Monday, April 04, 2011

Last Day of Visit

One of the many things that I have learned from Gail over the years is to allow what makes one happy.
Gail has an ivy plant that is quite robust and it makes her happy to have a bathroom that is vine covered.
A few pins pushed into the bathroom walls and Ta-Dah! 
Instant vine covered bathroom without any vines actually clinging to the wall surfaces..

The dry climate of Colorado Springs makes inside plant growing a bit more challenging; a slightly more humid environment such as a bathroom is a great place to grow plants. 

Counter space is limited, but wall and ceiling space?  No problem.
Her kids think the ivy sprawling around the bathroom is a tad odd...I don't. In fact the ivy vines made me happy too!
Kids...what do they know?

(Now if we can just get a few butterflies to flutter around in there too....)

We awoke on Sunday morning to heavy fog, hoar frost and snow.  A few gently probing questions lead us to the conclusion that both of us wouldn't mind just lolling around in our jammies over breakfast and then chatting while watching the snow showers instead of dressing and dashing off to church.
I think God totally understood...and approved.
Around noon we finally pulled ourselves off the couch, got dressed and I packed up my suitcase.
We planned to go for another hike and didn't wish to worry about packing back home later before my flight time.
The Garden of the Gods awaited us! 

Each time I visit Gail we take a jaunt through the Gardens of the God; each time I think I have photographed everything and each time I notice something I had missed before.

I wondered if the first time I visited here some twenty years ago if *maybe* I could have squeezed through this narrow passage.
Sure ain't gonna happen this visit...

So we meandered a bit...the sun would break through the haze and it would feel warm, then the breeze would kick up and it would feel cool...

It really is a place of endless photo opportunities.
Before we got too far into the Gardens, we decided that we really did need an extra layer of jacket to stay warm and walked back to the car.

Funny how a scene we had just passed moments before struck us differently upon a second viewing: How marvelous and mysterious that so many colors were to be found in the earth in one elevation change.
The creamy white layer just suddenly shifted to brilliant rust red!

The blue jays were adding their own color to the scenes, plus their distinctive call tipped me off as to where to look to get a gander at their wonderful blueness.

The parking lot was filling up rapidly as more and more people arrived with their children and dogs; Gail suggested we drive to the other side of the Gardens and hike one of the more wild paths in the area.

We hiked a path alongside a dry stream bed where layer upon layer of sediment rippled artfully at every bend.

Gail surprised me by announcing that she actually hadn't hiked every trail in the Gardens; she had intended to but with one thing or another hadn't fulfilled her goal of doing so.

One trail marker announced the way to Siamese Twins.  It was a path she hadn't taken before so off we went to see what it was all about.

(I cautioned Gail that if there were actually real live Siamese twins at the end of the trail I would be rather disturbed....)

The Siamese Twins formation.
Gail was quite pleased that it had been left in a natural state; some of the balancing formations in the Gardens had been secured with a bit of cement. 

The hike up wasn't too bad; the view down was wonderful.  The mists broke and reformed so we could enjoy the distant views while blue jays taunted us with wonderful poses that they held only long enough for me to focus before they would fly off faster than I could click to record the image.

Getting a shot of Gail was not hard at all...

In fact I managed to take several.

The area had lots of interesting formations worth photographing, and I was soon on my belly lining up some really cool shots.  Gail found she wasn't quick enough to bag that kind of shot of me; maybe next time she will get one as I am finding my steadiest position for photo taking is being flat on my stomach with my elbows planted firmly on the ground.
Getting a shot of me getting up again could make for another interesting photo as well. 
Just sayin'....

Gail said she would love to get a picture of a full moon through this opening.  If I lived in Colorado Springs, I imagine we would be hiking up and waiting for such a moment some clear night.

A crisp autumn sunset would make a great picture too....the foggy mists really hampered capturing the distant view on this day, but it was still wonderful.

I wonder how old we will have to be before we outgrow the impulse to take a picture of each other taking a picture?
We will probably never mature to that state...knowing us.

Gail wanted me to see where Elizabeth and Bryce will be married.  The outdoor walled in space will be beautiful in June, and if the weather is iffy, the event can be held inside the room beyond the doors by the lower terrace.
Perfect.  Just PERFECT!

The walled garden is on the back side of the Garden of the Gods Trading Post gift shop and restaurant.
It was time for lunch; I got the bison chili while Gail got the bison burger.

(If you haven't ever had bison...quick...find some at your grocers and give it a try.  So much more delicious than even the best beef you have ever tasted. Really!)

We thought it would just be the two of us having lunch out in the restaurant patio; it wasn't long before we had a mooch wanting to join us.

There is a point when hospitality conflicts with concerns about having a squirrel run up one's pant leg.

Gail solved the conflict by tossing a french fry off the deck. was not our company that the squirrel was seeking after all.
Cupboard love; yes, I totally get it.

Whaat?  I really was interested in just being with you any more things you want to share with me, food wise?

And then just like that...the visit was over.  Gail drove me through old Colorado City on the way to the airport; we will explore that cute area some other visit for sure.

The flight home was uneventful; I read during the hour and 15 minute flight, and was glad that the cloud cover had thinned enough that I could enjoy seeing the edges of Great Salt Lake as the plane lowered for landing.

Every time I have flown over the Great Salt Lake, it has looked a bit different as the water color changes with temperature variations.
Some times the water is simply a bonanza of colors.

The mountain colors change too; SLC had had a lot of snow while I was gone; the mountains were welcoming me home this time in their finest shades of blue and white.

Gail, as always, thank you for being such a wonderful friend and excellent hostess.  Your new home is so bright and welcoming; I hope your joy there will continue to grow with each passing day and season.  Cameras and blogging can only do so much to record the special times that you have provided for me; please know that I cherish many more memories that we share between us; God willing we both will savor those blessing for many years to come and continue to experience His blessings on our lives and friendship as we make new memories in the future.


Vicki said...

What a great way to wrap up your weekend with Gail! The Gardens look like a fascinating place to hike (with a camera, of course).

I absolutely love the ivy trailing along the bathroom walls! What a great idea! I'm all for that!

Now...that squirrel. I've had my share of "squirrel experiences," but when you mentioned not wanting to have a squirrel crawl up your pants leg, I immediately thought of Ray Stevens' old song...are you familiar with it? ( - sorry, I can't remember how to hyperlink in a comment.)

Vee said...

This series has been great. I've enjoyed Gail's corner tremendously and I've enjoyed reading about your friendship. The joy of these things is that your friendship is an eternal one.

One last thing... the way Gail has the ivy on her bathroom looks as if it is tied up in a giant bow. I love that!

ellen b. said...

What beautiful formations and colors you got to see on your hike. What a wonderful friendship you share.

Judy ~ My Front Porch said...

Now those pic's brought back many memories...of our visit there last summer. A lovely place to spend time with a friend...for sure!

Sara said...

I enjoyed reading about your Colorado adventures!

Kathy said...

I thought for a moment that you were going to walking through a slot canyon. What an amazing garden 'your master' has there in Colorado. Oh...and I liked your 'cupboard love' visitor.

Lovella ♥ said...

It is all so special ..the trails. .the vine. .the moments shared between friends. I'm glad it was all you hoped and then some.