Cousins, Friends and Colorado

By the time we left Kansas City it was HOT! As in about 100 degrees. We were plugged in at the Elks Lodge in Grandview so we could run the AC, something we rarely do. Glad we had it. We figured it would be cooler in Colorado. Ha!

We parked at the Elks in Lamar, Colorado and were fortunate enough to be plugged in again. No problem. I took a walk around the golf course when it was about 96 degrees and it was smokin’ hot. Forecast for the next few days was 105 and over. We knew Colorado Springs, our destination, was higher in elevation but we also knew we would be boondocking there and relying on the generator to run the AC, if needed. Jim topped off all the diesel tanks and we set out for Colorado Springs on the hottest day yet, 105. Jim drove and he said the temperature gauge was just a cat hair shy of the danger zone of 200. We don’t let it get above that.

That made us a little slow but still in plenty of time to meet up with my third and fourth cousins.  I got to know Denise through another cousin and Facebook. Marilyn remembered my mom and my Aunt Olive very well and told some stories I had never heard. Denise, her daughter, is my age, loves horses and dogs and has both at her home in Maine. She is a talented stained glass artist and we saw photos of her recent and current projects.

We had dinner at the hotel and visited before they had to head back to Longmont since they were back to Maine the next day in their camper. What a great coincidence that she happened to be vacationing in Colorado! As my friend Pat Downs, who is also into geneology said, “I have researched and found over 600 Downses but never met even a third cousin.” So that was something I hadn’t done before. We all had a great time and Denise invited us and the bus to Maine anytime. That will definitely be a summertime trip.

Another thing I hadn’t done before was feed and pet an elephant!

Our Winter Texan friends Theresa and Bruce are house sitting here in Colorado Springs and they came over and knocked on the bus and we had fun catching up with them. They are fun, happy and thoughtful with the added bonus of having the correct political views. They invited us to their house for lunch so we all piled in the car. But not before Carmella decided she really liked Bruce and talked with him while headbutting.
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On the way through town we spotted an elephant in the park with lots of people surrounding it. I immediately thought it was an Indian wedding where the groom arrives on an elephant. Theresa offered to stop so we could take pictures and we did. Good chance to practice on my new iPhone camera that I just got in Kansas City. It turned out to be a mini-Renaissance Festival and the elephant was accepting treats from the crowd. Her name was Peg and it was her 31st birthday.

I had never been up close to an elephant and it was especially interesting since I just finished reading Elephant Company: A Story of an Unlikely Hero and the Animals Who Helped Him Save Lives in World War II by Vicki Croke. It focused on how social and smart they are and the Englishman who changed the way working elephants evolved in Burma and India.

Then we went for lunch. Their house is in a lovely older neighborhood featuring small houses and big trees. We had fun while having a delicious meal; Theresa loves to laugh and Bruce is right there with his dry wit.
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See my buddy Chip at the bottom?

 

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Colorado sky

No elephants on the way back to the hotel.
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And, oh yeah, there are Oldsmobiles here. Once the Olds show is over, we are going to take a mountain cruise with Bruce and Theresa before we leave.

And I guess we better figure out where we are going!

 

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