Kayaking at Lathrop State Park

by midlifecrisisqueen on July 23, 2014

Swim beach at Lathrop July 2014 smallThe first piece of recreational equipment we decided we had to have after moving down here to Walsenburg Colorado was a kayak.

Why?  Because the lakes at Lathrop State Park are right outside of town, and sure look tempting of a morning.  See the swim beach to your left this AM.

But purchasing a kayak is no small feat when you live in the middle of nowhere.  First we had to find one online that we wanted, and then we drove up to Colorado Springs to get it.

faster than a speeding kayakThis turned into a fairly crazy situation.  Since we only had our van to transport it back home, we had it hanging out as we drove.  This quickly went from crazy to hilarious when Mike exclaimed, Faster than a speeding kayak!”  as we hauled-ass down I-25!

So this AM we decided to take her out for a spin at the lake near here.  With perfect conditions and the water smooth as glass, I took off from the shore.

Mike kayaking at Lathrop 2014 smallI found it lovely paddling out to meet with a few ducks out there. Kayaking is immensely peaceful.

Then Mike took off for a spin around the lake.  Bye Mike, have a good day… our next adventure will be learning how to catch some trout in that lake!


Like a dream: The archaeology of Ideal Mine

by midlifecrisisqueen on July 21, 2014

It really is quite curious.  I’ll be walking in Walsenburg or La Veta and it will suddenly hit me that I actually live here.  After living in Boulder, Loveland and Fort Collins since childhood, it strikes me as quite strange that I live in such a nice small town.  Then I get a bit of a thrill out of the whole idea.

Yesterday we took an archaeology road trip out to one of the many old mining ghost towns near Walsenburg.  We drove out County Road 330, known locally as Ideal Canyon Road, because we had seen some cool adobe ruins out there.

stone house near Ideal MIne smallOn the way out we saw this incredible stone house built on a butte near the road.  (Click on my photos for larger views.) That’s one of the Spanish Peaks behind the “Butte House.”

Stone house runis near Ieal Mine 2014 smallI did the research and found out that the Ideal Mine was located out this road from 1909 to 1927.  Here’s a link to some more great photos of abandoned mining towns in Colorado.  Thanks to Jeff from www.coloradopast.com for putting together this wonderful collection of photos!

The men of the Ideal mine produced over 2.5 million tons of coal in 18 years.  What were their lives like?                                                                                                  Did their wives and kids live out here too?  Stone church Ideal Mine small 2014

Can you tell the first thing I wanted to study when I got to college was archaeology?

We also found the ruins of what appeared to be an old  church with some other buildings nearby.

So many questions arise as to the meaning and complexity of the lives lived and perhaps lost here.

DSCF0621The arroyos in this canyon are also quite beautiful and amazing.

Consider the power of men and water to move mountains…

Don’t miss my new post about another local trip over at “How to Believe in Love Again”


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