of a group of ladies called Wonderful and Witty Women. The forming of this group coincided with my arrival in Denver. We are mostly grandmothers who have moved to Denver in order to be closer to our grandchildren. There is a Monday morning walk at City Park with breakfast on the patio at the golf course, another morning socializing at a community garden, a new book group is forming, and there are other activities depending on whatever someone dreams up. Some days several people might be missing, but then there are always a couple others I haven’t met yet who show up. It’s been a great way to stay connected and I will miss my new friends when we leave town. They know I’m a full time RV’er and there are no rules here, so I can just show up again in the spring.
There was also an awesome trip to New Orleans to visit another one of my sisters and her daughter, but that will be blogged another time.
Next time – well, I’m not sure about that yet!