Mesa Anttero & St. Elmo

We had a couple of issues with the hotel between last night and this morning. I won’t dwell on them, but they are worth mentioning because they were annoyances.

First, Jody got to the hotel well after midnight as planned. The hotel was confused and even though we had reserved and reconfirmed a separate room for her, they insisted that the reservation was not hers and that we were in the only room on the reservation and they were full. I went down there and they gave Jody a room and me a lecture on why making reservations through their central reservation agency was an error. What? Then on checkout there was confusion for everyone because the hotel changed over computer systems in the middle of the night. Suffice it to say that I will be monitoring my credit card charges as soon as I have internet access again in a few days.

We had a good breakfast (this is something the hotel does well and it comes with the room) and then we stopped at Starbucks for a final mocha before heading to my parents’ house.

The trip to Nathrop (actually Mesa Antero) was really fun. We started seeing bits of snow about an hour and a half out of Denver. At some points during our drive through South Park we saw snow on the ground. Very unusual for this time of year in Colorado.

We got to my parents’ house around noon and enjoyed a great lunch of homemade soup. Then we all got in the Explorer (with 4 wheel drive) and drove to Alpine Townsite, Iron City, St Elmo, Romley and Hancock. Jody wanted to see some ghost towns and these are all great examples. Our family’s cabin was in Alpine Townsite and we did get to see it as we drove by.

We stopped at the Iron City Cemetery, where we discovered that people are actively cataloging and restoring the cemetery. We took lots of photos. I used to come to this cemetery when I was growing up and it is so neat to see the work that is going into it. A lot of the graves are of children who died in the diphtheria epicdemic in the late 1800s.

We spent about a half an hour in St Elmo, enjoying a trip to the general store and taking some photos, including a movie clip of some cute chipmunks that must be descendants of the ones I fed as a child.

Finally, we ended the trip with a journey up to Hancock near the Alpine Tunnel. We did have some snow here and we were glad to have the high-centered vehicle and the 4-wheel drive. I hope the photos and panoramas come out. We will try to get some of these on the web site as soon as we can.

We did not see any Prii today, but we are now in rural Colorado where people legitimately need high-centered 4-wheel drive vehicles. If I lived here, I would not own one either unless I had more than one vehicle.

Tomorrow we will drive to Silver Cliff in Custer County.

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Ah, the chipmunks of St. Elmo...  I love it!  My children disembarked from the plane this summer, following a visit to Grandma and Granddad's house, sporting t-shirts that read:  "I fed the chipmunks at St. Elmo".  Times have changed, but some things remain constant...

Monday, September 25, 2006 - 02:45 PM

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