Wednesday, October 16, 2013

More from Colorado Springs

"Manitou" means spirit and the land around here is filled with Spirit and spirits of all kinds.  There is a great deal of history here--both pre- and post-Columbian.  Gold mining frontier towns, pioneers, ancient Anasazi, and the more recent Utes, all lived here and left their imprints both physically and psychically.

Although we did not make it to Cave of the Winds, we did make it to the Manitou Cliff Dwellings.

Even though the exterior is impressive, some of my best shots were taken inside the cliff dwellings.

Metates for grinding maize.

Looking down into the kiva, sacred ceremonial space.
Some of the photos later turned out to have things in them that were not visible at the time the photos were taken.  Rather than being orbs, it looks more like spirit-fog.

Once again, the views are breathtaking.

Pinon pine and mountains
 The museum itself maintain the architectural integrity of the original dwellings.

There is art everywhere reflecting the rich cultural flavor of the American Southwest.

This model of the original dwellings graces the wall of the gift ship.

I am certain this is spirit energy.  There was no light shining directly into the lens and the room itself was dark within.

I wish to thank the spirits of this place for their connections to me and their appearance both in my photos and in my writing of Kokopelli.  Blessings upon you.

Conflict at the Crystal Kangaroo

At first we were thrilled to be at the Crystal Kangaroo Campground, but after a few days, we were insulted and asked to leave because our RV is "unsightly" and all the neighbors were allegedly up at the office complaining about "all the stuff" in our windows. (Read:  small decals from my colleges, and the visible boxes in the front seat.)  Don't people have their own lives to worry about?

Needless to say, I took my money back and we left immediately.  The nerve!  Now, let's take a good look at the campground that was so perfect that we were considered an eyesore.

This tower whose purpose is unknown is padlocked and the steps have been removed.  It is falling apart, with extensive holes in the floor and ceiling and of course it sports that bea-ooo-ti-ful antique television antenna.

And there was a perfectly lovely swimming pool (heated, according to Internet research), filled with weeds and a layer of algae growing out of its crumbling walls.

And when we tire of swimming, we can have lunch al fresco in the perfect picnic grounds.

A short hike up the hill brings us to the (once) magnificent greenhouse, fallow now and filled with weeds like the pool.  What I wouldn't give to have a greenhouse like this on our own property...

A walk along the creek brings us to a very nice deck, where one could take in the sights and sounds of nature.  But although still sturdy, it is clear this has not been cared for for a long time.

And I don't think our RV stands out as an eyesore in this park.

To be fair to the land, though, this is a beautiful spot, filled with wildlife and I did get some lovely pictures. This first one is my favorite because it looks lonely and begged to be in sepia-tone.

And the views of Garden of the Gods were spectacular:

Bear scat.

I went for a walk one morning and found evidence of bears.

Bear print.
There was also a herd of mule deer grazing fearlessly throughout the campground.  Squirrels, raccoons, and other small mammals clearly lived there as well.

There were also tracks of rabbit, deer, and numerous birds.

Magpie and Mountain Bluebird

Magpie and Stellar's Jays

And this beautiful bubbling creek was the star of the show.

Fall Beauty in Colorado Springs

Resting today after a long show this weekend, and throwing my back out in the process.  No hiking for me.  I guess we'll just have to come back to Colorado, so we can drive Pike's Peak Highway, visit Cave of the Winds, Florissant Fossil Beds, and North Pole.  Tentatively planning a Colorado/New Mexico tour for next May and June.

My appearance at a bookstore in Albuquerque was cancelled, which is fine with me since I am essentially out of inventory.  Nick will be shipping me more, but it is being sent to Phoenix, where my second husband has graciously agreed to accept the packages.

So, we are still visiting bookstores, but mainly acting as a sales rep for New Leaf.  At least I can put in an appearance, introduce myself and leave a brochure. 

Here are some of my favorite pictures of Colorado Springs and Manitou Springs.  Will  post again after our New Mexico travels.

At Garden of the Gods

Miramont Castle

Garden of the Gods and Pike's Peak

Spiny Tachina Fly on blooming Rabbit Brush

Dinosaurs DO still appear in Manitou Springs.

Historic Inn at Manitou Springs.