Warren & Emily SwanTrips → 1990

This vacation introduced a different idea.  Let’s just go to one state and see what is there.  Emily’s sister, Olive, had purchased a tent and came along with us.  On the way to Colorado visited the Agricultural Hall of Fame in Kansas City, the Eisenhower home and memorial in Abilene, and the High Plains Museum at Goodland, Kansas. 

Mushroom Rock State Park While staying at Kanopolis State Park in Kansas, we visited nearby Mushroom Rock State Park, with its odd examples of flood sedimentation and subsequent wind erosion.  Here are Heidi, Olive and Daniel sitting on one of these giant rocks.  →

In Colorado we camped at the Crags Campground for a few days.  We had a good time at Cripple Creek, where Warren took Olive & Heidi on the Cripple Creek & Victor Narrow Gauge RR, while the others checked out the town.  A memorable statement was made as we drove away on Gold Camp Road, overlooking the valley below, Heidi said, “I can see the whole world.”

We visited Miramont Castle, and Garden of the Gods.  We saw Pikes Peek but didn’t go up it.

The Crags Campground itself had a beautiful hike up to the Crags.

D&RG in Royal Gorge At Royal Gorge you purchase tickets which are good for a variety of activities.  We chose to watch the multimedia presentation, and take the incline down to the bottom of the gorge.  The walk on the high suspension bridge is free.  As we hiked it, a Denver & Rio Grand train came wiggling through the caņon.  →

We camped for a few days at Mesa Verde, where we were able to take quite a few hikes.  The cliff dwellings were fascinating.  The deer here were too friendly from people feeding them.  They boldly came up to your picnic table to pull the food off of your plates!

Durango & Silverton ← We drove into Durango to take the trip for which we’d purchased tickets several months before: the Durango & Silverton Narrow Gauge.  This is one of the best, and even non-railfans flock to take this ride along the Animas River.  It’s an all day trip, with a few hour layover in Silverton to walk its streets and have lunch. 

After seeing the Black Caņon of the Gunnison, and visiting ghost towns Turret and St. Elmo, we crossed the Continental Divide at Berthoud Pass, and camped at Rocky Mountain National Park.  We had several interesting hikes at Rocky Mountain NP, to Nymph Lake, Dream Lake, Bear Lake and so on.

Assistant Fireman Warren on the Georgetown Loop Early one morning we came to take the Georgetown Loop Railroad ride.  When Warren told the engineer that he worked as a volunteer for the Illinois Railway Museum Steam Team, Hugo invited him to ride in the cab during the trip.  So Warren abandoned the family to one of the gondolas and rode in the cab...  →

Going over Devil’s Gate Bridge ← ...over Devil’s Gate Bridge, 95 feet above the river. 

In Denver we visited the U.S. Mint; the Molly Brown house; one of our favorite restaurants, Casa Bonita; and the Colorado Railroad Museum at Golden.

We took a Northerly Route back from Colorado, and camped at Fort Kearny State Recreational Area near Kearny, Nebraska.  When we got to Golden Corral for supper in Kearny that evening we found that Little Olive was missing a shoe (the third this trip!), but no one noticed.

It was very hot as we hiked around reconstructed Fort Kearny before leaving.  We spent a few hours at Harold Warp’s Pioneer Village.

The remaining sites on the way home were: the Willa Cather Historical Center in Red Cloud, NE; Trainland toy train museum near Colfax, IA; and the Herbert Hoover Library and Museum in West Branch, IA; before the Big Push to home.

visited 6 states (12%)
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