Sunday, 3 July 2011

This Time Last Year

View from the top of Pikes Peak, looking out over Kansas

On this day last year, we were enjoying a beautifully perfect Colorado Springs (USA) summer.  Half way through the torture of shopping, yesterday, I realised that on the 2nd of July last year we had spent 7 hours at Castle  And it had been easy.  I commented, yesterday, that I would rather shop at Costco, and what do you know, within an hour and a bit that's where we were.

Anyway, on the 3rd of July last year we were driving up Pikes Peak.  It is one of the 14,000 footers in the US.  Each morning, while we were in The Springs, I would open the back door blinds at my BIL's house and take in the view of the magnificent Rocky Mountains...and Pikes Peak.  Apparently you can't get that close and not drive up, so we did.  My BIL drove.  A good thing, since Dh was a bit freaked out once we got past the tree line near the top.  We were told to drink water as we drove, to help avoid altitude sickness.  Alas, we were still not used to being at 6,500ft, let alone 14,000ft!  We reached the top, where there is a visitor centre ~ as large as any I've seen.  Truly American sizing!  Miss Mischief and I struggled with the lack of oxygen the most.  Dizziness and queasy stomachs, however, did not stop me from buying a thimble from the top of that amazing mountain.

The thing that has amazed me, as I have spent the last week wandering through beautiful memories of that amazing holiday, is that the weather here in Melbourne has been the winter match for those oh-so perfect summer days.  It has been sunny and not too cold.  As if to encourage us to remember.  And remember we have.  Days in Disneyland and Universal Studies.  Castle Rock.  Pikes Peak.  Fourth of July in Denver to see the fireworks....and one of the worst storms to hit Denver on the 4th of July in a long time.  Oh those black, black clouds!  I've never seen anything like it!  A few days camping at Estes Park, just north of Denver, as well as some must-see tourist stops around The Springs.  And driving for ourselves....on the wrong side of the road on the I25 at 75mph...well over our customary 100kph!!!!  *sigh*  It was a magnificent once-in-a-lifetime holiday.

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