Great Friends, Good Times and Paradise

The last few days have been really fun and relaxing. Our friends from Franktown brought their RV and came to visit us in Howard, CO. We had a good time, weathered a little rain, did some thrift store shopping, took a road trip to Westcliff and Silver Cliff towns, played some cards and dominoes and had a really nice campfire. They had to leave yesterday so we took off for a ghost town called St. Elmo in between to of the collegiate peaks, Mt. Princeton and Mt. Antero. We stopped in Salida on the way because the car was covered in tree sap and bugs and we decided it had to be washed.

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Of course, as usual, when you wash the car, it almost always rains. We were glad we took the Mini because it looked like rain just a half an hour later. The most we got was sprinkles, just enough to mess up the wash job (especially with several miles of unpaved road on our journey)!
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The road took us right by the Chalk Cliffs and the beautiful Cascade waterfalls. It follows along Chalk Creek before it flows into the Arkansas near Buena Vista.

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IMG_1133.JPGThe water was crystal clear and cold.

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We stopped at a beautiful meadow preserved as a natural wildlife habitat along the way. Evidently, the wildlife didn’t get the notice we’d be stopping by, so we didn’t see any animals here.

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At St. Elmo, the general store was interesting. It had both regular souvenir shirts and hats and a mixture of other items, including antiques like old knives, mining implements, old products and even some Star Wars memorabilia.

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The rest of the ‘ghost town’ was not very ghostly. It was more like a mostly empty old run down town with some current inhabitants. It was all marked private property and you were restricted to the streets.

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On the way down from the 10,000+ foot altitude we spied this beautiful lake and had to take a closer look.

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It was named Alpine Lake and was for the private use of Alpine land owners. (Sorry, Dad, it would’ve made a perfect kayaking lake!) We turned down the dirt/rock road and explored this beautiful lake that was barely visible from the main road. What a gem. It really made our day!

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We headed home and witnessed an amazing sunset. As we were headed EAST we saw this huge thunder cloud IN FRONT OF US over the mountains in the distance start glowing orange. The cloud was probably over Canon City or something, but it filled up the whole view out the windshield and then some. At first, there was no color to sunset in the west, just the eastern sky was ablaze. However, as the eastern color faded and we got closer to home the western sky lit up! WOW, it was fantastic!

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