We Went Off: All Was Well Again (#6)

If you’re new to this tale, you may want to start with part one, part two, part three, part four, and part five first.

You’ve probably figured out we didn’t plunge into the river that night. No, we survived intact and left the next morning to return the Winnie to its owners.

But I feel it’s important to note that we did plunge into the river many, many times that night in my mind. Seriously, y’all, I spent a good amount of time mentally atop the Winnie as it washed down the river, Baby-girl’s braid wound tightly around my left hand, ready to grab the first sturdy-looking tree branch I’d see with my right. In what I now feel could be the workings of a novella, there were never any branches. We just kept going. We were driven on endlessly down the river, praying there were no sudden falls looming ahead. In most versions of the novella, incidentally, LCB rode with the boys on the back end of the Winnie, doing nebulous and ineffectual things with a mysteriously procured lasso. In one version, he continued sleeping.

It’s so much fun to be me.

Switching gears here, you’re probably wondering about the whole transmission thing, right? In this instance, timing was a beautiful thing. They were able to repair the transmission and they had it finished the night before we returned to Denver, so we stopped to pick up the minivan on the way to drop off the Winnie. All was well again in the world of transportation.

After the vehicle swap, we left Denver and headed down to Colorado Springs.
IMG_8114On our way to our hotel, we stopped at the Manitou Cliff Dwellings.

IMG_8060I love seeing old homes in virtually any form, and these are great because they are very hands-on and kid-friendly.
IMG_8055IMG_8079The ruins, moved from the Four Corners area to the present location over a hundred years ago, have been restored and reinforced for traffic, so you are free to climb through most of the dwellings at your leisure. Plaques located throughout provide plenty of information about the architecture and the lifestyles of the Anasazi people who once inhabited the cliff dwellings.

IMG_8094IMG_8096IMG_8104IMG_8107A large pueblo that functioned as a home until the 1980s now serves as a museum and gift shop filled with all sorts of displays and souvenirs.

Afterward, we headed to our hotel. LCB had booked it and promised a view of Garden of the Gods from our room as well, but given that he’d promised me a peaceful evening spent on our private riverfront deck the night before, I was keeping my expectations low.

This served me well, because when I stepped foot in that room, I was indeed most pleased.

IMG_8115As a further illustration of the difference a day makes, let’s compare water closets.

IMG_7613Exhibit A: The Winnie’s Water Closet

IMG_8136Exhibit B: The Hotel’s Water Closet (No hook-ups or rubber gloves required.)

IMG_8122The balcony was huge,

IMG_8143with expansive views of the mountains,

IMG_8147and as promised, the Garden of the Gods loomed large on the horizon.

They say ignorance is bliss, and boy did we live out that aphorism. After unpacking, we kind of crashed the “adult” infinity pool without realizing it. Later I found a sign saying kids weren’t allowed in the infinity pool, but at the time, in our mad rush toward hedonism, we never saw it and jumped right in. In retrospect, I can imagine what the other guests, all adults of course, were thinking as the small people cannonballed themselves into the pool and spent extensive time rebuilding the nearby flotation devices (presumably used by the adult water aerobics classes I now know they host) into larger flotation devices . But we were unaware of our mistake at the time, so we fully enjoyed ourselves, basking in the warmth of the Colorado sun and inhaling the view before us.

We dined outdoors that night overlooking the Garden, and sat out late on our deck enjoying coffee and wine. That night, I slept the sleep of one who has not slept the night before. All was well again in the world of sleep.

After breakfast the next morning, we loaded up the minivan, ready to hit the trails at the Garden of the Gods. We drove to the park and spent some time walking the trails and exploring various rock formations.

IMG_8155IMG_8158Wanting to overcome my acrophobia once and for all, I decided to hit it full-on by signing up for rock climbing. It took some doing, but here I am summiting one of the rock formations.

IMG_8168I so just lied. That’s just some guy who doesn’t realize that he could fall.

IMG_8174IMG_8190The small people, however, all had great fun scaling the rocks as well as they could without any gear. Then we hoped back in the minivan and headed north.

IMG_8209And this? This, in case any of you recognize it, is where we spent the next two nights. (Any guesses?)

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