Colorado Vacation: Planes, Trains, and Automobiles

Actually, just one train, but I couldn’t pass up the title.

The day after we flew back to the U.S. and safely deposited the cats at home, we took off for Colorado for a relatively short vacation.  I hope the cats haven’t had too much fun redecorating while we’ve been away.

Our first stop was the west slope.  We had an uneventful trip there, going though Houston to arrive at Eagle-Vail in the early evening.  Funny thing is my Aunt was also departing D.C. on the same day, heading for the same destination, although a little earlier.  So, she, along with my parents, was waiting for us when we got there.

We didn’t do much in Glenwood.  Lots of cooking and eating, and we got to meet my 8-month old neice for the first time.  My younger brother also made the journey up from New Mexico for the weekend.  We did make a trip up to the family cabin above Eagle, in an old mining town named Fulford.  That was lots of fun, and the kids enjoyed running around in the meadows and climbing around over the rocks.  The mosquitoes can be fierce up there, and much larger than in Liberia.  Different species, I suppose.  Yes, we got eaten, but it was worth it to cook over a campfire (roasted carrots and goat cheese, along with peaches cooked in foil with brown sugar and pecans), enjoy the mountain air, and decompress.

We decided to take the train to go from the west slope to the east slope (where the rivers run backwards).  None of us had done it before, and my wife had been talking about it for a while.  The trip by rail took about as long as the flight from Monrovia to Brussels, about six and a half hours.  The advantage is you can get up whenever you want, and take in some really spectacular scenery.


Gore Canyon


Tracks and unspecified mountain


Approaching Denver

With my in-laws, the kids enjoyed playing lots, and meeting their other new cousin, who had his first birthday while we were there.  Yakum had her 9th birthday party, and she got to hang out with one of the friends she made while at school on the Ebola evacuation.  Obligatory shoe shopping took place as well (which I managed to avoid by being at a rheumatologist appointment).  We made a side trip south to Colorado Springs to visit my grandparents, which took up most of a day due to road construction and traffic.  I will say, I-25 south took a little getting used to again.  Five smooth lanes going the same direction is a little intimidating after driving on potholed and cratered two-lane roads in Liberia.

A really great vacation for me, all told.  My wife still had to do her online teaching at really odd hours (the school being based in another timezone) and is preparing for her dissertation defense.  I’m not sure it was nearly relaxing for her as it was for the rest of us, but at least it was a change of pace, and change of weather (Colorado, where you can experience all four seasons in one day), and, more importantly, an increase in internet reliability.