Monday, September 23, 2019

And the Rest of the Story...

Unfortunately, it was rainy and chilly (40*s) on Wednesday so instead of going back into the park to see the geysers, (it would have been a couple hours of driving to get there) we decided (sadly) to start the trek a day early down to Colorado where we were going to stay with relatives.

 A couple hours from Yellowstone Park, was the town of Thermapolis, home of the largest hot mineral springs in the world! They were literally the temperature of bath water and even though it was a chilly day, many people were out swimming in them! That was very fascinating!

 There was a swinging bridge over the springs and of course we had to rock it a bit. :)

 We also stopped at a natural land bridge over a pretty creek. Here Laura and Caleb are standing on top of the "bridge".

 We stopped for the night at a very remote campground where we kept driving and driving through, not sure where the road was taking us! We ended up at a beautiful campsite overlooking this amazing lake surrounded by mountains and cliffs! It was completely quiet and desolate! Incredible!

 Dad & Mom at a fancy picnic pavilion at the campground. 

 You can see our campsite from this view. Way out on the stone cliff above the lake.

We arrived at Uncle Jonathan & Aunt Anna's house near Colorado Springs. They have this majestic view of Pikes Peak right from their living room window!

The next morning, we drove the steeeep switch backs up to the peak of Pike, I mean-Pike's peak! The ride up was scary and beautiful but the scenery at the top was worth the ride! I've never been up on a mountain peak that high before ( sorry, you westerners!)   and besides being light-headed and freeeeezing, it was a wonderful experience! There's just nothing like a "mountain-top experience" to cheer up your day!

 Next on the agenda was the gorgeous Garden of the Gods! We hiked up to this formation, called the Siamese twins.

 Here we are in the "window". 

 The next morning, we were able to tour this beautiful 100-year old castle built by William Palmer, the man who built and founded Colorado Springs. A Christian organization has taken it over and uses it for a retreat center and head quarters.

 Here we are on the veranda. 

 Our next stop was the amazing Cave of the Winds! We took a guided 45-minute tour, along with our cousins. We children haven't been in a large cave before and we greatly enjoyed it!

 Outside the cave, there was some outdoor activities which the boys were excited to take in, including a climbing wall and zipline over the canyon!

Jonathan and cousin Daniel, getting ready to ride the zipline!

 Sunday evening, our relatives took us to the beautiful Indian Paint mines! Apparently the Indians would take the colored clay from these rocks and turn it into their paint and dye! So interesting!

 Rose, Charity, Susanna and Carrie. 

Hmm....he has more appendages then when I last saw him...

 We left Colorado and started towards our home in Missouri. On our way, we stopped at this magnificent church, Cathedral of the Plains. It is the largest cathedral west of the Mississippi.

 In Missouri, we spent time at our grandparent's house, cleaning flowerbeds, mowing and trimming.

 Caleb was happy to dig through Grandpa's garden pots looking for potatoes! 

 We spent an evening with some Mennonite friends who have taken on the project of raising kangaroos! It is quite a spectacle to watch the baby joeys and their mothers racing around!

Too much cuteness!! Caleb loved holding their little adopted baby girl! 

And that brings you up to date on the Bradford travels! We are now on our way home to Pennsylvania and despite battling a wheel flying off our camper and hub troubles, we are hoping to arrive safely in a few hours!

Till next time,

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