My various adventures of a "Going Outside and Doing Things" nature, mostly in the great outdoors of Colorado. Hiking, playing with the dogs, rock hunting, abandoned houses, gardening... and probably more!

Saturday, January 26, 2013

January 26, 2013 - Red Rocks, Morrison Cemetery, Mt. Vernon Cemetery

Colorado is in the middle of one of its mid-winter warm spells. Most years we get a week or two of really pleasant weather, in the upper 50s to low 70s, where it's actually nice enough that you might want to go out and do something! Sadly, I know this period won't last, but it was nice to enjoy it while we could.

A couple days ago, we'd decided to try and find a historic cemetery in the area, the Mt. Vernon cemetery. Unfortunately, the directions we got were next to useless, and we wound up completely missing it. We drove around a bunch, including a trip almost half an hour or so too far north, and never wound up at the cemetery. It was a rather pretty drive up through the foothills, but was still somewhat disappointing. But I took at least two nice pictures:

A view of the mountains.

Wind turbines!

Today we decided we'd try again to find the cemetery, with some better directions and a much more careful look at a map. We also realized that there was a second cemetery, the Morrison Cemetery, nearby. So we set out to visit that one first, which also takes you through part of Red Rocks park. Red Rocks is also a pretty famous concert venue, but outside of the amphitheater, it's still a really gorgeous area with some pretty nice trails to walk or bike on. The geology is amazing!

After driving in a little ways, we decided to stop and take a look around before continuing up to the cemetery. You don't really get to see how amazing the rocks are until you're in the park and driving through.

The rocks are really stripey!

One of my favorite pictures from the day, I think.

As we continued walking, we realized we could see the cemetery at the top of a nearby hill.

I'm not sure what this is... big metal... thing.

We saw a lot of jays around. Mostly scrub jays like this guy, though a couple Steller's as well.

Another scrub jay. I really want a nice picture of a Steller's jay, because they're awesome!
I was originally thinking these guys were pinon jays, but they look more like scrub jays, I think.

I really like these rocks.

Brave little trees, clinging to spots in the rocks. And some snow there, still.

After this, we finally were approaching the cemetery... to find a big no trespassing sign, with a warning about penalties for desecrating a place of burial. I'm sure they unfortunately wind up with a lot of vandalism up here, since Red Rocks is such a popular venue. We went up to the cemetery anyway, but didn't stay for very long. (Obviously, we weren't doing anything damaging, but still.)

There is quite a view from up there!

Cemetery gate.

The Rooneys are a famous and influential family in the area.
Though now I wonder... is Evelyn still alive? Was she buried somewhere else?

This one is pretty old, and a neat design. It's for Edna Bell Rooney
and the center is shaped like a bell. The dates are 1898 - 1915.

This one also has an image of Rooney Ranch from 1860.
You can still see the ranch from nearby Dinosaur Ridge.

I wish I could have gotten a closer look at some more
of these headstones, but we decided we should go.

I know that Morrison has a pretty active historical society; I may try to contact them at some point and see if they could give us permission to come up here legitimately to look around.

After this we walked back, and decided to continue on to the original cemetery we'd been looking for, the Mt. Vernon cemetery.

It turns out that we had passed the correct road for it yesterday; it's just not marked. It's also the entrance to a county open space park, which was not mentioned at all in connection with the cemetery. Seems like that would be a useful piece of information to share! And the park itself, while mentioning that it's the historic town site of Mt. Vernon, doesn't mention the cemetery.

Mount Vernon was a town that in the mid 1800s had set itself up to be the "gateway to the Rockies," with the roads into the mountains all toll roads. It prospered for a while, but as other small towns grew nearby, it eventually failed. A much longer history can be found here.

A nice little creek.

Soaring hawk.

Another impressive view.

Although the park doesn't mention the cemetery, it was easy to find, as it's not far off the trail, and has a fence around it.

I like this picture a lot, too.

There are actually two fenced portions; one with the single cross-shaped marker, and another slightly larger area with five markers in it. I'm sure there are more graves than that, but they've likely been lost due to weathering. Most of the markers are wood, so it's impressive that there are any still in place. (Though I'm not 100% sure those are the originals, they don't seem to be especially modern.)

One of the stones, obviously repaired. It reads that he died on
September 8, 1867, age 21 years, 8 months, and 15 days.

A wooden marker.

Another wooden marker.

The third wooden one, plus the second stone.

The other stone. The closest I can guess is the date is in 1860, but it's hard to read.

The cross.

While the park had a couple little signs that mentioned Mt. Vernon as a town, and the entrance to the park also says it's the "Mt. Vernon Historical Site," it's a shame there isn't more information given about it. It'd be interesting to know where specific buildings were, even if there's nothing left now. Though I do wonder if there are foundations around (it looked like there might have been a few visible from the road) that just aren't marked. Looking up information seemed to say there are two private residences that are buildings from the town, but I'm not certain of that.

Anyway, both of these sites (and the rest of Red Rocks) were really interesting places to visit, and I'm glad we had the opportunity to!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

July 7 through 9, 2012 - Back to Colorado

The 7th was the day we finally had to leave. We didn’t bother getting up early or anything, since the drive was long enough it wouldn't really matter when exactly we got started. We did part of the needed horse care for the day, and said goodbye to the herd.

The boys.

Aladdin and Jupiter.

The girls.

Kat and Bebe.

Me, Kat, and Larenta.*

Kat headed into town with us so we could enjoy a last air-conditioned break at Starbucks to steal some internet, and then we headed out.

This sign made us laugh every time we passed it. First, I’m from Lakewood, but there is no Lakewood in Maryland.
And second, it’s the Lakewood Church of Cod.
“For Cod so loved the world, he gave his only begotten Sunfish…”
Which ALSO reminds me that we heard no Lon Solomon commercials this time while we were there. He broadcasts these religious commercials about how you need to convert or burn in hell, and always ends with “Not a sermon. Just a thought.” Last time we decided it should really be “Not a salmon. Just a trout.”

Hardly starting off, and Cy is already sure he's suffering.

Look, mountains!

I wanted to find a "Welcome to Maryland" sign,
but instead settled for the welcome mat in the visitor's center.

Maryland flag.

Roses from their garden.

Picture of me. We were trying to get the flags to cooperate, but they didn't want to.

Lovely lily.

It was rather warm. (That is 108... the display is a little broken.)

Rocky Gap. It's... a rocky gap.

West Virginia.
(A friend told me I should have gotten pictures of the ridiculous signs you see  alongside the road...
I agree, but sadly mostly just got state signs, so you can see our route. Next time!)


Taylor is my sister. She has a town, apparently! (We were for some reason sent off the highway here.)

Nice clouds.


Blurry Indiana.

I fell asleep before we crossed over into Illinois. We slept overnight in a rest stop,
and I looked around for some kind of Illinois sign, and this was the closest they had.

I think their dog looks kind of like a monkey with floppy ears.

While in Illinois, we visited Cohokia. I have a BA in anthropology, and Cohokia is one of the most fascinating sites in North America (in my opinion.) But I’d never been there, and we noticed the sign for it on our way out to Maryland. On the way back to Colorado, Alex asked if I’d like to stop there, and see it. It gets its own post, though!

Gateway Arch.


Welcome to Missouri.

The arch, again.

St. Louis had a lot of abandoned buildings along the road.




I also slept through the Kansas border. But these are the glowing lights on
windfarm turbines in KS. They're watching us!

And welcome back to Colorful Colorado.

The trip was long and exhausting, and it was sad to come back, since neither of us really wanted to. Oh well; vacations are never long enough.

*This picture is from Alex's camera.