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Monday, August 19, 2013

Day 5: An End to the Mountains

We talked about going to the Air Force Academy, but Lon was meh about it.  We went to Garden of the Gods. We were going to only spend an hour there, we ended up spending 3.
Really pretty rock formations.
Some more formations we saw on our drive through the Gardens
We got some breakfast there as the hotel we were in did not have a good breakfast. The pancakes were huge. If I knew they were going to be that big, we would have split them,
While we were looking for a t-shirt for Daddy I found a Jr. Ranger program book. They are not a National Park. They would like to be, but they have a mandate on not ever charging admission and I am not sure that they will be a National Park with that.
Lon was thrilled to do all the activities that were in the book, we had to watch the movie, (a charge for that) and Lon did a scavenger hunt. He also completed the puzzles in the book. He got a patch that I will have to sew on his vest.
We bought gas in Fowler, Co
gallons: 5.954
Mileage: 2081.0
                                                                                    Cost: 22.02
We drove south to Peublo then over on Highway 50 to Bent's Old Fort.  That one is very much off the beaten path too. Lon and I are now calling our trip the summer of the obscure National Parks. It is sort of fun.
This was a trading post along the Santa Fe Trail. The original fort burnt down a long time ago, in 1976 the Parks department rebuilt it. They used drawings, writing, etc to get it as accurate as possible.
While Lon did his activities, I thought about what it would have been like to live out there. It was hot! and isolated (still!), it would have been a rough go.
Lon ran around, and I sat and listened to the mice in the rafters
Even though there are two resident cats. The Ranger told us that they played with a rattlesnake the day before and he was thinking they were not long for this world. However, they lost interest in the snake before he pounced on them.
Lon got his badge!

Had to take a picture of the peacock. They have several there. Not sure why.
In front of the wagon. The parking lot for Bent's Old Fort was a long way from the Fort.  One of the Rangers asked me if I wanted a ride back, since I had my cane. I said yes. It was just HOT.  In the upper 90s the radio said.
Yes, Lon is holding two bottles of water. We drank most of that before we got back on the highway
I thought I was going to have to double back to get to 50, but the Ranger told me just to keep going down the road 13 miles and I would meet up with the highway again. Which is what happened.
Before we get to 50, the most random thing EVER.
Zebras, ostrich, and gazelles.  No sign for African Animal Park. It was as if someone just wanted herds of these animals instead of cows.   Did not expect to see Zebras in Colorado.
Now it was off to Kansas!
Why, yes, that is corn. Lots of corn. And the closer we got to Dodge City, the more feedlots we passed. Lon does not want to go near a feedlot if we can smell it from the car that strong.   I am happy with that! Concentrated cow is not the most happy smell.

Lon took this photo of the sunset as we were heading into Dodge.
We ate dinner at a steak house recommended by the front desk. Nothing great. I did get a steak, it was just okay. On the upside, it was right next door.
We went to the grocery store and got a case of water for the car.
Tonight we are at a La Quinta, they did not have many rooms left she tells me. So we got a jaquzzi suite for 135. (plus tax) which puts it slightly over budget, but since I have been under budget for the last few days it works out.
Tomorrow is another fort! And a Presidential Library!

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