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!

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.

Thursday, September 27, 2012

July 6, 2012 - The Abandoned House

The main thing we did on the 6th was to seek out an old, abandoned house.  It’s difficult to access, and almost impossible to find unless you already know it’s there. It was quite a walk to get to it, through a large field and a larger expanse of forest and park land.

There were dragonflies!

Remnants of gateposts and a driveway, still quite a ways away from the house.

Vine growing perfectly up the tree trunk.

Turtle skeleton.

Other side.

First glimpse of the house.

We don’t know a whole lot about this house, though the friend we stayed with managed to turn up a single article that gave some information. (This was some time ago, and I haven’t read the article… I’ll have to get a copy at some point.) Evidently, it was once a bed and breakfast for people traveling (mostly by train) to and around DC. You can still see some evidence of that in the forest around it; there are rose bushes and raspberry canes all over the nearby property, which were probably intentionally planted on the grounds, and have since grown wild.

The house is an absolutely beautiful Victorian, with a little Gothic thrown in, a style that doesn’t have many surviving examples in the area. And tragically, it’s probably going to wind up as another “demolition by neglect” building. Technically that’s not legal, but it evidently happens all the time; property owners want to get rid of the buildings on their property, but face some opposition to actually destroying them, so they just wait for them to fall down on their own.

It's a little hard to tell, and the closer-up pictures didn't turn out, but the windows
have original glass in them - it's just slightly warped and varies in thickness.

LOVE this wraparound porch.

The worst of the damage... sagging in and breaking.

Stone stairs.*

Swarm of bees!

Old farming equipment,

Awesome spider web.

The gate.

I hope that I get to see this beautiful house again someday; I hope even more that someone really does wind up fixing it up. It’s a beautiful building (and I’d kill to see the inside of it!) but I’m afraid it’s another one that’ll wind up collapsing and being forgotten entirely.

*This photo is from Alex's camera.